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Where should you go to listen to some new tunes, while sipping a good öl? Where are the places with THE right music and THE right atmosphere? We know – and we aren’t afraid to share with you!
The highest concentration of independent venues is on Södermalm, the rockers-island par excellence. It is arty, it is trendy and it is the home of the top 4 venues you may want to check out regularly, at least if you’re in the mood for a hot gig and the chance to see an up and coming band!
It is the most famous indie club in Stockholm and probably the first name you’ll hear about when looking for live shows. Named after the Pixies’ song, it was established in 2002 in the former flagship venue at Slussen (alas closed in late September 2013) and followed by the opening of two other locations, Debaser Medis, in Medborgarplatsen, which is the site for major events, and Debaser Strand, the newest club in Hornstull and located by the water, making it one of the top places for summer events.
Debaser puts on interesting live shows by both Swedish and international acts. More info can be found @ Debaser website
Among the best venues for live music, there’s Södra Teatern, the oldest open theater in Stockholm, and built in 1859. It is located on top of a hill that gives a breath-taking view of Gamla Stan. For long time it has been a cabaret venue, but since 1997 it hosts cultural events, from concerts to philosophical debates and seminars.
With seven stages, its program mainly focuses on international acts, with everything from rock, to folk and jazz bands, but both emerging and well-known Swedish artists are sitll given the chance to play there. More info @ Södra Teatern website
For the true indie-rock lovers, this quite intimate venue is a little treasure. Located right off Medborgarplatsen station, Lilla Hotell Baren is a very cozy venue for intimate concerts of newly discovered talents. It is the bar of the Scandic Hotel and mostly showcases independent and emerging Swedish acts. More info @ Lilla Hotell Baren website
If you are looking for a more experimental sound and unconventional events, you have come to the right place. Fylkingen, established in 1930, is an artist-based organization, located in the Münchenbryggeriet, a vast building which once was a brewery. Its program focuses on experimental works, both connected to the music and the performative arts worlds. Home of the EMS – the Swedish National Electronic Music Foundation – it also owns its own music label and magazine . More info @Fylkingen website
Go forth and enjoy!
Photo: Anna Huerta/Södra Teatern
The Royal Palace of Drottningholm (Note: Royals mentioned in the article are not in the canoe)
If you live in Sweden, chances are you’ve wondered a thing or two about its royal family. Who are they exactly? What do they do? Why is their last name French? Ask no more, the royal we of YLC present the Who’s Who of Swedish Royalty!
Let’s start off with the basics. Swedish Royals are a bunch of Bernadottes. Not to be rude, it’s just true.
Swedish monarchs have come from the house of Bernadotte since 1818. If the name sounds French, that’s because it is. King Karl XIV Johan was in fact French-born Jean Bernadotte, and he and his French wife Désirée Clary (briefly the fianceé of old Boney himself, we’ll have you know, before he jilted her for Josephine) were elected to the then-combined Swedish and Norwegian throne when several other options didn’t pan out.
Simply explained, it goes like this: the previous dynasty, died out with Karl XIII, who had no heir. The Swedish parliament then elected the prince of Denmark as heir to the Swedish throne, but he passed away the same year. As much of Europe was controlled by Napoleon Bonaparte at that time, the Riksdag then decided to elect a king of whom Napoeon would approve: so French marshall Bernadotte it was. And today the family is as Swedish as could be, whatever that means! So let’s go meet ‘em!
King Carl XVI Gustaf Folke Hubertus
Or just King Carl XVI Gustaf for short. He’s the man on the stamps. The one with the thin glasses and the skinny neck, and perfectly horizontal “smile” – you’ll almost never see his teeth. This king, like many Swedish kings before him, is named Carl. He was born on April 30, 1946, and became King of Sweden at age 27, in 1973. And it would seem he doesn’t plan on quitting anytime soon. Always very popular, in recent years his popularity has been somewhat shaken by scandals when his alleged early life was “revealed” in a tell-all book. However, the Royal Court has stayed firmly in denial of the claims made in the book and most of the brou-ha-ha seems to have blown over.
Queen Silvia Renate Sommerlath
…but you can call her Silvia, after all everyone else does. Silvia is the collected, graceful German girl who met King Carl at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. She may not have been competing, but she still won quite the prize: the hand of the Swedish king four years later. Apparently, when they met something went “click”, according to the smitten King.
Silvia is the ultimate “Dancing Queen” as the hugely popular ABBA song was first performed live at a gala celebrating her imminent wedding in 1976. Despite her popularity, Silvia too has been in stormy waters recently, due to allegations about her father during WWII, but the queen went to serious trouble trying to clear her father’s name. Some Swedes do complain that she still speaks with a slight German accent after all these years, but no one can deny her poise and style, even at 70 years old!
Crown Princess Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée
We wish we could have as many lovely princessy names as Victoria. What a shame she only uses one of them. Princess Vicky (she doesn’t actually go by that, be warned) was born in 1977, but wasn’t Crown Princess at the time. Not so long ago the crown could only go to male heirs, so despite being the oldest, Victoria was not in line. However, since 1980, Sweden has had fully cognatic succession, meaning that the first-born child of the monarch is heir to the throne, regardless of gender. Victoria is hugely popular, and has more than made up for any scandals – real or imagined – the previous generation may have been dragged into.
Prince Olaf Daniel Westling
While we’re making Cinderella references, we might want to mention Victoria’s husband – personal trainer-to-prince Daniel. They “got to know each other”, as the Royal Family’s official website states, in 2001, and announced their engagement in 2009. The wedding took place a year later with all the appropriate pomp and circumstance.
Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary
We now arrive at, undeniably, the cutest royal of them all! Princess Estelle is the first child of Victoria and Daniel, and just celebrated her second birthday. Not only is she adorable, but she’s already downright diplomatic, attending tennis matches and cultural events and featuring on innumerable family postcards displayed for all of Sweden. She’s got a goofy smile just like grandpa – but whereas his is in hiding, little Estelle flashes hers daily and warms our hearts!
Prince Carl Philip Edmund Bertil
Back to the king’s own kids, we have the only royal son of Sweden: Carl Philip. Born in 1979, he was the crown prince of Sweden for seven months, before the system was changed. A bit of a controversial lad, he is dating a model, he likes to ski and race Porsches, and indeed won the Porsche GT3 Endurance Scandinavia motor race in 2010. (What do you mean you haven’t heard of it?) He is also a military captain and did an internship with National Geographic. His passion is design and although that aspect of his career fell on rough times after accusations of plagiarism last year, he recently entered the fashion business when he and colleague Oscar Kylberg released a line of outerwear for brand A-One. With those wavy locks and valiant names and posh Porsches – he is rather damn princely, wouldn’t you say?
By the way, he’s 284th in line to the English throne.
Princess Madeleine Thérèse Amelie Josephine
The king and queen’s youngest child, Madeleine was born in 1982. She resides in New York and was for a time known as the pretty, partying princess, but the girl’s got brains. She has studied art, law, and psychology, and has worked with UNICEF and the World Childhood Foundation, focusing on helping sexually exploited children. After a disastrous relationship with Swedish lawyer Jonas Bergström, ending in a broken engagement, Princess Madeleine finally found true love and married New York banker Christopher O’Neill in 2013, and in February 2014 presented Sweden with a new little princess. Which hopefully is enough to make the Swedish people forget she ended her engagement announcement with the little giggle “tihi” (“teehee”), which sparked a heated debate about Swedish female submissiveness and the state of feminism in the country.
Princess Leonore Lilian Maria
Leonore is the latest addition to the Swedish Royal Family, and while her father does not get the title of prince, Leonore is a little princess. But as she is not even a month old, we don’t have a whole lot to say about her. Yet.
So there you have it, go forth feeling more up to date on the Swedish Royals. And there is more to find out. For example, who was the Prince who renounced his title for love? Who were the little Princesses at Haga? And which Princess was seen in Vogue, was first married to an actor and later nursed wounded soldiers during WWII?
Featured Image: Royalcourt.se. All other images: Wikipedia
Shows, fairs, dance performances, festivals and cultural parties; YLC’s Danny Chapman has gone all in to give you THE BEST of what the city has to offer in March!
The family musical with Markoolio, Tobbe Trollkarl and others. Language: Swedish.
Where: Globen Annexet
When: Friday 7th March 18.00
Damage: 380-425 SEK
Art on Ice
The very best figure skaters and guest artists on stage with great live music, singers, an orchestra and dancers.
Where: Ericsson Globe
When: Thursday 13th March 19.00
Damage: 460 – 825 SEK
Musical Comedy written by Sheeba and Bengt Palmers and one of the eighties great successes. This revival at Cirkus includes amazing dancers and musicians, and a stage design that really spooks about!
When: Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd March and Friday 28th – Sunday 30th March
Damage: 270 – 720 SEK
Lost in Translation
The improv comedy show about the experience of living in Sweden as a foreigner. This hilarious show puts Swedes, foreigners and our cultural differences on stage in a forum where we can not only laugh at them, but also try and understand them better. The show is performed in English.
Where: Improvisation@Co, Hagagatan 48
When: Fridays 7th, 14th and 28th March 19.00
Damage: 200 SEK
Six dancers choreographed by Kenneth Kvarnstrom. What does the body do for us and how this is reflected in our facial expressions? What if the face disappears and is replaced with something else? What do we see?
When: Thursday 6th March 19.00 until 6th April.
Damage: 110 – 220 SEK
Nico – Sphinx of Ice
An art and music performance showing fragments of the life of Nico, the supermodel who became Andy Warhol’s muse and singer of the Velvet Underground
When: 20th – 28th March 19.00.
Damage: 100- 190 SEK
Tango Seminar followed by classic tango dance.
When: Tuesday 4th March 18.30
Damage: 80 SEK
Concert and dance performance
When: Saturday 29th March 20.00
Damage: 100- 140 SEK
Free instruction in traditional dances. All lessons start at beginner level but are appropriate for those with some experience. A very useful and enjoyable introduction to Swedish and Scandinavian traditional dancing.
When: Every Sunday from 6pm
An evening of Irish music, theater, song and dance.
When: Wednesday 12th March 19.30
Damage: 100-150 SEK
Celebrate the Persian New Years Eve in Ericsson Globe. The show contains some of the best and most well known Persian artists: Siavash Ghomeishi, Afshin, Rastin och DJ Farzad etc!
Where: Ericsson Globe
When: Saturday 22nd March 20.00
Damage: 163- 395 SEK
Music, talks, dance workshops, scavenger hunt, crafts corner and more.
When: Saturday 16th March 12.00 – 18.00
Damage: 80 SEK. Children under 18 free
Stockholm’s funniest and most prestigious music quiz.
Where: Debaser Strand
When: Wednesday 12th March 19.00
Damage: Free entry
Questions in the form of video and sound clips. Up to 4 people per team.
Where: Debaser Strand, Bar Brooklyn
When: Thursday 20th March 18.30
Damage: Free entry
Where: Saints Food and Drinks, Hagagatan 4 (near Odenplan)
When: Sunday 9th March and 23rd March 19.00
Damage: Free entry
Sweden’s annual Licorice feast. In 2014 the licorice festival will be an even more luxurious festival experience. This means more licorice activities with the theme “a world of licorice” and the increasing interest for licorice as a spice in cooking and baking.
