Stockholm Sights

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Stockholm Sights
Stockholm City Tour
Dominic Tidey—EuRA Operations Manager
During the EuRA Conference time is precious. With so many people to
meet, so many conference and training sessions to attend, sightseeing
needs to be efficient! Each year we are privileged to be hosted by a new
great European city and this year is no different. Stockholm is a truly
beautiful city and although there is a great deal to see, a good flavour of
the life of Stockholmers can be gained in a couple of hours walking the streets.
The centre of Stockholm is easily explored on foot, but public transport is efficient, clean and
cheap if you take advantage of a Stockholm Card. The card gives free access to all transport and
most sights and museums and is widely available at the airport, train and subway stations costing
around €50 for a 24 hour pass. But it is a compact city with most of the main tourist destinations
an easy walk from the Clarion Hotel Sign.
Walking Tour through the Centre
This tour should take about four hours including stops along the way.
Leave the hotel and follow Olaf Palmes Gata to Drottningatan, the long pedestrianised shopping
street that bisects the city centre. A short stroll past the shops, cafes and restaurants will bring
you to Sergels Torg, a large city square with a lower level for pedestrians leaving the upper level
to traffic. The square is home to Edvin Ohstroms glass obelisk, “Crystal Vertical Accent in Glass
and Steel”, a famous modern landmark of Stockholm.
Continuing down Drottningatan for another six blocks or so brings you to the
first view of Stockholm on the water and the bridge across to the Parliament
building. Walk through the cloister to the next bridge and you are now on
Gamla Stan, the oldest part of the city and the home of the magnificent royal
palace, Kungliga Slottet. King Carl XVI Gustav and his wife Queen Silvia are the
very popular reigning monarchs of Sweden. The Royal Family are highly
regarded and their official residence is well worth a tour or at the least, a
wander around the public outdoor piazzas.
The two must sees in the Royal Palace are Karl XI’s gallery and The Hall
of State. Karl XI’s gallery is a magnificent example of Swedish baroque
and is today used for state banquets hosted by the king and queen. The
opulent Hall of State is basically a magnificent throne room, designed to
inspire awe towards the monarch as he sits on the famous silver chair.
A wander along the harbourside at the front of the castle brings you to the narrow medieval
quarter, home to souvenir shops and some excellent cafes and
restaurants including Fem Sma Hus, (five small houses) which has been
serving traditional Swedish food for 50 years.
Coming back past the front of the palace, cross the bridge and stop for a
well earned coffee in the Grand Hotel with magnificent views back
towards the Gamla Stan. Once refreshed, turn right out of the hotel and
follow Stallgatan to the waterfront turning left to follow the footpath
around the harbourside. This brings you onto Strandvagan, one of the most exclusive waterside
addresses in the city. The street has a tree lined park that makes a walk along its length very
pleasant.
When you reach the next bridge at Djurgardsborn, go across it to
museum island, home to the Nordic Museum, Vasa Museum (the
venue for our Gala Dinner) and the beautiful Djurgarden park. The
park contains the Skansen Musuem, the oldest open air museum of
Swedish life, and home to the largest funfair in Sweden, which opens for
the year on the weekend of the conference and is well worth a visit.
Also on the island is Junibacken, the children’s museum devoted to
Swedish children’s literature, particularly Astrid Lundgren, author of Pippi
Longstocking.
Other City Sights
The City Hall - Just a short walk from the Clarion Hotel Sign is the City
Hall, world famous as the venue for the Nobel Prize award ceremony.
Designed by Ragnar Ostberg and opened in 1923, the City Hall is one of
Sweden’s most important romantic buildings. The Golden Hall, venue for
the Nobel Prize Ball, is decorated with stunning mosaics made up from 18
million gold tiles. Guided tours are the only way to see the City Hall. Ask at
the front desk for tour times.
Nationalmuseum – The leading museum for art and
design in Sweden, the Nationalmuseum is just along the
harbourside from the Grand Hotel. As well as
representing the works of great Swedish artists such as
Carl Larsson and Hanna Pauli, the collection includes a
terrific exhibit on Swedish design classics from 1900-2000.
If you’ve been inspired by the design of the Clarion Hotel
Sign, this is where to learn more about world leading
Swedish design.
Moderna Museet – Turn left out of the front door of the Nationalmusuem and cross the bridge
to the island of Skeppsholmen and the inspiring Modern Art Museum. As well as an eclectic
permanent collection, the museum runs world class temporary exhibits also.
Ostermalm – a wander around this prosperous city
district gives a clear idea of how the Swedes live. With
cafes, boutiques and shops, the
area is perfect for a Saturday
morning stroll where you will see
the Stockholm residents meeting for brunch, walking their dogs and
enjoying the lifestyle of one of the highest ranked cities in the world for
quality of life. Drop into the Ostermalm Food Hall on Nybrogatan, where
the shelves are groaning under the weight of fresh produce from all over
Sweden and where there are several great restaurants.
Drottningholm Palace – This magnificent royal
palace is the best preserved in Sweden and is a 45
minute drive outside the city. A UNESCO World
Heritage site, the palace was built in the 17th century
by Queen Hedvig Eleonora by fashionable French
architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. The
Drottningholms Slottsteater is the best preserved 18th
century theatre in Europe. The palace is the
permanent residence of the Royal Family. The palace
can be accessed by a very pleasant hours boat ride
from the Stockholm harbourside and bus trips are also
available.
A great source of information about
Stockholm is
www.visitstockholm.com