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Number of days in Stockholm and grouping of sights

Number of days in Stockholm and grouping of sights

Apr 28th, 2007, 06:42 PM
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Number of days in Stockholm and grouping of sights

I hadn't started planning my trips from my Helsinki base in June, but I've just seen that Finnair is having a sale today and tomorrow that has RT HEL-Stockholm for as little as 84 euros, so I hate to miss a bargain.

I've decided I definitely want to go to Stockholm for a few days-but how many? I think I want to see many of the standards. I've grouped them as to area, I think. Now how many days to see:

Royal Palace + National Museum + walking tour Gamla Stan

City Hall + Drottningholms + boat tour I've seen mentioned here labeled bridges and canals.

Vasa Museet + Nordiska Museet + Skansen

Looks like 3 full days? Might be too many museums in too few days. I'll spend long days walking, sightseeing on my own. No shopping needed or long meals. I don't mind sitting awhile to experience an area or wandering through different neighborhoods.

Other suggestions?

Once I choose a hotel, looks like a choice between train or bus. Any comments?
Also looks like I can use public transport to reach most of these tourist destinations?
Kay2 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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InMiami is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 09:02 PM
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It's hard to answer your questions with little information about your intrests, age, traveling style. So - I'll just add some coments. I've been 3 times and still not covered your list!! But that doesn't bother me - I'm a slow traveler. I prefer to stay in Gamla Stan - I like the ambience.
I think 3 days is a minimum and if you have more time, that is okay too. I'm very fond of Stockholm and instead of thinking of it as a place with a lot of 'must sees', I like to simply enjoy the atmosphere. However, it is expensive (maybe no more so than Helsinki!). Three days would be good - for me, 5 would be excellent.

And, most of the time we used public transportation.
wintersp is offline  
Apr 28th, 2007, 10:44 PM
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I also stayed in Gamla Stan. Loved the atmosphere, but..I was there in the dead of winter, so the ambience was probably different than it would be in the summer.

I loved the Vasa museum. You will also need to get a Tompte..every Swedish house has one. The best place is Tomptar and Troll in Gamla Stan. You can google them. I love mine.
crefloors is online now  
Apr 29th, 2007, 05:42 AM
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Thanks for the help on neighborhoods.

I won't be able to stay 5 days on this trip. I can only do long weekends from my month long workstay in Helsinki. But I have a little flexibility as to which day to start/end the long weekends. However, with Monday closings, it doesn't look like staying through Monday will gain me access to many places.

My interests are history, culture, architecture, natural beauty, and just getting a feel for different countries. I picked the sights that appealed to me from their descriptions--beautiful and historic buildings, cultural/historical museums, and the old town. Something on the water also seemed appropriate. I know there will be a ferry to Drottningholms, but wonder if anything else is a highlight? As mentioned, I don't care much for shopping or fine dining. I tend to walk a lot, spend little time in the hotel, maximizing sightseeing and absorbing time.

Kay2 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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If you visit Drottiingholm there is an 18th(?) century opera house which is fascinating. In the summer you might be able to attend a performance. Another boat trip would be to Gripsholm. The Vasa musem is a must. Also, for someone interested in history a visit to Ridderholm....the church where many Swedish kings and queens are buried (including Berndotte and Desiree) is another must.
Grandma is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 04:25 PM
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Kay2, I am also planning a trip to Stockholm. One interesting fact I have discovered is that the prices of hotels drop drastically towards the end of June. At some hotels the change is at June 15, others June 21 or later. You can also save alot by getting the lower weekend rate at any time of year.
InMiami is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 05:14 PM
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All the places you've listed are wonderful - but I don;t see ay way you can cover them in the time that you have. Now, ifyou want you can rush through something - and they may be your style. But if you want to really explore any of those places in depth you really don;t have enough time.

(And I don;t mean super depth. The Vasa for example we spent 3 hours. But we heard people talking who had spent the whole day - really in love with boats I guess - and were still asking questions.)

