Travel To Sweden
I came to Sweden recently to visit a friend of mine and was totally blown away with this amazing country. The nature there is an absolute beauty: there are endless woods, beaches, mountains, countryside… spreading all over from the south to the north, the east to the west. The castles are charming and got very interesting history. People speak fluent English everywhere and are really nice to visitors. I made it to Stockholm (of course!), Gothenburg, Malmo and enjoyed myself in every single moment.
I prefer to think about it as a lovely village surrounded by water and green land more than a city. Indeed, to cruise the canals in Stockholm is incredible. It is a perfect way to get to know the city. You will have the chance to take a brief look at most of the tourist attractions while listening to the explanations on earphones. It is very relaxing and informative, reminding me of Venice with the Grand Canal in some sense.
Stockholm is famous for its historic sites and museums so for sure I didn’t forget to check out on them. My favorite one was Drottningholm Palace. It is a World Heritage Site and definitely worth that reputation. They have nice gardens, an interesting theater and some other gorgeous architectural buildings around. I love the Chinese pavilion; it’s so beautiful and unique. The theater is amazing - very well maintained. My tour guide gave me full explanations in fluent English which made my experience even better.
I’m a big fan of Astrid Lindgren and though my childhood went by years ago, I’m still fond of her books and read them some time these days. I had a nice time keeping my friend’s children company at Junibacken where I enjoyed myself as much as they were. We took the Story Train through the world of Astrid Lindgren where we met all of her popular characters as well as other famous fictional Swedish heroes. At the end of the journey, the kids had the chance to explore Villa Villekulla, the home of the strongest girl in the world Pippi Longstocking. There they had fun playing in her house, riding her horse, painting, drawing, dressing up etc. I would strongly recommend this place for Astrid Lindgren’s fans and travelers with children.
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Another nice thing to in Stockholm is getting lost in the Old Town. There are a lot to see there: beautiful churches, historic buildings, the royal palace, plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants. (Nobel museum is a highlight!). I spent about 2 hours just wandering around and picking up souvenirs. The streets are very pretty so even when it gets busy you don’t really feel that it is overcrowded. All you have to do is just escaping in some small narrow street. Overall it’s very much the same as other ones in Europe but still worth a visit.
Going up Fjallgatan was the best thing I ever did in Stockholm. I went there early at sunrise because I had heard it is always busy from midday. The view deserves all my efforts to get up; it is simply spectacular, you can see the bay, the Old Town and Djurgarden clearly. There was almost nobody around at that time. I had a feeling that I was close to the spirit of Stockholm, the town I fell in love with right from the first day I set foot in.
Southern Goteborg Archipelago in Gothenburg is an absolute beauty. I took a tram to Saltholmen where the boats take off for the islands and had a very nice ride to the Archipelago from there. It went pretty fast and offered an amazing view. The islands are lovely; they differ from each other and are all very beautiful. A good thing is that they are not that developed so the trip was like taking a break from the bustle of the big busy Gothenburg. I made it to the beach afterwards and it was wonderful as well. This is definitely a must do if you are in the area.
I went for opera at Goteborg Opera. The house is pretty cool with interesting architecture and intimate atmosphere. The ballet was superb; they have great singers and a wonderful orchestra to deliver a world class performance. Tickets are fairly reasonable and not difficult to get. (Make sure your seat is good enough to get good views though). The staff both at the bars and the closets is very thoughtful and friendly. They are everywhere to guide and answer your questions. It was just a little annoying to me that they charge extra for storing your stuff in the closets.
Go for Haga if you fancy a nice walk in Gothenburg. The streets are very narrow, old fashioned and lovely with unique architecture. There are a lot of restaurants, cafés and shops around. I had a good time sitting outside one of Haga cozy cafés, drinking fika (coffee in Swedish style) and watching street performers showing off their skills. What a gem! Definitely a must-do in Gothenburg!
My plan was traveling to Denmark after Sweden so I made it to Malmo. It is so convenient to get to Copenhagen just by crossing Oresund Bridge. You can choose to go by rail or by car; though it is a lot cheaper to do train I highly recommend driving for a magnificent view of the sea. Seriously it is one of the best things I have ever seen in Europe!
Lilla Torg (Little Square) is probably the best Malmo has to offer. There are plenty of opportunities to eat and drink there. Though it is quite expensive, it has the taste for everyone. I loved the moose burgers at the Moose Inn. The food was tasty and generous! I was happy to pay no matter how overpriced it was. Also, if you love to walk around, the historic buildings are interesting to see as well.
Malmohus is not that special I suppose. It is a castle built in the Middle Ages which was fairly appealing to me but in fact, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It is quite plain and empty on the outside. Inside it is more exciting with wild animals and some fishes, reptiles, amphibians. Audio guide costs 20 kroner which is worth paying for to learn the history. The entrance fee is quite reasonable 40SEK (less than £4), the Kommandant’s house, the Maritime and Technical museum included. Overall Malmohus is kind of a place that you will have a nice time visiting; otherwise, if you don’t make it, you won’t regret later on.
Kungsparken is my favorite part of the city. It is a lovely park with a lot of beautiful flowers, plants, artwork and ponds close to the city center – 10 minutes walking from the Lilla Torg. It is perfect for a picnic or simply just carry some food with you and take a nice walk around the park. The view is wonderful and the atmosphere is very relaxing. What a way to enjoy Malmo.
Sweden is such a lovely country. In one hand, it is a typical country in Europe which is high in history and certain things related to that. In another hand, it has its own charm and unique lifestyle which are definitely worth checking out. I’m now a huge fan of Sweden and I would say just give it a go to see what it’s like. Regardless to all the tourist treats, the inner peace is definitely what you will find there.