After our stay in Gothenburg, we rented a car and drove up to Läckö Slott. It is a medieval castle in Sweden, located on Kållandsö island on Lake Vänern, 25 kilometers north of Lidköping in Västergötland, Sweden.
It took us about two hours to drive there from Gothenburg.
Läckö castle has a long, sorted past with over 20 owners since 1298. It had really served as more of a trophy than a real battle castle. Kings would award the property to their most noble knights or generals. Each owner added a little more to the castle. Now it is owned by the Swedish government and is preserved and displayed for the public.
It is well presented and worthy of your time. They have restored some of the rooms with more recent 18th century furniture and art.
We stayed at the Naturum, which is conveniently located right on the castle grounds. It was a pretty good place. But book far in advance as there are only about 20 or so rooms. After our stay there, we headed towards Kebalvägen and the Strömstad Spa & Resort. But we made a couple of stops along the way.
Uddevalla Strandpromenaden (the Uddevalla beach walk)
Along the way, we decided to make a stop here to see for ourselves how spectacular this walk was. This is said to be one of the best walks in Sweden. It took us about an hour and a half to get there in the car. It is worth a little detour if you’re in the area. But keep in mind, this is just a very small segment of a much larger trail.
The beach promenade is a total of 9.3 km long and can be divided into three parts: the forest part, the city part and the beach part. It starts at the more than 10,000-year-old seashell banks in Kuröd and then extends via central Uddevalla all the way to the bathing place at Lindesnäs. Along the way there are many interesting places and beautiful views to see.
Above, you can see, this part of the path is suspended above the water and held by anchors in the side of the cliff. Masterful engineering and construction. The other picture is the same part of the walkway from afar.
The path leads to the cute little town of Uddevalla. We had a nice, cozy lunch sitting outside at the Cafe Snäckan. It was very relaxing to just sit and watch the ocean while eating. Once we finished there, we retraced our steps back to the car.
After the trail, we stopped at Litselby. Here you can see some authentic rock carvings, some dating back to 3000 BC. The carvings were added to throughout time, with the newer ones being from the viking era, 0-900 AD. The red ink was added so that you could see the carvings better.
You can toodle around in that area and see a few other displays of the caveman’s Facebook.
Now this is the place you want to go towards the end of your vacation. You can rest and unwind in style and luxury. The bar and restaurant are top notch, and the service is probably the best in Sweden. It actually rained the day we were here, so we took advantage of the spa services and it was fantastic! Of course, all this glitz and and glamor is going to set you back a bit more than the other places, but it was within reason for what you get and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
And that was the end of this segment. After our stay at the Strömstad (two nights), we drove back to Gothenburg, then stayed one more night there before taking the train back to Stockholm.
If you missed out Gothenburg tour, you can see it by clicking here.
Thanks for tagging along. Be safe and, see you out there.…
When I first started writing articles about Sweden over four years ago, I always felt obligated to include the Swedish notation on important words in the article. Gothenburg, for example, which is Göteborg in Swedish. And for some reason, this always felt a little pretentious.
But now we have been living in beautiful Sweden for over four years and we even own our flat and have learned a lot of the language. Now it feels wrong to use the English version of these words! Hell, I am even typing this on a Swedish keyboard! Anyway, I just thought I would share that tidbit of insightful trivia.
A word about the pandemic: There is no requirement to wear masks in Sweden (and generally, people don’t), but most of our activities were outside. Buildings like museums and aquariums were strictly controlled in terms of social distancing and how many people were allowed in the building at any given time. If there was a place inside of a building that required people to stand close together, that attraction was closed. Restaurants and bars adhered to the 3m distance guideline. This was not just in the Gothenburg area, but throughout Sweden. Everyone was offered free masks on the three hour train ride ( we had our own). The place where you are at the most risk is on the buses and trams, where social distancing isn’t feasible and there is no mask requirement. But taxis, Ubers, scooters, and bikes are always viable options.
I have one more thing to let you in on before we go. I have employed my programming prowess to make things a little simpler for you. This article is a little on the long side, so I have created some hyperlinks below that will instantly teleport you to that part of the article. So if you’re a traveler scanning through blogs for pertinent information about the area, click on the links below. The rest of you, however, are required to read the article in full…..
