The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation: VERY GOOD*
(surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
- What did I like the most: full unrestricted 360 degree rooftop views
- What is the biggest area for improvement: a better solution for using smartphone cameras
I did the rooftop tour with our friend, Brandi, who had come out to see us from the US. Quite honestly, I had never even heard of a rooftop tour and really had no idea what to expect.
There are several companies in Stockholm that provide this service, we used Talvandring at https://takvandring.com. The cost was 595 kr (about $70), and it lasted a little over two hours.
We met at the statue of Birger Jarl, right at the center of Birger Jarls Torg, on Riddarholmen. Our two guides, Lydia and Eva, showed up in full body harnesses and exactly on time. They escorted us around the corner to the old parliament house (pictured at the very top of this article). The entire tour was in English.
After they gave us our instructions and safety tips, we rode the elevator up, then climbed up the attic stairs, through a hatch, and onto the roof. Eight floors above the ground. As you can see from one of our guides, above, we suited up into a full body harness and helmets.
Look closely on the picture above and you can see the steel platform/walkway. It’s only about a foot wide, and you can see the cable that goes alongside on the left side of the platform. Your body harness hooks onto this with a cable so you are attached. Note the platform has no railing, a little scary. But look over to the right and that one has a railing. Some do, some don’t.
But it was very safe. I wouldn’t classify myself as a daredevil by any means, and I never felt scared or that I might fall. However, if you are in any way scared of heights or have any vertigo issues, I advise you steer clear of this event.
After you’ve been up for a few minutes, you really get the hang of it and start relaxing a little and taking in the unprecedented view you are getting. A full 360 degrees with no windows, walls, or barriers. It is truly breathtaking.
So now a word about photography. Your phone goes into a thick clear plastic case around your neck. And you’re not really supposed to take it out of the plastic. So when you take pictures, the plastic is sometimes in the way, and the screen controls through the plastic can be cumbersome.
See the picture above and how it’s a little blurry on the bottom right. This is the plastic effect and it happens on a lot of the pictures. Now if you had a real camera with strap on it, you could get some killer, I mean really killer pics up here. As it is, however, over half of my pics had to be deleted they were so bad.
Aside from the most spectacular views you will probably ever see in Stockholm, there is an educational side to this as well. The guides are quite knowledgeable of the landscape and the long history of Stockholm. So while you’re up there observing all this beauty, they are giving you some really good historic perspectives on what you’re looking at.
Our guides were Lydia and Eva, and in addition to knowing all the history, they were also very friendly, professional, and very educated on safety procedures and protocols.
* Each area is rated on a scale 1-5, with 1 = poor, 3 = good, 5 = exceptional
How did this do compared to what I had expected: 4
How well were the logistics handled: 3
Was the staff helpful and friendly: 3
Overall execution and presentation: 4
Total score: 14
4 – 8 is POOR (was not at all what I expected and/or was not worth the time/money)
9 – 10 is OK (quality of the experience was a little low, but I enjoyed it
11 – 13 is GOOD (met expectations, would recommend, would do again)
14 – 15 is VERY GOOD (surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
16 – 20 is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (outperformed my expectations, great value)