June 21, 2015

The Shopping Street Drottninggatan

Drottninggatan, post summer rain storm.
One of Stockholm's most popular streets is Drottninggatan ("Queen street"). This pedestrian street is located in the downtown area of Stockholm, running north to south for almost 2 kilometers. There are many shops and boutiques along this street... though I would say that, with a few exceptions, there are no real unique stores. Most of them are the type that can be found in any Swedish shopping center. H&M, Zara, JC, Stadium, Body Shop, etc. Not that there is anything wrong with that! Besides shopping, it is also a nice street to stroll on and a good way to cross quickly through the city on foot.
Entrance to Centralbadet
There are some key points of interest on or near this street. On the northern end of Drottninggatan you will find the historic spa Centralbadet, with pool, gym, sauna and beauty treatments. Walking south, you cross another popular thoroughfare called Kungsgatan ("king street") which bisects the downtown area west to east. Here, just one block to the east, you will find the square Hötorget. There you have an outdoor fruit, vegetable and flower market Mondays through Saturdays and a flea market on Sundays. There is a also an indoor food market here called Hötorgshallen as well as Konserthuset, home of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and where Nobel Prize ceremony is held every year.
Hötorget square with market and Konserthuset
Continuing south on Drottninggatan, the next point of interest is the Åhléns City department store. This is a popular store and a good place to shop for anything from fashion to interior design to books and movies. Åhlens is located on the intersection of Drottninggatan and Klarabergsgatan. Immediately after you cross Klarabergsgatan you come to the next point of interest... the square Sergelstorg. The sunken square is an iconic Stockholm landmark. In fact, the diagonal checkered design of the tiles is a bit symbolic of the city. On this square you will find Kulturhuset ("house of culture"), Stadsteatern ("city theatre"), the main tourist information center as well as the entrance to main subway hub T-Centralen.
Åhelns department store
Sergels Torg with Kulturhuset to the right.
Drottninggatan continues south a few more blocks, ending at the bridge Riksbron which connects the downtown area with Gamla Stan (old town). But between Riksbron and Gamla Stan, the street takes you first through Riksdagshuset, which is the home of the Swedish Parliament.
The bridge Riksbron crossing over to Riksdagshuset and...
Still feel like walking? What many people don't know is that Drottninggatan is just one of three pedestrian streets, connected to each other, crossing most of central Stockholm. In Gamla Stan, Drottninggatan turns into Västerlånggatan which bisects the old city and ends at Slussen. After crossing over to the island of Södermalm at Slussen, the pedestrian street continues on Götgatan ending at the large square Medborgarplatsen. And Götgatan is only a few blocks from the Rival Hotel!
...Västerlånggatan in Gamla Stan, which connects to...
...Götgatan on Södermalm.

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