Tag : sweden

The delights of northern Europe and Scandinavia

The great thing about Europe is the incredible variety it offers. Think of a cruise around the continent and you probably assume I’m talking about the south – an itinerary that visits all those sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. But a cruise around Europe doesn’t have to be about sun and sand; pick an itinerary to northern Europe and Scandinavia and you can discover everything from soothing hot springs to the Northern Lights. And personally, I think that beats a traditional seaside break any day of the week.

Of all the countries you can visit on a trip like this, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are my favourites. Below, I’m going to outline a few of the highlights of each place, while you can get an idea of potential itineraries at Fred. Olsen.

Iceland

It’s no exaggeration to say that Iceland is full of wonders. Famous for waterfalls, wildlife and geysers, this country is somewhere that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. The capital city, Reykjavik, is the ideal place to be base yourself, and is a popular port of call on cruises.

First off, explore the city itself, such as the incredible sports area of Laugardalur, which is home to an open-air Olympic-size swimming pool. What’s even more remarkable about it is that it’s filled with thermal water. Other highlights include the lovely old quarter, which is home to narrow streets full of colourful wooden houses.

Another thing that makes Reykjavik such a fabulous destination is that there are so many amazing things to do and see in the local area. For instance, you could explore the ‘Golden Circle’, which is the nickname for the city’s three main local attractions – Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss and the Geysir area.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir is famous for its remarkable landscapes, while Gullfoss is the most famous – and arguably most beautiful – waterfall in Iceland.

Alta

Next up is Alta, one of the best places in the world to see the beautiful phenomenon of the Northern Lights. The optimum time to see them is between late winter and early spring, but while they’re certainly a highlight, they’re not the only reason to come here.

You see, Alta has a great history too, dating all the way back to prehistoric times. That said, it’ll mostly be modern buildings you see, given that a sizeable chunk of the town was rebuilt following World War II. There are some historical marvels you can see just outside Alta, though, like Hjemmeluft – the largest collection of rock carvings in Scandinavia. Remarkably, these carvings date from as far back as 5,000 years ago.

Sweden

Last up is Sweden. A cruise can take you to fantastic cities like Gothenburg which, like Reykjavik, offers a great mix of urban and natural attractions. What’s nice about Gothenburg is that it’s full of pretty 17th-century canals – and if they put you in mind of Holland, so they should, because they were designed by the Dutch.

If you come here, make sure you don’t only visit its amazing cultural attractions like Gotaplatsen (which is filled with museums, galleries, restaurants and more) but also the gorgeous rural areas just outside it. In fact, there’s a lovely little archipelago that gives you the chance to experience a totally different side of the city.

Called the Ockero municipality, this area consists of ten islands and is famous for its wonderful flora and fauna, not to mention scenic harbours. Make sure you bring your camera, because you’ll have the chance to get some absolutely stunning shots of the archipelago.

Categories: Uncategorized

Travel to Sweden

For the prospective traveller, the country of Sweden has a lot to offer. It is the third largest country in the EU. With snow peaked mountains ideal for skiing and snowboarding in the North, and miles of lake-land and forested areas further south, much of the vast Swedish landscape is covered by breathtaking scenery. There are a number of ways to fly to the country with airports located in the capital city of Stockholm, in Oslo, and in Copenhagen. These cities are proud of their heritage and culture while also continuously developing themselves as multi-cultural hubs. Each one has plenty of cultural, heritage and artistic events to enjoy throughout the year.

Laponia, Sweden

Laponia, Sweden

Flights to Sweden

As it is the capital city, flights to Stockholm follow a frequent schedule from most European countries. Many airlines have reduced their fares to more competitive rates. This allows for accessible flights to Oslo, and also flights to Copenhagen, as well as to the capital, from countries around the world at much reduced rates compared to the past. Flights to Copenhagen from London fly frequently from all major airlines, so there will rarely be a time when there are no flights available.

