Stockholm: a fairytale city for kids and their parents
We have to admit that the editors of Tourister.ru already used to dissuade. For example, we found that Finland can be interesting not only in winter but also in summer. Or that Italy is not limited to beaches, sightseeing and ski holidays. But there everything is clear – we expected less and got more. Such a turn of events would make anyone happy. But with Stockholm was a little different: having received an invitation to visit the capital of Sweden, we are already absentmindedly liked this city.
Proceeding from the theory of the universal balance, including expectations and impressions, there was a great risk of disappointment – so colorful pictures of the royal capital painted by imagination. What if it “didn’t go?” What if it was good, but not as good as the imagination? Besides, it’s autumn, capable of spoiling the impression of muted colors, leaden skies and precipitation.
The theater begins with a hanger, and Stockholm begins with Arlanda Airport.
But either luck or the gods of tourism were somewhere nearby – the sun was shining brightly when we left Arlanda Airport, and the local population was flaunting in T-shirts and short-sleeved shirts. At first I thought the Scandinavians are simply rugged northern people, but here the tourists from Russia slowly began to pull off their clothes.
The surprise began immediately. Airport “Arlanda” is quite far from the city – 42 kilometers. Riding the bus is pleasant and sad at the same time. It is pleasant because the roads are perfect, everything is thought out in detail and you really enjoy the ride. Sad for exactly the same reason – because they have, the Swedes, the same harsh winter and tons of snow as we do… By the way on the way back we used an alternative way to get to the airport – the train Arlanda Express. It’s a specimen of Scandinavian precision – exactly 20 minutes, and you’re at the airport! Very convenient if you don’t want to lose a minute of your precious time in Stockholm (and you wouldn’t) and still catch your plane. The trains leave several times an hour, at intervals of 10 to 15 minutes. The train speeds over 200 km / h, so it is not only a means of transportation, but also the attraction. And the best part – if the train is late even for one minute, the company will refund the money for the ticket!
The surprise continued in the city. Let me remind you, Stockholm is the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden. We expected an abundance of palaces, pompous buildings, stucco and other attributes of the autocrats. In fact, it’s not quite so – apparently it’s not accepted to show off his wealth and status in Sweden not only today – it was not accepted for a long time. The royal palace is big and solidly made, but no pathos at all. And understandably – the king here is purely nominal, but the Swedes still refuse to richly serve his guests. Thus there is no strict Scandinavian architecture and explicit minimalism here as well, and so everywhere – the city skillfully balances between these two extremes. If you want to get an inside look at the local architecture, have a look at “photos of sights in Sweden.
Tourist friendliness, made into an absolute
It also caught my eye that the city is comfortable to live in. Everything has been done to make people, and therefore tourists, feel good. And the tourist is even in a somewhat privileged position, because in terms of convenience, there is a skew towards pedestrians, public transport users and cyclists. Bicycle paths are everywhere, special tiles for pedestrians with strollers and girls in stilettos have been laid next to the historic paving stones, ramps and crosswalks are located exactly where it is necessary. A huge amount of greenery is also somewhat unusual for residents of megacities, but in Stockholm, it is the norm, in addition, the ecological urban system proves numerous squirrels and even rabbits strolling through the parks and squares.
But that’s not all. The city’s authorities have taken care of tourists by creating a Stockholm Card. If you own this card, you get access to more than 80 museums of the Swedish capital, free travel on all public transport, free boat tours on the canals, free bike tours around Stockholm, and walking tours with a Russian-speaking guide in the Old Town! Cards are available both for children and adults, for 1, 3 and 5 days, the cost of the card for an adult tourist starts at 495 CZK. You can order a card online and get one upon arrival in Stockholm.
Stockholm – a city for children
About the abundance of ramps and special paths already mentioned, but for aunts Stockholm offers a lot more than just the convenience of movement. First and foremost, this is the Unibacken Museum.
This museum is dedicated to the characters of the fairy tales of the famous Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren. In addition to Pippi and Carlson, here you can meet Winnie the Pooh (the hero of fairy tales by Alan Milne), Moomin Troll (from the world of Tove Jansson) and other fairy tale characters. The museum is interactive, except for the part where children (and adults!) float on special wagons over the fictional world. After such rides you can have a wonderful snack with a view of Stockholm Bay!
Another museum, which will not leave children indifferent, is located on the same island, it is called Skansen, and is the world’s first ethnographic open-air museum. Both children and their parents will be interested in traditional Swedish houses from all over the country from different times – of course, because you can enter them, observe how people used to live by the example of the workers living there, look at the furniture and interiors of the last century, touch everything, after all! To make it clearer, we have prepared a photo report about the place.
And the third museum that will be of interest to children (and adults too!) is the Vasa ship. It is located in five minutes walk from Unibaken, on the same island of Djurgården. It is remarkable in that it is the only ship of the seventeenth century in the world that is preserved to this day – more than 95% of the original design elements and hundreds of carved sculptures are preserved. Vasa ship is a unique artistic value and one of the most important tourist attractions in the world. In the museum you can not only see the entire ship, but also watch a film about how it was raised and restored.
If you still have energy left for more activity, then we are happy for you and recommend going to Stockholm’s Luna Park with the world’s tallest Starflyer attraction, Eclipse. Like the three museums described above, it is located on the island of Djurgården, so if you are going to stay in Stockholm with children – we recommend choosing a hotel on this island.
A city for “moderately well-fed men in the prime of life.
Well, not only for “moderately well-fed” and not only for men, and the prime of life – a relative concept, and everyone has his own. Carlson simply chose the roofs of Stockholm to live on. And the capital of Sweden attracts, of course, not only children.
If you like classical art – the National Museum is waiting for you with works of Gauguin, Degas, Manet, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, Cézanne and other masters of the past centuries. For more contemporary art, head to the appropriate museum on Skeppsholmen Island. Do you want to dance when you hear “Mama Mia” or “Money, Money, Money”? Then come to the ABBA Museum – fully interactive, with the possibility to record your own cover version, mix your track and make a video! For your thirst for scientific knowledge, go to the Nobel Museum. Fans of strict Scandinavian architecture will appreciate the Town Hall, which is unlike any other building of similar purpose. If you like musical and theatrical events – visit the Golden Hits Club – a unique cabaret, where the professional show is performed by… waiters, who serve you between numbers. The place is very popular, so make reservations in advance on the website. All in all, there really is something for every type of tourist to do in this city.
We also recommend simply walking around the city – it constantly presents surprises. And if you get tired of walking, take the Stockholm Card and ride the subway. This is one of the most unusual subways in the world – the tunnels and stations were made using dynamite (which, as you know, was invented in Sweden by Alfred Nobel) – the rock was simply exploded. The resulting uneven surfaces were treated with imagination not too long ago, and the result was almost an object of art.
It was sad to take the bus from the airport because everything was so well done and for the people. And it was sad to go back, even on the Arlanda Express – I did not want to leave this hospitable city where everything serves one purpose – to make people feel comfortable. Stockholm did not disappoint, and only strengthened the bright ideas about it, and in many ways even exceeded expectations. It is both a museum city and a royal city, and at the same time a lively, comfortable modern metropolis. The only downside – the city, like Sweden as a whole, is quite expensive. But, on the other hand, what do we care – we do not live here, but only visit for a while, and to spend a little more than usual for just a week is a small price to delight children, for the pleasure of adults – for the Scandinavian Tale!