The Stockholm Card
The Stockholm card is in my opinion a tourist trap, as it is relatively expensive in comparison to the value.
In 2004 it was available for 24 h (260 SEK), 48 h (390 SEK) and 72 h (540 SEK). Among other things it includes free travel on public transportation and free admission to 75 museums and attractions.
Fun Alternatives: Just compare the price of the Stockholm Card with the normal prices.
Here are some examples as of 2004:
- Admission Vasa Museum: 70 SEK
- Admission Nobel Museum: 50 SEK
- Admission Kaknastornet: 30 SEK
- 24 h public transport: 95 SEK
- 10 single trips public transport: 145 SEKRelated to:
- Budget Travel
Changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace - Sloppy
The changing of the guard occurs inside the courtyard at the Royal Palace.
- May to August: 12:15, Sundays and holidays 13:15
- April, September, and October: Wednesdays and Saturdays 12:15, Sundays 13:15
- November to March: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 12:00, Sundays at 13:00
It's a standard ceremonial and marching routing common to many other countries. What makes this a very poor showing, however, is the sloppy presentation and deportment of the soldiers. As an ex-soldier myself, I found these soldiers plain disgusting. Their marching was loose and out of step, their hair long and sloppy, their boots filthy, and their positions an inconsistent distance from each other. It was an over-all poor showing. The photo above shows all of these things.
I realise that civilians may not notice nor care about these things, but they certainly shouldn't take this performance as a standard for armed forces in most other countries.
Unique Suggestions: There are several other things to see at the Royal Palace, however, including the State Apartments, the Royal Treasury, and the Museum Tre Kronor.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Castles and Palaces
A boat tour can be a pleasant experience, but there are some aspects that you must take in consideration before buying the tickets:
The route passes mostly by residential areas outside the city center.
The boat is not that much panoramic (it's closed with very few windows that can be opened)
Unique Suggestions: In order to better enjoy the ride you should buy your ticket in advance (places are limited), and arrive very early in order to get one of the few seat that are outdoors and facing the sides of the boat.
I went on the tour "Under the Bridges", which in the summer has hourly departures.
Souvenir hell :)
The two main streets of the Old Town have a souvenir shop or a restaurant/bar on every door. This makes it almost impossible to walk on those streets due to the constant crowds looking for souvenirs.
Unique Suggestions: Just choose any other of the many smaller streets that are all over the Old Town. You can also find souvenirs there, and most of the times at a cheaper price.
The Royal Museum - A dump
I am not a 100% sure if this is actually the Royal museum but it is located in Gamla Stan and the entry is from the courtyard where the changing of the guards takes place.
I paid full fare for 4 people and many of the exibits / rooms were closed.. no apparent reason what so ever and it was such a small museum just was such a let down. Honestly its a bloody scam.
For me specially when I spend a week in Paris and visting the fantasic museums there Stockholm was a real rip off. What made it worse is that when I got to the end I was shocked that "THAT"S IT" when the guard said you are done... I felt cheated and angry for paying so much for this small museum that was largely closed or cordoned off..
Unique Suggestions: DO NOT GO.... forget the musems they are simply not worth it.
Fun Alternatives: Walk aroung Gamla stand and definitly visit the many churches, they are a lot better alternative to getting ripped off.
Limited Opening Times in Winter
Lots of attractions and museums in Stockholm have shorter opening times, are just open on weekends or are closed completely during the winter months.
Unique Suggestions: If you are visiting the town during that time, get info before you set off!!! Otherwise you might be waiting for a tram which will arrive in two days or so... (the only tram in Stockholm only travels on weekends in winter).Related to:
- Museum Visits
While going to Sweden we knew, that this country, being a member of EU, nevertheless has kept national currency - the Swedish crone. It is difficult to judge an expediency of such a decision. But it so! I assumed to change euro for Swedish crones directly in the sea port where our ferry arrived. What was my surprise when I have found out, that there was no exchange office in the port! On my question where I could change currency, I received an answer - in the city in Forex exchange offices.
That was why we came in the city not having any crone. It was necessary to park the car to find exchange office and on foot go on searches. But parking does not happen free-of-charge! A trap! So we have run into the penalty... But to pay the penalty we had no money! A second trap!!! It was possible to solve this problem with huge work. Travelers, take our mistake into account!Related to:
- Road Trip
Main Season - Off Season
Not exactly a tourist trap, but: Though Stockholm is extremely beautiful in autumn, some (not all) sights close or run on a limited time table in off-season. For example, you cannot climb the tower of the Stadhuset (City Hall) in off season, and to my knowledge there are no archipelago cruises in off season.
Skavsta airport breakfast is crap
OK I know airport food is not to be trusted, especially if served by a cafeteria and not a name-brand fast food place (not my usual motto, but at foreign airports, stick with what you know since it is so expensive.)
However the breakfast at Nykoping's Stockholm Skavsta Airport is the worst meal I have ever had. (It even beats the day I only ate beavertails in Ottawa.)
With bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, fried egg, a bun, tomato, and beans it smells good, it sounds delicious, and at 4.30 AM knowing you're not going to get to eat for the next eight hours you really want it.
