Stockholm: Kaknästornet, Gamla Stan, Opera, historic boat tour

The second day promised to be a very sun filled day, so we were up bright and early to go to the Kaknäs Television Tower. We took a bus from our hotel (number 69) and arrived at the tower after a twenty minute drive.

You enter the tower at the gift shop and buy your ticket to go up at the desk there. The entrance fee (which is basically the elevator fee) is 55 SEK for an adult. Once up, you enter in the bar, where you already have a stunning view, but from there you can still take a flight of stairs to go to the Observation deck where Stockholm suddenly lies at your feet.

We went up in the morning because then the sun is at its best position, and that view was just so beautiful. There also weren’t a lot of people yet as it was only a bit after nine so we could enjoy the view almost on our own. This is a definite must do when you’re in Stockholm in my opinion!

When we were able to tear ourselves away from the view, we took the bus back to the city center, more specifically the old city center; Gamla Stan. We wandered through the old streets for a while, just taking in the lovely houses. It does get quite busy in those streets later on the day, so if you want to avoid those masses, it’s advisable to go as early as possible.

Make sure you definitely pass the Stortorget as that square is one of Stockholm’s famous sights.

Around five to twelve, we headed to the Royal Palace for the Changing of the Guard that takes place at 12:15pm, but apparently arriving then still wasn’t early enough. There were already so many people that we could hardly see anything. So if you want a good place, go even earlier.

The changing of the guard lasts for thirty minutes and is supported by a marching band. It’s all very formal and in my opinion lasts a bit too long. But when the marching band then suddenly plays a modern song by a Swedish artist (ours was ‘Don’t you worry child’ by Swedish House Maffia) the entire atmosphere on the square changes. Awesome moment!

After the changing, we hurried to the Royal Opera as we had reserved ticket at 1pm for a tour of the building. Those tours aren’t held that much so if you’re interested, inform yourself on the hours. Usually it’s only twice a day, and it’s not even every day.

During the tour, a guide showed us the beautiful auditorium and allowed us a peek behind the scenes. We also got loads of information on how this theatre is and was used. The other rooms of the Opera are also breathtakingly beautiful. The tour lasts about an hour and a half and costs 120 SEK. It’s also included in the Stockholm Card.

Happy to be back outside in the sun, we continued our discovery of Gamla Stan before heading to Stromkajen for the Historic Canal Tour. This costs 185 SEK or once again, included in the Stockholm Card.

This boat tour takes you around Djurgarden and lasts 50 minutes. In my opinion, it wasn’t all that interesting. When you’re close to the old center it is a really lovely boat tour, which also passes the place where the Vasa ship sank (more about that in the next post!), but once you’re at the furthest point, there isn’t all that much to see. Still, it’s a nice way to see something more of Stockholm without having to walk.

Once back on shore, we spend the next hour trying to find a place to eat that was open. Many restaurants in Stockholm close around 9pm so we couldn’t really find anything that pleased us. In the end we ended up in McDonalds.

And then it was back to the hostel for some much needed rest.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

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