Where: Globen Annexet
When: Sat 22nd March 10am-7pm and Sunday 23rd March 11am-5pm
Damage: 125 SEK
The first Korvfestivalen (Sausage festival) took place in 2013 at Nordiska Museet and was a great success with over 5,000 visitors. For 2014 the Korvakademien (sausage academy) have arranged a new festival, this time at Annexet in Stockholm, where lots of activities and tastings await
Where: Globen Annexet
When: Saturday 29 March and Sunday 30th March 10am-6pm
Damage: 125 SEK
Walks to sample the fantastic array of multicultural dining that Stockholm has to offer.
When: Until October
Damage: 695 SEK
This is the kind of exhibition where you can bring your children, as well as your parents or your friends – no one will be disappointed as it appeals to all ages. There are sculptures and paintings, installations and film clips. YLC were there at the opening – read more about it here.
Where: Djurgårdsvägen 60, Djurgården
When: Until 23rd March. Tuesday 11.00–20.00, Wednesday 11.00–17.00, Thursday 11.00–20.00, Friday-Sunday 11.00–17.00.
Damage: Adults 60 – 80 SEK. Under-18s free.
Premiere exhibition in Scandinavia by Mexian artist Orozco, one of his generations most acclaimed artists. Since the late 1980s, his work has grown in reputation and pioneered a new form of conceptual art, which does not shy away from depth or precision, using sculpture, photography, painting, drawing and installation.
Where: Moderna Museet
When: Until 4th May. Closed Mondays. Open from 10.00 – 18.00 all other days and until 20.00 on Tuesday and Friday.
Damage: Adults 100 – 120 SEK. Under-18s free.
Exhibition focusing on the fascination with machines, industry and everyday mechanisation. One gallery is devoted to Kraftwerk’s 3-D installation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (2013).
Where: Moderna Museet
When: Until 27th April. Closed Mondays. Open from 10.00 – 18.00 all other days and until 20.00 on Tuesday and Friday.
Damage: Adults 100 – 120 SEK. Under-18s free.
Exhibition presenting over 100 works from the 1970s to the present day by Roger Ballen whose powerful black-and-white photographs are profoundly existential.
When: 14 March – 7 June. Sunday – Wednesday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and Thursday – Saturday 9:00 am – 11: 00 pm
Damage: Adults 90 – 120 SEK. Under-12s free.
After having travelled across the United States for two years taking photographs, Robert Frank selected 83 pictures for his book The Americans. Published in the United States in 1959, the book provided a stark contrast to the media’s superficial image of American society. The critical response was savage.
When: 7 March – 18 May. Sunday – Wednesday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and Thursday – Saturday 9:00 am – 11: 00 pm
Damage: Adults 90 – 120 SEK. Under-12s free.
Comprehensive photo exhibition containing works from the last five years by twenty-one photographers. The point of departure for the exhibition is the changes taking place in photography during the 1990s.
When: Until 11th May. Tuesday –Friday 11 am – 4pm and Saturday – Sunday 11am – 5pm.
Damage: Adults 100 – 120 SEK. Under-19s free.
Major retrospective exhibition of the American cult artist Man Ray (1890-1976).
When: Until 8 June. Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm
Damage: 80 – 100 SEK. Under-19s free.
Art exhibitions by two Swedish artists.
Where: Lars Bohman Gallery
When: 1st – 30th March daily between 12.00 and 16.00
Guided walk with a licensed guide that will take you off the beaten track. The guide will tell you about the historical centre where Stockholm was born and about Swedish traditions and life style.
Where: Begins at the Royal Opera House, Gustav Adolfs torg.
When: Fridays from 7 March to 30 May (with a few variations).
Damage: 120 SEK – payment in cash to the guide. No need to book in advance, the walk will always take place, rain or shine. This walk is also in Italian same dates and time.
International exhibition with the world’s largest exhibition of computer games
Where: The National Museum of Science and Technology (Tekniska Museet)
When: Until 27 April. Open every day.
Damage: Adults 120 SEK. Kids under 7 free, between 7-19 40 SEK.
Kings Of Tennis
See some of the world’s greatest tennis legends play during Kings of Tennis. Kings Of Tennis is part of the ATP Champions Tour and only former champions will participate.
Where: Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre
When: Tuesday 11th – Friday 14th March
Damage: 495 SEK
All kind of collectibles, mostly vintage toys and dolls.
Where: Åsö Gymnasium
When: Sunday 30 March 10:00am
Damage: 60-120 SEK
Allt för Sjön (Stockholm International Boat Show)
The largest boat show in the Nordic region with boats and accessories.
Where: Stockholmsmässan, Mässvägen 1, Älvsjö
When: 1st-9th March, Saturday-Sunday 10am – 6pm, Weekdays 12am – 8pm
Damage: Adults 150 SEK, Children 30-70 SEK.
The northern region’s largest public event in wilderness and the natural meeting place for active outdoor people. Here you will find the Kit – the Places – the Experiences.
Where: Stockholmsmässan, Mässvägen 1, Älvsjö
When: Friday 7th – Sunday 9th March, Friday 12:00 – 20:00, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
Premiere of a new exhibition focusing on products and services for the outside of the house and/ or the summerhouse.
Where: Stockholmsmässan, Mässvägen 1, Älvsjö
When: Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd March, 09.00- 18:00
Scandinavia’s leading garden show. Seminars, open lectures and inspirational displays.
Where: Stockholmsmässan, Mässvägen 1, Älvsjö
When: Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd March, 09.00- 18:00
Sing-along for persons with disabilities (various times for different age groups)
When: Friday 7th March 19.30
Damage: 160 – 80 SEK
Featured Image: Annelie Elfsö/FotoAlle
YLC’s Judi Lembke has the lowdown on Sunday’s main event; Sweden’s biggest, baddest ski race, where thousands of participants take to their skis to follow in the footsteps of an ancient king.
