Parks, wilderness and weird little places around Stockholm!

Stadshuset, 365 steps and 106 meters above the ground!

Just a short walk from the hostel you will find Stadshuset, the city hall of Stockholm. It’s one of the country’s leading examples of national romanticism in architecture, and opened on Midsummer's Eve in 1923. It looks like a fairy tale palace in Narnia! Climb up inside the tower, 106 meters, and get a fantastic view over the city. Then go down for a swim outside! Yes you can, the water is clean and there is a stairway down! Maybe the best time to do it is in the summer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBqQME0NXlY

See the stars at Observatoriet!

Close to the hostel, on the highest point of the hill, boasting a panoramic view over the city, lies the old Stockholm observatory from 1870. Depending on sunset and weather conditions the cupola is open and you can have a look in the telescope. If you're lucky you can see the Orion nebolusa, if not you have to make do with the city hall tower. The stylish café serves superb waffles with strawberry jam. Don’t miss! Swedes are very proud of our one and only astrounat; Christian Fugelsang. Here is a short movie showing him in action at the spacebase Esrange.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sOPwQdFZag

Liljeholmsbadet, Bergsundsstrand, Hornstull

A tiny 1920’s public bath on a raft floating on the lake of Mälaren. The pool is warmer than average and – we can't deny it – mainly used by old people! But the place is unique, weird and well worth a visit. Meet locals in the sauna and relax on the veranda overlooking the lake. This is not a tourist trap, it’s not even open during summer season and doesn’t have a web page!

The archipelago, all over the place!

Stockholm consists of islands, and is part of the largest archipelago in the world. In the ocean outside of the city there are 30 000 islands, all divinely beautiful! Since people live on some of these islands, there is public transport that will take you out there all year round. This is budget boat rides through scenic nature, a must when visiting Stockholm.

Transport: www.waxholmsbolaget.se, www.blidosundsbolaget.se
Inspiration: www.archipelagofoundation.se

Kungsträdgården, downtown

The most popular park in Stockholm, with a lot of free live acts in the summertime, and an ice skating rink in the winter. This is one of the few parks where you might not get away with bringing your own alcohol, but don't dispair, it's surrounded by plenty of bars!

Vasaparken, Vasastan

Ten minutes walk uphill from the hostel, right next to the house Astrid Lindgren lived in when she wrote Pippi Longstocking, is her favourite park. Astrid Lindgren used to take a walk in Vasaparken every day, and one of her less well known childrens’ books, “Peter and Petra” takes place here. A great ice rink, free of charge, and very good slopes for sleighing makes this a popular hang out for local families. But there’s plenty of space for backpackers learning how to skate for the first time! Borrow skates for free at City BackPackers!

Rålambshovsparken, Kungsholmen

This park will be full of locals in the summertime, having a swim or sunbathing daytime, and a barbeque in the evening. It is one of the few public places where you are allowed to bring your own wine, which might explain its popularity! Lot’s of free activities like outdoor cinema, theatre and aerobics.

Monteliusvägen

This walk gives you a nice and cosy feeling of how Stockholm used to look under the 18th and 19th century. The view over Gamla Stan and Riddarfjärden is amazing!

Hagaparken, Solna

Just outside the city borders north of Stockholm is this beautiful 18th century park. It’s hard to believe, but they say the British Garden Society have voted Hagaparken the worlds best kept English park! If it starts raining you can visit the butterfly museum, or the park museum in the copper tent (free entrance).

The cliffs of Kungsholmen, Fredhell

Find your own little private cliff to sunbathe, and get a dip in lake Mälaren. Beautiful early 20th century architecture with mainly small flats, which makes this area full of young, single people! (And some very, very old people too!)

Erstavik, Nacka

A huge area around a private mansion south of Stockholm, where the owners spend their days picking up garbage after the millions of people who come here to pick berries and mushrooms, swim and wind surf in the ocean, ice skate on the lakes and just enjoy the beautiful nature. This is possible thanks to “allemansrätten”, a law that says nature belongs to everybody (but it also says you must pick up your garbage!). Getting there will take almost an hour. Take the blue train Saltsjöbanan from Slussen, change trains at Igelboda and get off at Erstaviksbadet. After a ten minutes walk through the forest you arrive at a sandy beach, surrounded by cliffs and lawns. There’s a small kiosk with coffee, ice cream and hot dogs.

Tyresta, a national park right outside the city

Go hiking! Only 20 kilometres from the centre of Stockholm lies one of the most unspoilt areas of natural beauty in central Sweden - Tyresta national park and nature reserve. The area is characterised by a rift valley landscape which is typical for central Sweden but unique in an international perspective.

By means of the 55 kilometres of marked, colour coded trails and footpaths running through Tyresta visitors may experience the extensive ancient forest, the lakes with their impressive shoreline cliffs, or stroll all the way to the Baltic Sea.

Go there by commuter train and bus from the central station. The trip takes about 50 minutes.

Paddle around Stockholm

Stockholm is often described as a nordic version of Venice. But instead of romantic gondolas we have kayaks, available to rent from various locations. For those with some water experience we recommend a tour around the central island of Kungsholmen. Book your kayak in advance!

www.kafekajak.se

Go fishing

Early spring and summer mornings you’ll see keen fishermen line the banks of Strömgatan, right outside the Swedish prime minster’s residence, Rosenbad. There is also good fishing behind the Swedish parliament building at Stallbron bridge, judging by the number of people fishing off it. Fishing is free in the centre, and the city of Stockholm even throws in extra salmon, salmon trout and other game fish to keep the public happy!

Or catch a boat out to the inner archipelago where pike, perch and herring are common in the waters around the skerries and islands. If you’re lucky you may even hook whitefish or pike-perch.

Action Paintball Game (Phazerdome) Olofsgatan 14, downtown

On a rainy afternoon, treat yourself to a game of Phazerball, a cross over between lazer game and paint ball. Three minutes walk from the hostel, drop in all week days between 12.00 and 18.00 (6pm). Or try sumo wrestling or some other wonderful and childish game that is guaranteed to make you laugh! They also rent out paint ball equipment that you can take with you and start your own little war in the wilderness!

www.apg.se

Gröna Lund, Djurgården

A small, cozy amusement park with a great atmosphere, right by the sea. It’s the oldest amusement park in Sweden, and has been owned by the same family since the start in 1883. “Lustiga huset” with its moving staircase and wooden slide has been there from the start, and is still good fun. There is only room for 30 attractions, so by international standards this is not the most impressive amusement park. But it’s quite possible to have a good time here, especially on a warm summer evening with a good band on their outdoor stage.

www.gronalund.com