Weekend Getaways to Stockholm
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is a fascinating city and ideal place for a weekend getaway. The things to do in Stockholm over the weekend are many. Options include a walking or boat tour to soak in the fresh air and the scenery, sightseeing the beautiful monuments or the enchanting parks, relaxing at the spa, ice skating, skiing, visiting any of the innumerable museums or art galleries, and more.
Stockholm is made of 14 islands, connected to one another by a network of 57 bridges. The city itself is part of a wider Stockholm archipelago, comprising of over 2400 islands, islets and rock formations. Taking a ferry across this archipelago offers a unique experience on its own.
Over 30 percent of Stockholm is composed of waterways, and another 30 percent is green spaces. A walking tour through the waterfront and the bridges, soaking in the extremely beautiful natural scenery, the fresh air, and the mix of classical and modern architecture, is an experience in itself.
There are many strategic viewpoints to experience the fascinating scenery of the city at its best. A few of them are:
• The bridge to Skeppsholmen island, offering a good background scenery.
• The heights of northern Södermalm, which offers a great view of the city.
• Hammarbybacken, a semi-artificial ski slope.
• Kaknästornet, offering a stunning view of the town and the inner archipelago.
The Royal City National Park, shaped in an arc stretching six miles, encompasses the city. This is the first national park inside a city, and it is quite possible to spot a wide variety of animals, such as, deer, hares, foxes and elk, besides rare birds, right inside the heart of the city. The park also spots an amusement park, museums, castles, restaurants and hotels, offering a complete getaway.
A visit to Stockholm, a city built on water, is incomplete without frequenting any of the innumerable spas on offering. The spas offer a variety of hot and cold baths, swimming pools and saunas. The classic Swedish massage may also be a good experience.
For those looking for an activity-filled weekend, ice-skating at Kungsträdgården offers an exciting experience. The skating ring is complete with all facilities, including skate for hire, great music to spruce up the environment, and a cafe that serves deliciously hot chocolate.
Professional skiers would feel at home with a long-distance skating tour across Lake Mälaren.
The Gamla Stan, or the Old Town, with its small winding streets lined with art galleries, cafes, and stores that sell antiques and handicrafts, is captivating for its majestic architecture.
The majestic Riddarholmskyrkan, a beautifully preserved medieval church, epitomizes the classical architectural style of Sweden. The Royal Palace, the Stadsbiblioteket (City Library), and the City Hall are other buildings of note.
Stockholm also has an interesting mix of noteworthy buildings radiating postmodern architecture.
Art & Culture
Stockholm is a hub of art and culture, and has about 70 museums. The most famous are:
• The Natural History Museum.
• The Museum of Modern Art.
• The Nationalmuseet or a museum for classical art and design.
• The Army Museum, which provides a in-depth insight into Swedish history.
• The Vasa, which preserves the only seventeenth-century ship in the world in its original form.
There are also many specialty and highly focused museums, such as the Butterfly Museum, the Spirits Museum, and the Dance Museum.
A good way to visit these sites is by a guided boat tour. There is also the “Hop On-Hop Off” boat service, with recorded commentary of each attraction, which allows soaking in the sites at leisure.
Stockholm’s Arlanda international airport, 40 kilometres away from the city, is the biggest in Sweden. There are regular flights to Stockholm, from London, and most other cities of Europe.