Ah, yes, Vasaloppet, where thousands upon thousands of Swedes, along with people from all over the world, jump on their skis to race nearly 100 km from Dalarna to Mora, all in an odd mixture of competition, history and enormous amounts of mucus. It’s also the biggest, baddest and oldest cross-country ski race in the world, with the 2014 seeing upwards of 80 thousand people signed up for one of the Vasa Week events, including nearly 20 thousand for Sunday’s big race.
Over the years I’ve heard bits and bobs about the history of Vasaloppet and that bastion of truth, Wikipedia, backs up most of what I’ve heard so here’s a very fast and dirty tutorial, designed to arm you for the Monday morning quarterbacking you may well face.
Vasaloppet is held in honour of the young nobleman Gustav Ericsson Vasa, who in 1520 hopped on a pair of skis to escape the pursuing troops of Christian II, King of Sweden, Denmark and Norway (then known as the Kalmar Union). Along with much of the rest of the Nobility, Young Vasa was in opposition to the king, whose somewhat over-the-top bloodlust led to him not only killing large portions of the aristocracy (including Vasa’s parents) but also to being saddled with the unfortunate moniker Christian the Tyrant.
Fearing for his life, Vasa escaped the Stockholm Bloodbath (also known as the Stockholm Massacre) and headed to Mora, where he tried to interest the townfolk in supporting his calls for a rebellion. No one in Mora was much interested and with the King’s troops hot on his trail Vasa hightailed it towards Norway, in search of refuge.
While Vasa thought his fiery words of rebellion had fallen on deaf ears back in Mora it seems at least two men were suitably moved to catch up with Vasa in Sälen, where they now wanted him to lead the rebellion. Actually, it was hearing that Denmark was planning on raising taxes that changed the two men’s minds but let’s not quibble about the details; the important thing here is that the spark was lit, the rebellion was on and to make a long story short on 6 June 1523 Gustav Vasa was crowned King of Sweden, having defeated Christian the Tyrant and dissolved the Kalmar Unoin.
So now you’re asking how any of this has to do with an enormous amount of people skiing long distances across the middle of the country? It makes sense that Sweden celebrates its national day on 6 June, the anniversary of Vasa’s crowning, but the skiing? What about the skiing?
Well, here’s the deal: the race represents Vasa’s flight (along with Mora’s two most famous tax-dodgers) from the tyrant king and his henchmen, and live the Vasa motto, ‘In the footsteps of our forefathers for the victories of tomorrow’. It’s also a great excuse to slap some slippery bits of wood on to your feet and take part in what Sports Illustrated once called ‘one of the most bizarre, most foolish, most excruciating, most exalted human events of our time’.
Vasaloppet is televised live on SVT, where you can sit for literally hours watching as the crème de la crème of the international cross country world zoom towards the finish line. And then you can watch the other 19 thousand plus participants huff and puff for many more hours in what some see as an amazing display of sportsmanship and fortitude – and others see as an exercise in blazing stupidity. The jury’s still out on that one, to be honest.
90 kilometers, folks. NINETY KILOMETERS! That is a lot of time in the snowy backlands of middle Sweden, with the end result being that you’ll cross the finish line too tired to smile or even lift your arms in victory.
You’ll also most likely end up with frozen bogie icicles hanging down your face (don’t think I’m kidding about this) in full view of not only the thousands upon thousands of spectators, but of millions more watching from the comfort of their sofas. There’s a snapshot for the family photo album!
Now, that comfort of your sofa thing. SVT starts broadcasting the race at 8 am, which is tad early for a Sunday morning if you ask me. My suggestion is to flip on the TV, settle onto the sofa comfortably and if anyone suggests that maybe you could help with the vacuuming or ironing or maybe even do a bit of gardening work, lift a brow, nod towards the telly, and in low, reverential tones whisper, ‘Major Swedish tradition, darling. I’m trying to assimilate.’ Then get back to your shuteye, making sure to set your alarm in time to see who wins, which should be in under four hours.
Some interesting facts about Vasaloppet you might not be aware of:
- Vasaloppet Week consists of seven races over 10 days.
- Since 1922 more than 1 million skiers have crossed the finish line.
- Nils ‘Mora Nisse’ Karlsson has won Vasaloppet nine times.
- Bengt Erksson from Sälen has participated in more races than anyone: 59 to date, without a break.
- More than 98 thousand litres of blueberry soup, sports drinks, gruel and coffee is consumed at 7 food stations.
- The record for Vasaloppet was set in 2012 by Jörgen Brink, with a time of 3 hours, 38 minutes, 41 seconds.
See, you DO learn something new every day!
Judi Lembke is an international editor and writer who, when not shackled to her computer, enjoys reading, cooking and sometimes watching embarrassingly bad reality TV. Judi also works with communications and thinks coming up with clever ideas is about as much fun as one can have without taking off one’s clothes.
Featured Image: Rich Hoeg/Flickr (file)
In Sweden they say that ‘there is no bad weather – just bad clothes’ so get off the couch, get your greatcoat on – and pick up your skates on your way out! There are several great parks in the Stockholm area with ice skating rinks (some also rent out skates) and we’ve gathered a list of them for you to check out!
It’s the most popular ice-skating rink in the city. Kungsträdgården’s open air ice-skating rink offers skate rentals as well as a great atmosphere with several stands selling hot drinks and goodies. It’s a magical way to spend a cold, dusky evening in Stockholm. It’s relatively cheap, at least by Swedish standards, and includes skate hire. What’s more, you don’t have to be a pro to feel at ease there. It’s a perfect place to test your skills alongside beginners, the more experienced, the young and the old.
