Stockholm: Cathedral, Royal Palace, Vasa Museet, Nordiska Museet and Gröna Lund

According to the weather forecasts, our third day – Sunday – in Stockholm would be one with the least good weather. Consequently we decided to do most of the inside stuff on that day.

First thing in the morning we headed to the Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan). This cathedral/church is the oldest in Stockholm, build in 1279.  It can be found right next to the Royal Palace. The interior is really stunning and it houses many unique objects. You can for example find the sculpture of ‘George and the Dragon’ which was made in the fifteen century.

Next up was the Royal Palace. We arrived there a bit before opening time at 10am, and then there are also guards doing a little routine. It’s of course less showy than the official Changing of the Guard, but there aren’t as many people hanging around so you can see it a lot better.

The Royal Palace is the official residence of the King and Queen of Sweden, but in fact they live in Drottningholm, a palace about an hour out of Stockholm center (which we visited on Monday, so more about that in the next post). Stockholm’s Royal Palace, which was built on the place where the first royal placea was in the thirteenth century, is the oldest palace in the world which is still in operation. It’s also one of the largest in Europe.

The Palace itself consists of more than 600 rooms, but of course not all of them are open to the public. Entrance fee is 150 SEK and it’s also included in the Stockholm Card.

Aside from the Royal Place, you can also visit the Treasury, where many valuable objects can be found. In my opinion, it isn’t very impressive, but still you just have to go see it. (I guess I have been spoiled during my last Royal Palace visits.)

You can also visit the Royal Armoury, but you have to pay an extra fee to get in. It is free with the Stockholm Card though. The best part are the Royal Coaches as I’d never seen those in any other Royal Palace before. Amazing!

When you visit the Royal Palace, make sure to also go take a look at the Royal Chapel as well. It is only open from May to September though. We arrived at 11am on a Sunday and weren’t allowed in because service was taking place. We did go back later, and it’s definitely worth it. An amazingly decorated chapel.

By then it was time for lunch and we found ourselves a lovely Italian restaurant ‘Il Forno Italiano’ on Jarntorget. I definitely recommend it, as the food was delicious.

Next we took the boat to Djurgården. This boat is also free if you have a Stockholm Card. It takes you from Slussen Kajen to Gröna Lund in only ten minutes.

First we headed to the Vasa Museum (Vasa Museet), and I was very excited for this museum. It is one of Stockholm’s main attractions as it houses the only still intact seventeenth century war ship in the world. This ship was built by the King of Sweden between 1626 and 1628 for a war against Poland. But unfortunately, the ship didn’t sail very long. After only twenty minutes on her maiden voyage she sank to the bottom of the Baltic Sea. She remained there for 333 years.

The ship is really impressive and it’s just so interesting to hear all about the history. We first took the 20 minute guided tour of the boat during which we got plenty of information. Afterward we also went to see the film which was also only 20 minutes for more information and visuals of how the ship was salvaged.

This is definitely one of the best museums I’ve ever been to, and I recommend you all to go when you’re visiting Stockholm. It’s just so unique.

Entrance price is 130 SEK, and once again, free with the Stockholm Card.

As we still had a bit of time left before we had planned to go to Gröna Lund, we also went inside the Nordiska Museet. The only reason I did go inside was because I was just so impressed by the building itself. I wasn’t so interested in the museum itself, but it was nice to just walk through it quickly to get some glances of the cultural history of Sweden.

This museum is also free with the Stockholm Card, without you pay 100 SEK.

Of course we also took a walk around Djurgarden park itself. We didn’t really have goal, but just wandered a bit. It’s quite a lovely park. Make sure you don’t miss out on the blue entrance gate!

During our walk, we also stopped at Flickorna Helin Voltaire. I had read about this place in my travel guide, and they supposedly served great homemade pies. And who am I to say no to a good piece of pie?

We took a seat on the terrace, which unfortunately was still wet because of the last rain fall, but it was a lovely place to have some delicious dessert. I definitely recommend this place!

And then we headed to Gröna Lund. This is Stockholm’s amusement park which was opened in 1883. For this park, you pay an entrance fee of 110 SEK (which is once again included in the Stockholm Card) but then you still have to pay if you want to go on the attractions. And they do get quite expensive unless you get a wrist band which will allow you to go on any attraction (but that’s also expensive). Since we didn’t really have a lot of time, we didn’t get the wrist band and also didn’t do any attractions as the one we wanted to do was 80 SEK. A bit too much. But it’s a nice place to walk around for a while.

Some evenings there are also concerts being held (this is the place where Lenny Kravits ripped his pants last week. It was the day after we visited. Just thought it would be nice to mention ;D) and then you also have to pay a little extra.

And then we took tramline 7 and bus back to our hotel, making sure we were well rested for two more days in Sweden’s lovely capital.

On the way back the skies opened up on us, leaving us with this lovely double rainbow I can’t stop myself from sharing with you.

SONY DSC

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

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