Category Archives: tourism

Julafton at Skansen

One of the joys of Stockholm is that it is full of water and green space. Combining both is the island of Djurgården, which contains (as its name would suggest) Stockholm’s zoo.

Ah, but it’s so much more than a zoo.

Yes, it contains small but pretty naturalistic enclosures for many native species, including Wolves, Brown Bears, Moose, Reindeer and European Bison. But it also contains many typical historic buildings, either specially constructed in reproduction or disassembled, transported and rebuilt on-site. UK visitors may be getting the sense of Ironbridge or Beamish, and that’s about right, but going back to pre-industrial times too.

The peak season for this is summer, but on Christmas Eve, it’s open for free, which makes for quite a lovely family afternoon out and as it’s on a hill, it wears out the little legs and ensures a good night’s sleep awaiting Santa.

Continue reading Julafton at Skansen

Edinburgh and Stockholm

Friends back in Scotland have been happily pointing out 53 Reasons Living In Edinburgh Ruins You For Life. And while some of these are true, and Edinburgh is thoroughly wonderful (I lived in and around it for 25 years), I disagree with the premise that it ruins you for life. Perhaps if you stay in the UK, but not if you’re subsequently living in Stockholm.

And so, in response, I give you… Continue reading Edinburgh and Stockholm

Drottningholm Palace

Map of our walk
Drottningholm Walk

Kids were super lazy today, so we went for a little explore, driving a bit randomly until we found something interesting.

And what an interesting thing it was. Drottningholm Palace — the private residence of the Swedish Royals, built in the C16th. The gardens have free entry (visiting the palace only costs 120SEK for adults), so we had a lovely walk round.

Continue reading Drottningholm Palace

Gamla Stan – The Old Town

It seems to me that most cities have an ‘old town’ of sorts and Stockholm is no exception.

I love Stockholm’s old town. Situated on its own island there is no denying which part of the city it is. Like any capital city it is also a huge tourist-magnet. Much like Edinburgh’s Royal Mile it is stuffed full with tourist shops selling tourist tat. There are also a lovely mix of craft and specialist shops and wonderful places to eat. Smack bang in the middle is the Noble Museum which I have yet to visit – waiting for an excuse to go! And right at the edge, overlooking the water is the wonderful Palace where you can watch the changing of the guard.

A few weeks ago I had a rare free day and went for a mooch. I wandered around looking at all the beautiful buildings and peering into all the wonderful shop windows. I could easily spend a fortune there, if I had a fortune to spend 😉

I took a load of photos and thought I would share them with you so you too can get a taste of Gamla Stan.

So first up – one of my passions – knitting. There is a lot of knitwear for sale in Gamla Stan, both mass-produced tat and beautifully hand-crafted artisan pieces. Prices naturally reflect the quality of the work:

The Science Fiction Bokhandeln is in Gamla Stan. For science fiction fans it is heaven. There are manga books, memorabilia, comics, games, Warhammer and even a full size alien.

Gamla Stan is full of beautiful craft shops. Especially jewellery shops, I could spend hours drooling in the windows..

The tourist shops are full of ‘traditional’ goods for you to buy – some more authentic than others:

There is a wealth of clothing available. Oh how I would love to be able to afford some of the clothes in the shops, maybe if I sold a kidney…

Some odd bits and pieces..

And finally some of the buildings. Glimpses up alleyways, a taste of Gamla Stan.

Tempted to come and visit us?
Continue reading Gamla Stan – The Old Town