Stockholm: Venice of the North. And City of Fika. Always fika.

Hej everyone,

So before I went onto my adventurous trip to the far North, I got to spend some time in quite the opposite surroundings: the civilised and metropolitan city of Stockholm. Sometimes also called the Venice of the North. Or as I’d like to call it the city of fika. If you remember one word from my blog post, let it be fika. Anyways, I spent one day in the city before my trip, and another 5 days after. Let me just tell you about the highlights.

Shopping

Pretty much all I did when I wasn’t solo fika-ing. If you love to shop (especially with the sales on), Stockholm is the place to be. I love the big department stores like Åhléns and NK, but it was also really fun to browse the smaller and touristy shops in Gamla Stan (the Old City). My favourite shops however, are the ones we don’t get (everywhere) in Belgium: Monki, & Other Stories, COS,… All owned by the same company, which also own H&M. Very Scandinavian, yet somehow international too.

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Södermalm

On my first day back in Stockholm after the trip, I was so happy that my hostel allowed me to take a shower even though I couldn’t check into my room yet. Feeling totally refreshed, I met up with Frauke (Germany) at Fotografiska (Museum of Photography). I’d gone in before meeting up and it had some really cool pictures. Obviously the collections change continuously but it’s worth checking out, even if it’s just so you can pay the area a visit: Södermalm. Frauke and I climbed some (too many after such a terrible sleep on the bus) stairs to get to Fjällgatan, where we had an exceptional view on Stockholm. The sun even came out, making it even prettier.

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We then headed into Södermalm, which is supposedly the “hipster” neighbourhood of Stockholm with lots of cafés, little shops and second hand stores. Unfortunately lots of things were still closed because of Christmas/New Years holidays, but we managed to find a very cute coffee place after all. I swear I had the biggest cup of tea IN. MY. LIFE. The cup looked more like a bowl, I was convinced I could swim in it and a few toilet breaks were necessary in order to finish my drink. Value for money at Gildas Rum. I can totally imagine this being a really fun area in the summer.  We walked around a little bit more, enjoyed the view with all the city lights and then each went our separate ways.

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Uppsala

The day after that I went to Uppsala, a student city comparable to Lund, just north of Stockholm. My main purpose for the visit was to see my friends and classmates Seya and An-Sofie, but I took advantage of the opportunity and did some sightseeing. Little did I know all the shops would be closed until the afternoon and the town was pretty deserted seeing as it was school holidays plus January 6, a bank holiday in Sweden called trettondedag jul (or literally translated: the thirteenth day of Christmas). I was pretty bored after only a few hours, but this is what I did: visited the Cathedral, went into ALL the shops, had lunch, walked to the Castle, visited the little Art Museum. By that time my friends were ready to meet me and we were able to catch up over a cup of tea. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed by Uppsala; I expected more cosiness and small town feeling, which I felt it didn’t have. Maybe I just need to get to know the right neighbourhood or maybe I am just too used to Lund, which I find to be much prettier and cosier. Not sure if that’s because it’s become my second home or if it really just is better. Will need a second opinion on that.

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Nordiska museet

The next day I took the metro to Djurgården, where all the well-known museums are. I’d been to some of them before, so I decided to go to the Nordiska Museet, which is all about Scandinavian culture, history and traditions. Just the building itself is worth a visit, although you have to pay for a ticket if you want to see the gorgeous hall.

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Gamla stan

That same afternoon, I strolled along the shops and cafés at Gamla Stan, which is, despite it begin the most touristy area, still one of my favourite places. The cobbled streets, the small lanes, the beautiful coloured buildings,… And then it started snowing, making my walk even more magical. I went back to my hostel that night pretty content.

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Cosmonova

The last thing I did was visit Cosmonova, which is located near the University of Stockholm, in the Naturhistoriska riksmuseet. My corridor mate Julia had told me about this, so I thought I’d check it out because I had nothing else to do anyways. Cosmonova is a movie theatre but what is special about this one is that the screen looks like a massive dome (760 square meter with a diameter of 23 meter). Add 3D in the mix and you can imagine what watching a movie in this theatre looks like. The one I watched was a 40 minute documentary on the Galapagos Islands, which was somehow really interesting. After having my Swedish meatballs at the museum’s restaurant (which was excellent, by the way), I had another stroll around town, a fika at the Stadsteater (a gorgeous square and building), until I could meet my Thai friends, who, like me, just finished their semester of being an exchange student. We went out for Chinese food, where they told me all about the exotic fruits in Thailand. I could just start to feel my feet get just a little bit itchy… A girl can dream, right? :)

And that is my trip wrapped up in one blog post. I hope you don’t mind this set up, with the different parts instead of one text. It’s just easier to remember the main points of interest, since I had so much to blog about. Let me know in the comments what you think.

Until next time,

Silke

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