10 Things To Do In Stockholm

Stockholm is interesting northern city divided to idyllic old town and modern city full of shops, culture and tourist attractions. For me the best 10 things to do in Stockholm would be mostly museums BUT I know not everyone is as art freak as I am so this list tries to contain also other things you can experience in Stockholm. I hope you enjoy and feel free to leave your own tips to the comments section.

(I will add more images afterwards because I am busy now…)

10. Skeppsholmen

Stockholm has many small islands and Skeppsholmen is one of them. Skeppsholmen is best known as home of interesting museums. Modern art museums Moderna Museet, Bergrummet museum in old tunnels, Asian art museum Östasiatiska museet and Arkitektur och designcentrum museum that has information about Swedish architecture.

In addition to these museums (most of them free) Skeppsholmen is beautiful island full of nature so I recommend walking around it. There is also old Af Chapman ship that works as hotel and restaurant. From its deck you can see beautiful view to central Stockholm.

 

9. Canal Walk

stockholm_city

Stockholm has several bridges and canals and that’s why walking among them is one of the must things to do in Stockholm. I recommend starting in front of Royal Palace where you can feed birds and take cool photos. Then continue your trip among the water. Another good place to start is from Stockholm City Hall and walk among Klara Sjö. It may be a little more remote but you get to see real Stockholm.

If walking isn’t for you, taking canal cruise is also good option. Sit in boat while sailing through beautiful Stockholm. However some of the smaller, more remote and in my opinion more beautiful canals may be better places to visit and offer you more authentic Stockholm experience.

 

8. Moderna Museet / Modern Art Museum

yayoi kusama moderna museet

I already mentioned this place when talking about Skeppsholmen island being one of the must things to do in Stockholm. However, Moderna Museet is definitely my favorite place in Stockholm and deserves its own recommendation section. (I think I would write its own post for this place if I wasn’t this lazy… Seriously, visit here even if you hate art!)

Moderna Museet has world class modern art exhibitions and in addition to that totally free huge permanent art collection. If you don’t want to pay to see art, consider at least giving quick visit to that free side of this museum. When you fall in love with it, because I surely know you will, visit their expensive changing exhibitions. I have seen everything from Yayoi Kusama’s colorful infinity rooms to Marina Abramovic’s questionable raw films. Definitely one of the best modern museums I have visited.

 

7. Kulturhuset

The name ‘Kulturhuset’ already tells why it’s on my ’10 Things To Do In Stockholm’ list. Who wouldn’t like culture? If I tell the truth I fell in love with Kulturhuset, because of its amazing rooftop cafe/restaurant. Those views are just amazing and one of the must things to do when you come to Stockholm. I always start my city trip from observation deck and Kulturhuset fits that purpose perfectly.

I have visited Kulturhuset every time I have went to Stockholm (and that’s a lot). However my solo travel to Stockholm earlier this year was the first time I did more than just had coffee at the rooftop cafe. Kulturhuset has huge tourist information center that is the best place to start your trip. They have a lot of free guides, maps and friendly staff that is always ready to help you. If you need free internet, they also have that.

In addition to these more touristy things, Kulturhuset has libraries and theater. If you have extra time, try visiting one of the libraries. It’s not just a normal books but real media center full of new experiences and interesting settings. Kulturhuset also arranges several design, art and fashion exhibitions every year.

 

6. Royal Palace

sweden sky and sea

Sweden is lead by royals so of course Royal Palace is one of the must things to do in Stockholm. I feel like bad tourist because I don’t have that much information about this place. I only saw changing of guards (one of the major things to see in Sweden) for the first time this year. So, I don’t have much to say except visit here or at least take some cool photos.

 

5. Djurgården

Djurgården or Kungliga Djurgården (Royal Park) is one of the island in central Stockholm. If you want to see nature in city, this place is for you. Its touristy place but also locals like to spend sunny summer days here. Walk around, drink coffee and enjoy fresh Swedish nature. Djurgården is easily accessed either by foot or by ferry from old town. There is also several museums like ABBA: The Museum, Vasa Museum, Thielska galleriet, Junibacken and Biological Museum.

