Planning visits to the Swedish cities of Stockholm and Uppsala? Here are some recommendations*. To view all the photographs (with the captions in full) of each city, click on any image and navigate using the left and right keys.
1. Stockholm, Sweden.
2. Started the day with a free walking tour (always recommended). From left to right, top to bottom: the venue of the Nobel Prize award ceremony, right across the oldest “hay market” marketplace; the headquarters of H&M; the location of the bank, from which the phrase “Stockholm Syndrome” originated; and the beautiful King’s Garden.
3. I would highly recommend the Vasa Museum, where one would see a shipwrecked, salvaged, and reconstructed Swedish vessel from the seventeenth century. It is quite a sight. The ship had sailed for less than 30 minutes before sinking in the Stockholm harbour. Do watch the film about the decades-long reconstruction process (the vessel is 98 per cent original), and take the guided tour around the ship and its exhibitions.
4. The old town in Stockholm.
5. The two photographs at the bottom do not look like much, but I was rushing to get the sandwich and pastry from a quaint café (recommended on Trip Advisor) so that I would not miss a museum guided tour. The chicken-bacon-avocado sandwich was great, and the cream-filled pastry was even better. Passed by an affordable burger place by chance, and had a nice dinner.
6. Take the guided tour around the Nobel Museum. There is not much to see around the small complex, so the guide provides good context to the famous will, the selection of the laureates, and the museum building. Bottom, from left to right: Alfred Nobel and his invention, the dynamite and detonator; the prize ceremony and the award itself; and the awarding institutions of the five (plus one) awards.
7. Also went for the old town tour. Those are the royal palace and the Parliament House at the top, as well as a German church and two different pictures of the royal palace from left to right. I think I’ve been to one too many old town tours, so highlights like narrow streets, narrow fronts, and cathedrals were not as spectacular.
8. One of the buildings in the old town, marked with a fire insurance emblem.
9. Uppsala is a small city forty minutes from Stockholm (easily accessible by train), and while there are not as many attractions the museums were equally fascinating. I spent some time walking along the streets and hanging around the cafés (it was sunny, though still too cold – for me – to do my meals al fresco).
10. Breakfast of carrot cake, berry tart, and a ham sandwich; lunch of a mushroom and chicken crepe.
11. Museum Gustavianum is Sweden’s largest university museum. It might seem peculiar or sound boring, but the building is an absolute delight. Bottom, from left to right: the Augsburg Art Cabinet, which contains a collection of colourful and intricate objects; lecture notes (handwritten!) in 1477, the first year of the university; an exhibit of Nobel Prize laureates from the university, this one featuring the late United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld; and the famed Anatomical Theatre.
12. Right across Museum Gustavianum is the Uppsala Domkyrka, which can be seen from most parts of the city.
13. Carl Linnaeus was a popular professor at Uppsala University (and is also on the 100-dollar bill), and is known for his extensive contributions to botany and medicine. Unsurprisingly Museum Gustavianum has an exhibit dedicated to him. Although the start of May is probably not the best time to visit his botanical garden, since many of the plants are still in winter hangover, one could hence spend a little more time in his home, where a self-guide audio tour would take you through Linnaeus’s life, family, and work.
* Not an advertisement, and also not sponsored (unfortunately).
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