Most travellers to Europe tick off their typical hotspot destinations – London, Paris, Rome, etcetera, etcetera. But I’m about to put a case forward to encourage all travellers to Europe to head further north. Yes, I know, it’s colder up there. Dare I say it, you might even have to pack a layer or two, even if you’re going in the middle of the year. Despite the fact it’s not one of the big major European tourist hubs, Stockholm is one city that really should be on your European bucket list.
I had always thought of Sweden as being a cold and dark city, without much appeal for a seeker of the sunshine like myself. Little did I know though, Stockholm’s summer sees an incredible transformation. A city normally known for wintery gloom truly comes to life in the middle of the year – albeit for just a few months. But it’s during this brief window of sunshine and warmth that you’ve got to seize the opportunity by the hands, and explore this jewel of Scandinavia.
Without doubt, Stockholm’s unique landscape really does make it one of the most beautiful waterside cities in the world. A city of fourteen islands, water is a constant theme all across Stockholm. Lakes surround beautiful island forests; the archipelago and its 30,000 islands are a maze waiting to be explored. I also believe that this is one of the reasons why Stockholm is one of the most eco-friendly cities I’ve ever visited. There’s a constant connection with the environment, and in particular, the water. Saying this though, the sea breeze does kick in on a sunny July day, with the reminder to always have that extra layer close by.
With so many islands, you’d think Stockholm would be difficult to get around, but despite its layout, this is a convenient city to navigate. Bus and tram stops are located all throughout the popular parts of the city, and there are taxis, both on land and water. But one little known secret of Stockholm lies underground, in its unique train network.