The City Sites – Canal tours, Botanical Gardens, the Palm House, Universeum
The Food – notable restaurants we enjoyed while in Gothenburg
Vinga Island – I threw this in as a bonus trip, check it out!
THE RETURN OF The Travelin’ Man!!
Wow, it has been a quite a while since we did any significant travel. Since the pandemic, we have canceled our trip to Denmark and our trip to the US. We also had three of our friends scheduled to come see us, who also had to cancel.
But sitting around and comparing which sanitizer is best and trying to stockpile paper towels and toilet paper just isn’t in our DNA (although I do prefer the flat one, leak-proof, fits in any pocket – ugh). So while international travel is gridlocked with the virus, we decided to broaden our travel experience within Sweden. This time, we are making the jump out to the west coast.
We have done quite a bit of travel within Sweden, most of which is documented on my blog (see the links below). There was a trip to Skåne, in which the Travelin’ Man did not participate. We also did a small, three day weekend a few weeks ago in the archipelago, also not documented. I regret not telling you about those trips, they were both awesome!
You may recall these previous trips we did in Sweden that I did do articles for you (hyperlinks below):
We love the SJ train systems in Sweden, but this time we took a different line. We took the MTRX train from Stockholm to Gothenburg. It was around three hours, departing Stockholm at 11:47am and arriving in Gothenburg at 3:15pm. There were three stops along the way, and the scenery was, of course, beautiful. But otherwise an uneventful leg of the journey. The MTRX line was a tad cushier than the SJ line, but otherwise, they seemed the same to me. The tickets were 700 SEK each, round trip, which is around 80 USD. There isn’t much of a price difference between the two lines.
No matter where you stay in Gothenburg, it’s not likely that you will be able to get everywhere you want to go by shoe. Requiring the bus and/or tram is inevitable. You should download the app “västtrafik to go”. If you are reading this on an Apple device, try clicking here to download the app. This will allow you to get an immediate ticket, or an extended one for a day or more. It will create a QR/barcode on your screen that their scanners can read.
Refer to the map, above. You can see the rough approximation of the train trip in red. I also circled Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmo, Sweden for your reference. Note that Oslo and Copenhagen are hyperlinked so you can go check out those articles in a separate page. Those blue markers you see on the map were all places that We went on this trip.
The City Sights
Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden, the first being Stockholm. But the two could not be further apart in culture and feel. Stockholm has a stately feel. Traditional, refined, and very cultural from a Swedish standpoint. Gothenburg, on the other hand, feels very European, but honestly, I didn’t even feel like I was in Sweden. It has more of a devil-may-care, laid-back, and independent aura about it. Even the architecture of the buildings and the city layout is different from Stockholm. So if you live in Stockholm and are looking for a “getaway “, this fits the bill quite nicely.
Gothenburg caters to shopping and eating, and both activities are well represented here. Nice restaurants with outdoor seating and cool taverns line both sides of the streets in the main area of town. It feels young, vibrant, and very friendly.
We came during the summer, at the end of July. The temperatures in Gothenburg was a warm 65-70 F (18-21 C). There was an occasional light, cooling wind. I wore a short sleeve shirt with an over shirt that I could take on and off to regulate and it worked out well. And of course, I never leave home without my trusty hat.
For each location that we visit, I will include a small header that has the street address, telephone number, and a google reference. When you click on the google reference, it will open the location in your google map and bring up a nice description of the location.
This is a must see attraction for Gothenburg. From their website:“Explore Universeum. Animals, nature, chemistry, technology and fun experiments under one roof in the heart of Gothenburg.”
But sadly, we weren’t able to get in. Due to the pandemic, you have to book in advance on their website. But they only allow so many bookings per day and their quota was full the day we had planned to go. But on the bright site, this will give us a major attraction to see when we come back!
When we weren’t able to get in the Universeum, we rode the tram back to the botanical gardens. The entry was free, and they have public restrooms. We spent around an hour and a half walking around here, and we still didn’t see quite everything.
This place is an example of the tenacious outdoor beauty that is Sweden in the summer. For a place with such long, cold and dark winters, you would never expect such thriving, vibrant flowers and shrubbery.
They had a separate area dedicated to food farming. You know, corn, lettuce, watermelon, etc. It was very well done and they had some amazing things growing in there. It was just interesting in an almost-apocalyptic/survival sort of way.
