Stockholm is a city world-renowned for its modern culture and with so much on offer it can be difficult deciding on what to prioritise in such a short space of time. perhaps like me you’re limited to a mere 72 hours, or maybe you’re got lucky and have a couple of days to spare? Either way I’ve compiled a list of some of my own personal highlights I thought were worth sharing.
For History: Nordic Museum & Vasa Museum
The Nordic Museum is internationally acclaimed as a cultural centre, exhibiting a vast array of intriguing artefacts that help to explore the background, values, traditions, art and spirit of the Nordic people.
Get up close and admire the great Vasa salvage in all its glory. The ship sadly capsized, sinking off Stockholm back in 1628. Miraculously after more than 300 years lying on the sea bed, this remarkable 17th century warship was salvaged, making it one of the world’s best preserved ships and the most visited museum across Scandinavia.
For Fun: Abba Museum & Grona Lund
No ordinary museum, this colourful exhibit provides an interactive journey through one of the greatest pop groups in musical history. Go beyond the original costumes, gold records and nostalgic memorabilia to experience the famous lifestyle first-hand. ABBA The Museum is also a permanent exhibition in the ‘Swedish Music Hall of Fame’.
Enjoy a little childhood nostalgia with a visit to Gröna Lund, Sweden’s iconic amusement park which through relatively compact, still holds thrills experienced in a bygone era of an old-fashioned fairground. Located on Djurgården Island it is also a popular venue for staging musical performances through the summer months.
For Escapism: Skansen & Stockholm’s Archipelago
Take a break from the city streets and indulge yourself in the intriguing history of Skansen; the world’s oldest open-air museum. A must see attraction the living museum allows you to access a special pocket of Swedish history, with distant views across the city from its peak. Delve in and out of the traditional homesteads and discover the traditional cooking and handicrafts of the Scandinavian people.
Stockholm is perched on a large archipelago, home to approximately 30,000 islands, islets and rocks each with its own unique character. Out here Mother Nature has granted the region with rugged woodlands, rocky cliffs and secluded beaches. Escape to the shores of tranquil coves and open sea, mixed with new and ancient communities, where both secluded palaces and rustic cabins adorn the pastures in peace and tranquillity.
For Culture: Gamla Stan & Self-Guided Tour of Metro Stations
Founded in 1252, Gamla Stan aka. the Old Town, is known to be one of the largest and best preserved medieval city districts in Europe, so its no wonder the narrow maze of cobblestone streets is often seen as an iconic hot-spot to tourists to explore. Regarded often as a living museum to another era, visitors can still uncover cellar vaults and other artefacts from the Middle Ages in this rich and compact district, also full of cafés, bars, and stores packed with curious souvenirs.
Stockholm’s 110km long subway network includes more than 90 metro stations, the majority adapted to feature a range of beautiful and intriguing artworks. The unique nature of the creative development has seen the subway regarded as the world’s longest art gallery. It is well worth taking some time to explore the wonders of this underground network if you have the time, particularly if you’ve purchased a multi-ticket where distance in unlimited.
For a country I knew very little about before my visit, I was pleasantly surprised by many aspects of this cultural city and I look forward to exploring more of the Scandinavian region in future.