One of the most popular museums (and the one I recommend for everyone coming from somewhere far away) is Skansen open-air museum. It has zoo and it displays traditional Swedish way of living. So, if you want to learn something about this Nordic country you have just visited, Skansen should definitely be on you must things to do in Stockholm list.

 

4. Fotografiska Museet / Photography Museum

I don’t know why I haven’t visited here before the trip I did to Sweden this year. This photography museum made its way to my favorite things to do in Stockholm right away after I stepped inside. Firstly, who doesn’t love photographs? Secondly, the atmospheres in different exhibitions were perfectly created with right lighting and correct layouts. I have nothing bad to say (except maybe the expensive admission but I can understand why…) This place is a little walk away from the most central area of Stockholm but it only fits well with the nature of this museum.

 

3. Stockholms Stadshus

Stockholms Stadshus (or in English Stockholm’s city hall) gets place three from my 10 Things To Do In Stockholm list because of the view you will see from its garden/yard. Old town and the colorful buildings reflect beautifully from the water and create perfect place to take photos for tourists and those loving photography. They also have interesting shop with cool souvenirs and you can visit the city hall itself.

 

2. Shopping

 

Stockholm is like northern shopping paradise. You can find everything from world-class brand stores to old small local vintage shops. My favorite is Gallerian shopping mall (that was apparently the first shopping mall in Stockholm’s central area and is still one of the most popular ones). You should also visit Åhlens because even if it may be a little expensive for traveler’s budget it definitely has its own charm. Newer place I haven’t had change to try but that I have heard a lot of good things about is Mall Of Scandinavia. It has many brand stores and is truly shopping PARADISE.

 

1. Gamla Stan / Old Town

sweden_photo

Like I have said million times: I love old towns. Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (Swedish term for old town) is one of my favorites. Narrow streets, colorful buildings and -of course- cute little cafes. They have nutella waffles everywhere so I recommend tasting those. I spent most of my time in local book shop but if you want to see something more touristy try Kungliga Slottet / Royal Palace and go see the changing of guards. Also royal shop near Royal Palace is something worth of seeing.

 

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I am traveling to Stockholm with my family this weekend so I thought now would be good time to publish this ’10 Things To Do In Stockholm’ article that has been waiting for too long. I mean I have traveled to Stockholm at least two times during the last year I have been writing this blog. So, do you have any new recommendations for me? All tips, tricks and opinions are welcome like always.

Have an amazing day!
With love,

Viivi Severina

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10 Quotes That Inspire Me To Travel

I am addicted to quotes. What would be better way of using my love for quotes than sharing my favorites with you? So here is 10 travel quotes to awake your wanderlust.

1.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. DREAM. Discover.” – Mark Twain

2.

Travel quotes wanderlust

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

3.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place,  like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.” – Azar Nafisi

4.

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

5.

“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” – Isabelle Eberhardt

6.

Wanderlust travel quotes

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

7.

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” – Oscar Wilde

8.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

9.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller

10.

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

 

So, what are your favorite travel quotes? I am always happy to find new inspiring or motivating quotes to help my wanderlust. Also sorry for this short not so good post. School is killing me slowly and painfully…

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With love,

Viivi Severina

10 Things to do in Kyoto, Japan

To my own surprise after  wondering what would be my top 10 places to visit in Kyoto most of them were free things. It’s not only because I’m broke and cheap (okay, maybe it has something to do with that fact…). Kyoto just has many free and beautiful attractions!

So here is my top 10 list of things to do when visiting Kyoto (most of them free or cheap). I spend almost two months in Kyoto so I visited most of them several times. If I had only a one day in Kyoto these are the ones I would be considering to visit.