Also - you'll want to take some time to just sit and relax, have a drink and watch the people go by - or your feet will fall off. Gamla Stan is great for this - as well as tons of charming shops with a whole variety of interesting craft items.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 29th, 2007, 07:00 PM
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My daughter is right at the monent staying at The Lady Hamilton hotel in Gamla Stan..and loves it. It's in the heart of the old city....personally, we spent about a half hour gazing at the magnificent Vasa..that's all.

Skansen Park is quite relaxing and authentically depicts life in old Sweden, I guess. We watched some folk dancing and moved on through. There was a very good Calder exhibit at the entrance...dunno if it's permanent.

The city hall is worth a gander because of it's massive golden wall in its lobby.

If you like "changing of the guards"..I feel that the daily guard changing on the Royal Palace grounds is one of he most colorful, precision-like I have ever seen. One problem, on a very hot day, there just is not any shade!

Another nice mid-rate hotel, where we stayed one time, is The Mornington...walking distance to Gamla Stan...near a wondeful food hall (great for lunch), called Salu Hall.

Stu T.
tower is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 05:51 AM
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Thanks for all the help.
I will use the information to prioritize, plan for bad weather, etc. I will also need to check for opening/closing times for mid-June. I expect the customs are like in Finland where everyone heads to the lakes by the solstice, so prices drop in the city. However, I too will be visiting at a lake home then, so I must get the visit to Stockholm in earlier.

I can get the flights Friday-Monday. So I will see what I can do with my half-day on Friday. I don't mind travelling back on Monday as so many museums are closed. Now to put the destinations in order of priority--my assignment to myself.

I do tend to move more quickly and cover more ground when traveling alone. When I am with others, I am more likely to discuss what we are seeing, take longer to see both what interests me and my companion, linger over a meal, etc. When on my own, I just look at what interests me in a museum and don't feel guilty for passing other exhibits by. I don't spend long eating meals. However, I still will stop to enjoy a local festival or sit just to enjoy a view. I usually pick one destination for the morning and one for the afternoon, then wandering neighborhoods or enjoying views in the evening. My feet are usually tired by the end of the day, but I also walk 3-5 miles a day at home for exercise.

I'll check out Gripsholm--don't know what that is. Does anyone know who does the bridges/canals tours that I have seen posted about?
Kay2 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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Stromma offers city boat tours. One is called Under the Bridges, others are Royal Canal Tour and Historical Canal Tour perhaps one of these are what you've seen mentioned. You can get info on their website www.citysightseeing.com -- Follow links to Stockholm and there is an English choice.

My other suggestion is to check the transportation time to Drottningholm, either boat or bus. You might want to factor those times into that day.

Also the Vasa museum has a good film. You can check the language times on their website. I planned our visits around the spoken English showing.

sprin2 is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 06:12 PM
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I think your itinerary is fine. The Royal Palace ain't worth much time. At the moment Drottningholm is only open on weekends from 12-3 and it does take some time to get there. So you may not have time for the boat cruise on the same day.
trebex is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 06:54 PM
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I stayed at the Lady Hamilton and love that hotel and the location. The Stockholm Cathedral is right around the corner from the hotel. Very interesting and historic church, built in the 13th century. I WILL say, that with the church so close to the hotel, I did the "battle of the bells" a few nights. The Palace is just up the street from the church and the Nobel Museum is also just a block or so away. THAT was a very interesting museum to visit. Like most cities, Stockholm has more to do than most of us can cover in one trip.

Also, my neice said the Grand Hotel has a fabulous "borgesmorg" should you want to splurge. We tried to go, but alas, they weren't serving it in January.
crefloors is online now  
May 6th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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I don't know if you would rent a bicycle, but the day we biked we covered a lot of ground - it was one of the nicest cities we've ever biked in, excellent marked lanes - and a great way to see the bridges - biking over them !
My trip report link is below, with the highlights for us, might give you some grouping of sights ideas:

escargot is offline  
May 7th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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Thanks for all the help.

