This was our first visit to Stockholm. Stockholm is a very pretty city built on 14 main islands. The entire archipelago has around 30,000 islands so there are many places to escape to in the summer months.
We stayed in Berns hotel which is very central and close to all of the highly efficient transport systems, which includes metro, trams, buses and boats. Stockholm is mostly very flat and walkable but difficult to find your bearings at first because there are so many rivers and canals in all directions.
Our visit included a 48 hour Stockholm card, three extra tickets to be used for city sightseeing, boat tours or ferries so we wanted to make use of them as much as possible. Stockholm card is valid for over 80 museums as well as city transport and hop on hop off boats.
On the afternoon we arrived, we started with a leisurely Royal Canal Tour which was about an hour long and passes Abba’s old house and many of the lovely parks in the city. As we got off the boat the city sightseeing tour was waiting, so we decided to get on it as we had tickets. This was very comprehensive and gave us a good overview of the city
We did find it quite difficult to find vegetarian restaurants and our choices were very limited so we were grateful for our very substantial breakfast at Berns.
On Saturday we activated our Stockholm Card, using the hop on hop off ferry and walked for about ten minutes to the very first open air museum called Skansen. This is over a century old and consists of recreated houses through the ages, Scandinavian animals, a Sami village, gardens and a funicular railway. We really enjoyed this and it would be a wonderful day out for families as well. There are plenty of restaurants in the park so you could easily spend all day there
From Skansen we took the tram straight back and took the boat to Gamla Stan, the Old Town and the original part of Stockholm. This area is full of beautiful architecture and ornamental mouldings on the doorways, cobbled streets and narrow alleyways. There are many restaurants in this area. This would be a good area for couples to stay in.
On Sunday we tried for the second time to get into Vasa Museum and going shortly after it opens at 10am was a good decision because this time there was no queue. This is definitely worth seeing. Vasa is a 400 year old Viking warship that sank on her maiden voyage. It was recovered recently and 90% of it is perfectly preserved. By the time we walked round the coaches arrived. If you have young children, Junibacken is close by, a museum dedicated to the author of Pippa Longstocking and many other Swedish childrens’ books .
We then took the metro to Globen and the Skyride which goes to the top of the world’s largest spherical building and has a great view of Southern Stockholm.
In the afternoon we took the Under the Bridges Tour which was interesting and around 2 hours long. This includes the lock and passes different spots to the Royal Canal and the hop on hop off so we experienced yet another part of the city
On Monday our plans were a little ruined by the weather which unfortunately took a turn for the worse, but there are so many museums to visit, and we did have three days of cloudy but dry weather in which we managed to negotiate most of what we wanted to see
I would recommend visiting Stockholm between June and August when days are at their longest and all the boats are operating. It is a really good city for families of all ages to visit with many child friendly museums and activities on offer. There are also plenty of nice walks, culture and beautiful buildings so there is something for everyone in Stockholm.
As you would expect Stockholm isn’t a cheap city and a Stockholm Card is a wise investment and would definitely save money as well as encouraging you to experience as much as possible of this beautiful city. A 48-hour card is around £50
The train back to the airport only takes 20 minutes from Central Station or the bus is a little cheaper and takes 40 minutes.