Sunday, 24 November 2013

Stockholm Stories - Part II A walking tour of Gamla Stan

After the big museum-round from the day before, I had planned on walking Gamla Stan, the old town, a good lunch and shopping some Swedish design gifts. 

I started my day with a walk on Skeppsholmen, the island were my hostel was located. And from there I walked over to Kastelholmen, an even smaller island where I got to enjoy views like this. Capturing the Vasamuseet and the Nordic Museum I went to the day before. After a nice picnic breakfast, the city was waiting for me. I had a great time exploring the alleys on Gamla Stan and visiting the Dansamuseet in the morning.  Followed by a wonderful and delicious lunch at Rosendals Trädgård and a walk on the island of Djurgården. It's great to feel like your at the country side, when you're actually just ten minutes or so from the city center.

Shopping wasn't much of a succes when I got sick later in the afternoon, so I went back to the hostel early. That was a bit of a bummer, since I did have a little list of shops I wanted to visit to buy family gifts for the upcomming holidays. Well, let's say that there should always be a  reason to come back to a place... Thankfully the next day I felt good again and I went on one last walk through the old town, before going back home.

I arrived home six hour later than planned, when the weather got all to foggy for our plane to land in Eindhoven. Alternativly we landed at airport Weeze in Germany before taking a bus that took a long detour back to The Netherlands.
The two walks I did on Gamla Stan I combined for you in a short 2km walking tour.

Walking tour of Gamla StanI created this tour based on my two morning walks through the streets and alleys of the old town.
Download the map for your Stockholm trip!
Today Stockholm is spread over 14 islands, but it all started in the 13th century on this island (and the conjected islands of Riddarholmen and Helgeandsholmen.

Enter the island of Helgeandsholmen past the Riksdagshuset, via the Riksbron bridge (1).
Behind the huge facade of the Kungliga Slottet on your left, lie small and cobble stoned streets and covered allies lined with historic houses.

This photo was taken from Kungsträdgården.
Now, you can walk straight on following the main road Västerlånggatan and take the first left, or you could take a little detour like I did, to catch the guards in front of the Kungliga Slottet (2) crossing the square and take a turn to the right.
Right next to the palace stands Storkyrkan from 1279 (3). The somewhat pale looking outside, hides a beautiful red brick and plastered interior in Gothic style.
The chruch offers a welcome place to be quiet for a moment while soaking up the ceiling decorations and catching the details on the wood sculpture of the legendary St. George and the Dragon.

Practical information:

Address: Trångsund 1
Transport: Busses: 2, 43, 55, 76, (stop at Slottsbacken), Underground: Gamla Stan station on the Green and Red lines.
Opening hours: Jan-May, Sep-Dec Monday-Sunday 9-16, June mon-fri 9-17, Jul-aug mon-fri 9-18 Jun-Aug weekend opening hours 9-16.
Admission: 40 SEK, Children and under 18, and attending a service free.
Up to date information on admission fees, opening hours and exhibitions on the website.

Walk further down Trångsund and you'll find yourself on Stortorget (4). It is surrounded on three sides by brightly coloured homes from the 17th and 18th century and the Nobelmuseet (dedicated to the winners of the Nobel price) on the North side. There are 82 white stones on the facade of the red house in rememberance of the 82 man who were beheaded during the Stockholm Bloodbath in 1520.

Cross the square and walk on to Köpmangatan and turn right on to Själagårdstagt. Here you'll find yourself on the atmosperic Brända Tomten (5).

Keep following Själagårdstagt and cross Svartmangatan were you continue on Tyska Stallplan. A few steps to your left, you'll find Stockholms narrowest alley, Mårten Trotzigs gränd (6).Take the steps and you are back on Västerlånggatan. If you feel like you need to escape the tourist crowds, take right turn onto Kindstugatan and directly turn left on to the more quiet Prästgatan which lies paralel to the main street.
On storkyrkobrinken turn left and keep following this street to cross Riddarholmsbron.

The beautiful Riddarhomskyrkan (7) was closed when I caught it early on my third morning. This is the church were Sweden's kings and queens are burried.

Go up hill to Schering Rosenhanes Gränd when you come down the stairs have a beautiful waterfront view on Stadshuset (8).

From here I crossed the water and walked back to T-Centralen to catch my bus to the airport.

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