Stockholm pulled me in twice for a visit, the first time was before Christmas ahead of my trip to Luleå when I stayed 4 nights and then on my return from Swedish lapland for 2 nights in the new year. The difference between the 2 visits was snow and the temperature and it made me wonder what it would be like in spring and summer if there was such a difference over a space of 11 nights.
The first time in Stockholm, I arrived at the bus station after an 8 hour journey from Oslo which I mostly slept through but I do have memories of wonderful snowy scenery which truly belonged on all our christmas cards. The temperature was very low and the pavements were icy but I was over the moon as this is what I had wanted to see. I fell in love with the hotel I stayed in and will feature the reasons why in another post on attractive features from the hotels where I’ve stayed.
I couldn’t wait to get out onto the Stockholm streets the next morning, however once I did I realised I wouldn’t get far if I just walked around as the -10ºC temperatures were biting at every part of my body no matter how many layers I had on. After a quick visit to the tourist office, it became clear that my option for the day was to be the Hop on Hop off bus and I was glad of it especially once the day got darker and darker very quickly.
Hop on Hop off: There are options for this service which can include the boat if you want. I didn’t fancy the boat, however the bus certainly appealed as an initial way of seeing as much as I could.
The prices are as follows: Boat: 220 SEK Adult Child (6-15): 110 SEK
Bus: 320 SEK Adult Child (6-15): 160 SEK
Bus & Boat: 450 SEK Adult Child (6-15): 225 SEK
These are the prices for 24 hours and there are tickets available for 72 hours ticket and 24 hours + ABBA the museum entrance.
On the bus there are 19 stops taking you round the sights to see the Abba museum, Skansen, an open air museum and a zoo, city hall where the Nobel prize dinner takes place, Gamla Stan the old town where you’ll pass amazing buildings and just be in awe of the architecture, royal palace, the Vasa museum history museum and more.
I stayed on for many laps to get my bearings and also to see more than I knew I would by walking the icy pavements. Taking the hop on hop off bus gives you a great idea of what you want to go back and see.
Gamla Stan: The old town is a short walk from the main shopping streets and you will be rewarded by the sights of the gorgeous old buildings and small streets. If it interests you then you’ll also find souvenir shops and cosy restaurants and coffee shops where you can warm up before heading off again.
Royal Palace: I happened to arrive at the palace at the right time to see the changing of the guard which was wonderful to see even if I was more in awe of the guards being able to stay outside for so long in such low temperatures. Tourists collected around and we certainly got to hear a great performance from the bugle and drums.
Despite the cold, I wasn’t tempted by the museums although there were many other tourists getting off the bus for the Abba and Skansen museums.
I love nothing more than roaming the streets, looking at the architecture, seeing how a city has developed around itself and also people watching. On my return after New Year, I was able to walk around more and enjoy taking in all in rather than worrying about sliding around the pavements.