My first ever trip to Sweden and also my first to any European countries!
Reached our hotel around 8am after arriving from a red eye flight, unfortunately the hotel is booked out, so we can’t check in earlier. We had to wait till 12nn-1pm to do so as told by the reception.
So we left our main luggage at the hotel storage room, and decided to walk around the streets a bit to kill the time.
It started raining heavily once we walk out to the streets, like within 5 minutes. So I decided to make for the Stockholm Visitor Center to purchase the Stockholm Card, and walk back to the hotel to wait till we can check in our room.
So we purchased the Stockholm Card (5 days/120 hours), which gives you access to most attractions (limited to once per museums/churches/palaces) + unlimited public transport (metro/buses/trams/boats). Do check the website for the full list of attractions access.
It’s pretty pricey at 1150 SEK (185 SGD), but I did proper research and planned the itinerary, in the end I feel we use much more value than we paid for. More importantly is the convenience of this card, sort of give you an express lane to the attractions since you do not need to queue to buy physical tickets.
Just a small info:
Admission fee of most attractions costs around 100-150 SEK, except churches which are about 50 SEK.
Public transport costs around 25 SEK for single zone area, 18 SEK if it’s prepaid value.
We went to 11 paid attractions (8 museums, 1 palace, 2 churches) in total, and on average about 4 rides per day. Probably saved around few hundreds Krona, plus the convenience and time saving of having the card.
After we had bathed, changed to new set of clothing, and rested a bit while waiting for the rain to stop. I went searching online for food places to eat for lunch. (I mentioned I did planned the trip earlier on, but didn’t have the time to research food places…)
Conclusion, I decided to go to Östermalms Saluhall for lunch, the place look really traditional and probably the more expensive Saluhall out of the few they have in Stockholm. (But it’s the nearest to our hotel, and we are really hungry then.)
Both the Smoked Salmon (150 SEK) and Roast Beef (130 SEK) sandwich are pretty decent, this kind of price for lunch is really standard in Stockholm I realized. Unless you go to cafe/restaurant that offers “Dagens lunch”, in short a lunch set menu. Those lunch set generally cost around 80-120 SEK, consists of main dish + salad, still water are included for free at most places.
After lunch, we decided to go to Gamla Stan (The Old Town) to explore and sightsee.
Took our first metro ride from Östermalmstorg to Gamla Stan station, the trains and train stations’ system kind of reminds me of Sydney metro stations too.
It’s been quite sometime since I’ve been so excited to explore (the last been Sydney, Australia), although the constant on and off rain + gloomy weather for the whole trip (5 days) does put me down quite a bit honestly speaking, since it does affect my photography and exploring wise.
First attraction that we visited was The Riddarholmen Church.
The Riddarholmen Church is the final resting place of the Swedish kings and Stockholm’s only preserved medieval monastery church.
You can see many medieval logos and insignia around the church hall, Bernadotte Chapel and the Burial Vault for the royal family are also located inside the church too. Mainly visit to learn their history, nothing really interesting for me.
Admission Fee: 50 SEK or use the Stockholm Card (correct as of July 2015)
After the visit to Riddarholmen Church, we walked in a general direction to the main part of Gamla Stan.
Took some shots at the streets and alleys of Gamla Stan while making our way towards the Stortorget (The Big Square) where the Nobel Museum is located at, which is our next attraction we are going to visit.
When we reached the Stortorget, there’s lots of people around chatting, resting, or just enjoying their time there. There’s also a Home Guard orchestra team preparing for their performance.
We initially wanted to watch the orchestra first, but after waiting for 20 minutes, they don’t seem to be starting anytime soon, so we went for the Nobel Museum first instead.
There are a few exhibitions going on during the time I was there.
- Cultures of Creativity
“What is creativity and how can creative activity best be encouraged?” “Which is more important to the creative process: the individual or the environment?”. The Centennial Exhibition examines these questions by presenting selected Laureates and milieus from the 100-year history of the Nobel Prize. The Exhibition does not provide specific answers, but gives visitors the chance to think about these questions for themselves.
14 Nobel Laureates on inspiration, role models and the value of passing something on
- Mo Yan & Alice Munro – A Book Binding Exhibition
Opening in April 2015 is an exhibition where Swedish, Chinese, and Canadian book binders have been invited to bind works of the Nobel Laureates Mo Yan and Alice Munro.
I find the museum and it’s exhibitions highly interesting and inspiring, even though I mainly spent time on the “Cultures of Creativity” and “Legacy” exhibitions.
To find out how fortunate we are now, when we know today is better than yesterday, because of the works of all these Nobel Laureates, because they care and make the effort for mankind and the future.
It’s how they inspire us to achieve higher goals in our life, by doing/creating something great and passing something on for the next generation, so we can make tomorrow better than today.
Admission Fee: 100 SEK or use the Stockholm Card (correct as of July 2015)
The Home Guard band was about to start their performance when we exited the Nobel Museum. I feel we are really lucky that day to encounter the Home Guard band doing a street performance, they played great and a total of an hour!
While the performance is ongoing, the sky starts to open up nicely, such a nice backdrop to the performance and overall venue.
I recorded 3 pieces of their performance, all Instagram length, cause I’m there to enjoy the music. If anyone is interested, feel free to click those 3 links below.
After that, we strolled around the area, and my partner found her new fascination with the playground’s rocking horse.
It’s around 7.30pm, so we went for a simple dinner, and walked back to our hotel while soaking in the atmosphere of Stockholm (and the long summer daytime).
End of day 1.