August 20, 2010
I'll be back in the first week of September... and anticipating a great autumn here in Stockholm. There is lots to look forward to! New museum exhibitions, especially the Terracotta Warriors at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities and Fashion Photography at Fotografiska, festivals like The Stockholm International Film Festival in November and plenty of events like the Nobel Prize season. And as it gets darker and colder, I think I will be reporting on a few spa visits as well! A special thank you to all of our guests at The Rival Hotel for making this a wonderful summer...
August 19, 2010
If you can't find what you are looking for at NK, then you don't have to go far to find more shopping options. Across the street you will find one of the larger Hennes & Mauritz stores and the Gallerian shopping mall is just kitty corner from the NK main entrance.
NK's regular opening hours are: Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 12pm to 5pm. The closest subway station is Kungsträdgården (blue line) or T-Centralen (all lines) exit Sergelstorg.
August 16, 2010
- Wednesday, August 18th- All The Presidents Men starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.
- Thursday, August 19th- The Hurt Locker which sweeped the Oscars this year.
- Friday, August 20th- Milk starring Sean Penn and Josh Brolin.
- Saturday, August 21st- The Queen starring Helen Mirren.
- Sunday, August 22nd- Simple Simon ...world premiere for this Swedish movie!
Closest subway is Fridhemsplan (blue and green lines), otherwise the crosstown buses 1, 3 and 4 will get you there. And don't forget The Stockholm International Film Festival will take place this November 17th to 28th and is dedicated to recently passed actor Dennis Hopper. The director Gus van Sant (Milk, Good Will Hunting, etc;) will be presented the Visionary Award.
Fashionistas have descended upon the city in droves! That is because it is Stockholm Fashion Week this week (August 16th to 22nd). Although the majority of events are only open to industry members, there are a few fashion events open to the general public:
- Carin Wester will be showing her collection at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Pavillion, set up in Kungsträdgården, on Tuesday, August 17th at 7:30pm. Come in time... her shows are popular!
- Cheap Monday will be showing their collection at the Evert Taube's Terrace on the island of Riddarholmen on Tuesday, August 17th at 5:45pm. Love their jeans! Make sure to RSVP on their website (linked here) before space runs out.
- The street Biblioteksgatan is considered ground zero for Stockholm high fashion. This Thursday (August 19th) the boutiques along this street will be open late into the evening (10pm). Many Swedish designers will be there to meet their customers... expect sales and other activities.
August 13, 2010
August 12, 2010
Today the island and archaeological site are on UNESCO's World Heritage list. If you go to Birka expecting to see the fabulous ruins of an ancient city like Machu Pichu, you will be disappointed. Birka was built mainly of wood and all that is left are the grave mounds and black earth and it takes a little imagination to envision what the town once looked like. Fortunately visitors are helped first by visiting the on-site museum where they have miniature replicas of what the town may have looked like as well as eager and knowledgable tour guides who take you through the grave fields and the site of where the town once stood. A recent addition to the site is a life size replica of part of the town, complete with working Vikings. It is made up of 4 or 5 dwellings, gardens and boats. The Vikings go about their business doing their daily chores including smithy work. One week in July they set up a Viking market as well. In my opinion it is the tour guides who make the trip extra special. They are all archaeology students and you can feel their passion for their work. There are hour long tours in both Swedish and English as well as a later tour designed for children. Speaking of which, this is a great trip to take children on! I sent a family of four from Germany there last week and it was a big hit. Otherwise I recommend this day trip for nature and history lovers alike...
Strömma is the company that runs the tours. They leave daily (mid May to mid September) from City Hall at 9:30am and you are back in town at 5pm (this gives you almost 4 hours on the island- enough time to take the tour, visit the museum and have lunch). There is a cafe on board the boat as well as a restaurant on the island. The cost of the tour is 295 SEK, half off for children between 6 and 11. Included in the price is the boat trips (with on board guide), museum entrance and guided tour of the island.
August 10, 2010
Just a little heads up! Today (August 10th) is the first day of the Stockholm Culture Festival, which will be going on until Sunday, August 15th. There is plenty to do and see and the best thing of all is that it is free admission to 99% of the scheduled events! A theme of this year's festival is Denmark... with many of the artists, music, theater and movies coming from our neighbours to the south. All types of "culture" will be represented and there is something for everyone (whatever your age). Take a look at their website (linked above) and check out the program. The performances and events are happening throughout the city though all of them are centrally located and close together... Skeppsbron in the Old Town, Gustav Adolfs Square, Brunkenbergs Square and Sergels Square. There is also a special area just for children at Strömsparterren in front of The Parliament Building.
I will be there tomorrow evening and come back with a more detailed report!
EDIT: And I'm back... took a stroll through the festival area. I didn't see any of the main performances as it was in the afternoon and they take place mainly in the evening. But they had plenty of bar/restaurant tents... and I visited Sergels Square where they have set up booths selling various items. Tonight I'm planning on revisiting the festival with friends to first see the 100-man gospel choir at Sergel Square and then samba queen Simone Moreno at Gustav Adolf Square. Be aware that there is another festival for youths going on simutaneously at nearby Kungsträdgården called Ung08.
August 9, 2010
The Vasa was a Swedish warship built at a time when Sweden, under Gustav II Adolf, was growing in power and taking her place on the world stage. Sweden was at war with Poland and was on the brink of being dragged into the Thirty Years War. A strong navy was important and the grand and ornate Vasa was to be its centerpiece. Unfortunately, she was too grand and ornate... top-heavy and unstable she sank minutes after setting sail in 1628 on her maiden voyage. She was found again in Stockholm harbour in the 1950's. The cold brackish water of the Baltic meant that shipworm hadn't destroyed her and she was nearly perfectly preserved. The ship was raised and the museum built around her, opening for the public in 1990 and quickly becoming the most visited museum in Scandinavia.
I really think that they have done a remarkable job with the museum. It is made up of several floors, all looking on to the immense ship. On each floor you learn about how the sailors lived on board, how the ship was constructed, what the ornamation meant symbolically, how the ship was found and raised, and more. There are loads of artifacts found with the ship on display as well. Whenever a guest tells me that they have one day in Stockholm and ask what they shouldn't miss... I always say the Vasa Museum.
The museum is located on the island of Djurgården and is a quick ferry ride from Slussen, or else you can take bus 47 from Norrmalmstorg. Entrance costs 110 SEK, 80 for students and free for children under 19. Entrance is free with the Stockholm Card. During the summer the museum is open daily from 8:30am to 6pm, otherwise it is open daily from 10am to 5pm (until 8pm on Wednesdays).