Stockholm, a city on 14 islands, welcomes you to discover its secrets in northern Europe both during winter and summer. Could there possibly be anything more beautiful for travellers than exploring colourful old houses or having a picnic in a park with a view of the city when the light still lingers late into the night? I mean, an average day in May is two hours longer than the one in central Europe. In winter, you’re greeted with cold air, cosy bars and the famous Christmas market. There’s greenness everywhere, as the city was awarded the title as the first Green Capital in 2012. In this article, we share with you even more travel tips on visiting two Scandinavian capitals – not just Stockholm but also Copenhagen.
Stockholm awaits you with its landmarks. Gamla stan is one of the best preserved medieval old towns in Europe and its packed full of colourful houses with little shops and cafés. If you prefer, you can stop at the royal palace to see the changing of the guard that lasts for about 40 minutes. Maybe you’ll even spot one of the royal couple’s children, though, sadly, they’re all married. There are other ways to see the city as well, namely by exploring the many canals by taking a kayak tour where you can choose which way you want to go. And what’s there do do when it rains? It’s best to head to the wonderful Stockholm museums. The museum district is located on neighbouring islands, close to the old town. The most famous of them is the Vasa Museum, which is also worth visiting due to its main exhibit, the sunken Vasa ship. Skansen, Sweden’s oldest open-air museum, is located nearby and it’s where you can see scenes from the life of people from far the north or the depths of the vast forests between the 16th and 20th century. You can also visit the Viking Museum where you’ll learn bits of the savage Swedish history. All ABBA fans must visit the ABBA Museum. You should buy the ticket online, so you won’t have to wait in queue.
If you find Stockholm too expensive, give these two blogs a read to find out how to explore the city on the cheap side and discover even more sights: Citybreak 1 and Citybreak 2. I recommend staying at the yellow hostel whose very building is reminiscent of numerous Swedish houses which you can find throughout the whole area. It’s located in the busy Södermalm area and is famous for its lively atmosphere.
Of course, you can go beyond the city borders as well. Simply rent a bike and you’ll be cycling down countless tracks in no time. If you take a boat, you can explore the colourful streets of an island called Fjäderholmarna, a name that is difficult to pronounce. Or you can head to a small peninsula with an eloquent name of Kastellholmen that is dominated by a castle. And if you’re curious about the setting that takes place a few centuries after the age of castles and that the Swedish crime novels are based on, head to Fjällbacka, a city from the Camilla Lackberg’s novels. You can also travel a little south to Astrid Lindgren’s World themed park where you won’t meet only heroes from her stories but will also have a chance to take a look at traditional Swedish houses.
And if you want a real trip from Stockholm, I recommend taking a train to Copenhagen that crosses the Øresund strait. It’s really worth it because plane tickets to Copenhagen are generally more expensive than tickets to Stockholm. A single train ticket costs less than 20 euros. A good piece of advice is to book your ticket online at Goeuro. Copenhagen has its fair share of sights as well, especially the lovely colourful houses, parks and knightly tales. There’s Tivoli, the famous themed park with its beautiful gardens. It’s worth buying a ticket way in advance. The Danish royal family, similar to the one in Sweden, has its own castle, namely the Cristianburg. The city its very genuine walkway that runs along the 17th-century Nyhavn port and is lined with colourful houses. There are even more canals and they’re all worth a walk, at least to pay visit to the Little Mermaid, sadly looking towards the waters of Øresund. But if you want to experience a more free lifestyle, you should set out to explore Christiania, a true miniature art city. It was founded in 1971 by hippies. You can read more about Copenhagen in the Guide to Copenhagen. If you want to explore the city’s surroundings, you should take a boat trip down Millstream to Lyngy Lake and enjoy the wonderful scenery of the Danish countryside with lovely houses and many mills. If you’re wondering what to do if you’re travelling with children, look no further. Besides visiting Tivoli, heading to the largest aquarium in northern Europe, Blue Planet, is also a must.
The thing the two cities have in common is people hanging out by the water on spring and summer evenings. Both have lovely houses by the water and majestic royal palaces. Tourism is developed both in Stockholm and Copenhagen, which means tourism infrastructure won’t let you down. In conclusion, I would say my dream city would look similar to Copenhagen but with shops from Stockholm.