Sure, it’s an extremely touristy thing to do, but what can I say, we love a good boat ride! This one lasts about an hour. As you would expect, it comes with a tour guide that tells you what you’re looking at with historical perspective. The cost was 390 SEK ($44) for both of us.
It takes you entire length of the canal, crosses the harbor and back around the other side. You’ll get to see some of the city’s best sites, including the Opera house (above), the old shipyard, and the fish church (also pictured above).
This place is spectacular. The grounds are absolutely immaculate, and the flowers were glaring with color. The greenhouse, er uh, palm house, doesn’t open until 2p, and frankly, it was kinda ho-hum. But it’s right off the main road, so just step in and check it out if you’re in the area.
The very first night, we went to a place called Made in China. Kind of like a Chinese tapas place. This turned out to be an outstanding choice. Very upbeat venue right on the Main Street. I strongly recommend it. The duck confit bun (pictured above) and the carmel pork were out of this world! But nothing in this place is going to disappoint including the wine and the cost. Many Chinese places fall short on wine selection, but this place had a wide assortment of really good ones. We liked it so much that we went there again on our last night. It is very close to the hotel Flora and has nice indoor and outdoor seating. It is extremely popular, so be sure to make a booking.
This was located on the 23rd floor of the Gothia Tower, which is located right next to Universeum. Just go into the main building there and find the dedicated elevator for Heaven 23.
As you would expect, the views are fantastic. We were able to get a spot right by the window. But remember that’s why you’re going there, for the view. The food was a definite “OK”, but that’s all. I had the Wallenbergare, which was the lunch special for the day. But instead of veal, it was a mish-mash of salmon, crab, and cod. And for a fish lover, it was probably pretty good. I mean, I am not what you would call a fish lover and I ate it. But they could have at least told me when I ordered it how it was different from the traditional Wallenbergare. Jana got the vegetarian dish, and she agreed that it, too, was “OK”. The wine was a little on the high side, especially for Gothenburg, where it is normally a bit cheaper than in Stockholm.
So go spend an hour or so gazing out over the city. It is a lovely restaurant, cozy and quiet, and I don’t regret that we went there. It was fun.
This is a Greek/Mediterranean venue. It was a five minute walk from the Flora Hotel. Cozy, warm and friendly, good food and great service. It has very nice indoor and outdoor seating. A good wine selection with good prices (we love that the wine in Gothenburg is generally cheaper than Stockholm). What else could you ask for?
I had the beef souvlaki with tzatziki, which was juicy and tasty. Jana had the lamb biftekia, also with the tzatziki sauce. The lamb was an interesting variation from the hamburger that we hadn’t seen before. And it was actually very good. I highly recommend this place.
We stayed in Gothenburg for the first three nights. Then we went off and did some other adventuring and came back to Gothenburg, which we then spent another night.
We stayed at the Hotel Flora for three nights (that last picture in the above collage I shot from the canal boat tour – pretty cool, eh?). It was 1000 SEK ($112) per night, which is really quite reasonable for this part of the world. Breakfast was included and was the usual hotel breakfast bar accommodation. There was a community coffee maker, where you took the coffee pods they gave you in your room down the hall to a community coffee maker. The bar was ok, if a bit cramped for pandemic social distancing. The room and the bathroom were spacious, especially by European standards. We were located very close to the tram, which we did use a couple of times, and overall the location was convenient for seeing the sights of the city including shopping at Haga and restaurants and pubs. All of these things considered, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 8.
The Clarion is one of those places that just gets everything right. The price was 1341 SEK ($152) per night. A little high, but if you want the larger room and all the goodies, it’s worth it. The usual breakfast bar was included.
We stayed here for one night after we came back from our road trip (click here to see that article). Perhaps the nicest thing about this one was that it is literally across the street from Central Station, so it only took us ten minutes to get to our train the next morning.
Firstly, note that the map link I gave you above is for the dock area where you board the boat, not the island itself. The Island is a one and a half hour boat ride within the archipelago, located here:
The boat services were handled by Stromma, which is the same company that does most of the boats around Stockholm. We did the lunch cruise, which I recommend over the regular because, well, you get lunch, but also you get a much better seat and reserved seating. And as you can see, above, they were observing proper social distancing.