Open from November 7th.
Monday – Friday 10:00-21:00
Saturday – Sunday 11:00-21:00
Cost: (they prefer credit/debit cards)
Adults 60kr/hour (over 19 years old)
Children 30kr/ hour
Price includes skates (sizes 25-48) and helmet
Note: Renting hours end 1 hour before closing.
Map and more info
Pack a thermos and show off your skating skills in one of the ice rinks in the heart of the city. Vasa Park has a great artificially frozen rink that is 60 x 43 m, but you’ll have to bring your own skates.
This large and popular ice-skating rink is maintained several times a week and open between 8 am – 9 pm weekdays, and 10 am – 9 pm on weekends. It is closed between 6:30-8am, 12-1pm and 5-6pm for resurfacing. This is a mechanically-frozen ice rink so the quality is not as dependent on weather conditions, as natural ice rinks. It should open at the end of November, weather permitting.
Address: Vasaparken, Stockholm (Norrmalm)
Telephone: 08-508 090 00
Outdoor and indoor rinks. Bring your own skates
Address: Ringvägen 16, 117 26 Stockholm (at Zinkensdamms Idrottsplats)
Telephone: 07-392 190 56
All skaters and other visitors to Östermalms rink are welcome to use the changing rooms and toilets. Unfortunately no storage is available. The rink opens December 1st.
Rentals and sharpening skates:
Monday and Friday 17:00 to 20:00
Tuesday to Thursday 19:00 to 21:00
Saturday and Sunday 11:00 to 16:00
Info on rental and grinding ring 0704-67 06 77
Address: Fiskartorpsvägen 2, 114 33 Stockholm
Telephone: 07-392 190 07
The ice is set in the center of Medborgarplatsen with an illuminated rink. It’s perfect for children and beginners and across the street is a playground.
Telephone: 08-508 265 52
Stora Mossen Ice Hall
A great place for indoor/outdoor skating. Bring your own skates and helmet.
Address: Västerled 36, Mosskroken, Stora Mossen (Stora Mossens IP “A-hallen”)
Telephone: 08-253 527
The Hellasgården recreation area offers lovely outdoor ice skating along with a variety of other winter sport activities to participate in. It takes 20 minutes to get to Hellasgården from downtown Stockholm.
Take bus 401 from Slussen to the Hellasgården stop in Älta. You can also take subway line 17 to Skarpnäck and get off at Hammarbyhöjden, Björkhöjden, or Bagarmossen. Follow the signs from the station to Hellasgården.
Telefon: 08-716 39 61
Skating on Stockholm’s Waterways
Skating on natural ice is an exhilarating experience. Long-distance skating on natural ice requires a certain amount of knowledge and safety equipment.
A safe alternative for those who want to skate on the ice around Stockholm is to go with an experienced guide. If you’re feeling more adventurous, book a long-distance guided skate outing on the natural ice of Stockholm’s waterways. Iceguide provides 5- to 9-hour guided skating tours, complete with safety equipment and instruction. They offer tours starting Dec. 27 – Dec. 31, but tours after January 1st are only on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Iceguide organizes excursions, loans out skates, safety equipment and clothing in their tour package. Courses are also available. Note that this activity is dependent on ice thickness and weather.
Website URL: www.iceguide.se
Know of any other places to ice skate in Stockholm? Or would you want to come skating with YLC some time? Let us know in the comment section below!
Research: Carmel Heiland
Featured Image: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se
Stockholm is divided into many distinctive neighbourhoods, each with their own unique character. Not surprising, considering it’s a city spread across 14 major islands in an archipelago. The island topography of Stockholm is rich with historical architecture, out-door cafés, bohemian boutiques, gourmet markets, posh shopping boulevards, and thriving commercial districts. All of which is set against the backdrop of glittering blue water and gliding sailboats. The following is a list of the various neighbourhoods that make up YOUR living city – Stockholm.
Gamla Stan (the Old Town), is the original Stockholm dating back to the 13th century. Here, ornate 17th-century preserved houses line narrow cobbled streets that splinter off into alley-ways heading in all directions. This area is packed with pubs, restaurants, kitschy souvenir shops, and spectacular harbour views – making this small section the most popular destination for tourists.It’s also conveniently located between, bustling Norrmalm to the north and hip Södermalm to the south bridging the two distinct areas. The bulk of Gamla Stan is on the island of Stadsholmen. Riddarholmen, the tiny island just to the west, is also usually considered part of Gamla Stan.
What not to miss: Mårten Trotzigs gränd - the narrowest alleyway on the island at only 90 centimetres across at its narrowest point.
Local’s tip: Stop for a while under the chestnut tree on Brända Tomten (crossing Kindstugatan/Själagårdsgatan) and feel the heartbeat of the old city. Then head to Gråmunken Café and fika in the cellars under the city!
Norrmalm is an active and hectic district characterized by Stockholm’s buzzing Central Station, the shopping crowds in Drottninggatan, and an abundance of cultural facilities such as: Kulturhuset, the Royal Opera, St. Jacobs Church, Sweden House, and several ample parks.
The neighbourhood’s more modern areas are packed with a variety of retail shops, Stockholm’s largest department stores as well as government buildings. Despite the unavoidable tourist traffic, the vast majority of the crowds in Norrmalm are residents. This area is the beating heart of modern Stockholm.
What not to miss: Shopping in the very heart of the city. Sampling local produce on Hötorget square. The beautiful white structure of Adolf Fredriks Church, where late prime minister Olof Palme is buried.
Local’s tip: For the biggest slabs of cake and cinnamon buns this side of Uppsala – head to Café Egoiste in the MOOD Galleria. They are enormous!
