Christian & I flew from Germany to Stockholm the day before we were supposed to embark on our Oceania Baltic Sea cruise. My mom & brother were flying from the US on Iceland Air. They met up at the airport in Reykjavik and then flew on together to Stockholm. Christian & I arrived in the morning at the airport and then took the Arlanda Express train into the city center. This is the fastest (20 minutes) and easiest way to get there from the airport. We had some time to explore before we met up with the family. You might remember that we were in Stockholm in 2014, as part of our week of camping and visiting different cities in Sweden. I loved Sweden & was happy to be back in Stockholm again!
We checked into our hotel (HTL Kungsgatan, which is a modern, affordable hotel just a couple blocks from where the Arlanda Express terminates at Stockholm Central Station) & then walked through the Norrmalm neighborhood.
We wanted a breakfast snack at Saluhall, an indoor food market, only to find out that the building is being renovated but they have built a temporary food hall until renovations are complete. It didn’t give the same feeling as the historic food hall, but all the vendor stalls are the same.
There is always great shopping in Stockholm, so we visited the NK (Nordiska Kompaniet) department store, as well as some other shopping spots (MOOD & Illums Bolighus are also favorites).
After lunch, we walked to Stockholm’s Stadshuset (city hall). This was a Saturday and there were so many bridal parties! Couples waiting to get married, just married & taking photos.
In the early afternoon, we finally met up with the rest of the family!
No time for resting, we were back out exploring Gamla Stan, the cobblestone-lined streets of historic old town. This is where the Kungliga Slottet (the Royal Palace) is located. It was difficult to get around because a triathlon was happening on the main streets of this part of the city and many roads were blocked.
We walked the streets of Gamla Stan, stopping to watch parts of the triathlon & going into the souvenir shops. Chris tried a Kanelbullar, the Swedish cinnamon roll.
The following day, we visited the Vasamuseet. I wrote a whole post about this ship & our visit last time, here. On August 10th 1628 the Vasa ship starts off on its maiden voyage but ends up sinking in the Stockholm harbor after only sailing 1,300 meters! The Vasa is raised from the sea on April 24, 1961 after 333 years of being underwater. They have reconstructed the ship and is maintained in the museum. It is amazing to see, even a second time!
After the visit to the museum, we took a ferry from the station (Djurgården) near Gröna Lund, the city’s amusement park to Slussen. Slussen connects Gamla Stan to Södermalm. Södermalm is the hip neighborhood of Stockholm with art galleries, restaurants and individual shops. There is a public elevator (Katarinahissen) that provides beautiful views of the city, islands and river. It is right as you pass over the bridge into Södermalm.
We had just enough time to have lunch in Gamla Stan before heading back to the hotel to collect our bags and board our cruise ship, the Oceania Marina! If you missed it, you can read about our ship experience here. That night we sailed through the Swedish islands to our next destination, Tallinn.