S:ta Clara kyrka

If you are reasonably fit you can walk Stockholm. I chose to walk the city taking in; Gamla Stan or the old town, Drottninggatan, which is their high street and the NK and Galerian malls  where the well heeled shop. Stockholm is a fashion forward city but with a pared down twist. You will find a branch of H & M on nearly every corner. I am not a museum person but there are plenty for those who do, however, I do like grand old churches. S:ta Clara kyrka in the city is special.

Changing of the guards

Gamla Stan is an absolute must-see. Try visiting between 11.30am and 13.00pm when you can watch the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace. It’s a major production. I did chuckle when the guards did an interesting high kicking jog into the parade ground.
You would be remiss if you didn’t take in at least one, maybe two of the islands. The contrast between the concrete high rise city and the traditional laid-back islands is vast. I chose to go to Sigtuna Island on the advice of many. It has been lovingly preserved and I got to see old homes and how the Swedes lived a few centuries ago.

Ferry to Sigtuna Island

They still have summer houses on the islands where they retreat and escape the rat race of city life. On Sigtuna Island I found runic stones, museums, castles and church ruins as well as the Church of Maria which in still use and dates back to 1247.

Skansen, on the green island of Djurgården is another must-see. It was the hunting island in days gone by. They have a zoo full of Nordic animals as well as traditional old houses and villages, an amusement park with scary rides and lots of open land. At Skansen there are also plenty museums. You can visit a cafe to taste traditional Swedish cakes and cookies, you can watch glass blowers in action, visit the pottery or watch the animals being fed at the aquarium. Get there by ferry or take the tram.

I had to visit IKEA. Diagonally opposite the Tourism office is a free bus to the biggest and best IKEA in the world. IKEA is set in a large building and you work your way from the top spiralling down in a clockwise direction taking in all sorts. Think – office decor, kitchen cabinets, linen, space saving gadgets and loads more. Plan more time than you think you will need. They have a cafe with bargain meals. I had a spinach and feta pancake for SEK29.

Sigtuna Island

Swedish food doesn’t lend itself to vegetarians. They are inclined to meatballs and mash type cuisine. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty fancy global and fusion restaurants. There are, but you will pay dearly for a meal out. At a sushi spot, my other half and I shared some Korean pancakes, then we had a tofu stir fry and one beer each. Our bill came to SEK 750. I will say, the portions were generous and the food was excellent. You frequently smell the aroma of waffles being cooked on a griddle to make ice cream cones as you walk the streets. This is one time to permit a sweet treat.

View from Sheraton Hotel

I was incredibly lucky that I was the recipient of a few nights hospitality and great advice from a friend which made my stay that much more affordable and ensured I got to see the best of Stockholm. My other half and I stayed in his summer house in Åland Island with him. We spent the last four days at the Sheraton Hotel which is located in the city centre. Accommodation prices are steep. The tourism office has a couple of computers visitors can use to find accommodation. Or you can view more on this link – Accommodation Sweden

Click here to go to Stockholm Part 1.

Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.

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