The Stockholm card is in my opinion a tourist trap, because it is bloody expensive. 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:
- 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 SEK
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!
I've been lately in the open bus tour in Dublin, witch was the first of the kind I went and actually had a great time so we tried this one too! I'm afraid to say it was very disappointing... It was expensive and on the headphones we had available to listen to the (boring) explanations of the history and curiosities around us weren't working properly and we could listen to 3 languages at the same time! I speak more than 3 but please, not at the same time.
Unique Suggestions: go to the Wasa museum... it's worth it and this bus has a stop right in front of it.
Fun Alternatives: go around, walk (it's not that big,the bus goes in circles) or take the local transports.
There's a boat trip that should be much better.
On Feb 28, 1986 the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was murdered at the crossing of Sveavägen and Tunnelgatan.
The only thing showing this location is a sign in the footpath. And I promise, it's not more to see on this location.
Unique Suggestions: Take the stairs from Tunnelgatan up to Malmskillnadsgatan. Then you will follow the same way as the murdered did.
Fun Alternatives: When you are at Malmskillnadsgatan, you will be close to one of the most beautiful and hidden churches in Stockholm, the Johannes Church.
There are several entrances to the Skansen Open Air Museum, one of Stockholm's most popular attraction. If you go to the entrance where you have this little mountain railway to take you up the hill, I would recommend to save your money and walk up the hill, if you can. It is not that far and as Stockholm is very expensive anyway, I would say to save your money unless you REALLY don't like walking or you just have money to burn!!!
Many people from Stockholm are proud over the Globe Arena. But you don't really have to go there, if it's not an ice hockey match or a concert, it's not much to see.
In my veiw the Globe arena is an ugly blob in else very beautiful Stockholm.
Unique Suggestions: If you for some reason have get to the Globe arena and not know what to do next, I would recommend to take the tram to Alvik. This is a good and a bit different way to see the outer parts of Stockholm.
(Tram = Streetcar/Trolley in US english)
Fun Alternatives: If you want to see a big sports arena while visiting Stockholm, you should go to Stockholm Stadium instead. This was the arena hosting the Olympic games in 1912.
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).
This statue of the Swedish king Karl XIV Johan (1763-1844). It's a beautiful statue, but the place is unfortunately not the best. It's located between all roads and traffic between Gamla Stan and Slussen, making the place a quite ugly area.
The real name of Karl XIV Johan was Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, born in France. He's the ancestor of the current Swedish king, Karl XVI Gustaf
Unique Suggestions: You have the rest of Gamla Stan (the Old Town) to explore, so no worry, it's a lot of nice things to see in the nearby area.
At Kungsgatan you can see two towers on each side of the street, called Kungstornen. Unfortunately those are not open for public so all you can do is watch them from the street. Else I'm sure that the view over Stockholm city from the towers would be great.
Unique Suggestions: Continue Kungstatan to Hötorget to check out the street markets there.
It seems to be the popular thing to do in Europe: charge admission to churches. You may or may not agree with this policy, but whatever your opinion, if you want to go in, you still have to pay! For the Storkyrkan and the Ritterholmkyrkan, entry costs about 20 Swedish Krone. For the Tyskakyrkan (German church--which is beautiful!), there is no entry fee.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.)
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