But it's crap. It's seriously disgusting. I didn't finish it. The sausages were little bullets. The bacon was undercooked and leathery. The scrambled was gelatinous. The fried egg was a liquid. The bun was stale. The tomato was a tomato 9eww eve in the best of times) and the coffee was likely brewed six hours earlier. I tried to finish it. Since it cost me 82 SEK I felt morally compelled to finish it. But I couldn't.
Seriously just buy one of those mega cookies and a juice and hope the vitamins from those tow will keep you going for the day because that breakfast was 82 krona worth of pure crap.
Again, the Nordiska museet isn't a tourist trap at all. It's free. But there's not that much there.
The collection of old clothing was only so-so, and the exhibition on Swedish Christmas was underwhelming, especially after visiting the themed houses of Skansen. There's next to nothing on the first floor, nothing in the basement, the second floor doesn't have much, and the third is the same.
There was a great exhibition on the sale of liquor in Sweden, which exhibited different types of advertizing, public messaging, billboard art, and questioned the government monopoly regarding liquor sale. Although most of it was in Swedish, it was still really interesting. Alas, it's only temporary.
The building is beautiful and it's worth a stop for the big bronze statue in the middle (on the first floor) however Nordiska museet falls flat compared to much better attractions such as the Medieval and Modern Art Museums.
(I'm really not trying to be negative with all my negative postings. Just that most of the really great sights and activites have already been described in much detail.)
Calling the Museum of East Asian Antiquties a 'tourist trap' is much too harsh. Especially considering entrance is free.
At the time I visited, there was a great exhibition of photos taken of kids mostly in China and Mongolia.
However, beyond that I was unimpressed.
There are your standard buddhist and hindu scultures, most of which are missing arms, hands, feet, heads - sometimes everythign but the torso. I know this isn't their fault, but this doesn't make for awestruck viewing.
There is a room full of old clay pots. I love ceramics, but the pottery on display was quite repetitive (tonnes and tonnes of the same style of quite barren pots), hard to see (all placed within millimetres of each other), and ina very dark room (too dark.)
In general it was pretty boring and defintiely underwhelming. Many rooms were closed or empty.
If you're on Skeppsholmen you might as well pop in but it's not worth a walk to the island specifically for the Ostasiatiska Museet
These are the set of archipelago islands closest to the city centre and consequently, there are boat trips to them and they are touted as "the place where Stockholmers go". Personally, I don't know anyone who goes there but people take their time to get further out into the archipelago. The islands are very small. The main island has a couple of handicraft shops but nothing you cannot find in town and then there are some average fish restaurants and a childrens theatre and small aquarium out there. You can swim off some of the cliffs but there are more interesting places for that too...As the island is quite small it quickly gets crowded when a boat load arrives.
Unique Suggestions: It's perfectly bearable alright - just not the first place I would go to. Just walk around enjoying all the views of boat life around you. Maybe have a herring sandwich...
Fun Alternatives: Take the time to go to Vaxholm and back.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Family Travel
Birka Viking Site - UN World Heritage Site
Birka is a former Viking town that has been excavated and studied by archaeologists. Situated on an island about 2 hours boat ride from stockholm, it is now being marketed as a day out. The island has a cafeteria, a museum, some guided walks, and little re-creation of a few viking lean-tos with activities for kids and some actors.
Birka is a nice day out, don't get me wrong. It's a pretty island, has some nice trails, swimming, and offers great views. However, for those wanting actual viking info it's a steep price and a long visit (you have to spend at least 4 hours on the island) for what littel you get. The museum is tiny, the little viking area with actors is interesting but the activities (bow and arrows, iron working, plus one or two others) are more for kids and cost money. The trails are nice but beyond the ruins of a wall, the burial mounds and a modern monument there's littel viking stuff there. It's pretty skimpy.
Unique Suggestions: Again, good visit if you've got kids, are planning to hike, or want to spend lots of time outdoors. Lot sof nice trails, the burial mounds are neat, and there's ample swimming and sunbathing spots.
However as far as being a viking-oriented experience it comes up short, and is pretty expensive to boot (225 SEK there and back with the boat.)
The elevator at Slussen: Katarinahissen
It´s not the biggest trap ever, but it´s something that annoyed me a little bit!
We were enjoying the nice view on the bridge and then we wanted to take the elevator to get down, we expected to come in a nice elevator to enjoy the view even more, but there were no windows in the elevator cabin... no problem of course... but we also had to pay 10 SEK (1 euro) each and that felt a bit stupid!
Unique Suggestions: Don´t expect to see anything in the elevator... you can just walk and it saves you some little money...
Fun Alternatives: just walk down if you´re not tired or lazy!
Ice-gallery (Osterlanggatan 41, Stockholm)
I expected a short walk inside a frozen corridor, but what I found was a small room with an Ice-TV and a bar, few sculptures and place to sit on raindeer skin. Probably my expectation was wrong, otherwise I would enjoy it more.
Unique Suggestions: But I was lucky that my friends were with me and I was not bored at all. If they were not cold I could stay there even longer than 10 min :)
Open daily 11-17h
Fun Alternatives: At the entrance you will get a warm coat with hood and gloves. But they do not provide you with alcohol. So..
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