Itinerary Suggestion - Day Two
Get out of bed and pull back the curtains. What a view! Better get going. It looks like it’s nearly noon outside. But wait. It’s only 8 a.m. The sun rose this morning at 3:30 a.m. Back to bed — for now.
Days are long in Stockholm during the summer. The sky will only dim tonight, as the summer sun leaves streaks of color strewn across the sky long after it sets at 10 p.m.
On the longest day in June, you’ll have 18 hours, 38 minutes and 26 seconds between sunrise and sunset to explore Stockholm. Enjoy the sunlight.
Vasa Museum - One of more than 70 museums
Today, you’ll head to Djurgården, the former royal hunting grounds that became the world’s first city national park. You’ll get there by walking along Strandvägen, one of Stockholm’s most exclusive streets.
Walking along Strandvägen, you can see some of Stockholm’s best-known museums, situated just across the water on Djurgården, including the Vasa Museum.
Stockholm has more than 70 museums, but the crown jewel is the Vasa. It is almost impossible to prepare yourself for what you will see inside the museum: a warship — yes, the actual ship, not a reproduction or model — that capsized after being launched on its maiden journey in 1628. The Vasa was brought up from its watery grave in 1961 and today is an amazing exhibit.
Head across the street from the Vasa Museum to spend a couple of hours walking through several centuries of Swedish history at Skansen. The world’s first outdoor museum serves up “Old Sweden” or “Sweden in Miniature,” with farms and villages reconstructed from more than 150, 18th, 19th and 20th century buildings that have been brought here from throughout Sweden. You’ll also enjoy the zoo, featuring primarily Nordic animals such as bear, lynxes, wolves and wolverines.
You might consider renting a bicycle to explore more of Djurgården. As you pedal through this vast park, you’ll find it easy to forget that you’re in a city. Your ride takes you along country roads, forest paths, past small horse pastures and gardens. There is no hint of city — anywhere. No wonder that Stockholm was named Europe’s first Green Capital.
Follow the shoreside and canals around Djurgården and, after an hour or so of leisurely riding and stopping, find your way to Rosendals Tradgård, where you’ll visit the gardens and greenhouses that belonged to the 19th-century Rosendal Palace.
For a light lunch, do as the locals do and pick up a glass of wine and a sandwich from the cafe situated in one of greenhouses. Then find a shady spot in the apple orchard to picnic. Most of the food is produced locally or comes from the gardens.
After returning the bike, head to the ferry landing at the Vasa Museum to cross the water to Nybroplan. See the beautiful building across from the ferry landing? That’s Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern, and that’s where you’re headed next.
Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman got their starts in acting here, and Ingmar Bergman staged productions here. Go inside for a tour if you wish or admire the theater in passing, as you walk alongside it up Nybrogatan, on the left side facing the theater, to Saluhallen, which opened as a market in 1888.
Östermalms Saluhall - Since 1888
Step inside this “Seattle’s Pike Place Market meets Your Upscale Grocery Store and Food Court” for culinary treats that are a feast of the eyes and the tummy.
After leaving the market, time to shop. Make your way to Stureplan, being sure not to miss Biblioteksgatan, an upscale shopping street. You’ll also want to visit Sweden’s largest department store, NK, at Hamngatan 18 – 20. The Orrefors shop, situated on the bottom floor, has more original glassware than anywhere else in the city.
Late afternoon. It’s time to board your ship and sail away. Don’t worry, you’ll see more of Stockholm on the three- to four-hour transit through the beautiful archipelago. True, you left much unseen in Stockholm, but there’s a fix for that. Save it for another day, another visit. You’re always welcome back.