Things to do in Stockholm

Stockholm has an impressive history. Its first mention in the history books goes as far back as 1252, when it was an important site in the mining trade. Today it is one of the most vibrant and metropolitan cities in Sweden. With such a long past, there is plenty for the history buff to see and do in the city. Those interested in its more recent past will not be disappointed either. Fans of ABBA will love the ABBA city tour that traces the bands steps to fame. In keeping with its Viking history, the Vasa Museum has one of the best preserved shipwreck on continuous display. With interactive displays, tours, and boatloads of culture, the museum is a great way to learn about the political and social spheres of the 17th century in Stockholm. The boat was originally built in this era. Visitors will enjoy sampling the cool modern Scandinavian culture as well as visiting the historic sites dotted throughout the city.

Things to do in Copenhagen

While not actually Sweden, Denmark’s capital Copenhagen is very close and has more than enough to offer the interested traveller. It is rated as one of the best cities in the world for the quality of life of its people, and is also rated as one of the most environmentally friendly cities. Often referred to as the city of spires, the Copenhagen skyline features the spires of its many churches and castles. A great way to take in the architecture is to take a stroll down The Ströget. This is the longest pedestrian route in Europe and it will bring the walker through many of the many architectural wonders of the city. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants en-route where strollers can take a rest and do some people watching. In fact, Copenhagen is also famous for its numerous bars and restaurants- with the highest number of them per capita in the world.

Sweden is a unique country, with a varied and exciting history. With more frequent flights flying at reduced rates from around the world, there is no reason not to visit. It offers a multitude of activities and things to see, depending on which part of the country that is visited. From its snow covered mountains, to the vibrant cities, and the breathtaking scenery of its forests and lakes, Sweden has much to offer the discerning traveller.

 

Categories: Blog

stockholm city view

A Relaxing Trip to Stockholm

Stockholm, Sweden: This is a truly exotic place to select for a city to relax in, but that does not mean that it is not an appropriate one. As a matter of fact, Sweden is one of the most docile and relaxing of places in the world. Located in the most northern parts of Europe, the whole country is not very populated. Stockholm is the capital city and contains the most people, but there is still a sense of peace and calm.

stockholm city view
For those who love to have a look around in museums, this is the perfect city. Stockholm has over 100 museums located within its borders. This makes it one of the most museum dense cities in the world. As such, millions of people visit these museums each year. Some of these museums house some of the finest artwork in the whole country. One could literally spend an entire day just wondering around in just one museum.

Not everyone is interested in museums or art, but there are plenty of other attractions as well. Take the amusement parks for example. If the visitor is a thrill seeker, then they will love the fact that Stockholm has Gan amazing amusement park. This is an island based amusement park that has more than 30 attractions and plenty of food from restaurants. The park is visited by literally thousands of people each day that it is open from the end of April until the middle of September.

No one will ever go hungry while on their trip to Stockholm. There are over 1000 restaurants located within the city, and they provide foods from all over the world. Higher immigration numbers have led to more diversity in the food options that are available. Those travelling in from afar will not have to completely let go of the foods that they love just because they are travelling. What’s more, should you pay at a restaurant with an American Express card, you might be able to earn rewards points to spend on travel. Therefore, it could be a good idea to apply for a credit card online before you head to Sweden’s capital.

Not everyone is looking for attractions to attend. Some would rather just take the time to enjoy alone time and decompress. This is perfectly possible in Stockholm as well. It is remote enough that one can just lose themselves in the country if that is something that they want to do.

Stockholm has no shortage of shopping opportunities. While this may or may not be something that visitors are interested in, the opportunity is available to them. The fact of the matter is that Stockholm is well known for having great shopping particularly in the area of home decor. There are so many home made options for visitors to choose from. They can bring home truly authentic Swedish made rugs, clothes, and more. This certainly adds a certain flavour to one’s home. The prices are fairly reasonable since many of the goods are made from materials that are available right in Sweden. Those who make purchases like this are sure to bring back a one of a kind product that is second to none.

Those who have never considered Sweden as a possible place to visit should reconsider. Stockholm has so much to offer, and it is the perfect city to relax in and unwind.

 

Categories: Blog, Travel Tips