Lunch was a preassigned meal. We had the open-faced shrimp sandwich, which is a delicious shrimp salad served on dark bread (hidden underneath all the toppings) with sliced hard boiled eggs and loads of fresh greens and cucumbers. As with most Stromma cruises, they have wine, sodas, and coffee. They also had a decent selection of desserts. We opted for diet cokes (they were bottled and ice cold) on the way out. Coming back we had a nice glass of wine and some desserts. You keep your reserved seat for the return trip.
The open water was quite choppy both ways. It is a rather large boat, so we weren’t really tossed around much. If you are prone to getting seasick, you would probably be okay here.
The scenery during the boat ride was very different from the archipelago on the Stockholm side. It was rather barren and wind blown, reminding me more of Iceland than Sweden.
Aside from the barren landscape, the first thing you notice is the wind. And it has two speeds: really strong and gale force! I am not kidding on this, so be prepared. I would suggest, well, a good wind breaker for a jacket. Even though it was the middle of the summer, the wind and damp air made it a bit chilly.
I know I have used the word barren a couple of times, but don’t mistake that for uninteresting or unattractive. It is actually quite beautiful, especially once you have boots on the ground and are seeing it up close.
This island is located in one of the most dangerous areas of the archipelago in terms of ship passage. Back in the day, several families were permanently located here. Back then, there even enough children living here to warrant a small schoolhouse. The lighthouse required constant monitoring and maintenance, and the seas required constant scanning for ships, especially at night and during storms.
Even today, the lighthouse is still fully functional and there are several radar stations that use triangulation for redundancy and to pinpoint the exact course of any nearby ships. There are people still living here, but I don’t think they’re permanent, and even if they are, travel to and from the island is way more convenient than it was back then.
You would normally be able to climb to the top of the lighthouse and to explore some of the buildings, but they were all closed due to the pandemic. But that’s okay, there was a good bit of hiking, albeit treacherous at times, and other views to see on the island.
We stayed on the island for a couple of hours before returning back to the port in Gothenburg. It was an enjoyable escape and I would recommend it if you are looking to get out of the city for a bit.
And that concluded our events for the first three days. From here, we will be renting a car and driving through Kvantum and staying at the castle Läcko. It is located on Lake Vänern, which is the largest lake not only in Sweden, but in the entire European Union. So stay tuned to this channel for more about traveling in south western Sweden!
This trip is another leg of our campaign to get out and enjoy the Nordic winters. Recall that we were abandoning the warmth of the hearth and getting out to see why so many people actually prefer colder weather environments. We conquered snowmobiling, reindeer sleds, and horse drawn sleighs in The Great Arctic Adventure . So it only seemed natural to take on snow skiing next!
About the Park
A lot of people from Stockholm like going to the Romme Alpin park in the winter. So many, in fact, that there are packaged deals available, where you pay a single fee and you get:
Bus trip to and from Stockholm Central Station
Rental skis, boots, helmets, plus whatever else you need
All day ski pass for the lifts on all slopes
We did the one day outing, where you go out and come back the same day. Our cost was 800 kr ($100) each, but the prices vary based on various factors, so be sure to check their web site. We were able to book our package from the web site. There are other packages available that are multi-days/weekends. There is a hotel at the park, so it is ultra convenient. There are three or four different restaurants that vary by price and food selections. There is also an indoor area with tables set up so that if you brought your own lunch, you would have a place to sit and eat. There are plenty of areas to store your things, like backpacks, shoes, etc. Essentially, these folks have thought of everything!
Transportation From Stockholm
As with most of our adventures from Stockholm, we began our journey on foot to the subway. For us, that’s about a five minute walk. We took the red line to central station. Once at central, go out and all the way up to the ground floor. There are actually signs for Romme Alpin, or ask an attendant for directions to the bus station if you get disoriented.
The morning buses leave at 6:30am, then another batch at 7am. Don’t be late! The bus ride itself was about two and a half hours. It was a standard, but comfortable bus, much like any tour bus. There was a bathroom on the bus as well.
Once you arrive, make special note of where your bus is parked, and what time it is going to leave. Ours left at 4:15pm. Be sure to allow thirty minutes or more for returning your equipment.
Not so fast! This was my very first time on snow skis! And Jana hadn’t been on them in a long time. So we booked private lessons. This is not part of the package deal and has to be booked and payed for separately from the Romme Alpin package deal. You will need to call the number listed on the web page to book your lesson.