10. Philosopher’s Path & Ginkaku-ji

 Whatever you were deep thinker or just doing touristy things around Kyoto Philosopher’s Path is something you shouldn’t skip. I recommend visiting during fall (the colors are BEAUTIFUL) or during cherry blossom season. Philosopher’s path follows small canal for two kilometers.

There is cute small cafes, shops and small temples to visit during your walk. Or if you are deep thinker you may want to follow the foot steps of Nishida Kitado who is one of Japan’s most famous philosophers and who used to walk this route and meditate. Philosopher’s path starts/ends to Ginkakuji temple that is place worth of visit on its own.

 

9. Kyoto Aquarium

Kyoto, japan aquarium

It may seem stupid to include aquarium in this list because you can find them from anywhere in the world. Fortunately I am not one to follow general opinions. I think I have said this before but if you want to make me fall in love with you just take me to the aquarium. Seeing colorful fishes, sharks, etc. is amazing what ever country you are currently.

Penguins, jellyfishes and pet a sea animals corner made me spend too many hours in this dark huge aquarium. There was also dolphin music show and a lot of souvenirs to buy. I recommend this for all fellow aquarium lovers!

 

8. Train Station

happy_terrace_kyoto

This may sound lame but Kyoto’s train station was one of my regular places to wander around. There is three shopping centers, countless restaurants and city’s best tourist information. One of my favorite things to do in Kyoto was to eat evening snacks in the free observation deck after I had bought them from the basement floor’s food stalls. (BTW. free food samples are offered there if you go on the right time.)

You can use hours after hours just getting to know all the shops and trying different foods. Get your the best city tips and current events from tourist information. And like I said that observation deck and its Happy Terrace are one of the secret wonders of Kyoto.

 

7. Manga Museum

My plan was to visit here on my last week in Kyoto but then I didn’t have a time. I can however recommend it for everyone because I did hear so many good reviews of it by the other hostel guests. Manga museum is just what it sounds like… building full of mangas you can read! Majority of the books is in Japanese but there is also section for other languages.

Manga museum is located in old elementary school so in addition to all the mangas you can experience the atmosphere of Japanese school life. Admission costs 800 yen (and special exhibitions have their own prices). However there is “special” days when the admission is free for everyone.

 

6. Gion

gion

Let’s play association game once again! When I say Japan what do you think? I would guess that at least some of thought beautiful geisha. If that is what you wait from Japan then going to Gion is your best bet of succeeding in ‘geisha hunting’. (Don’t hunt geishas please… They are working so if you see them be considering).

Gion is often referred to be the old district of Kyoto. The buildings are photogenic and the shops offer free food samples of traditional Japanese snacks. There is one ‘main street’ but don’t be scared to part from it and wander around the smaller streets. I don’t recommend eating here even if the restaurants seem tempting (the prices are totally touristy/expensive).

 

5. Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)

Travel Year 2016: Japan Kyoto

The Golden temple is one of the most touristy places in Kyoto. It is still worth of visiting. The main thing to see is the gold-colored temple in water. Just to take pictures with that temple is worth of paying the 400 yen entrance fee. -That however is just my opinion…-

Be aware that there will be a lot of people and possibly waiting to get in. In the end of this walk through the area you can find small food and souvenir stalls. Don’t just run past them even if I don’t recommend buying anything (the prices are high). Try the free food samples because they have some options that aren’t so popular in other parts of Kyoto.

Read about my adventure to Golden Pavilion

 

4. Kiyomizu-dera

kiyomizu

I tried to not put too many shrines and temples to this list but with Kyoto it is impossible. I would do own list for those because I visited so many on my time in this historical city. Kiyomizu-derra is place I hope I could have found earlier during my stay. It’s not even the temple that charmed me but the area around it. All the small shops, tiny alleys and old buildings. 