Södermalm is a favorite borough among many locals. The island forms the southern part of the main city and is THE definition of urban Stockholm. A hipster revolution has turned this once working-class neighbourhood, into a hot-spot for artists, musicians, hip designers, bohemian cafés, edgy shops, and funky restaurants.
This area is home to some of the most diverse and sought after addresses in all of Stockholm, from the Art Nouveau apartments on Mariatorget to centuries-old cottages stacked on the cliffs above the sea on Mälarstrand and Fjällgatan.
Away from the major sights and museums, Södermalm is most enjoyed by locals. Further south in Söder, things become much more residential with wide streets, tall apartment buildings, and less glam stores.
What not to miss: Götgatan on a sunny day, for shopping and people-watching. The Nytorget area for the nicest and most hipster-friendly bars and cafés in the city. Kaffe on St Paulsgatan, for the best reindeer toastie the city can offer! (Mind they only take cash, though.)
Local’s tip: Walking along Monteliusvägen you get THE best view of the city! Hard to find for most that are not locals -it is a rite of passage to discover this walk!
Kungsholmen is an expanding residential area, situated between Södermalm and Östermalm. This is a calmer area of the city centre with plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars and is currently undergoing urban development in hopes of creating better access to its sprawling parks and waterfront trails. This project will make it possible to walk all the way around Kungsholmen.
What not to miss: Lunch at Mälarpaviljongen in the summer months, Taylor’s and Jones’ British-style Butcher’s shop on Hantverkargatan.
Local’s tip: If you haven’t met up in Rålis (Rålambshovsparken) with friends for a game of Kubb, then you haven’t lived. Used for all sorts of gatherings, from Midsummer to Guy Fawkes (true story) this is THE park for meet-ups in Stockholm.
Photo Credit: Ola Ericson/Imagebank Sweden
This island is ideal for walks and picnics and for families and tourists to visit the open-air museum Skansen or amusement park Gröna Lund. Kungliga Djurgården (The Royal Animal Park) – as it is officially called – is a forested island which serves as the summer recreation area of Stockholm. It’s easily accessible by bus or tram. But many Stockholmers would swear that there is only two ways to get there i the summer: by strolling down the lovely Strandvägen while eating an ice-cream or by enjoying the salty splashes of the water while journeying over on the ferry. The island is host to many museums, galleries and monuments and attracts 10 million visitors a year.
What not to miss: Liljewalchs art gallery (especially for the spring exhibition), the kanelbullar (or any other baked goods) from the little bakery at open air museum Skansen, the virtual dancing experience at the ABBA museum (of course), Rosendals Trädgård.
Local’s tip: In the back streets next to amusement park Gröna Lund, one can glimpse a view of what the area looked like before it was overrun by modern society. yet few people know where to look. Also, don’t miss climbing out onto the cliffs by the water at Waldermarsudde for THE best views.
Vasastaden (The Stone City) is marked by the massive stone buildings that line its city blocks and is made up of a fashionable bourgeois residential area located close to cafés, shops and IT and media offices.
What not to miss: Vasaparken, Observatorielunden, Vanadislunden and the Tegnerlunden park square, making this area perfect for a summer stroll.
Local’s tip: Café Ritorno on Odengatan next to the park. Just going in there makes you feel intellectual. Also it is one of the last old school Stockholm cafés left.
This is the most elegant and most exclusive part of town with some of the city’s most impressive buildings, high-end specialty shops and stately apartment blocks with flats that are sold for absurd amounts of money.
What not to miss: Humlegården and the National Library. The lovely Karlavägen boulevard and Karlaplan roundabout – the heart of Östermalm. The English Church near the water on Dag Hammarskjölds väg is by far one of the most beautiful in Stockholm.
Local’s tip: There is nothing that beats walking Strandvägen from Nybroplan to Djurgårdsbron. Make sure not to miss the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Dramaten) on your way. On sunny days half of Stockholm will be found lounging on its stairs.
South of the City Centre, a large number of high-density suburbs spread out along the metro system and the three main highways leading towards Värmdö, Nynäshamn and Södertälje. Closest to the City Centre is Gröndal, Midsommarkransen and Hammarby Sjöstad, an ultra-modern large residential district built in an old harbour.
Northwest Stockholm consists of both expensive districts such as Bromma and of high-rise suburbs such as Rinkeby, Tensta and Akalla. Some other major districts close to the City Centre are Solna, Sundbyberg and Kista, the area home to the Swedish telecom and ICT industry.
Northeast Stockholm consists mainly of calm and affluent suburbs along the highways towards Norrtälje and Uppsala. Here one can find Djursholm, the home of Swedish billionares, and neighborhoods such as Sollentuna, Täby, Åkersberga and Österåker.
East of Stockholm the vast archipelago stretches out in all directions. Located in the middle of the archipelago is the large island Värmdö that can be reached by highway, and thousands of surrounding islands, of which several are permanently inhabited. Many of these islands can be reached by passenger ferries departing from Nybroplan or the Grand Hotel in the city centre, or from seaside towns out east such as Vaxholm, Stavsnäs and Dalarö. The archipelago is a very popular place to have a weekend/vacation house, so the population multiplies each summer.
Photo Credits: Ola Ericson/Imagebank Sweden and Nicho Södling/Imagebank Sweden
Pack your overnight bag and get ready for a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city! Here’s our favourite getaways near Stockholm!
Few would argue that Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in the world – but even the most dedicated city-dweller sometimes needs to get away from it all, even if just for a few days. Hence, here is OUR list of the best – all within easy reach of the capital.