Getting the lessons was a great idea! Our instructor, Maja, was so helpful. Once I got to where I was able to stand up and made it to the top of the bunny hill, she would ski in front of me, backwards. So she was able to talk to me the whole way down and even caught me and prevented me from falling several times. This really helped me get up to speed quickly.
There is a special break in the lines that allows people accompanied by an instructor to get right on the lift, so there is no waiting to try again. By the end of the two hour session, I was able to hold my own. I even went down the next hardest hill. I guess all told, I probably fell four or five times, but they were all low speed, so no harm was done. Jana only fell once (I think she did it just to make me feel better).
Was it fun? It was absolutely a great time! Am I hooked on it and can’t wait to do it again? Well… by the end of the day, I could get around okay, and yes I went down the next hardest hill a few times. I even got down it once or twice without falling! But I essentially spent the majority of the day worrying about keeping my balance, so I couldn’t completely relax. I am sure that once you get the hang of it, you love it. But I am going to have to reserve judgement until I have been a few more times and am able to relax and enjoy it a little more. We plan to go out at least one more time this winter.
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!
Wow can you believe it’s already August? And what a busy month we had on the blog in July! I posted a whopping 14 articles last month! AND restructured the menu interface AND added a Stockholm index, wow!
And I still have so much planned. I am writing this update while on the train to Copenhagen, which will get added to the blog. We also did a three hour Segway Tour with our friend Melissa, who is visiting from the US, and I am still documenting Amsterdam. But what I really want you to know is that The Travelin’ Man is extending his reach; I just got my Facebook page up and linked to the blog, and I’m working on getting more social apps up very soon.
So please do me a huge favor and accept the friend invite from the The Travelin’ Man when it comes through. My plan is to make more personal posts on that and still do the formal updates on the blog. I also plan to do event and restaurant reviews from The Travelin’ Man’s Facebook identity. So anything you can do to spread the word about all this is a great help! And also feel free to comment and whatever on the new Facebook when it comes through.
Thanks again for all your support so far and, see ya out there!
The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation: OK*
(quality of the experience was a little low, but I enjoyed it)
What did I like the most: Audio guide provided useful info about history and architecture
What is the biggest area for improvement: Boat was small, insufficient outdoor seating
The boat did not afford good views of the bridges. The content from the audio is good, but you’d be better served to use the Drottningholm Palace cruise. The boat is much better, and the scenery is fantastic. It’s about the same amount of cruising time, but costs less.
We bought our tickets from and departed from the Strandvägen terminal. The tour also departs from Strömkajen, but on a slightly earlier schedule. We paid 260 kr each, and the tour was around 2.5 hrs. The boat leaves leaves on the hour from 10am to 6pm during prime season. Check online for departure times from Strömkajen.
It’s an audio guided tour. If you don’t bring your own earphones, they will provide you a pair at no cost.
This is the aspect that brought their rating down. Considering it was advertised as “Under the Bridges of Stockholm” I would have expected to be able to get some great pictures of the bridges, like in the advertisements.
But we were seated in the interior, with limited window seats, and facing out to the sides. It’s bench seating on each side of a table. If you don’t get there early, you may not get a window seat. Furthermore, there are two pickup spots, so if you are boarding at Strandvägen, there may not even be any good seats left since it leaves from Strömkajen first. There was a very small outdoor area in the back, but it only seated about 10 passengers and was full when we boarded.
There is a snack bar with sandwiches and treats, and they also serve wine and beer.
The boat goes all the way around the southern island (Södermalm), turns around at the City Hall, then comes back using the same route. It swings a little bit wide on either side to pick up a couple of extra bridges.
I would have thought the audio guide would be mostly focused on the architecture and history of the bridges, but it was just general Stockholm information. This included a full spoiler for The Vasa, so if you have friends or relatives with you and you were wanting them to learn about The Vasa incident at the museum, then don’t use the audio. Thanks to my friend Melissa for hanging out the window to get the above shot!
There was some really good architectural and historic information about the buildings we saw and how they came into being as the culture and politics of the area evolved.
The route took us all the way around Södermalm, so you get to go through the Lock of Hammarby, which separates the fresh water lakes from the Baltic ocean.
