The artists paradise – Stockholm
6 of my most exclusive Experiences in Stockholm!
Are you headed to the Venice of the North? Read on to see things you absolutely cannot miss in Stockholm.
It’s been about 2 months since my Scandinavian travel and I still cannot get enough of how beautiful the Northern part of Europe is. Yes you read that right. Scandinavia in the Winters (yep, I know your eyes are wide open in sheer surprise or shock :P). Experiencing a white winter was always on my list right from my years in the UK. Terrible luck as I’d call it, I spent 2 December’s in the UK and never saw a single snow flake (sigh!). But as crazy as it sounds, Scandinavian winters are insane only if you are an absolute winter lover. Peak winters, knee deep snow and below freezing temperatures, Scandinavia is white heaven on earth.
I started off with Stockholm or as they call it “The Venice of the North”. Almost a week in Stockholm, spending the whole of Christmas week there, I saw some incredible places and experienced some of the best Swedish traditions. Not to miss, the city that was lonely on Christmas eve (no body on the streets and most of the stores were shut), caught up to a running life soon after. Right from fancy museums to watching the gloomy sky change colors over all of Stockholm, I had some off the track experiences or what I’d rather call as “The Artists Galore”. Think of it! If you just end up visiting the main streets of the city or the headlined museums or touristy spots what new have you done? It would feel like ‘just another European city’ with nothing different to mark. I am among the ones to learn of the history of a place and watch out for the rarer experiences. After all travel is about indulging in newer experiences! Delve a little deeper and you’ll find each city has a soul of its own.
If you are especially an art lover, I’d suggest DO NOT miss this list!
HERE WE GO!
1. Fotografiska: The artist living in abundance
Open: All seasons
Entry fee: 145 SEK (Free on Stockholm pass)
Often referred to as the “Photography museum” in Stockholm, this place has photography exhibitions on rotation. Every few weeks they showcase the most exclusive set of photographers across the world. I visited this museum in the 3rd week of December and experienced photography very unlike what we see every day. Watching works of photographers Nick Veasey, Chen Man and Ida Borg, I couldn’t believe photography of such kind even existed. These photographers are the epitome of creative photography.
I am dedicating an entire blog to my most favorite museum (Fotografiska) soon! Stay tuned.
2. Get moving on the waters – Winter Archipelago boat tour.
Open: All Seasons (Kindly check site for Christmas/eve)
Entry fee: 295 SEK (Free on Stockholm pass)
The city of Stockholm is virtually surrounded by 14 islands. The reason why its called the “Venice of the North”. Boat tours in summer ring a bell to beachy outfits, free flowing gowns and some ice popsicles. But I visited Stockholm in dead peak winters and wasn’t too sure of how a boat tour would turn out be on semi-frozen land (lol). Alas, I fell in love with city even more. There is just something fulfilling about heaters and socks and mufflers combined with gloomy views on the outside and a really hot cup of dark chocolate wrapped by your fingers.
Was it freezing outside? Hell ya-ha! I did a 3 hour Archipelago ride. It was big boat beautifully decorated with all things Christmas. Tiny reindeer pelts hanging on each window, small Santa’s kept on the corners of the boat. Everything was red and oh so beautiful.
Do this tour and get in tune with the historical grounds of the Archipelago.
3. Travel back in time – Skansen
Open: All seasons
Entry fee: 180 SEK (Free on Stockholm pass)
This beautiful open air museum located in the Island of Djurgården is about 15 minutes by bus or tram from the city center. Relive the 19th century Swedish lifestyle here. It consists of 150 homes and farms. The employees in Skansen play roles of people from the past explaining Swedish art, craft and culture.
4. 360 degree view – Ericsson Globe
Open: All seasons
Entry fee: 150 SEK (Free on Stockholm pass before 12pm)
This beautiful structure – The Globen Skyview – gives you an unobstructed view of all of southern Stockholm. The Globen is Sweden’s national arena and the largest hemispherical building in the world. The building has 2 spherical gondolas that take you up to the top of the building which is the view point in about 30 minutes of riding time. Secret tip – carry a wide lens or a go-pro for this place 😉
5. Because you never say no to coffee – FIKA!
Not many people know about this beautiful Swedish tradition. Fika is the art of taking a coffee break. Sounds too mundane? Its significance is much more than that. Fika is the art of meeting your loved ones over a coffee break with sweet conversations and cake or a pastry. But Fika is more than just coffee. In fact its almost offensive to call traditional Fika JUST a ‘coffee-break’. It is more of a Swedish obsession. Sweden is one of the highest coffee-consuming countries in the world. So coffee here is more like a lifestyle in itself.
Being a coffee-addict myself, you can only imagine my obsession in learning what Fika really is all about. I am going to write an entire article on Fika. Stay tuned!
6. Art at its best – Stockholm Underground
Once again for the art lovers of all kinds, I’d recommend you carry a good camera so you can get some lovely shots of Stockholm’s underground rail. Trust me when I say, the art under here is fantastic.
Stockholm metro was opened in 1950. Right from beginning, a group of local artists have been involved through the construction process. The Swedes wanted travel to be an experience and not just a mode of commute even for the locals.
Around 150 odd artists have contributed to the art of Sweden’s underground metro. It is more like a permanent art exhibition down there. Sculptures, mosaics, paintings, gardens etc. are some of the highlights of the metro. Look out for T-centralan for some fancy deep blue under water feels; Kungsträdgården for some ancient sculptures, dungee cave feels; Rådhuset (court house) for some natural cave and lava colors; Solna centrum for a feel of walking straight into the colors of the burning sun.
Stockholm really surprised me. I knew I would love it but I had no idea how much I’d fall in love with it. This was just winters, my eyes would sparkle with bliss with Scandinavian summers. There is so much more to Stockholm when you put on your traveler shoes and dirty your shoe laces a little, walk around the city and explore parts like no one else can explain. After all, each traveler has his own eyes, a different perspective and an urge to explore like no other. I cannot wait to come back here with lesser layers on me 😛
Have you been to Stockholm? What did you like best?
I enjoyed writing this post. If there is something in specific you would want to know about Stockholm or want me to write about, mention in the comments below and I will get back ASAP. Got any other amazing must-do must-see option in Stockholm? Share me the link and I will read it up too 🙂
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