This little island gem smack dab in the middle of the Stockhom archipelago will afford you a true getaway. Just over an hour’s ferry ride from Stockholm a weekend on Möja is all about a peaceful idyll. Bring your bike (or rent one at the dock) and explore the winding dirt roads, stopping off for hikes or climbing along the rocky coast. One of the finest fish restaurants in all of Sweden, Wikström’s Fisk, is located on the island and if you don’t take a chance to try this treasure you’ll kick yourself the entire ferry trip back to Stockholm. Overnight accommodations include a B&B, a hostel and rented cabins. The ferry schedule changes with the season so do check ahead.
If you want to go a bit further afield into the island then Åland is a perfect retreat – and it offers quite a bit more than Möja in terms of food, fun and accommodation. There is a thriving year-round community and plenty of places to stay but there are also more secluded areas which also offer accommodation, so you’re a bit spoiled for choice depending on what you’re in the mood for. There are more than 40 restaurants scattered across Åland, featuring everything from your basic Swedish pizza to more high end and elegant dining. Winter is a fantastic time to visit Åland and avoid the heaving summer crowds and you won’t lack for things to do, as winter activities are in abundance. There are a number of transport choices to Åland, including the ferry from Stockholm or hopping off one of the larger cruise ships that stop there. You can also fly or bring your own car over, although there are plenty of ways to get around Åland without one – or you can rent a car while you’re there.
Just 70 km south of Stockholm Trosa is known in Sweden as World’s End. This is one for history buffs as well as lovers and friends. Given official ‘township’ status by King Karl IX in 1610 the town has been invaded, burned, rebuilt and has somehow not only survived but has thrived. Trosa offers a plethora of activities at any time of the year. Although relatively small Trosa boasts a wide variety of restaurants and cafés and plenty of places to stay, with everything from B&Bs to hotels, private rentals and cabins. Getting to Trosa is easy with the Trosabus, which travels between Stockholm and Trosa multiple times daily. You can also drive - the trip takes just over an hour, depending on traffic.
Gotland is the largest island in the Baltic Sea and Visby is the heartbeat of the island. There are several ways to get to Visby; you can take the ferry or you can fly. A flight is faster but then you’d miss out on the fun of the ferry trip, which affords you the opportunity to really unwind while enjoying gorgeous views of the sea as you travel. You’re spoiled for choice as far as places to stay in Visby, with fine hotels, more humble hostels, camping, cabins, B&Bs and pretty much anything else that might suit your fancy. And things to do? What isn’t there to do in Visby and the surrounding island? This is a trip to really plan because there are events, outdoor activities, museums…you want it and you’re probably going to find it. Dining options run from the most basic burger joint to a top of the line starred restaurant and everything in between. Gotland is a farming island so freshness is the name of the game.
Sometimes the best weekend getaway means getting away in your own backyard. And in Stockholm, you don’t need to go far in order to take a break. One of the most expensive hotel suites in the world, the Princess Lilian Suite, has everything you’d want for a few days of luxurious bliss. Sitting room? Check. Dining room? Check. Bathroom bigger than your flat? Check. Movie theatre? Check. Sauna? Check. Personal service staff, round the clock limo service, VIP treatment like you’ve never experienced before? Check, check, check. All 300+ square meters of this suite are pure luxury and worth the price of admission … if you’ve got it. Inquiries on availability and price of the Princess Lilian Suite should be directed to the Grand Hotel but I can attest, from personally having attended an event in the suite, that it is an experience not to be missed. And if you can’t quite swing the entry fee to the suite, the Grand does have plenty of other rooms that might be more within your price range, along with fantastic restaurants, a great bar and excellent room service – all of which means you never have to leave your little bubble of bliss.
Telephone: + 46 (8) – 679 35 60
Have you any suggestions for great weekend getaways? Please do tell us in the comments below!
Judi Lembke is an editor and writer who, when not shackled to her computer, enjoys reading, cooking and sometimes watching embarrassingly bad reality TV. Judi also works with communications and thinks coming up with clever ideas is about as much fun as one can have without taking off one’s clothes.
Giant horses, striking colours and the Prime Minister in a dress! Friday saw the unveiling of the Spring Salon at Liljevalchs Art Gallery. YLC braved the cold to attend!
It was a cold and crisp winter morning in Stockholm when the press gathered at the Liljevalchs gallery to sneak a first peek at this year’s exhibition. Spring felt far away, yet it was the Spring Salon we were there to see.
“Many said that last year’s exhibition was the best so far – I would say that this one is even better,” said Mårten Castenfors, the director of the gallery, as he greeted the gathered press.
The Liljevalchs art venue belongs to the City of Stockholm and was opened back in 1916 as the first independent, public museum for contemporay art in Sweden. The building is the work of renowned Swedish architect Carl Bergsten and is situated amidst the captivating natural surroundings of the Djurgården Island in Stockholm.
The Spring Salon, which has become a fixture on the Stockholm art scene since the first exhibition in 1921, is visited by young and old and for many Stockholmers it is the first and sometimes only art exhibition visited on a regular basis.
“It is important to us that this is a place where you can experience just how fun art can be, said Castenfors.
And fun it certainly is! This is the kind of exhibition where you can bring your children, as well as your parents or your friends – no one will be disappointed as it appeals to all ages. There are sculptures and paintings, installations and film clips.
It would be hard to forget the lingering image of the Swedish prime minister dressed as a 18-century lady in Synergi 1 by Hanna Lundgren Herder, or stay unmoved by the striking images Equatorial and Simple by Samir Soudah. However, YLC was particularly smitten with artist Bo Ljung’s two paintings Rörelse mot Söder and Återsken. A special mention will also have to go to artist Thomas Carlsson and his work Burkfåglar (Can-birds), beautifully crafted birds made out of re-folded soft drink cans in striking colours.
