On my last full day in Uppsala I went together with VT member MalenaN for a hike in the Nature Reserve Norra Lunsen, which is located about 7 km south of Uppsala's city centre.
We met in the morning and took bus #20 from the central bus station in the direction of Skarholmen. We got off at Sunnerstabacken and went to Flottsund, which seems to be one of the western entry points to Norra Lunsen. At the car park a brochure with a small map of the area can be picked up, but this is also available at the Tourist Information in Uppsala.
The Nature Reserve Norra Lunsen covers an area of 13 square kilometres of forests and swamps. It is popular for walking in summer and cross country skiing in winter. The paths are marked with coloured rings on the trees and parts of the trails are simple wooden causeways, which span the wetlands.
On the first 5 km we followed the Uppland Trail towards the cottage Lunsentorpet, where we took a short break. For more info about Lunsentorpet, please read my appropriate accommodation tip.
From there we continued our walk to Fläktanstugan (2,5 km), which is a small wooden cabin with an outdoor fireplace and an adjacent lookout tower. Here we took a longer lunch break with some picnic on the fire place.
The last part of the hike through the nature reserve led us in northern direction to Bergsbrunna (4,5 km), from where bus #20 back to Uppsala can be caugth, but due to the lovely weather we decided to walk the final 7 km to the city centre.
As the weather on my first full day in Uppsala was a bit overcast, but still dry and comfortable, I decided to walk to Gamla Uppsala along the St. Erik's Trail (Eriksleden).
It is a well signposted 6 km pilgrim's way from Uppsala Cathedral to the mounds and church of Gamla Uppsala. According to legend, the remains of the beheaded St. Erik were carried along this trail when the church of Gamla Uppsla burnt down in the 13the century.
Nowadays the path is easily accessible even for bikes. The first half of it leads from Uppsala Cathedral along the eastern bank of the river Fyris and parts of the city, whereas the second part continues through the Uppland countryside. Along the route places for exercise and meditation can be found.
I even returned to Uppsala along the trail, but took some little detours along the Linnestig trail, which covers parts of this area as well.
Another option to get from Gamla Uppsala back to Uppsala are the city buses #2 and #110.
As I stayed 4 nights in Uppsala, I was also interested in taking a side trip by public transport to another nearby town. Several VT members recommended Sigtuna as well worth seeing.
So on arrival in Uppsala I asked at the Tourist Information about possible connections to Sigtuna and the guy in charge had a helpful timetable copy available.
Sigtuna's history dates back to the 10th century, when the first settlement was founded at the lake Mälaren. The quaint town has nowadays a population of approximately 8500.
Three historic church ruins, namely St. Olof, St. Lars and St. Per from the 12th and 13th century can be found in the medieval centre of Sigtuna.
Here also stands the brick Church of Maria, which was built in 1247 as a Dominican monastery. Inside the church murals from the 14th and 15th century can be seen.
At Sweden's oldest street Stora Gatan the 18th century Town Hall can be found. It is allegedly the smallest town hall in Scandinavia and nowadays used as a museum.
Last but not least Sigtuna is said to be home to the most Runic Stones in in the world. They were errected during the Viking era to commemorate deceased men.
Sigtuna is situated 35 km south of Uppsala or 50 km north west of Stockholm. The town is located at the northern shore of the lake Mälaren.
How to get to Sigtuna:
In October 2013 there were at least hourly connections between Uppsala and Sigtuna. At first I had to take a local train from Uppsala to Knivsta, from where a direct connection by yellow regional bus #183 led to Sigtuna The whole trip took only 35 minutes and a single ticket cost 90 SEK or only 68 SEK when bought with an UL card. For more details, please read my tip about public transport in Uppsala.
Dragon Gate is being built as a Chinese cultural center, offering Swedish and European businesses and organizations a place to hold conferences and meetings. The hotel and restaurant will be closed during construction.
Road map: On E4 about 10 km south of Älvkarleby, 30 km south of Gävle (15 min), 70 km north of Uppsala (45 min)
Bus number: Upplands Lokaltrafik no. 838.
Dragon Gate, 814 95 Älvkarleby, tfn 026-752 50, fax 026-751 61
This really isn't in Uppsala city but it's worth a car ride.
Östhammar is located Northeast of Uppsala, about an hour's drive from Uppsala. It's a small coast town that comes to life during Summer. When the weather allows it, there's flea markets around town and people riding their boats to the tons of "islands" on the Baltic Sea. Once there they take some sun and barbeque hamburgers, hot dogs or some of the already made steaks you can get at the local Coop/ICA shop.
What can you do once you're there? Boat riding, horse riding, bike renting, fishing, paddle in canoes, mini golf, play paintball, sail.....
In July they have Östhammars musikvecka, where you can listen to live bands.
To get there from Uppsala: the road 288 takes you straight there. By bus: UL811 from Uppsala or UL639 from Stockholm (from KTH).
