Next on, we are bound for Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and the largest city in Scandinavia. Its marketing slogan proclaimed Stockholm as The Capital of Scandinavia. I am not sure how the other Scandinavians will think about that. But Stockholm indeed has the largest urban area and population among the Scandinavia capital cities. Maybe its geographical location at the heart of the region added some weight to that claim as well? Nevertheless, I am excited to be here and cannot wait to wander around the ‘home of IKEA’.
I opted for Arlanda Express from Stockholm Arlanda Airport to the city center because it’s the quickest way. The train platform is right underneath the arrival terminals and our tickets were booked online in advance.
Our accommodation was Hotel C Stockholm and it’s within walking distance from Stockholm Central Station. It’s also the same place to board Arlanda Express. It’s near to the lively Hotorget Market or Haymarket Square which turns into a flea market on Sundays. This open-air market sells fresh produce like fruits and vegetables on normal days. It’s a popular meeting place for the locals as well.
The Medieval Old Town of Stockholm
Gamla Stan (Old Town) of Stockholm is formed by islands of Stadsholmeml, Riddarholmen, Stromsborg, and Helgeandsholmen. There are many important buildings in this small neighbourhood. First of all, The Royal Palace of Stockholm where the Swedish monarchy resides. The Swedish Parliament Building where nation’s interests are being discussed by the Governing body.
Then there’s Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan) where Royal weddings are held. And last but not least, Riddarholmen Church (Riddarholmskyrkan) being the final resting place for Swedish monarchs.
I certainly think that the best way to explore Gamla Stan is to wander around its cobbled streets and alleys.
Sundbergs Konditori is one great place to rest the tired legs. And it also happens to be Stockholm’s oldest bakery-café. The narrowest alley (Marten Trotzig Grand) in Gamla Stan is very near to the bakery-cafe too.
The ‘Number 81’ entrance to Marten Trotzig Grand from Vasterlånggatan side will be hard to miss. Else just locate Jarntorget Cafe which is right next to it.
Among the narrow streets of Gamla Stan are beautiful buildings which kept me busy with a second or third look. It can get a little touristy but the grandeur of this medieval Old Town makes it worthwhile to be here.
Ice Bar by Ice Hotel Stockholm
Icebar by IceHotel is situated within Hotel C Stockholm where we are staying. So, why not? Needless to say, the theme is ice and almost everything inside is made from ice. The temperature of this unique and somewhat gimmicky bar is kept at -7 Degree Celsius. It’s freezing cold! The good thing is that warm coats and gloves are provided. But the bad is perhaps the pricey entrance fee (for 45 minutes’ stay) and the rather small area.
Nevertheless, it’s still a ‘cool’ and fun experience for us. And I love the chunky ice glasses!
STAY: Hotel C Stockholm
Hotel C Stockholm is conveniently located right outside the Arlanda Express station. The modern décor and friendly staffs are added plus points. Moreover, it’s a great place to stay with decent sized room and a very comfortable bed. I will not hesitate to book this hotel again if I am back in Stockholm.