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Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

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Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

I've never been to Sweden and it's never occured to me to go to Sweden before but my nephew lives there and is getting married in July and I promised to go. I plan to fly into Stockholm and spend a couple days there and then take the train to Linköping for the wedding and spend a couple days there and see family. How many days do I need to properly see everything? I'm about to book off my vacation time and figure I need a day for travel there and a day coming back (coming from Canada). I know nothing about Sweden except they're supposed to have good meatballs and they gave the world Ikea. I will be staying at the Sheraton in Stockholm and I'm not sure where in Linköping but I was told I would have a room in the castle where my nephew is getting married. My husband and I aren't overly sentimental and are more the OK we've seen it move on type of tourists. Is not being able to speak Swedish going to be a problem? What travel guide books do you recommend?

What are things I absolutely must see? Foods I have to try? Things I should be aware of? How much money should I have with me? Thanks in advance.

Edited: 13 October 2011, 21:45
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1. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

Good move, Stockholm in July is a fantastic place to be! I would recommend 5-6 days.

You will find a list of the top attractions here:


My personal favourites are the Vasa museum, City hall, Skansen and Hallwylska. What is missing in that list is an archepelago tour, definitely a must for anyone. I would recommend spending a day out in Sandhamn, a 2.5 hour trip by ferry from Central Stockholm.

99% of Swedes speak fluent English so verbal communication won't be a problem.

Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere so don't bring too much cash, 200 CAD worth of Swedish crowns is more than enough to cover small expenses.

Stockholm is an easy city for tourists, you don't need much advice in

advance, but do use public transport and avoid taxis, they are very expensive.

And do ask Sheraton to put you in a room with a view, some of their rooms face a small courtyard and that is a shame, given the hotel's fine location.

Edited: 13 October 2011, 23:37
Leicester, United...
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2. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

Comprehensive reply from Christian. I'd go along with his recommendations and for me [and this is obviously down to what interests you] the Vasa museum is a "must not miss". A walk around Djurgården is nice - "The (Royal) Game Park").

If passing in Gamla Stan the Deutsche Kirche [German Chuch] is worth a quick look. Tried my first pickled herrings in Stockholm [Grand Hotel smorgasbord] after years of total refusal and really enjoyed them so that would be my food recommendation. And the meat-balls of course.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

We were in Stockholm for about 3 days last spring and enjoyed it very much! My favourite attraction was the Stadhuset (City Hall) and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Stockholm. It's an absolutely beautiful building - inside & out. Make sure to take a guided tour to see the inside. You can also visit the tower for great views of the city.

Other places we enjoyed were the Nobel Museum, Vasa Museum, Millesgarden (outdoor scuplture garden) & the Moderna Museet (for Modern Art).

Check out the Östermalms Saluhall (an indoor market). Do try a smorgasbord if you can - sorry I can't recommend places as we had our taste on the cruise boat coming into Stockholm!

Public transport was easy to use in Stockholm. English was never a problem and neither was using credit cards (didn't need much cash on us - just convenient for smaller purchases).

We used Rick Steves' Scandinavia & Lonely Planet Stockholm Encounter guides to plan our time there. Would recommend both.

A wonderful city to visit - good luck with the planning and have a great time!

Stockholm, Sweden
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4. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

If you ask me the only "must see" in Stockholm is Skansen. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy your meal on the cliffs overlooking Gärdet. I'm not exactly a fan of the Vasa museum but i guess it depends on ones interests. And other people seem to find it interesting so ......

The archipelago is really beautiful so that might be worth exploring for a day. The archipelago is big though and as events, weather etc. varies i wouldnt decide on where in the archipelago to go or what to do just until a couple of weeks before you arrive.

One thing i discovered a couple of years back (despite living here all my life) is all the artwork in the tunnelbana (underground stations). They used to do guided tours in the tunnelbana showcasing the artwork and if my memory serves me right the tour was free of charge. I'm sure they are still doing the tours.

And as all the others have already mentioned credit cards and english are accepted and spoken everywhere.

