I don’t like flying with budget airlines as so far I have almost always had problems with them. Usually, they are not as cheap as they seem to be (additional costs for everything) and they are super uncomfortable. However, if there are tickets available for only 10,66 EUR (return tickets!!) and I have a spare weekend to fill with an adventure, I’m definitely in. So Carina and I booked our flights and we went to Stockholm right after the last exam (which was about Joe & the Juice, very hipster). As I have mentioned in another blogpost, I really really like Sweden and I have already been to its capital before, so I had good reasons to go there again.
As already mentioned the tickets were really cheap; however, we had to deal with the fact that we had to fly with Ryanair. One of the flights was in the middle of the day, the other was very early in the morning plus both times we flew to/from an airport which was 100km south of Stockholm. A bit annoying but hey – 11 EUR for the tickets! And as we were only staying over the weekend (2.5 days in total) we decided not to check-in a suitcase = no additional costs for us. So off we went the week before this week on Thursday at 2.20PM.
We arrived at Skavsta airport – in the middle of nowhere (why do they even call it Stockholm-Skavsta?!) – at around 3.30PM. The weather was nice, a bit cold in comparison with Copenhagen (fortunately we brought our winter jackets), but the sun was still shining (only for another half an hour longer though).
The first “day” was rather uneventful as it was already quite late when we arrived in the city centre of Stockholm (6PM). After checking-in at our hostel we went out for dinner at… Pizza Hut. Haha. Delicious, yet somewhat expensive. After very careful consideration, we also decided to treat ourselves to a piece of cookie dough cake with ice cream. The “cake” was around the size of our pizzas :D No picture available tough. But here’s one of it from another page, in case you are interested ;)
The first night at the hostel turned out to be a real horror. One of the people who were also staying in the same room with us came in late in the night, reeking, rumbling around and after a few blissful quiet minutes, he started to snore. Like a buzz saw. Yay to a night with roughly 2.5 hours of sleep.
Nonetheless, we stood up rather early in the morning and had breakfast at… McDonalds. Very unspectacular, I know. But we did not make the conscious decision to have breakfast there, we only wanted to know how cheap/expensive a classical cappuccino would be (we always do this in another country) which lead us to getting “breakfast” as well: porridge/muesli and a croissant – so at least we went for the slightly ‘healthier’ options.
Afterwards we just walked around for hours. First, we went to Gamla Stan (Old town) on the island Stadsholmen. Many old buildings can be found there, as well as the Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral) and Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace).
Just to pump out a few facts about the city: Stockholm has around 900,000 inhabitants (1.6 mio in the urban area and 2.2 mio in the metropolitan area) and is Scandinavia’s biggest city. The city is spread across 14 islands, it lies next to the Lake Mälaren and is surrounded by many many islands (skerries), which is called Stockholm Skärgård (Stockholm archipelago). Around 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% are parks and green spaces. So to say – the city is very blue and green.
After Gamla Stan we crossed a bridge to get to Södermalm (south of Gamla Stan) so we could walk around in another part of the city for a while. Right on Södermalm is the Monteliusvägen, a 500m long walking path with a beautiful view of the City Hall, Riddarholmen and Lake Mälaren.
After Södermalm we went straight back to Gamla Stan so we could have a small break, sit down in a Café and have some food and coffee. We did not even have to pay for the coffee…
Before our trip we read online that there is a photography museum and as we are both very interested in this type of art, we decided to have a look at it. It turned out that it was definitely worth the 90 SEK.
After spending a couple of hours at the gallery, we went back to our part of the town (Norrmalm) and had dinner at the London Underground Pub. Yes, we know – probably not the best place if you want to try Swedish food.
On our way back we also saw that the whole town was decorated in Christmas town. Okay, probably not the whole town, but many busy streets. Very beautiful. We even found an ice rink.
Day three started off a bit more relaxing than the previous one as we had a slightly better night – still some snoring involved but I found my earplugs in the depths of my vanity bag! We decided to have breakfast at Espresso House, apparently the largest branded coffee chain in the Nordic region. I am a sucker for bagels, so I had a cream cheese bagel which was sooo delicious. In addition, Carina and I split a cake and a smoothie and we each had a huge cup of coffee. So all in all, I think we spent around 1.5-2 hours sitting in this coffee house, eating bagel & cake, drinking coffee and listening to all variations of Christmas music. Ergo a relaxing start in the day. :D
Then we took a tram to get to Djurgården. It is a very beautiful island and home of various sights and museums like the Vasaamuseet (maritime museum), Abba museum, Skansen (open air musem) or Gröna Lund (amusement park). As I have already been to the Vasa museum before, we decided not to go there again and wandered around for a bit. Actually, we wanted to have a look at the Rosendals slott (Rosendal castle) but we just could not find it. Instead we found a very cute green house instead.
On our way back we got off the wrong tram station so we had to walk a while to find the ferry boat that we had to take to get to the island Skeppsholmen. Of course it would have also been possible to take a bus or to walk there, but ferries are cool.
Skeppsholmen was formerly used as a military station because of its strategic location (Baltic sea and everything). Now, several museums are located there, such as the Modern Museum of Art. Our main reason for going there was because you also have a beautiful view over the other islands.
After walking around on Skeppsholmen for a bit, we took another ferry back to Gamla Stan so we have a cup of coffee and food somewhere and warm ourselves up.
We had such a tasty snack in a coffee house on Gamla Stan. Unfortunately, I have already forgotten all the ingredients… but something like cream cheese, honey and walnuts. Delicious combination. And again – free coffee. :D
After staying there for a while and just trying to get some feeling back in our frozen fingers and toes (it was rather windy and cold on that day and we’ve done quite a bit of walking) we decided to go shopping for a while, because what else was there to do?! Yes, there would have been many other things to explore and see and go to, but we’re gals and we wanted to have a look at some shops and see how the prices were in comparison with shops in Copenhagen. After shopping until the stores were closed, we went to the hostel, packed our bags and headed out again to get dinner somewhere. We opted for an Italian restaurant and went back to the London Underground Pub to get drinks and dessert (banana split!). Adventurous as we are, we ordered a cider that we’ve never had or heard of before.
The name of the cider was ‘Xider’. Actually, we tried to order it the last time in the pub but the waiter somehow misunderstood us und just brought us good old Summersby cider. So after getting the right drink this time, we found out that Xider is a brand that belongs to the Carlsberg group. We were definitely not part of the target group of the drink as it reminded us a bit of alcopops… :D In addition, the flavour was cactus/lime and the colour was bilious green. However, the banana split was delicious ;)
We went back to the hostel and had a good night’s sleep of around 3 hours as we had to get up at 3.30am and take a bus to beautiful mini airport Skavsta again. By the way – the airport has 4 gates. F o u r. Cute.
We also spent almost all of our last kronor at the airport and got a lot of sweets. The flight was rather uneventful and of course very short. Unfortunately, we got to share the plane with a few hungover/still drunk people who have apparently been to Stockholm to watch the Sweden-Denmark football match. They were still wearing the clothes and things that people are usually wearing when watching a match. However, we got to see a beautiful sunrise!
Learning outcomes of the journey: I can look very very ‘beautiful’ (creepy) in selfies ;)
I would definitely recommend going to the Fotografiska museum. In addition, taking a ferry to any of the islands is such a nice way of looking at the city from a different angle.
Although the weather was not the best and it could have been a bit warmer, it was such a lovely trip and we had so much fun. The city is so beautiful, even when it’s windy, rainy and cold. I would have loved to go to a Christmas market there, but unfortunately, none of them have been open yet. So I will have to revisit Stockholm/Sweden again. and again. and again ;)