What do you think of when you think of Sweden? I immediately think: old-timey charm on the outside, Ikea on the inside.
And that’s pretty much absolutely positively accurate.
Way back in March or April, one of my best friends Kaleena decided to do an internship abroad in Latvia for the fall too! Of course we immediately decided that we would have to meet up for a weekend somewhere in the middle. I’m not sure how we settled on Stockholm, but from early on in the year we’ve been looking forward to this long weekend in Stockholm!
So far it’s been my favorite trip.
You know what they say, it’s not where you are, but it’s who you’re with.
Kaleena’s used to it
Welcome to Sweden
For starters, I almost didn’t make it on my flight! Some dumb mistakes on my part and other things out of my control combined to make me arrive to the airport about fourty minutes before the flight arrived rather than the recommended two hours. And of course the line for security was ten thousand people long. Luckily I made it on my flight and made it to Stockholm with no issues!
Once I met up with Kaleena and her Latvian crew, we hit the town on foot!
I’ve figured out that the best way to discover European cities is by walking, and Stockholm was no exception. Not only is the city is super pedestrian and bike-friendly, but it’s beautiful! It’s a bit like Amsterdam in that it’s set on fourteen islands, so at every turn you’ll see reflections of the city in the water. Dreamy!
best way to start the day? free chocolate milk.
Royal Palace & Town Hall
If you walk around Old Towne in Stockholm, both the Royal Palace and the Town Hall are a stone’s throw away so don’t miss them. You can go inside and tour the Royal Palace for about ten euros, but most of us preferred to stay outside and enjoy the weather. I’m not much of a museum enthusiast, and architecture and landscapes are my true loves, so I usually choose to walk around outside anyway.
But I’ve heard that the Royal Palace has a really cool guard changing ceremony every day that is worth checking out!
Since the city is made up of little islands it’s common for locals to take the ferry, which we whole-heartedly took advantage of. Let’s just say it’s a huge upgrade from Paris’s metros!
Not to mention, the ferries will set you up for some of the best views. 🙂
Swedish food is notoriosly heavy and pricy, which is not the best combination for poor, travelling college students. As much as I would have enjoyed trying out traditional cuisine, it wasn’t in the plan this time around. Instead, we opted for dinner at Vapiano’s.
Vapiano’s is a popular restaurant chain in Stockholm (and Europe? maybe?) and we even stumbled across three or four during our two day excursion.
The lowdown: yummy Italian food in a I’m-Swedish-I’m-cooler-than-you-but-I’m-actually-really-nice-and-we-can-be-friends atmosphere.
Two thumbs up.
yes, that is a tree growing in the middle of the table surrounded by olive oil, and fresh herbs. #sweden
Even though I just got done saying I’m not a museum person, the Vasa Museum was AWESOME and I would definitely go again.
Just to give you a little nugget of the museum: the Vasa was a Swedish warship that was supposed to flaunt Sweden’s naval prowess to the world, but sank in Stockholm’s harbor on it’s maiden voyage. No one was able to retrieve it from the harbor for a few hundred years, but the water served almost like a time capsule around the boat because scientists have been able to learn a lot about life during the 1600’s just from this boat.
There’s tons to see. I mean, the museum has built a replica look-out and they’ve done facial reconstructions with the bones they found in the ship.
Like I said, super cool.
Is any day complete without a treat?
I say no.
I also say that no trip to Sweden is complete without Swedish fish.
We found a fun candy shop in the middle of town and loaded up on quite the assortment of foreign candy. Even though I tasted more salted licorice than I’ll ever need to in my lifespan, the “fizzy” blue candies were my favorite!
What did you do this weekend?