I've looked up Gripsholm and it looks lovely. Because of the limited time and distance, it looks like it would only be practical if I can easily get the boat there and back. It would have to be there or Drottningholms, I think.

I've gathered all the opening times. I'm a little surprised that so many places close at 5pm even in June. Everyone is outside enjoying the long day?

So, I'll take the fast train or bus from airport to city and go to the tourist information center to double check hours, ferries, etc. and find out if any events are taking place that I should substitute for a museum. Take the bridge/canal tour if convenient, walk the old town in the evening. Probably start off early a.m. to the further destinations, then come back to center city for afternoons. I see that Skansen has folk dancing at 4:00pm on Saturday and folk music at 6:15pm on Sunday. Anyone been to either performance?

Now to find my hotel. Lady Hamilton is way above my budget. I've got some geographically scattered hotels in my price range, some with air conditioning that could help block city noise. Any thoughts on: Adlon in Vasagatan, Aldoria in Kungsholmen, BW Hotel Terminus, Crystal Palace at Stureplan, Clarion Wellington in Östermalm , Malmen in Söder? Hoetl Diplomat I've seen recommended by Escargot is higher priced than all these. Of course, they all say they are convenient to train or tube, but really? I mostly walk. I will check out bicycle as well.
Kay2 is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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I will be in Stockhole toward the end of May and just booked a room at the Scandic Sjofartshotellet on the Scandic Hotels website (Hilton owned, I think) at $138/nt, the very best deal I have found. It is near to the Gamla Stan area. It is likely dodgy, but does include a breakfast buffet.
shbethi is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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My "hot" weekend in Stockholm:

I arrived on Friday at 4pm and took the Flygbussarna, with only a short slow down for traffic just before our exit from the highway. Bus was full with people standing--would have been nice to count and tell folks they could wait for next bus in 10 minutes for a seat.

I had forgotten how many stops to St Eriksplan and didn't understand an announcement, so I asked someone getting off at a stop and she told me "no, further." I easily understood St Eriksplan and got off, but unsure which was the street to follow to my hotel, so I used the sun to find west and headed out, crossed the river and a long block later was the Hotel Aldoria. Buzz intercom and invited up. I chose the hotel because of the price, air conditioning, near airport bus, and right on top of a T station. It was a clean budget (for Stockholm) hotel that I would recommend. I showered (did I mention it was hot?) and headed to Gamla Stan. 35 minute walk later I was at the Tourist Center (did I mention it was hot?) where the staff told me the Stockholm card was my best choice though the lady at the airport information bureau said not for the weekend. It was a great deal for the two days. I got the first of many ice creams and sat in the park listening to a band as part of the music festival, then did the self-guided walking tour through Gamla Stan. I really enjoyed the waterfront in Stockholm. The buildings are lovely, the boats add to the atmosphere, just a lovely feeling to the place. All the outdoor seats at restaurants were packed. Just too hot to be inside. I made it back to my hotel by 9 or 10pm to find the curtains plus blinds still did not block the light, so put on my eyeshades and slept decently. It actually got cooler than inside by midnight so I opened the window (sorry to waste the cool, but not cold inside air).

