Tag: stockholm day trip

Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala, Sweden

Overview (stats courtesy Wikipedia):
Population: 149,245 (2015)
Density: 3,100/km2 (7,900/sq mi)
Elevation: 15 m (49 ft)
Weather: Cold winters, mild summers
Warm season: May – Sep
Language: Swedish, English is very common
Currency: Even though Sweden is in the EU, they do not accept the euro or any currency other than the Swedish crown (SEK).

Founded in the 12th century, Uppsala is 71 km (44 mi) north of Stockholm. Some scenes from The Girl With the Dragon Tatto were filmed here, and it is the hometown of the fictitious character Christine Daaè In Phantom of the Opera. There was also an episode of Vikings that took pace here.

But its biggest claim to fame is its impact on religion, especially during the 13th and 14th centuries, but still largely influential even today. It is also the locale where the famous Queen Kristina, daughter of Gustavus the Great, abdicated the throne in 1654.

The city is also home to the Uppsala Cathedral, where Gustavus Vasa is buried. And it is home to the oldest university in Scandinavia, built in 1477. There is a ton of additional history and sites here, so you can easily spend a day or two taking it all in.


We took the train from Stockholm central station. You don’t need an exact time to rush to; there is a train that leaves about every 20 minutes. You do have to commit to a time when you buy your ticket.

The train cost was 190 SEK ($30) for both of us, one way. Different trains will make different stops and so travel time will vary. Ours got us to Uppsala in about 40 minutes.

It was a very grey, overcast day, so sorry if the pictures are a bit dreary.

The Castle and Botanical Gardens


It´s a working castle and only has tours in the summertime, but the beautiful castle grounds and botanical gardens are open year round.

The gardens began construction under the rule of Queen Kristina (that’s not her in the pic, that’s my lovely wife Jana), but were turned over to the University in 1644 by King Gustav III as a botanical garden.


While this is not the University itself, it is affiliated with the university. I just included it here because of the fantastic Scandanavian architecture (above).

The Uppsala Cathedral is much older than it looks. It was built (inaugurated) in 1435 and is one of the largest in northern Europe, with towers reaching 118.70 metres (389.4 ft). And as I mentioned, the crypt of Gustav Vasa is in this cathedral. He is considered the  Father of Sweden since it was he who raised the army that retaliated against and defeated King Christian for the infamous blood square. That battle was the catalyst that permanently separated Sweden from Denmark.

After the church, we walked around town some more. It´s a small and cozy town, easy to move around in and not over run by tourists (like us, haha).

Then we ended up at the nicest little Italian restaurant called Villa Romana. I had the pepper steak, and Jana had pasta with beef. Both were delicious! Great food and a good wine selection, highly recommend.

And that’s about it. We walked back to central station and took the train home. It was also around 40 minutes to get back. We want to go back in the summer to see the botanical garden in all of its beauty, but there is also a viking burial mound that we didn’t get a chance to see, so we will be back!

Fjäderholmarna Island

Fjäderholmarna Island

Yeah, say that fast one time, haha!


The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED*
(outperformed my expectations, great value)

  • What did I like the most: Scenic, delicious restaurants, laid back island
  • What is the biggest area for improvement: the boat could be better


The tickets were SEK 150 each. The boat is usually a low rider, no frills style, but it’s comfortable enough, and it’s a short ride. It leaves from the Strandvägen ferry terminal. It’s a half hour out, and a half hour back, so if you want to have lunch and explore a bit, I’d plan for at least a couple of hours. The departure and pickup times on the island vary depending on the season, so check online before you go.

Except for Christmas julbord, the cruise is not available after September.

The Island

Hard to believe that a 30 minute boat ride could make you feel like you’re on a mini vacation. Yet that is how we felt as we sat on this island eating our lunch overlooking a beautiful marina. And despite being in the peak of the warm season, it was not crowded and most of the people we saw were from the local area. Very peaceful, quick getaway from the Stockholm hustle bustle.

Fjäderholmarna is Stockholm’s closest archipelago island, and the 30 minute boat ride was scenic and relaxing. It leaves from the Strandvägen ferry terminal and takes you out south of Djurgården.


You get to see the amusement parks and the huge Viking cruise ships from the water on your way out and back. There is a quick stop at Nacka Strand (both ways), and if you’re lucky, the water spout will be on. What water spout, you ask? Ha, it’s called “God, Our Father, on the Rainbow.” It depicts God, standing atop a 23 meter tall (75 ft) half arch waterfall. You really have to see it to understand, but it is pretty cool. A thousand apologies I didn’t snap a pick while I was there, but I promise I will get one next time and post it here.


We went out again last week with our friend Brandi. I did get this pic, but unfortunately the waterfall was not turned on. I will keep trying! But at least now you can see what I was talking about. Water is supposed to be shooting out the top.