This year’s jury, which consisted of art historian Göran Ståhle, Greta Burman of the Moderna muséet in Malmö, Lisa Lundström from the Bildmuseum in Umeå and Mårten Castenfors of Liljevalchs, said they were very pleased to have received so many different types of pieces this year. 2,192 artists entered their work and out of these 288 were chosen to be displayed in this year’s exhibition. There were 78 women and 74 men chosen – but the age span is wide, as the youngest artist will soon turn 19 and the oldest is 92.
Wandering around the beautiful space that is the Liljewalchs art gallery is always a pleasure and this year’s exhibition is well worth a visit.
Some pieces are striking and others more understated but somehow they all stay with you when you leave. Some you wish you could actually take home with you. And of course – if you move quickly – you can. All the pieces displayed in the exhibition are for sale and it is up to the artists how much they will cost. This year, the least expensive piece, a DVD, was priced at 1 SEK and the most expensive at 280,000 SEK. Something for everyone, in other words.
This time YLC left empty handed but with a wealth of impressions and having spent a lovely morning looking at sometimes beautiful, sometimes disturbing but always interesting, works of art.
Återsken, Bo Ljung
Where: Djurgårdsvägen 60, Djurgården
When: Monday closed, Tuesday 11.00–20.00, Wednesday 11.00–17.00, Thursday 11.00–20.00, Friday-Sunday 11.00–17.00. The exhibition runs from January 24th to March 23rd.
Damage: Adults 80 SEK, Seniors and Students 60 SEK, under-18s free. The ticket is valid all day!
Click here for more information about the gallery, the artists and the works of art.
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World renowned TV-chef Jamie Oliver announced on Wednesday that he’ll be opening a restaurant in a central Stockholm hotel this autumn.
Jamie Oliver testing food at Scandic
“I have been working with Scandic for almost five years now and I am really pleased to be able to launch Jamie’s Italian in Scandinavia together with them,” the TV-chef said in a statement on Wednesday.
Oliver opened his first “Jamie’s Italian” eatery in the UK in 2008 and the chain of restaurants have since become hugely popular in Australia, Singapore, Russia and Turkey.
The Stockholm restaurant, boasting enough space for 200 diners, will be located in the lobby of the Scandic Anglais Hotel in the city’s posh Östermalm district. Oliver has been working together with the Scandic Hotels since 2009, giving visitors to the hotels a chance to sample dishes especially composed by the ‘Naked Chef’ together with the Scandic Food and Beverage team.
Cooking at Scandic
The concept is simple – to offer good and uncomplicated Italian food with a focus on local, fresh and organic produce. The plan is to expand all over Scandinavia, but at the moment the team is focusing on the Stockholm restaurant. Oliver said on Wednesday that he was proud to be able to launch the first Jamie’s Italian in Stockholm together with such a “creative, innovative and professional” group of people.
“It’s going to be epic – watch this space.”
Your Living City Stockholm
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The holidays are over, the julgransplundring has been completed, it’s dark, it’s cold and maybe you’re feeling a bit of a let down after all that excitement.
The post-holiday blues are apparently a very real problem but don’t despair! Whether you want to exercise your brain, your body or your social skills, YLC’s Judi Lembke has five of our favourites ways to get back into the swing of things in the new year.
With national elections being held later this year perhaps it’s time to learn a bit more about how the Swedish government works. In winter the Parliament (Riksdagen) holds hour-long tours in English on Saturdays and Sundays at 13.30. The tours are popular so do get there early as there are just 28 spots available. Weekday group tours are also offered in winter only; they must be booked in advance and have 10-30 participants. After the tour you’ll be armed with the basics of how government works in Sweden, which should come in handy when the national conversation becomes more and more dominated by the elections this year.
Stockholm is littered with outdoor skating rinks and it’s the perfect city activity in winter. Some, like the rink at Kungsträgården, have rental skates on offer, while others, such as the giant rink at Vasaparken, are simply there for your enjoyment should you have your own skates. The best part is going for a fika, perhaps a warming hot chocolate or latté, after your skate at one of the city’s many fabulous cafés.
We all know Stockholm has one of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos at our fingerstips but most people only think of exploring it during the warmer seasons. You’re missing a rare treat if you don’t take a chance to explore the archipelago in winter. Winter boat tours are available and you can even sit outside on the deck with a blanket while the arctic winds whip you about. There are a number of boats that have onboard restaurants – this will afford you a great meal and a fabulous vantage point from which to delight in the stark beauty of the Baltic in winter.
Located just 15 minutes from Slussen (bus #401) this nature area has almost too much on offer to mention, but for winter it’s ice skating, cross country skiing, and – get ready – ice swimming! If you’re not brave enough to jump into the frigid water or strap slippery things on to your feet you can simply take a brisk hike along the well-marked nature trails. They fire up the barbeque every Saturday and Sunday and if you’re frozen to the bone after lots of outdoor activity head into the sauna and warm yourself to the core.
5. Organize a potluck dinner
The holiday leftovers have been eaten and after all that cooking and preparation for parties and celebrations the idea of hosting yet another dinner probably makes you want to curl up in a ball and shut out the world. But wait! You can still be social without making a huge effort. Come up with a theme – healthy, Mexican, French … anything will do – and ask a few friends to each bring a dish for a fun and casual dinner at yours. It’s a nice way to catch up after the holidays with minimal effort on everyone’s part and people will be relieved to kick back and have a relaxed evening in with good friends.
Have some great ideas on how to beat the winter blues? Tell us about it in the comments below or head over to our forums.
Judi Lembke is an experienced writer and editor who, when she’s not shackled to her computer, enjoys reading, cooking and sometimes watching embarrassingly bad reality TV. Judi also works with communications and thinks coming up with clever ideas is about as much fun as one can have without taking off one’s clothes.
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