After a very basic breakfast, I took the T and bus easily to Drottningholms--bus had the name of next stop on a sign. I was early so I walked the gardens, then took the 10am tour. I thought it was OK, but more interesting from the outside. Took the theater tour and enjoyed it more. Back on the bus and T with stop at hotel for shower and cold soda (small frig in room and hotel next to grocery), then on the bus to City Hall. This is when I decided to avoid the bus. They were like moving ovens. I got out half way and walked, thinking I'd ask about the next tour listed as 2pm only to be told you're just in time. I found many times different from what I found on websites and on brochures. Enjoyed the tour, then picnic outside watching the boats. The Stockholm card includes two free one-hour canal tours (not the bridges and canals) at certain times. I decided to walk over to the National Museum for a peek before taking the boat. I sought out the artists of interest (small museum, but enjoyable), then really enjoyed the design section on the other floor. I enjoyed both of the canal tours for a different perspective of the city (and ice cream at each dock). The Stockholm marathon was on and it was fun to cross paths with the runners at various locations throughout the day; first the pack of men, then the individuals, then the women, etc. I really admire people who determine to do something like that. An interesting note--an Italian woman and her son were on the theater tour with me; we caught the same bus back to the T and then went our separate ways. About 3 hours later when I walked from City Hall to the National Museum I realized I was walking behind them in a pedestrian underpass. Small world.

Sunday was off to a shakier start. Little was open, but the elevator view thing near Gamla Stan was listed as open at 8am and right by a T station, so I went there first. Wrong; open at 10am on Sunday. So, I thought I'd head to the TV tower to get bus ride out of the way. I took the T, found my way to proper stop, impressed with myself, looked at the schedule and saw I missed the bus by just a few minutes and another wouldn't come for 30 minutes. By the time I turned around, there was the bus (a few minutes late) zooming by and I couldn't catch it. I considered changing plans again and going to Vasa, but I didn't want to stop there, then out to Tower, back to island, etc. and I didn't want to get to Skansen too early. So I waited.

Easy ride on bus to TV tower, up and see the view. It was a good way to tie together what I had seen on foot and by boat, but not really dramatic. I saw the many parks and green areas that looked appealing but not along my route. Kids in the tower thought it was great.

Down the tower and on the bus to Vasa. This was the "Wow" part of my trip. I was really impressed with the ship and its presentation. I should have done it first before the bus tours arrived, but I managed OK. Out for another picnic and then the Nordiska Museet. Not very impressive, but I did enjoy the lace, clothing, and old photographs. It also had half a dozen chair designs to test, sort of fun. I should have sought out the other design museum, but I knew my time was limited.

I walked down to Skansen and climbed up the hill to the town. I should have started with the farms as I think they are more distinctive than older urban dwellings. I also always enjoy the more affluent homes with their elaborate wall coverings. The native animals were all passed out in the shade (did I mention it was hot) except for the otters and seals. I saw the folk dancing and admired those folks in their heavy clothes in the sun. Tiny audience. The "aquarium" was a strange experience. Walk-throughs with lemurs and monkeys? Certainly unusual.

I forgot my my resolution to give up buses and boarded the one at the exit. I got off again, got an ice cream, and walked up the shady road to the T in Östermalm to ride back to my hotel for another shower and dinner in a neighborhood restaurant.

Monday morning back to bus, back to airport for uneventful return.

I didn't get to see the Royal Palace. The Chinese leader was in town and the Tourist Information staff said it was closed. I decided too hot to stand to see changing of the guard though the side outside mentioned something about one of the princesses on Sunday, so I thought maybe she was making an appearance. I'd seen the royal family on tv last week on National Day.

So, I packed alot into my 2.5 days, but still had time to sit in the park, picnic, stop for the unexpected concert, etc. Stockholm was unbelievably expensive. As much as I like to be in the center, the T made a cheaper hotel convenient. The grocery was my picnic supplier; much cheaper than restaurants. The airport bus was fine. The Stockholm card was a great deal. Stockholm is lovely. I'd like to go back and see more neighborhoods. Other than the Vasa Museet and City Hall, I liked the outside more than the inside, if that makes sense.

Thanks for the help in making my plans.
Kay2 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 09:34 AM
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Glad you enjoyed. I get exactly what you mean by liking the outside, it's just so magnificent everywhere you look
escargot is offline  
Jul 5th, 2008, 02:57 AM
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kakijalan is offline  
Jul 5th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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You might find this piece I recently wrote useful, as it addresses somef your issues:

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