We went by the old Absolut factory, but somehow were not able to see the famous vodka barrels. Was probably too busy talking and just missed them. 🙂
* 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: 2
How well were the logistics handled: 3
Was the staff helpful and friendly: 3
Overall execution and presentation: 2
Total score: 10
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)
This is an index of all of the current Stockholm activities and places that I have documented. More are being added every week, so be sure to sign up for notifications at the bottom of the page so you will get notified when I add a new article.
Each entry below has a thumbnail image with the name and a description of the attraction. If you want to see the Travelin’ Man’s detailed article of that attraction in a separate window, simply click on the underlined text.
The attractions are grouped by which island they are on. The amount of time for each attraction is given. Use those two pieces of information to help plan a day of sightseeing in and around this beautiful city.
Fjäderholmarna [2-3 Hrs] Stockholm’s closest archipelago island, and the 30 minute boat ride was scenic and relaxing. It leaves from the Strandvägen ferry terminal. There are several great restaurants to choose from, some scenic walking trails, and a blacksmith that makes jewelry right on the island.
Vaxholm Dinner Cruise [3 Hrs] The cruise goes non-stop from Stockholm to the beautiful Vaxholm. You really can’t go wrong here, the dinner, drinks and cruise were all excellent; we and everyone around us had a marvelous time.
Drottningholm Palace Cruise [4-5 Hrs] Ok, spoiler alert here, in case you haven’t already heard, Drottningholm Palace (aka Summer Palace) is one of the nicest palaces in all the land! It is in this palace that the royal family actually lives.
Skokloster Palace – [8-9 Hrs] It’s a boat ride from Stockholm to the Skokloster palace and back. Experience the breathtaking beauty of lake Mälaren’s shoreline. On board cafeteria and bar, and the trip includes an onboard tour guide who will call out noteworthy sights along the way.
Skansen [4-5 Hrs] It’s a museum, a zoo, and a historical town replica. It’s all of those things and all outdoor. There are some rides and activities for children. It also offers some fantastic views of Stockholm.
Vasa Museum [2-3 Hrs] This museum displays an almost perfectly preserved ship that sank off the coast of Stockholm in 1628. They claim that it is the worlds only fully preserved 17th century ship. And it is completely intact.
The Viking Museum [1 Hr] The big challenge for museums is how to present their wealth of information in a way that will be interesting, and also to present it in a way that you will remember it. The Viking Museum does a pretty good job at both of these things.
Rooftop Tour [2 Hrs] Walk around on the roof of the old parliament house, eight stories up! Get a full 360 degree view with no windows, walls, or barriers. And the guides give great historical perspective on what you’re looking at.
Stockholm Free Walking Tour [2 Hrs] It’s definitely a tour worth taking, even for locals since you probably walk right past a lot of this stuff but don’t know its history.
Under the Bridges Boat Tour [2 Hrs 15 Mins] I listed this one under Norrmalm even though it cruises around Södermalm because the tour departs from the main island. This one was just ok, and didn’t get a good rating. Some good tour information on architecture and history.
Stockholm – 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!
Segway Tour [2 Hrs] We had a nice route that took us around Södermalm. I say it was a nice route because they kept us away from the heavy traffic areas and we had limited big intersections to get through.
Hagaparken [All day] This is a massive and beautiful sprawling park across the lake from The Stockholm University campus. Not only is it a gorgeous display of nature, but it also has the Haga Palace, King Gustav III’s Pavillion, botanical gardens, a Chinese pavilion and gardens, a Turkish Kiosk, and it is also the site of the Swedish Royal Burial Grounds.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION – This is a two day itinerary. Day one is complete, day two is in progress.
Djurgården is a large island a bit south and east of Stockholm proper. The entire island is practically one giant playground for tourists (and locals too). There are a lot of primo things to do here, so you should allow a minimum of two days. And that’s only to do the things I’m recommending, you could very easily spend more time here. So this is a proposed itinerary for you to cover all of the highlights of Djurgården in two days. Below I will summarize each attraction. Note that you can click on the BLUE titles, and a new page will open with a more complete description of that activity.
Remember when planning your days that by mid summer, Stockholm has over 18 hours of daylight per day. Up with the sun means around 3am! But it doesn’t set until after 10pm, so take your time and get a good breakfast before heading out. You should also take some time here to review your maps and see where everything is and the routes you will be taking. Especially if you don’t have a European data package and are using wifi at your hotel.
