Gamla Stan - The Old Town, Stockholm
Mårten Trotzigs Gränd is the narrowest street in Stockholm, measuring only 35 inches wide in parts.
It is apparently named after a German merchant who married the Mayor's daughter.
To be honest I am not sure what all the fuss is about....perhaps someone can explain? It just looked like a narrow laneway to me....
Gamla Stan (the old town) is located on a small island in the centre of Stockholm. A very compact and pretty place, the cobble-stoned streets criss-cross the old town, lined with restaurants, bars & shops.
Home to the magnificent looking Royal Palace, along with some great churches and museums, there are plenty of excellent photo opportunities, especially on a sunny day!
Take some time to wander aimlessly around the streets soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the street entertainment....oh, and perhaps enjoy a scoop or two of ice cream ; ))
Stortorget is the central square of the Old Town. It's surrounded by beautiful old houses, mainly from the 17th/18th century.
In one of the buildings (the old stockexchange), you'll find Nobelmuseet, which gives a lot of background on the winners of the famous Nobelprize.
There are lots of antique shops, restaurants, cafés and bars in the narrow streets leading to the square.
If you have time to spare after walking around, exploring, enjoying and sightseeing in Stockholm then take a short trip to Uppsala. The train journey is only 40 minutes one way and from Uppsala Central Station you can walk to most of the sights (about 10-15 minutes). Once there, you can either spend half the day in Gamla Uppsala and half the day in the city or just visit the sights close to the city center and its museums. Since the museums don't have the best opening times, check on the Tourist Information Center (or on the various Uppsala VT pages) for tips and what's on or look at the website below.
The image on this tip shows the location of Uppsala in relation to Stockholm and it's taken from Wikipedia.
Walking down the streets of Gamla Stan you cant help but feel enchanted by its sheer beauty. There is an air about it that makes even the locals turn their heads down every street. For me, it was so magical with the cobble stoned streets and little narrow passages, all light with lanterns that remind you of Disney's Beauty and the Beast... Amazing amazing amazing... I wish i have a more extensive vocabulary than just stating "amazing" but if you ever saw it... you'd be amazed.
On my most recent trip a fellow VTer and I went and stayed a week and practically every day more than once did we get lost on the small island and let me tell you... there is no such thing as getting lost because even though you dont know exactly WHICH street your hotel is on, there is this magic in all the buildings that make you never want to find your way home. I cant wait to get lost again!
Whats really sweet about the Island besides the fact its EXACTLY in the middle of the inner-city of Stockholm is that the buildings are the oldest, the stores are the quaintest and the views.... my... the views are breathless...
There are a lot of unique things to see when visiting the old town in Stockholm. The old town is the original Stockholm. The town was set up during the 1300 century. There are about 3000 people living in the old city today. Most buildings are from the 1700 and 1800 century. If you can spare a few hours take the time to walk about the old town. The dominant building in the old city is the king's castle. The old town is the place to be if you want to experience the town's pulse. The area has Stockholm's biggest ranges of restaurants, tourist shops, studios and museums. There are many wonderful paths to walk in the old town.
The Old Town Gamla Stan are Stockholms most charming part. The old and new Stockholm are combined.
For more pictures look at my travelogues of Gamla stan (old town)
The heart of the city - the main square Stortorget. It's more than 700 years old. Many streets of the old city are crossed there. There are a lot of tourists everyday. Stones in the center of the square remind about tragical "the Stockholm bloody bath" when more than 100 people were executed there. The majority of buildings appeared there in the XVII-XIX centuries. Their facades are trimmed by an elegant groove and a sculpture. A well was kept also since the XVII century.
The most appreciable building on the square - Borshuset (Stock exchange building). It was built on a place of an old town hall by E.Palmsted in a style of classicism in 1778.
Nobelmuseet (Nobel Museum) devoted to winners of the premium works there now.
May, 16th - September, 15: Monday, Wednesday - Sunday 10.00-18.00. Tuesday 10.00-20.00. September, 16th - May, 15th: Tuesday 11.00-20.00, Wednesday - Sunday 11.00-17.00.
There is a House of the adviser fon Schanz decorated by bas-reliefs to the left of Borshuset. The city church for homelesses is located on another side of the square.
Whenever I'm in Old Town Stockholm (which is often, since family lives there), I invariably stop tourists who are huddled over a map to ask if I can help.
My advice is: Lose the map! At least stick it in your pocket - and don't pull it out until you're pooped and need to get back to your hotel.
Now, wander. Look in shop or at least the windows. Drop into a cafe and have a traditional cinnamon bun with coffee, or maybe the favorite apple pie (different from what you're used to) with vanilla sauce. Pose for a picture with the statues, trolls, moose and other kitcsh you see. Have fun framing photos; get down on your knees to get the funny old phone booth and the church tower in the same shot. Try on something lovely in linen. Grab a snack or a meal in the restaurants advertising their cellar diningrooms (you can pretend you're imprisoned in a dungeon!).
