My Top Five of Sweden
Gamla Uppsala, Uppsala
Gamla Uppsala is the original site of the city of Uppsala. The present day location of the city was originally called, “Östra Aros,” and overtook Gamla Uppsala in importance in the 1200’s. Prior to that, Gamla Uppsala had been an important religious, economic, and political centre since as early as the 3rd century AD. Today, around 250 barrows (including the Royal Mounds) and the old church finished in the 12th century remain, along with a newer museum. It would have been even better in the summer, when the property would have been filled with staff in costumes and the restaurant would have been open to the public, but we still had a great time. There were a lot of signs telling us about the area, the Royal Mounds, etc. and we had the place mostly to ourselves! We could walk around the grounds for free, and paid to go into the museum as well. The museum was small, but had some neat photos of the area back when it was a public place to downhill ski (!).
Gamla Stan, Stockholm
We lucked out and got a fantastic price on a hostel right in the heart of Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm. The town itself dates back to the 13th century, though most of the buildings are more recent. Nathanael and I spent hours walking through the narrow alleys and down the cobble stone streets. The buildings are beautiful, the shopping is great, and there’s a lot to see on the island, such as the Royal Palace, the Nobel Museum, and the Stockholm Cathedral. This was my favourite area we saw in Stockholm by far!
We were feeling a little overwhelmed being in the big, bustling city after living in the country for a few weeks, so we took an afternoon for a much needed walk in a quieter part of the city. Not only did it feel refreshing to go on a nature walk along a canal, but we didn’t even have to give up on sight-seeing to do it! On Djurgården, one of the islands Stockholm sprawls over, you can find museums (including Skansen), an amusement park, Rosendal Palace, and more.
Haga District, Gothenburg
Cute, and touristy! The whole downtown was nice to walk through, but the Haga district in particular was my favourite. All the shops had a bit of a whimsical flair and the streets were bustling with a relaxed, happy energy. If I had been able to go crazy buying souvenirs, this would have been the spot I’d have done it!
Nathanael and I stumbled across the Konstmuseum by accident, and it was a great find. Outside the museum is a public square punctuated with a large fountain paying homage to Poseidon. On opposite sides of the square, next to the museum, you can find the Symphony Orchestra and Performing Arts Theatre. People under the age of 25 get free admission (hurray!), but even for adults it isn’t too expensive and well-worth the price. The museum had an interesting layout and we really enjoyed wandering around, if you can only see one museum in Gothenburg, this one is a good choice.