First Thoughts of Stockholm

Stockholm is a city that quickly creates a good impression.  One of the cleanest capital cities in the world, Stockholm also has regulations on the minimum amount of parks as a proportion of buildings, which is evident when you stroll around and marvel at the open spaces.  Aside from the old town (Gamla Stan), there is plenty of room to move in Stockholm, unlike many other large capital cities which tend to get overcrowded.  Other than that, Stockholm is extremely clean and picturesque, so I’ve found myself growing a liking to it very quickly.  It’s also a really nice city to hire a bike and ride around.

Although, all this beauty does come at a cost- Stockholm is expensive.  Accommodation and food will cost you a pretty penny and whilst you can amuse yourself for free wondering around, there are some attractions that you won’t want to miss that you will have to pay for.

Skansen, the world’s oldest outdoor museum, is one of those sites.  Located on one the islands in the centre of Stockholm, it displays life in Sweden prior to the industrial revoloution.  At 75 acres, this is something that you don’t want to leave for the end of the day, because it can tiring and you’ll need your energy.  The museum features a zoo with Nordic animals and replicas of 19th century buildings such as silversmiths, glass-blowers and bakeries (yes you can buy baked goods and they’re quite reasonably priced too).  Skansen is fun, interesting and considering how long it could entertain you for, at around 12EUR, it’s quite cheap.

Image courtesy of foodintelligence.blogspot.com

Stieg Larsson fans will also get a lot out of exploring Stockholm following in the footsteps of the Millennium Trilogy, a lot of which takes place on Södermalm.  This is Stockholm’s more….bohemian district.  The trendyness oozes out of every corner as you take your first step, but more of an underground trendyness.  In Södermalm, even the birds were a bit grungy; I saw two pigeons hump for a bit in front of me, then proceed to swoop a lady- total punks.  Also, I saw a girl with a parrot on her shoulder and topless man carrying boombox blaring rap music.  But it is cool and gives you a taste of the unique side of Stockholm as opposed to the mass produced and mainstream side.  It also offers, I’m told, Stockholms finest herring, on the shore near the bridge.  Served on knäckebröd bread, it’s so good, it doesn’t even taste like herring.

So far, as you can tell, I’m very impressed with Stockholm, and for those who are worried at the dent it may put in their budget, I’m so far confident that it’s worth it.

 

 

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