scandinavia: stockholm, sweden

Sweden. Home of... IKEA and Youtuber Jonna Jinton! That's it. That's all I know about the country when I got here. 😂 It is also the home of ABBA, Volvo, Spotify, Swedish meatballs, and fika (coffee and cake time). Sweden is known for being the country with the second biggest coffee consumption per capita in the world after Finland with Swedes buzzing in 3.2 cups of caffeine per day.

When we arrived at port Vartahamnen from the overnight cruise from Helsinki, we went straight to the capital city, Stockholm. Little did I know that it was an archipelago with 30,000 (yes!) islands but only 200 were actually populated.

What you'll find here

Tour Itinerary

Our first stop was the great Vasa Museum housing the great and mighty. Swedish war ship called Vasa. Unfortunately, this luxuriously intricate and expensive ship SUNK in about 15 minutes after its departure from port in 1628 because of poor engineering and architecture. It had terrible foundations that a simple gust of wind toppled it over. Interestingly, no matter how much of a failure it is, the museum is actually built around the ship.

We went to Stockholm City Hall afterwards. It is the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet and is one of Stockholm's major tourist attractions.

This is called the Blue Hall. Yes, it's made with red brick. It was designed to be painted blue, but the architect, Ragnar Ostberg, changed his mind after seeing the red brick. But the name stuck. 🤓 This is where the banquet of the Nobel Prize ceremony is held. After dining here, they go up the Golden Hall to dance.

This is the Golden Hall at the Stockholm City Hall. It's where the ball of the Nobel Prize ceremony is held. It's where people dance the night away in gowns and tuxedos in front of the great Mälardrottningen or the Queen of Lake Malaren, created in 18 million pieces of glass and gold mosaic pieces. Truly a masterpiece.

The Council Chamber or Rådssalen at the Stockholm City Hall. This room is actually being used by the 101 municipal council members. What's more, meetings are also open to visitors.

The chamber's ceiling is impressive, resembling a Viking longhouse. I *slightly* tripped while craning my neck up. If anyone noticed, they didn't let me know. (Thanks!) 🤪

While waiting outside the city hall.

Drottningholm Palace, the private residence of the Swedish royal family. It is one of the royal palaces of Sweden, made 400 years ago. It is open to visitors, but when a member is in the building, you can't go in and ask for a photo op. 😜

And now we're off to Gamla Stan---Stockholm's oldest town. It dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. Perhaps it is most known for the grand square with the colorful houses called Stortorget. But don't be deceived, it actually had a cruel past. It was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath, where Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II in November, 1520.

Sights and wonders while roaming around. We were given some free time to shop at Drottninggatan Street which is famous for shopping and touristy prices.

Our coach driver throughout the trip, Edgars, made a quick stop where we did see one of the best views of Stockholm. He's the best! His coach was always clean and he had a mini coffee machine. I swear, he's the man!

Some things I loved and not loved.

Restaurang Hubertus - We had a quick lunch here and the funny thing was beside it, there was a Filipino store. It was the early days and we haven't really missed the tropics. 😂 I loved the salmon.

We were a bit exhausted after some time of walking and wanted some place to sit in, so we went ahead and endured the sad Swedish cinnamon bun and expensive coffee at Cafe Gramunken. And cinnamon roll's supposed to be one of Swedish delights... sad. 😞

We had dinner at Grand Palace Taiwanese Restaurang. The place was huge, and you know it caters to Asian tour groups. Food was either too salty or bland though.

Tired from the whole trip and filled with salt or MSG, we were not really sure 😂, we checked in our hotel at Park Inn by Radisson Stockholm Solna. It offers all the comfort of a well-known international hotel chain, so you don't need to worry about a thing.

Loved this set up of bringing my own extension cord 💕

Moving from Sweden to Norway, we continued our way to Oslo, where we dined at Restaurang Fontana di Trevi in Karlstad. Good food and ambience! And I became a fan of these lingonberries that they always put in dishes even in ice cream! Gosh, just typing that sentence make me drool.

Manila - Amsterdam - Helsinki
Copenhagen - Amsterdam - Manila

The Tour
All arranged by  Kuoni Global Travel Services  which is a global group travel provider. Kuoni offers customized group tours.

Park Inn by Radisson Stockholm Solna - It's clean, good location, and the breakfast buffet had a good spread too!

Food in Sweden

This is a work trip that I started organizing a year in advance.

This post is part of the Scandinavia series. All transportation, accommodation, itinerary, and meals are sponsored by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kuoni Global Travel Services.


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