As for food i would recommend eating Dagens Lunch or just "Dagens". Its a convenient way of experiencing swedish food at reasonable cost. Cost 75-100 SEK and usually includes non alcoholic drinks and cofee. There is a excellent lunch restaurant in Stadshuset (city hall) but i'm not sure if its open in july though.

But there is a lot of things to do and its probably easier for us to recommend activities and/or sights if we know more about your interests.


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5. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

Research all of these online and make a good judgement what you'd like to see.

-Vasa Museet

-Historiska Museet (Viking Gold Room is great)

-Moderna Museet (if there's a good traveling exhibit)

-Gamla Stan

-Västerlånggatan, OK it's touristy but still a must walk

-Royal Palace, watch the changing of the guard if you'd like but make sure you're in a place you can leave if you get tired of it

-Royal Apartments, interesting to see, if you like looking at old castle rooms

-Stor Kyrka, Cathedral is pleasant, large statue of St George slaying the dragon made from wood and elk horns is impressive

-Drottningholm, gardens are free once you're out there, check for amount of time you'd spend there and traveling to and from

-Birka, Viking burial grounds, again, travel time might prohibit a visit

-Sigtuna, time prohibitive again

-Östermalms Saluhall, have lunch here, it's fun

-Shopping on Drottninggatan/Sergels Torg/NK



The list can go on and on, there are tons of museums and lots that might interest you. Look up the offerings of the Stockholm tourist card and see if that's of value to you, at least it'll give you a VERY broad overview of what's available to see in town.

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6. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

I spent several days in Stockholm with my son in August. He is currently living in Ukraine and wanted to meet up "somewhere in Europe". I chose Sweden because I have a cousin who lives there on the west coast near Halmstad, and the fact that most of the people speak English. I didn't take into account how expensive it is!

We bought the Stockholm card for our 3 day visit, which gave us free entry into many of the main tourist attractions and free transportation on the Tbana (subway), buses, trams, etc. The subway system is fantastic!

Some of the attractions we went to were

Vasa Museum (not to be missed)


History Museum

Royal Palace

City Hall & Tower

Royal Boat tour


We would have liked to visit Drottningholm, but we didn't have the time.

Enjoy your trip!

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7. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

Thanks everyone. You got me started. I will start looking up all the places you've mentioned. As for interests we really like to eat. We will get more excited about a good meal than looking at paintings etc. I think I'd like to go see the original Ikea as well and bring back a couple dala horses for the kids. We really like shopping and markets and things like that. When theres a major tourist site in a city I'm visiting we like to go and see it and take a picture but we aren't overly sentimental. Especially my husband. When we went to Cairo last summer he suggested just taking a couple of pictures of the pyramids from the street and leaving. I had to convince him that we should go in and take a closer look...lol

Bolton , England
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8. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

I don't think anyone's mentioned this but try the Saluhallen - a fantastic Swedish food hall (as featured in Jamie Oliver's food series last year). I went with 4 mates last year and it's a great inexpensive way to try Swedish food and mix with the locals -see www.saluhallen.com. We had the meatballs, pickled cucumber and lingonberries and a nice glass of wine - quite civilised for 5 lads !Also a great place to buy Swedish gifts.

We bought a card for the Metro at the airport and this proved to be a wise move. It's safe, reliable and the trains start early and finish late. Absolutely no problem with the language as the Swedes speak better English than we do !

We also saw an international football match (soccer), a rib boat tour around the islands, visited the ice bar and enjoyed a white chocolate hot drink at the famous Chokladkoppen cafe / Swedish bakery i nthe old town.

Enjoy your trip !

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9. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

Thanks Sam. That sounds great.

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10. Re: Must see things in Sweden? Fill me in on the basics please

FOr travel you have two options on cards. THe Stockholm card gives free transport and access to a whole bunch of museums and attractions (a pretty wide range, but not absolutely everything) and can be bought for up to 3 days I think - its is very convenient but you are tied into visiting a lot of places to cover the cost financially and so its best to weigh finance vs convenience.

My person choice is the SL card - its just the local public transport travel card - buses, trams, underground/metro and local trains as well. A lot cheaper, but you have to pay for every attraction you visit as it is only a transport card.