Stockholm is the greenest European capital. Its beautiful well-groomed parks invite you to spend a whole day amidst nature, without leaving town. Here is a hasteless route for healthy lifestylers .
Kungsträdgården is one of the oldest parks in Stockholm. In the 15th century it was a kitchen garden, which gradually transformed into a Royal Garden. Now it is a traditional meeting point for both citizens and tourists. The park features an ice rink around the Statue of Charles XIII in winter. In spring, when all 68 Sakura trees blossom, the day of Sakura is celebrated (on 30 April). Kungsträdgården hosts free concerts, youth festivals and other open-air events in summer and autumn. One of them is a gay-parade with colorful flags, speckled costumes, and creative posters. Swedes are loyal to their city. In 1971 the governmental plan to construct a metro station, which called for the old elms to be chopped down, led to violent protests and even a tree-hugger campaign (people chained themselves to the elms). Eventually the trees were saved. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the park holds Qigong from 9:00 till 10::00 till the end of September.
This little café opens at 8:00 in the morning. Guests can order a cup of sweet caramel latte or freshly brewed espresso, crisp rye baguettes with roast beef and brie cheese, pancakes with berry jam and cinnamon rolls. A cup of coffee and a sandwich will cost you only 90 SEK, which is almost nothing compared to average prices in Stockholm.
Trams from the early last century still run the 7th tram line. Total distance is 2.9 km. Djurgården Island is 3 tram stops away. You better get out right after Djurgårdsbron Bridge and you’ll find a City Bikes hub. You can buy a card on the official website or at the nearest 7eleven supermarket. One-way tram ticket costs 36 SEK, bicycle hire – 165 SEK for three days. Just remember that the maximum rental period is 3 hours. After that you’ll have to return the bicycle to the nearest hub and simply re-rent it (mobile app with a map of hubs is available on City Bikes website).
Eager to study Swedish plants? Or going to Stockholm in spring/summer? Then meet Rosendals Tradgard – the best place to buy seeds and seedlings, and also explore the local flora. Its orchard where people use to picnic, deserves special attention. Most of the apple trees are over 150 years old. If you have some free time, you can travel deeper into Djurgården. Just be aware that you might run into a flock of careless wild geese, or curious hares, or foxes. The garden is open from October to December.
You won’t find a better place for lunch in Stockholm than Rosendals Café, cozily hid in the garden of the same name. The outlet is located in greenhouses, so it is always warm in there. In summer and in early autumn you can pick a table right in the garden under 150-year-old apple trees. The menu changes daily. Everything is homemade: salads, soups, sandwiches, and pastries. All the products are organic: healthy and delicious vegetables and fruits are grown in these very greenhouses, or bought from Swedish farmers. Bread is cooked in the café's own bakery. For a drink you can order local organic vine or beer. All products are available for purchase at the nearby garden store.
Open-air Ethnographic Skansen Museum displays houses, huts, churches, workshops from all over the Sweden. It combines around 150 buildings to show Swedish everyday life during various historic periods. Look, there is a menagerie, and a zoo! A blowing shop, blacksmith shop, and a bakery. By the way, Skansen hosts celebrations of all national holidays. Check out its Christmas market if you visit Stockholm in late November - December.
Ferries to Östermalm depart from the pier near Gröna Lund Park every 10 minutes. You'll see Djurgården Island and Stockholm mainland in a completely different light from the water-side. Tickets cost 54 SEK each.
The main market of the country is situated near Nybroplan berth. It is among top ten markets in the world. You won't find a better place for 'fika' (a coffee & bun break). Its red brick building was constructed in 1888, which was a real breakthrough back then. Everyone from Swedish housewives to Royal Court chefs came here for fresh fish, vegetables and rare herbs.
Walk through the rows of shopping stalls, try skagenrora (Swedish shrimp cocktail) at Lisa Elmqvist Restaurant, taste an excellent smoothie at Planet Food and some Betsy Sandberg chocolate cooked to a hundred-year-old recipe.
Traders work here for decades, and some of them even hand their businesses down from generation to generation. Prices might be even higher than at the restaurants, but you just can't leave Östermalms Saluhall without buying anything.
This English-style Haga Park was set up in times of an enlightened absolutist Gustav III who ruled in the late 18th century. That’s why the park, just like a famous trend in design and architecture, is often called ‘Gustavian’. Located a bit northwards from the historical area of the city, it invites visitors to make long walks and bicycle tours around it. You’ll discover a lot of interesting stuff here: unusual Sultan's Copper Tents (horses were kept here back then) and the Temple of the Echo (an outdoor summer dining hall). Gustav III wished to build a grandiose castle in the park, but the work on the project was cancelled in 1792 when the king was mortally wounded by a Swedish Jacobin at the costume ball. These dramatic events became the theme of Verdi's Masquerade. That said the king managed to build a small elegant pavilion in neo-classical style, which interiors he designed himself.
Sad but true, Haga Palace at the Bay of Brunnsviken is no longer open to the public: it is the residence of royals – Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel – since 2010. By the way, Haga Park features a flawless ecology. In the end of the 20th century Haga became part of the City Ecopark – the first national park in the world, which lies within the capital.
Garden Bar&Grill is one of the most favorite places among Swedes. Located in a former school garden on Norra Bantorget Square, it offers unbelievably delicious meals made solely of farm products. Try grilled veal scallops or grilled lobster with home ruccola salad and a glass of pear cider. The café also offers vegetarian dishes, for instance a risotto with Gotland asparagus, seasonal mushrooms and lemon.
This boho Söder district features Bjorns Tradgard, a small public park named after a gardener Carl Gustaf Björn who created it in the middle of the 19th century. The park’s name literally means ‘Björn's Garden’. It was donated to the city by the will of the gardener’s son upon his death. The will also mentioned that the park should be a green place for the citizens and also it should contain a children’s playground.
Bjorns Tradgard is open 24/7.
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