Kat joined Niki from Nature Travels on a recent trip to Stockholm and she tells us what she loved about the place!
Before I travelled to Stockholm a few weeks ago, I knew very little about it. What I discovered once I arrived was that it was a beautiful, welcoming city with lots to experience. There was a lot that I loved about Stockholm, but the following are the top five things I took away after seeing the city for the first time.
1. How calm it is This might sound odd, but Stockholm is the most chilled out capital city I’ve ever been to. As we arrived on a public holiday, I initially thought the laidback pace of life was due to the holiday, but no, Stockholm is a city where no one seems to be rushing, where traffic isn’t gridlocked and where someone slowly wandering the streets taking in the sights isn’t a massive inconvenience to everyone else sharing the pavements.
2. How much water there is Before I visited Stockholm, I hadn’t fully appreciated how much the water plays a role in its layout and its atmosphere. There’s something incredibly soothing about almost always having water in sight and it means that it’s a truly beautiful city to explore on foot. It also means you can mix up your sightseeing with a boat trip, giving you a new perspective on Stockholm and its architecture.
3. How easy it is to walk everywhere I generally prefer to be active on my holidays, and Stockholm is a great place for that because it’s so easy to walk around the city. The cobbled streets and narrow alleys of Gamla Stan are a delight to discover on foot; there are wonderful routes that follow the the waterways, leading you to museums, landmarks and peaceful gardens; and you’re never far from green space if you want a bit of a break from the city.
4. Subway art Although you can quite easily walk around Stockholm, you should definitely hop on the underground at least once, if only to admire the art you can find at the majority of the city’s underground stations. There are colourful murals, weird and wonderful statues and even fountains to be discovered – it definitely makes train journeys around the city more fun – you’re never sure what you’ll be confronted by when you step off the train.
5. Fika Before I went to Stockholm, I wasn’t familiar with Fika. By the time I left, it was one of my favourite parts of the day. For the uninitiated, Fika is coffee and cake, a Swedish staple. Stockholm is home to lots of amazing cafes and restaurants selling delicious cake and excellent coffee. A Fika break is a must when you’ve had a busy morning sightseeing, and as it’s a Swedish tradition, it’d be rude not to.
See our “inspire” section for ideas for outdoor activities in the Stockholm area.