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  1. Stockholm - why I moved there and my favourite things to do

    posted by Guest blogger - Matt Kepnes | 0 Comments

    Aug092012

    In his latest guest post, Matt Kepnes of NomadicMatt.com tells us why he decided to become 'semi-Nomadic Matt' and settle in Stockholm for a few months. He also tells us what are his favourite things to do there. To keep up to date with Matt for tips on saving money and more follow him on Twitter and like his page on facebook.

    Earlier this month, I gave up my nomadic ways and moved to Sweden. Well, temporarily. I don’t think I could ever stop being a full time nomad but for now, I am settling down into Stockholm until it gets cold and dark – then I’m off to South America (but that’s another story!)

    A lot of people have asked me why Stockholm? Well, I’ve always dreamed about living in Europe and Stockholm seemed like the best place to do it. Why? I have a lot of friends here, they speak English, and they are very welcoming to foreigners. Plus, there is also the fact that Stockholm is amazing.

    Three things bring me back to this city year after year:
    - The city: Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with cobblestone streets, historic medieval buildings, a beautiful archipelago, tree-lined streets, and parks at every turn. It just screams “high quality of life here.”
    - The people: Not only are Swedes friendly and hospitable, they are hot and who wouldn’t be in a city full of hot people!?
    - The nightlife: Stockholmers know how to party with clubs and bars closing at 4 in the morning. Locals head out most nights of the week and since I always enjoy going out, I always tend to enjoy Stockholm.

    All of those things bring me back to Stockholm year after year – sometimes multiple times per year. I’ve never met a person who didn’t fall in love with the city and I think you should be the next person.

    So now that you know why to come, let’s talk about what to do when you get here.

    What to Do in Stockholm
    Stockholm offers a lot to see and do, especially during the beautiful summer months when locals come out of hibernation and enjoy what few warm months there are. My favorite activities include:

    Walking the ‘Gamla Stan’
    Visit Stockholm’s old city, known as Gamla Stan, and learn some history. This was the original part of the city and here you’ll see centuries old buildings, the Noble Museum, the Royal Palace, cobblestone streets, and the ancient homes of the aristocracy. It’s one of the most photogenic parts of Europe.

    Touring the Archipelago - It’s worth spending a day island-hopping through the city’s archipelago. You can find tours from many points in the city that will take you through the rivers, to some islands, and even to a few summer palaces. The best tours are the full-day ones that take you out to more secluded islands. For a cheaper version, you can take the public ferry.

    Spending the day on Djurgarden Island - An island right in the middle of Stockholm, this is a very popular spot. It houses the Vasamuseum, an amusement park, and a historic Swedish village known as Skansen. Most importantly, this giant island is filled with bike and walking paths which make it one of the best places to get lost in nature in the city.

    Enjoy Stockholm’s wild nightlife - Stockholm is known for its nightclubs and bars. It may be expensive, but Swedes love to go out and party. I suggest you hit the clubs and party with the locals. Great places are Strand, Anchor, Retro, Underbar, 54, Utecompagniet, Rose, and Soap Bar. The main nightlife area is Strueplan. Wednesday is also a busy night in the city (locals refer to it as "mini-Saturday").

    The Vasamuseum
    This museum houses the world’s only preserved 17th century ship. The Vasa was a ship built so poorly it tipped over and sank a mile out of dock. The cold sea preserved the ship and this museum does a great job of putting the story of the ship into historical context.

    The Royal Palace - Built between 1697 and 1754 and located on the east side of Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Royal Palace is open to the public. Tickets to the Royal Apartments, the Tre Kronor Museum, the Treasury, and Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities cost 100 SEK each, but you can buy a ticket to all three for only 140 SEK. Please note though that it’s closed when dignitaries are being hosted.

    The National Museum - The National Museum has art by Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya, Renoir, Degas and Gauguin, as well as well-known Swedish artists such as Carl Larsson, Ernst Josephson, C F Hill and Anders Zorn. There is a really good collection of Swedish artists here and it’s one of the best art museums in Scandinavia.

    The Medieval Museum - Located near the Royal Palace, this museum is one of the better history museums in the city (most stink). You learn a lot about medieval Sweden and life in Stockholm. The coolest part is, since this museum is located underground, you get to see ancient parts of old Royal Palace.

    City Hall
    Stockholm’s city hall is a historic brick building that used to host the Nobel Prize awards. Its tower also provides pretty amazing views of the city.

    Visit Langholmen – On the western side of this city, this park/island is a popular summer destination for locals. You can rent kayaks, boats, and even go swimming in this area of the city. There’s a lot of outdoor restaurants here and it’s far away from the tourist crowds in the city centre.

    Stockholm is amazing city especially during the summer time when the weather is warm, the sky blue, and the locals out enjoying what few months of sunshine they get. That’s why I decided to live here for a while. I suggest you visit so you can see too.

    What city would you love to live in?

    To keep up to date with Matt check out his blog, follow him on Twitter and like his page on facebook.

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