A Cruising Couple | January 25, 2016 9:00 PM ET
10 Things to Love About Stockholm
Often called “the Venice of the North,” the romantic city of Stockholm lies on a number of islands in southern Sweden. There are plenty of reasons this friendly capital of Scandinavia and Sweden is highly cherished by residents and travelers. Here are some of our favorite reasons to visit:
The most literal translation of the word Fika is “coffee break,” but this tradition is so much more than just slurping down a cup of Joe. During Fika, Swedes take a break from their day to sit down with family, friends or co-workers and enjoy a coffee or tea. It is an intimate time shared with people you care about. If we had to choose between Starbucks on the run and Fika, the Swedish tradition would win every time.
Another tasty aspect of Fika is not only the coffee, but also the mouthwatering pastries that typically accompany them. One of Stockholm's most notable treats, the Swedish cinnamon bun is sure to warm you up on even the coldest of days. Warm, gooey and always delicious, I don't think we let a day go by that we didn't indulge in this sweet treat. Don't miss the cinnamon buns at Kitschy Cafe, as they are said to be some of the best in all of Stockholm.
Swedish design is known around the world for its style and appeal. As Stockholm continues to grow, it has developed an interesting mix of both old historic buildings and new modern structures. Be sure to stop by Riddarholmen Church, the Royal Palace and the well-preserved Old Town.
We love to walk and Stockholm continues to be one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities we have ever visited. With so many fascinating buildings and pedestrian-only streets, the hardest part about getting through the city on foot is trying not to stop every few feet to take photos.
Vikings first occupied the islands that now constitute Stockholm in 1000 A.D., and the area has been an important trade route hub throughout its history. To dive deep into the area’s past, a visit to the Swedish History Museum— one of the largest in the country — is a must. The institution features displays dating back to the Viking and Middle Ages.
With a multitude of museums to choose from, it can be hard to know where to even start. So, why not start with the ones that are free! There are a few that have no admission charge all the time, while others open their doors for free to the public one day a week. Check here for a comprehensive list of free museums in Stockholm.
With 26 city parks, Stockholm is about as green as big cities come. We particularly love the views in Galarparken, host to the gigantic Nordic Museum as well as the Vasa Museum, which is built in the shape of a Viking ship. Take some time to wander around the paths that line the waterways. It is particularly spectacular to see during one of Stockholm’s famous endless summer days.
Perched atop a stand-alone elevator shaft and skywalk, the Gondolen rises high above the Slussen metro area, offering spectacular views over downtown Stockholm. Head to the top around sunset and savor the views with a glass of wine.
Day Trip To Other Islands
Hundreds upon hundreds of pine-clad islands and islets surround the main downtown of Stockholm city and are just a ferry ride away. If you're on a tight schedule, visit Vaxholm, Fjaderholmarna, Gustavsberg and Varmdo — they represent the ideal day trip short list.
Long Summer Nights
You'll have plenty of sunlight to explore Stockholm during the summer months when the sun comes up at around 3:30 a.m. and doesn't hit the horizon again until around 10 p.m.! Get outside and enjoy the daylight like the locals do!
Have you visited Stockholm, Sweden? Did you find it as fascinating as we did?
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