The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

5 free things to do in Stockholm, where nature is never far away

  • Print

STOCKHOLM - There's no shortage of ways to spend your money in Stockholm, one of Europe's most expensive cities.

A dinner or even just a drink can set you back more than you expected.

Luckily, the Swedish capital is an outdoorsy place, meaning there's also a lot of stuff you can do for free.

THE OLD TOWN

A stroll along the narrow alleys winding through Stockholm's Old Town offers a glimpse into the city's past. Or rather, a cleaned-up version of its past, without the foul stench of waste that filled the medieval core before modern-day plumbing. Old Town today is so tidily picturesque it almost has a Disneyland feel. Buildings from the 17th century stand askew, worn by time but meticulously repaired and repainted in soft shades of yellow and rose. Unless you're looking for a plastic Viking helmet, turn off the main street and its gift shops and discover a plethora of small boutiques, art galleries and fashionable cafes. Pause at the idyllic Stortorget square and spare a thought for the 80 Swedish nobles who in 1520 lost their heads here in a mass execution known as the Stockholm bloodbath. Then watch the changing of the guards at the nearby Royal Palace and ponder why one of the world's most egalitarian countries still has a king.

SUBWAY ART

If you're riding the subway anyway ($5 for a single fare or $15 for a day pass), you can enjoy what Stockholm tourism officials call the "world's longest art exhibition" for free. Nearly all of the 100 stations on Stockholm's three subway lines are decorated with murals, mosaics, sculptures or art installations. Highlights include the historic artefacts at Kungstradgarden (Blue line) and Siri Derkert's feminist wall paintings at Ostermalmstorg (Red line). If you have a valid subway ticket you can join a free guided tour in English of Stockholm's underground art, departing at 3 p.m. from the T-Centralen station every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from June through August.

DOWNTOWN SWIMMING

In Stockholm, a city spread out over more than a dozen islands at the intersection of Lake Malaren and the Baltic Sea, some locals will tell you the water is clean enough to drink. That may be a stretch. You never see anyone cupping their hand for a refreshing swig from the city's many canals and waterways. However, in warm weather you do see people go for a swim just about everywhere there's access to water. There are more than 30 public bathing spots in Stockholm — from the rocks at Fredhall to the small sandy beach at Langholmen. Don't be surprised to find daring youths jump into the waters right in front of City Hall.

MONTELIUSVAGEN

There are places in the world where even an unskilled photographer can easily take a picture worthy of being framed and admired. Monteliusvagen is one of those places. This walking path on the cliffs over the northern shore of the Sodermalm district offers a breathtaking view of Stockholm's skyline. The Riddarfjarden bay acts like a mirror, reflecting the elegant facades of Old Town's waterfront palaces and the massive bell tower of the castle-like City Hall, home of the annual Nobel Prize banquet. Come here at sunset or sunrise to maximize the wow factor.

WOODLAND CEMETERY

OK, so going to a cemetery may not be on the top of your list when visiting a new city. This one, though, is truly original. Skogskyrkogarden, a woodland cemetery on the southern edge of Stockholm, was created between 1917 and 1920 and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. Here the departed rest in natural surroundings, modest headstones marking their graves in imperfect rows amid the pine trees. The idea behind the cemetery, designed by Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz, was to blend architecture with nature, altering the landscape as little as possible. The cemetery is always open and entry is free, though you'll have to pay about $15 for a guided tour. Visitors are asked to respect those who come here to mourn — more than 2,000 funerals are held yearly in the cemetery's five chapels.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Lindor Reynolds speaks candidly about life with terminal cancer

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Premier Greg Selinger resign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google