Once you get to the island, you’re free to explore and do your own thing. It has a very country feel to it. A couple of decent restaurants (my reviews at the end of this article), some cheapo souvenir shops (they’re actually quite cute), a glass blower and even a real live blacksmith. The blacksmith makes pure silver jewelry which is really quite nice. And if you hike around a bit, you will even discover some WWII relics (but I’m not going to spoil it for you).


I recommend sitting on the left side of the boat going out. You’ll get to see Djurgården at its absolute best. On the left again coming back and you will get a great view of the water spout, the amusement park, and the Viking cruise ships.

We like to get on the 11:30 ride out, which puts us on the island at noon. Then we go to one of the restaurants and have a nice leisurely lunch, then a walk around the island. A great way to spend a warm afternoon.

Restaurants on the island that we have been to

As for the restaurants, there are several pretty decent ones there. Mind you, you’re going for the atmosphere and spectacular views, not to enjoy a rare culinary experience. So keep an open mind and be easy…

Fjäderholmarnas Krog


Venue: It was an absolutely amazing view. It’s like the wide open sea bent around into the little marina and made a small, glass smooth lake in front of the restaurant. We didn’t have a booking, but they were able to take us as it wasn’t very crowded.



Menu: I got the grilled chicken breast, and Jana got the shrimp salad, and both were very enjoyable and really hit the spot. Reasonably priced, and the service was great.

Drinks: Since we were going to be hiking around, we decided to keep it light and went with water, but they did have a decent looking wine and beer list.

Recommendation: We will definitely come back here again. Highly recommended.

Rökeriet Restaurang Café


Venue: This is the more formal restaurant of the isle, and they prefer you make a booking. They open at 12 noon. Like all the restaurants on the island, the view is spectacular. This one is to the immediate left when you get off the boat.

Menu: A little pricier than the others on the isle, and it’s primarily Swedish food. I got the Wallenbergare, and it was served hot and was delicious with the house white.


Drinks: Very good selection of wines and cocktails. They even have a seasonal cocktail menu, including the classic bellini, one of Brandi’s favs and shown above.

Recommendation: If you’re in the mood for the more formal setting and selection, this place is great. I highly recommend it.

Röda Villian


Venue: As with the other restaurants on the island, the scenery is spectacular. This one is a little different than the others in that it has some woods and more natural terrain to work with. Prices are in line with the others on the island, and really not bad over all. There is no waiter staff. You order at the bar and come get it when it’s ready.



Menu: I thought it was a “bar and grill”, but looking at the sign more closely, it’s a “bar grill boule”.  I kind of had a different expectation of what I would see on the menu. Open faced hamburger without bun, over the top fancy pizza, spinach and feta cheese pie, etc. And they were all good, just, to me, not bar and grill type of food.

Drinks: They had some decent mixed cocktails, among which was the aperol spritzer, which is what we had. The first round came from an already opened bottle of champagne, so it was a little flat, but the second was fresh and delicious.


Recommendation: I recommend it with the caveat that you understand it isn’t really a bar and grill menu. I ordered the hamburger. There was no mention that it came open faced without buns. It was incredibly tasty, just not what I expected. But the laid back stance and fantastic scenery of this place make it a must see for the island.

*This rating is for the boat ride, island, and overall experience. Not related to the restaurants directly.

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: 5
How well were the logistics handled: 4
Was the staff helpful and friendly: 3
Overall execution and presentation: 4
Total score: 16
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)




Stockholm, Sweden (stats courtesy Wikipedia)
Pop City Proper: 935,619
Metro Pop: 2,226,795
Municipality: 188 km2 (73 sq mi)
Density: 5,000/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
Elevation: 0 m (0 ft)
Weather: Very cold winters, mild summers
Warm season: May – Sep
Language: Swedish, English is very common
Currency: Even though Sweden is in the EU, they do not accept the euro or any currency other than the Swedish crown (SEK). But they are very modern in that all restaurants, grocery stores, etc prefer credit card over cash.

What’s so special?
Intellectual, fashionable, and very cultural. More than 100 museums, some world renowned. Picturesque, stately beauty of a city on the Baltic. Magnificent palaces, exquisite restaurants, unforgettable boat tours. By mid summer, over 18 hours of daylight per day!

As you may know by now, my wife and I are US expats currently living in Stockholm. So this particular journal is not just for tourists visiting Stockholm, but also for locals looking for things to do and ideas for day trips.

There is so much to do in Stockholm that I can’t possibly just lump it all under one journal called Stockholm. So I have put together an index of all the places I have documented so far (and the list keeps growing). Please click below to see the index:

The Travelin’ Man’s Guide to Stockholm

I will also be setting up a journal under Sweden called Stockholm Restaurants. Whether you’re a tourist or you live in Stockholm, and you are looking for things to do, definitely click on the follow button below since I am adding a lot of Stockholm material. This way you would be notified, but only when I add something new.