My Trip to Sweden | Part 1

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! If you are a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I spent Friday to Monday in Stockholm, Sweden. My friend & I travelled there to watch the Eurovision Song Contest and also did a little sight-seeing too. I promised to blog all about my trip and I can't wait to show you all what I saw on my little Swedish adventure. I'm going to blog about each day in a separate post; this is Day 1. These posts are going to be pretty photo and word heavy! Enjoy! 

Sweden, Swedish Flag, Sweden Flag,

After a two hour flight, we arrived in sunny Stockholm. I was quite surprised by how well I did on the flight because my anxiety was so high and my IBS is always at it's worse in the morning, but the time flew by (no pun intended) haha, and we landed at just before 1pm at the Arlanda airport. My friend was super organised and had well-researched how we would get around Stockholm, which first meant boarding the Arlanda 20 minute express train to get to the heart of the city. The train station was located under the airport and it's black rocky tunnels looked really cool. The train itself was so clean and spacious, a luxury compared to the trains back here in the UK. We got off at the Central Station (T-Centralen) and bought some travel passes, allowing us to hop on and off all of the trains and trams in Stockholm city for just 230 Swedish Krona (around £19) which is a great price considering we used lots of trains and trams during our stay. We had a quick bite to eat at McDonald's and headed to the closest metro station near our hotel, Radmansgatan. 


Something that I absolutely loved about Stockholm was how passionate everyone seemed to be about the Eurovision Song Contest! It's so different to what I'm used to here in the UK, because although there's lots of people who love the Eurovision as much as my friend & I, the majority of people are not too bothered, which is such a shame! As soon as we arrived at Arlanda airport, we were greeted by so many posters and advertisements on the screens celebrating the Eurovision. There was even this huge Welcome 'banner' displaying the Eurovision logo, and a huge majority of the shops we walked past on our travels were playing the Eurovision songs. Even our hotel had created a playlist of the songs for the weekend

Speaking of our hotel, it was in a really good location near the Radmansgatan station, surrounded by little coffee shops and bars serving food, a 7 Eleven convenience store, a Lidl and there was a McDonalds just down the road. We stayed at the Rex Hotel and we had a lovely little twin bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. I can't believe I forgot to get some photos of the hotel! Our room included breakfast which was nice and the bed was super comfy! The hotel was clean and tidy, and the staff were very friendly and welcoming. I love how we were asked straight away if we were here for the Eurovision and had a conversation about which were our favourite countries in the line-up this year! I'd definitely stay there again.


We didn't stay long at the hotel before we hopped onto the train to the Globen Station, which stops right outside the Globe Arena. This is where the Eurovision Song Contest was held this year and we couldn't wait to check it out. To get to the Ericsson Globe arena, we had to cross over a big bridge that was lined with Eurovision flags and speakers playing the songs. We had a little sing-along as we walked over and this just made us so much more excited for the Eurovision! How gorgeous is the Globe!? It's such a unique, eye-catching building. It instantly makes me think of the solar system, as it reminds me of a planet or some sort of space craft! Next to the Globe is the massive Tele2 arena (read more about the arenas here), a small shopping centre, a Mcdonalds and some cafes. We explored the shopping centre before heading back to the station to travel to Stockholm's Old Town







Stockholm, Eurovision, Globen, Ericsson Globe,



The weather was so great in Stockholm on Friday and it just made exploring the city an even more enjoyable experience. Stockholm's Old Town (Gamla Stan) is gorgeous with it's narrow, cobbled streets and old colourful buildings, filled with cafes and souvenir shops. It was lovely to see so many people sitting outside in the sun enjoying their food in restaurants and relaxing by the waterfront. We wandered around the narrow streets, popped into a few souvenirs shops so I could get some postcards and a few bits and bobs, and took lots of photos! We saw the Stockholm Cathedral and even the Palace of the Swedish Royal Family.  We also spotted an awesome 'machine' by the side of the road which counted how many bikes rode by, which I thought was a really cool idea since so many people travel on bikes in Stockholm that every path had a bike lane. We kept forgetting about this and walking into the bike lane! Ooops :) haha

Stockholm Old Town, Gamla Stan,





 How adorable are the vibrant wooden horses above!? I spotted them all over the city, in shops and dotted outside around Stockholm for tourists to take photos with! I found out that they are called Dala Horses (Dalecarlian Horses) and they are traditional hand-carved statuettes that have an interesting historical origin, read about it here.

The Royal Palace was an absolutely gorgeous building! It looks like a huge art museum and the achitecture was fantastic. It is one of Europe's largest palaces, with over 600 rooms! There are three museums there and I really wish that we had the time to have a look inside. I would love to go back to Stockholm one day and have a more thorough look at the Palace. 

 


We headed towards the docks and found the 'EuroClub' and Euro Fan Cafe, which was set-up for the Eurovision Song Contest for fans to celebrate together. You could buy drinks and food there, and at night it turned into the EuroClub where you could go if you were an accredited fan. It was nice to take a look inside the Euroclub and have a sit down by the pretty docks/quays and have a drink in the sun after walking around the city for hours! 




Euroclub 2016, Eurovision 2016,

After chiling at the EuroClub for a little while, we headed back to the hotel to rest our feet and freshen up before heading back out into the city in search of somewhere to eat dinner. I'm such a fussy eater that it was really difficult to find somewhere were I liked something on the menu! We eventually found a TGI Friday's but there was a big waiting list and they couldn't tell us when there would be a table free. Luckily, Stockholm is full of McDonald's! There literally seems to be one around every corner, so we ate there for dinner before getting an early night in preparation for the busy day ahead on Saturday. Check back for tomorrow's post all about what we got up to in Stockholm on Saturday. 

Thankyou for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post!

 

Have you ever been to Stockholm, or somewhere else in Sweden? 
If not, have you visited any other iconic European cities? 
I'd love to read all about it (leave me any links to your travel posts in the comments)

   

2 comments:

  1. Lovely post and I love the pictures, it looks a lovely city, I'd love to visit! Can't wait to read part 2. I think it's a shame the uk seems to treat Eurovision as a bit of a joke, the other countries see it as such a big deal, I never think we deserve to win anyway! X

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    1. Thanks for the comment :) oops, I only just spotted it!

      Thankyou :) I had such a lovely time! It's a beautiful city and I hope you get the chance to visit yourself someday. I definitely agree! :( It's such a shame. When I told people I was going to the Eurovision Song Contest, I got so many puzzled faces and people asking me why? It's so different in Sweden, it was so nice to hear people talking about the Eurovision! They put on a massive show there too and are really passionate about who they enter into the main show from their country. Yep, I'm also voting for other countries to win! haha x

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