ONE of the best 14-hour rides on the new Singapore Airline A350 flight paths takes you from Singapore to Stockholm – an absolute Instagram envy-inducing destination. The Swedish capital, possibly the best cultural backwater city in the Nordic region, is replete with stunning vestiges of 16th and 17th century history. From the Stockholm City Hall to Drottningholm Palace and the magnificent structures in the Gamla Stan area – dubbed as the best-preserved medieval city center in Europe – has all the makings of a picturesque getaway.
And while it’s heavily populated compared to other Scandinavian cities, its ultimately just 1.6 million people. That’s half the population of the 3.2 million in Milan. And that means you can have a relaxing break in the city at your own pace, without having to elbow your way through packed streets to get to anything worth seeing. Here’s a roundup of some of the recommended activities and places to see on your next visit to the capital city of Sweden.
Vaxholm Bed & breakfast, Day 1 (6- 8 hours)
A great way to explore the isles is to go on a ferry ride and discover the enchanting islands along the famous Stockholm Archipelago. Among the many must-visit spots is Vaxholm, an idyllic town with charming hotels, restaurants, cafes, and resorts. If you’re up for some warm Swedish hospitality, we recommend the Vaxholm Bed & Breakfast.
Nestled in Vaxholm’s older residential neighbourhoods, the 1930s villa and now bed and breakfast is a stone’s throw away from the waterfront and a few hundred meters from the Vaxholm guest harbour and the surrounding cafes, restaurants and archipelago boats. While you are there, opt for the breakfast basket and you’ll be treated to yoghurt, juice, granola, cheese, ham, vegetables, jam, eggs, and milk, delivered fresh to your door. Coffee and tea are always in the room.
Also, in the property is a nice cozy greenhouse in the courtyard where guests are welcome to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and relax. A couple of Sundays each month, the owners open up their Greenhouse café for anyone who wants to enjoy a warming soup with home-baked bread, waffles paired with a classic Swedish Fika. Cinnamon buns, cookies and other baked goods are also proferred, and vary based on the season. There’s also a small gift shop with trays, cutting boards, pillowcases and towels in Vaxholm-inspired designs.
The Vasa Museum, Day 2 (2-3 hours)
Be sure to drop by Vasa Museum, where you’ll find the 69-meter-long warship that sunk on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628. It was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. For almost half a century, it’s been a slow, deliberate and painstaking effort to restore it to a state close to its original glory. For now, more than 95 percent of the ship is original. It’s decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures. The Vasa is the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world.
According to the numbers reported by the city of Stockholm, The Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia, with over one million visitors a year. Opening hours are from 10 AM to 5 PM daily except for Wednesday, when it opens from 10 AM to 8 PM. There are as many as ten different exhibitions around the vessel that tell about life on board the ship, and a film about the Vasa is available in 13 different languages. Free admission for children up to 18 years.
The ABBA Museum, day 2 (3-4 hours)
Opened in May 2013, the Abba museum is located at the Swedish Music Hall of Fame building, which is part of a hotel and a restaurant. The permanent exhibition pays tribute to the iconic Swedish pop band, offering Abba memorabilia like stage outfits, instruments, gold records, awards and much more. There’s also a replica of the cottage on the island of Viggso, where the group wrote many of their songs. There’s even a mock-up of the changing rooms at Edmonton Ice Hockey Arena.
In addition to the items on display, there’s also a holographic interactive experience that invites you to sing, dance, mix music and try out virtual stage outfits. You can also record your performance and download it from the museum’s homepage with the help of your ticket.
Producer: Lance Lim
Videography: Zhang Minhua, Telescope Studios
Editing: Telescope Studios