Djurgården Day One
Start day one at the Vasa Museum. It opens at 8:30, plan on getting there around 9am. Take your time. Definitely start with the movie then do the guided tour. After that, spend time on all 5 floors observing some really amazing exhibits. It takes a couple of hours to get it all.
Vasa Museum. This museum displays an almost perfectly preserved ship that sank off the coast of Stockholm in 1628. They claim that it is the worlds only fully preserved 17th century ship. And it is completely intact.
Once that’s done, it should be pretty close to lunch time. If not, you are already in the middle of an amazingly beautiful part of Stockholm, so walk around and explore a bit. From your morning review, you should already have an idea of where you want to get lunch. There are some outstanding places to eat in this area. Some are further into the park than others and offer a magnificent outdoor dining experience in the park setting.
One of our favorite places to eat in this area is Ulla Windblabh. It’s a little on the pricey side, but the food, wine, and great atmosphere are well worth it. But look around and find a place that works for you. Chill out, unwind, and recharge since you will be doing a lot of walking on the next phase.
Skansen Park. It’s a museum, a zoo, and a historical town replica. It’s all of those things and all outdoor. There are some rides and activities for children. It also offers some fantastic views of Stockholm.
This is the last activity I have planned for you today. That leaves you plenty of time for a happy hour and a great dinner somewhere. I will eventually be creating a restaurant guide to Stockholm, so stay tuned for that. Sign up for a notification when it’s done by clicking the follow button at the bottom.
This attraction is located on Djurgården island. To do it Proper, it takes about two hours. It is all indoor. If you want help planning your days on Stockholm and to include this as part of that, go to the Stockholm button at the top and select Djurgården->Djurgården Itinerary. Or click here and I’ll take you there.
The museum opens at 8:30am most days. This museum displays an almost perfectly preserved ship that sank off the coast of Stockholm in 1628. They claim that it is the worlds only fully preserved 17th century ship. And it is completely intact.
And wow does it ever have a story to tell, you won’t even believe it! As you approach the museum, you will see some very tall masts coming from the building. This is an effect to show how tall it would be if sitting in the water.
Definitely do the free guided tour (English) on this one and allow at least a couple of hours to take it all in. Unlike most museums in Stockholm, this one isn’t free, but it’s pretty cheap and worth every cent (or SEK haha).
The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation: VERYGOOD*
(surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
What did I like the most: old houses and scenic views
What is the biggest area for improvement: speed up the line getting in
Skansen is located on Djurgården island. The island is full of great things to do. I have detailed a two day plan that will help insure you hit all the highlights of Djurgården . To see that, go to the top and select the Stockholm button. Then select Djurgården->Djurgården Itinerary. Or click here and I’ll take you there.
You should allow a minimum of 4-5 hours to see all the exhibits and attractions in Skansen, but if everything is open and/or you have kids, it could easily take the whole day.
I’m not sure if I should call this a museum, a zoo, or a historical town replica. It’s all of those things and all outdoor, so be sure to check the weather before you go up. It also offers some great views of Stockholm:
In my mind, Skansen can be logically broken down into three main areas:
An outdoor mini-zoo.
Historic homestead exhibits.
Food and kiddie activities.
The zoo exhibits display some of the animals of Sweden: reindeer, moose, sheep, etc. There’s a pretty decent brown bear exhibit.
The houses and shops for the homesteads were relocated from areas all around Sweden. They are well documented, so you will know what you’re looking at. Some of them have people working in them, dressed in the garb from that era. Blacksmith, furniture shop, bakery, etc. Very educational and well presented.
Lots of good food up in the food area. Sort of like an outdoor food court. But no chain restaurants here, mostly classic Swedish food, and hamburgers and hot dogs type of stuff. There’s some bumper cars and electric (railed) cars and other kiddie rides.
If the weather is not so good, consider going to the Nordic Museum instead. If you do go to Skansen, take your time and absorb it all.
* 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: 4
Overall execution and presentation: 3
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 – 12 is GOOD (met expectations, would recommend, would do again)
13 – 15 is VERY GOOD (surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
16 – 20 is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (outperformed my expectations, great value)