There has been an ironworks here ever since the 16th century. In the early 17th century, a bar iron ironworks was founded, of which Louis de Geer became the sole owner in 1643. After the Russian ravages in 1719, the town was built up again. The Leufsta village church, with its Caroline Baroque style and famous Cahman organ, stood completed in the 1720s. Manorhouse, village environment, malthouse, and carriage collection on view with guide. Art exhibits, concerts, and children's activities in the summer or through booking. A nature and industry path begins at the former granary, along which there is information (in Swedish) about animals, nature, and industrial history.
Price/admission incl. VAT (when required): SEK 50 includes all village activities and return visits throughout the season
Road map: From Uppsala, take Road 290 about 45 km to the north. Pass through Österbybruk and turn left after about 6 km. Continue north about 12 km to Road 76. Follow signs into Lövstabruk. The manorhouse is centrally situated in the village
Bus number: Upplands Lokaltrafik no. 832
Sunnerstragropen is a crater where you can ride sled during winter. It's a rather popular place to go with your kids. Sunnerstabacken is good for some skiing. Fancy something warm while you recharge your batteries? Then grab a cup of hot cocoa on their café.
How to get there: take the bus 20 at Stora Torget towards Graneberg via Ultuna and get off at Sunnerstabacken. Then walk around a little because the part where the bus stop is is rather steep.
Legend on the map (picture): the central station is the big pink dot to the right. The small pink dots show outdoor paths, the turquoise ones the indoor paths (thru malls). The green line shows the street where the bus stop is.
Great for those who like outdoor life. Close to Uppsala city center but far enough for you to relax. Here you can paddle canoe, swim, fish and jog among other things. There's a restaurant and kiosk, as well as washing machines, kitchen and showers on the service house, and a parking lot close by.
Sunnersta camping is open between May and September. So bring your tent or caravan or rent one of the cabins and enjoy!
If you have time after a survey of Uppsala, we recommend to visit Linnaeus Garden. It's located in the northern part of the city, on the coast of the Fyrisan river. The oldest botanical garden of Sweden (1655) served as the main platform for K.Linnaeus's scientific researches. A small museum tells about a history of a garden and work of the scientist.
Directly in the front of the castle there is the Botanical garden. It was founded there in the middle of the XVII as a regular park (a French project, style of Baroque). Now it is the huge park containing more then 10000 kinds of plants, collected worldwide. There is a building in style of classicism in the end of avenue. It's a greenhouse where unique tropical plants, cactuses, orchids, huge water lilies are grown up.
Svartbacksgatan, 7.00-20.30. www.linnaeus.uu.se.
You can get to this magnificent Baroque castle by boat from Uppsala in summer as m/s Carl Gustaf leaves from its quay along the Fyris river. There is an extraordinary collection of well-kept furniture from all over Europe here as the first owner, Wrangel, spent as much time on the continent as in Sweden. You can go on guided tours in the castle and will also have the chance to see a great little medieval church with viking runestones outside, as well as Sweden's first motor museum with great curiosity value - all this in a great Lake Mälaren setting. Read much more on my Bålsta page.
Runsten or Runstone you can see in many parts of Sweden if you go outside the cities. Particullary in this landscape (Uppland) you can see a lot of them. They are from the Vikingage with different inscriptions
Wiks Castle is situated about 20 km southwest of Uppsala. The castle was built during the 15th century and was for a long time used as a defensive fortress. It was restored in the 17th and 19th centuries.
Today it is used for conferences and parties. In summertime there is a café for visitors. A folk high-school (music, drama and art) is situated in the buildings around. The park (forest and fields) around the castle is beautiful and has a rich fauna and flora. The castle is just by Lake Mälaren, and below the castle it is possible to take a swim in the lake in summertime.
To go here take the road towards Enköping until you come to a sign where you shall turn left. From the highway there are still several kilometres to drive on small roads until you reach the castle. You can also take bus 847 from the train station in Uppsala.
The Uppsala Castle is located on a hill. Walk along the outer premise of the building to its back. You would get a bird eye view of part of the town. The tree may block the view. So stand on the benches if the view isn't good enough. I'm a short guy. It helped. ;)
Do you like flea markets?
During the summer season there's a flea market every saturday at Vaksala Torg (Vaksala Square). You will reach it by taking the road Vaksalagatan to the north east from the Stora Torget.
Go sometime around 11 am. The real catches are made as early as 06 am however...
And don't forget to bargain!
Many VT:ers have written to me before they go to Uppsala for an exchange university program. So here is some info that could be useful:
Most foreign students end up in the student campus area called Flogsta, some 40 minutes walk from central town.
Here is a photo of this area, which isn't perhaps that pretty.
The buildings are seven(8?) storeys high, with corridors. Each corridor has about 15 rooms and a shared kitchen.
I have had the opportunity of visiting 5 or so of the corridors during my years in Uppsala, and they are ok, but not too much fun.
You have access to the roof of your building, for barbeques, sunbathing etc. But don't fall down!
See also next tip and photo.
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