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in the center of Nyköping

Flying into Skavsta? Nyköping is worth a look.

Budget airlines seek out secondary airports because the landing fees are lower. Skavsta airport, an hour outside of Stockholm, is one of these: both Ryanair and Wizz Air fly to Skavsta. Most visitors get on the express bus to Stockholm straight from their plane. That is a mistake. While I had booked a cheap Ryanair…

This grave was left in place inside the excavation. A mirror above the skeleton allows visitors to view it.

The Medieval Museum of Stockholm

Back in the 1970s, the Swedish Parliament planned to build a garage underground next to the Parliament building in Stockholm. As often happens in European cities, the construction stopped when excavation uncovered the remains of what turned out to be the original medieval center of Stockholm. For two years, archeologists excavated and studied the city wall, built by…

a spice shop, the precursor to the grocery store, at Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden

Skansen open-air museum, Stockholm

[tweetthis]An open-air museum is a lazy way to get to know a country’s architecture and culture.[/tweetthis] Or: [tweetthis]An open-air museum is a great way to get to know a country’s architecture and culture.[/tweetthis] Both of these statements are true. The fact is that most of us only have limited time when we travel, and, if…

The main hall in the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

The Nordic Museum: Sweden’s small-town museum

Exploring the Nordic Museum in Stockholm reminded me of some of the small-town museums I’ve visited before. Often a seemingly random collection of objects donated by residents or local companies, they offer insight into the area’s culture and history. I enjoy them because their “smallness” is often quite amusing. The Nordic Museum struck me as…

Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden

Gripsholm Castle and Two Charming Towns

It surprised me that the lovely town of Mariefred is only about 40 kilometers east of Stockholm, Sweden. It seems much further because it is so different. “Only” 40 kilometers is a bit misleading, however, given that most of what lies in between is water and islands. Traveling there by road, as I did recently on…

front view of Sparreholms manor, Sormland, Sweden

Sparreholms Manor and its Collections

As part of a blogger familiarization tour in July, I visited a manor house called Sparreholms Slott, in the region called Sörmland, south of Stockholm, Sweden. Dating to the mid-1700s and renovated in the 1820s and again in the 1890s, it looks, inside as well as out, like a slice out of Downton Abbey’s world….

view from the top of Storkyrkan church tower in Stockholm

Storkyrkan Tower Tour

The old center of Stockholm, on the island of Gamla Stan, swarms with tourists—and probably a few locals too—in the months of July and August. Among the sights they visit is a medieval-era church called Storkyrkan. What few seem to know is that Storkyrkan also offers guided tours twice a day up its clock tower,…

Vaxholm fortress in the Stockholm archipelago as seen from the water

Fortresses in the Stockholm Archipelago

In July, I was fortunate to participate in a short blogger trip on the theme of “Stockholm archipelago – close yet a world away.” We stayed on a relatively unknown island called Nässlingen, but also visited two fortresses to learn a bit about Swedish military history. Disclosure: I took part in this military history tour…

Upper part of the stern of the Vasa: Stockholm, Sweden

The Vasa Museum: exploring an epic fail

Ever notice how people love to hear about failed projects? I call it “epic fail tourism.” The most obvious example is the Titanic, about which there are numerous museums around the world (Belfast, Ireland, where the Titanic was built; Branson, Missouri; Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; Southampton, England, where many victims were from; and many…

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