Most importantly, venture down the sidestreets where you don't see a lot of other tourists. More than 2,000 people make their home in Gamla Stan, and this is where you'll see them going about their daily lives. Go into the churches, watch the blonde tots playing in the schoolyard, look up to see duvets airing on the windowsill.
Can you believe that during the 1960s, city fathers actually considered tearing this treasure down? What a crime that would have been!
Don't worry. You're on a small island and you can't get lost. Eventually you'll come to water (either Lake Malaren or the Baltic) and then you can take your map out.
Gamla Stan, or the Old Town, is the original part of Stockholm dating back to Medieval times. The Old City was built here because it is a strategic point between the Baltic Sea and Lake Malren and was easy to defend. The architecture is very well preserved and the views here are just gorgeous. There are also many nice, little restaurants and shops here to visit. I spent quite a while browsing around. The area gets very crowded in the summer, so try to visit during the week if you can.
Fjällgatan is one of the really old streets on the Söder island and as it stretches along the cliff next to the Viking ferry quay at Stadsgårdskajen, the views from up here are amazing. I never get tired of standing here looking at the tiny Djurgården shuttle ferries back and forth, ferries and cruise liners coming and going at the harbour inlet, and the marvellous city itself. Bring your camera and a few crowns for a coffee in the panoramic cafe (summertime). The houses themselves are not bad either. Typical wooden town houses for tradesmen. Opposite the main road back down to Slussen, there are some steps up to more nice houses on your way to for instance Katarina Church (see that tip).
I was impressed, very impressed! The fabulous pink sunsets that these wintery countries up near the Arctic circle (though Stockholm is a long way from the ARctic circle) are famous for - well here was one right in front of me! (and i was running out of battery with my digital and out of film with my SLR! so it was really hanging in there for as long as poss to capture as best as poss - because there was a moon in it as well! and along came a family of swans to add even more atmosphere!)
These lovely sunset pics were from the watersedge of Gamla Stan.
Gamla Stan [Old Town in Swedish] is basically only one of Stockholm's numerous islands, but of great historical importance Stockholmers & to Swedes as well. Narrow streets, colorful houses & amazing atmosphere make this part of the city one of the tourists' (and locals') favorites... A really picturesque neighborhood will simply change the way you feel & make you love this city for what it is! Although I suppose everyone's gonna spend most of their time there, take some more of it. And some more, and some more... I did. ;)
Even during my second visit to this amazing city, I used to spend a lot of time in Gamla Stan. I guess I managed to see it in a different light and, since I was on my own, maybe I wanted to feel a bit touristy. The thing is that no one thought I actually was a tourist since I was speaking Swedish, but anyway... ;)
Sitting on Stora Torget at dusk was amazing, trying to take some photos over all those Japanese, Chinese, Russian... But walking those dark but warmly lit narrow streets, looking at the façades, just going around was fun!
Gamla Stan's main street, the Vasterlanggatan (the main pedestrian shopping street) is criss crossed by quite a number of small, quaint, alleys running perpindicular to it. Most, like the one shown in the photo, run uphill to the main square called Stortorget. Though pretty in the day, I highly recommend coming in the late evening when the streetlights are on. It's like being transported back in time.
The narrowest street is called Martin Trotskys Grand--90 cm wide at its narrowest point!
Stortorget (found in Gamla Stan) is the location of the Stock Exchange Building (Börshuset), which houses the Swedish Academy, the Nobel Museum, and the Nobel Library.
And just as the financial crisis of 2008 spells BLOODBATH, this oldest Square in Stockholm is also the site of the November 1520 Stockholm Bloodbath where blood literally filled the streets when Anti-Danish rebels were killed.
Gustav Vasa, who was the son of one of victims in the Bloodbath at the Stortorget, established the monarchy three years later and started the great period of the Swedish Renaissance.
As I was walking through Gamla Stan and the Square, I spotted a nice "well" and I touched the water from all four ports. I was all alone beside the well at 6 AM and later I read that it is a very popular meeting place. It was designed by Palmstedt, and it dried up in 1856 due to land elevation, was relocated to Brunkebergstorg and then moved back to its original location in the 1950s. Don't miss this well and make a wish! Also honor the memory of those who died in 1520...
I know that Gamla Stan is considered the "touristy" spot, but we honestly enjoyed it and visited there several times... We found it interesting and quite scenic. We also ate there several times and I will share this in another place.
We did not do a lot of shopping here except to pick up some T shirts that said (what else?) Sweden on them! I still wear mine! But it is a fun place to just wander around and a great place for "people watching"!