Since we were studying abroad in Malmö, Sweden for a whole month Hailey, KayLeigh and I thought it would be cool to see another part of Sweden as well. We decided to spend the weekend in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden! We took a flight from Prague to Stockholm on Thursday afternoon, changing planes in Amsterdam in The Netherlands. I love Amsterdam and was wishing we could go explore the city, but unfortunately we had a quick layover and ended up having to run to our gate! Quite the sight let me tell you. We arrived into Stockholm in the evening and we were all exhausted and had growling stomachs. It’s an understatement to say we were all eager for dinner and to snuggle into our beds for the night.
We had a running joke of the trip: what else could go wrong? Hailey lost her wallet in Paris and I shattered my phone in Switzerland and we all knew it was KayLeigh’s turn for the bad luck to strike. Her misfortune came in the form of a lost suitcase. Yup everybody’s worse nightmare!! Probably due to the tight connection, but her suitcase didn’t make it to Stockholm. She was a trooper and dealt with it WAYY better than I would have that’s for sure. With confirmation that the suitcase would be delivered to our hotel tomorrow morning, we set out to find the hotel and dinner. We opted to grab some pasta at a restaurant right by the hotel and head straight to bed! Wow what a day!!!
We had two full days to explore the city and were wiped out from our long week of travels, so we decided to sleep in a bit to make sure we were fully recharged and were able to enjoy our last few days of vacation fully. Plus we have learned most things in Sweden open later than in America even coffee shops! I’m sure you guessed how we started our morning: with a cappuccino and croissant of course! There was an espresso house, aka a Swedish Starbucks because they are seriously everywhere, in the bottom of our hotel. SCORE!!!
After some much needed coffee, we sat out to explore Stockholm. There was snow piled up everywhere! It was magical, but also FREEZING! Stockholm was surprisingly much much colder than Malmö because it is further North than Malmö, which is the southern most point of Sweden. Just like Prague, Stockholm also has an “Old Town” filled with many quaint shops and beautiful, old buildings. The old town in Stockholm is called Gamla Stan. We had a fun morning wandering through the shops and looking for Swedish souvenirs to bring home to our families and friends. We even found matching Sweden hats to serve as a memory of our amazing time in this wonderful country!
Also in Gamla Stan, or the Old Town, is the Royal Palace of Stockholm. The Royal Palace of Stockholm is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish royal family. We had impeccable timing and were able to watch the changing of the guard! Similarly to the famous Buckingham Palace in London, the Royal Palace of Stockholm has a sort of production when the guards who protect the palace rotate positions. This ceremony involved lots of marching, yelling of commands and drums. The whole thing lasted around 40 minutes and we were freezing! We decided to warm up with some ramen at a trendy place we read about online. SOO yummy and really hit the spot!
Next, we walked along Stockholm’s iconic waterfront and if it wasn’t beautiful enough, it started to SNOW!! The flakes were so large and magical. We loved it and it truly felt like we were in Sweden now! The snow really started to come down so we decided to slowly walk back to the hotel to warm up, of course enjoying the snow covered sights of Stockholm along the way. We set out again, after regaining feeling in our toes, to check out a popular pedestrian only shopping street. After our fill of shopping we decided to find a traditional spot for some Swedish cuisine for dinner.
A popular Swedish food is Meatballs, so when in Sweden we had to try some right?? We took the subway to a restaurant called “Meatballs for the People.” I was very skeptical, but it was actually one of the yummiest meals we have eaten so far on our trip! With full and happy tummies, we took the subway back to our hotel to catch some ZZZZZ’s before another jam-packed day of exploring snowy Stockholm the next day.
We have enjoyed learning more about the history of each city we have had the opportunity to visit and Stockholm was no exception. As you can probably tell, we also love climbing up to see the city from a bird’s eye view. Stockholm City Hall had both, so of course we had to visit! We had done some research to find out that Stockholm City Hall, was the iconic red brick building seated on the coast and that they offer tours in English every hour. The tour was interesting, but the building it’s self was absolutely stunning!!! The tour was the only way to see the inside, so I am SO glad we spent the $10. The whole tour I kept anxiously awaiting to climb the stairs to see the beautiful view of snowy Stockholm. When the tour guide ended the tour without us visiting the tower, I asked her how we would get there and she explained it was closed for the season. BUMMER!! So we settled for some pictures from the outside instead. I guess we will just have to come back when it’s warmer then right?? ;)
For lunch we ate at this really cool food hall. I don’t know what to equate this to in the U.S except for a fancy food court. They always have many different counters with different types of food. We always enjoy getting three different things and all sharing and trying everything. We’ve eaten at multiple on our European adventure and love them! Always can count on them for a cheap, fun and quick meal!
ICE SKATING TIME!!!! Well first we made our way back to the hotel to bundle up a bit more and ditch the Sweden hats that yes we were still sporting!! My theory was to put on as many layers as I could fit on my body because I knew I would still be cold no matter what I was wearing. The skating rink was actually free if you brought your own skates or you could pay to rent them. Unfortunately didn’t exactly have room in the suitcase to pack ice-skates so we opted to rent ours. KayLeigh quickly learned ice-skating wasn’t really for her, but was content watching Hailey and I skate around the rink. I love ice-skating and isn’t something this Texas gal gets the opportunity to do too often. Hailey is from Colorado so is a bit more experienced in skating, but I was pretty proud that I was able to keep up! Ice-skating in the city center in Stockholm under the beautiful lights and fun music was probably one of the highlights of the trip for me! We skated until I actually thought I was going to turn into an ice cube!!!!
We found a nearby restaurant to warm up with some Tacos (weird in Sweden I know!!!!) before heading back to the hotel for the last time. Sad that our time in Stockholm was already coming to an end!!! Stockholm was so beautiful and we truly enjoyed our time exploring this wonderful city. I’m really glad we got to experience another part of Sweden not just Malmö.
The next morning we woke up early to catch a five hour train back to Malmö. We were excited for the forced down time and about getting back to our school and kids the next day. Well we had a slight hiccup… When KayLeigh bought the tickets she purchased them for January 25th instead of February 25th. This was not realized until we got seated on the train and people kept thinking we were in their seats. It was a mess!!!! Thankfully the nice people on the train let us ride in the restaurant car the whole way. The seats were very tight and it wasn’t heated, but hey we made it back to Malmö right???? Stay tuned for this weeks adventure! :)