Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stockholm, Sweden: A Travel Recommendation

Stockholm, Stockholm, where to begin? Probably by stating it is by far the cleanest, most eco-friendly big city I've been to, and that's my kind of place! There is lots and lots to do for the weekend visitor.

While Swedish may be hard to learn.. and hear... and understand.. and read (NO, you cannot just pick it up), Stockholm is a very international city and the people there seem to speak better English than me! They do operate on the kroner which is about a 10 to 1 ratio to the euro. The city itself is a bit expensive, but still definitely a worthy weekend trip.

Must do: Walk/get lost/stroll leisurely through Old Town/Gamla Stan (one of Stockholm's adorable 14 islands with tons of restaurants, cafes, shopping, and great picture taking spots!), stop at one of Stockholm's many cafes for their beverage of choice (everyone is drinking coffee & socializing at all times of the day - my favoriteeee!!), take an archipelago tour through a few of the 24,000 islands, and visit one or a few of the many museums there (Vasamuseet has the biggest name, hosting some 400+ year old sunken ship).

Must eat: You will see your fair share of Swedish joints (meatballs, salted fish - oh yum!), but with Stockholm being such a large international city, there are innumerable international restaurants - chinese, japanese, indonesian, italian, german, and more. More importantly, eat a Swedish Chocolate Ball (chokladboll) all day/every day/at every cafe you stop at or even pass. They are simply fabulous. Imagine this: a ball of fudge/brownie mixture that is super, super moist rolled in just the right amount of coconut (don't worry, it's not too coconut-y). Trust me, you will thank me.

Where to Stay: We stayed at the Scandic Sergel Plaza which was very nice with a good breakfast included, and most importantly, in the best location. It was a little on the pricier side (for us), but we needed a triple room, so it worked. Staying in the middle of one of the central islands was key for seeing as much as possible, BUT I did read that public transportation (there are metro stops everywhere) was very efficient there, we just didn't need to use it.

RyanAir flies an hour outside of the city (Skavsta Airport) for very cheap (our flights were 5 euros total). There is a bus that runs from the Airport to the City for the equivalent of $15. Keep in mind when booking that the airport is an hour outside of the city - you don't want to have to leave at 3 in the morning to get to the airport on time for your 6 am flight (like Alex did!).

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