What to see and do when you visit Stockholm (whether for Eurovision or at any other time)
Though Stockholm is the type of city worth shining the spotlight on at any given time, with the Eurovision Song Contest just around the corner (from 10-14 May) it seems more appropriate than ever.
It’s a truly beautiful city, with an elegant mix of 13th-century architecture and quirky, modern cafés and boutiques. Sweden’s capital is spread across an archipelago of 14 islands, intricately linked by nearly 60 bridges. Most of the city is therefore set within a stone’s throw of water, giving it a truly idyllic appearance. With history as a hub of culture and trade, there’s plenty to see and do when you visit Stockholm.
If you’re looking for old-world Scandinavian charm, then Gamla Stan, or the Old Town, is the place to be. While the heart of the original city dates back to the 13th century, a significant number of the buildings are from the 18th and 19th centuries. Be sure to stop by for a look at the stunning Royal Palace, built in the baroque style, along with the Royal Chapel.
The Nobel Museum provides a point of interest for those looking to embrace their inner nerd, and makes for a truly thought-provoking museum experience. Other islands also offer fascinating museums – don’t miss the incredible collection of art at Moderna Museet, or Vasa Museet, which features a warship with a genuinely fascinating story.
Though Gamla Stan has an excellent selection of galleries and museums, it’s the atmosphere of the quaint alleyways that will make you want to while away the hours wandering the cobbled streets. It’s an excellent place to grab a beer or get your caffeine fix and watch the world go by. Indulge in ‘fika’, the Swedish name for a leisurely coffee, usually accompanied by a pastry or other sweet treat. While the location is appealing by day, it’s perhaps even more attractive by night.
When it comes to food, Stockholm has far more to offer than just the country’s world-renowned meatballs. While you may not be ready to face the overpowering aroma of fermented fish, a Swedish culinary tradition which has been known to make even locals gag, be sure to try some of the more palatable herring-based dishes.
Don’t be surprised if you are presented with a single slice of bread when you order a sandwich – it’s typically Scandinavian. Just be warned that it may take some practice to avoid making a mess!
For cheap flights to Stockholm from the United Kingdom, check out the options at Opodo. For places to stay, take a look at over 160 Stockholm hotel choices available at HotelsClick.com. If you fancy arriving at Stockholm by sea, don’t forget that you can also take Fred. Olsen’s ‘Baltic Capitals & Stockholm Archipelago’ cruise, departing Newcastle this July. Read our blog about that here, or head over to the Fred. Olsen website for full details.