Even if you feel like paying the 400 admission fee is too much for you to handle I recommend visiting the area. You can’t see the main temple but there is a lot more for this place. There is also many pop culture (and kpop culture) shops for those who share my interest in this area.

 

3. Arashiyama

bambooforest

Arashiyama is area in western Kyoto. There is located two must to go places: Bamboo forest and Monkey park. Also the area of Arashiyama alone is fun to explore. There is a lot of souvenir shops, temples/shrines and free food samples. Just be careful or you will get hopelessly lost…

When you see cool Japan travel photos with bamboos I would bet they are taken in Bamboo forest. It is one of the places Kyoto is popular for. Warning: Its popularity means too much people and if you go wrong time you probably can’t take that perfect bamboo photo without dozen tourist heads disturbing you. I recommend morning or just before sunset. 

 

2. Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art

At first I was surprised that Kyoto doesn’t have that many museums. But after visiting the ones this traditional city has I didn’t have any more complaints. Municipal Museum of Art was amazing and I didn’t even go inside the museum. Unfortunately when I meant to visit I hadn’t checked the timing correctly and it was already closed. However you can always visit the museum’s garden and let me tell you it was enough art for me. There was countless amount of modern art pieces during my visit.

And when you are at it Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art is located perfectly. It is separated from Kyoto’s National Museum Of Modern Art by huge torii gate (see photo above). Close to the museum is also Kyoto zoo and popular Heian Shrine.

 

1. Fushima Inari

torii

My favorite place in Kyoto, Japan and maybe even in the whole wide world! If you have learned about Japan and/or about it religions you have probably seen photos of Fushimi Inari and its endless rows of torii gates. Fushimi Inari, Fushimi Inari Taisha or Mt. Inari is mountain dedicated for fox god. The mountain paths are surrounded by thousands of red gates that are donated by Japanese businesses.

Hike up the mountain is going to be tough so I recommend good shoes and a lot of snacks. Don’t be scared to take the not so beaten path because this mountain is full of surprises and secret wonders.

Read about my adventure to Fushimi Inari

 

I know, I know… Once again I was late with post. Sorry, but I think you are already used to me not following my own rules. I’m waiting excitedly the day when I can write all my posts on the right days. We are going there (slowly) so please bear with my laziness for a little while longer.

Like always comments are welcome! Have you visited Kyoto and what were your favorite places? Or would you like to visit there some day?

With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Rant: Traveling the Wrong Way

By all means I am not professional traveler. My solo trip to Japan for three months was one big catastrophe, last year my holiday to France was far from smooth and let’s not even talk about the times I have been travelling my home country Finland. Too many embarrassing memories there.

Making plans and following them isn’t my strength. At Tokyo I forgot to visit some of the must see places (when I say must see places I mean the most popular attractions). My two days in Paris went by sleeping in the hotel and not doing anything. Usually the new streets and sights may steal my attention and make me forgot all the cool places I came to visit at the first place.

In the other hand I act like tourist. Taking pictures of any silly new thing, going to familiar McDonalds and singing up for too expensive tourist tours. Sometimes I decide not to go for some cool place because it’s too expensive and I rather buy more food or souvenirs.

Socializing, partying or getting friends has never been easy for me. In the end I always say something wrong or make the person lose interest. I get scared shitless if someone starts conversation without warning. My fear of human contact gets so bad that I can’t even ask help from locals while traveling.

When I told my family and friends for the first time that I would leave and travel alone they laughed at me. No one believed that me, shy awkward girl, would really make my words true. They didn’t believe until I packed my backs and left. And even after that everyone seemed to think I wouldn’t survive.

I have this unexpectedly way of finding trouble anywhere I go. At Japan I accidentally went to closed amusement park and got in trouble with police (fortunately they were totally cool). While using train in France I booked trip that had under 5 minutes changing time and almost missed my second train. Those two are just examples of many others.

So like you can see I am far from professional adventurer. For everyone’s sake I probably shouldn’t travel at all. Then how did I end up having this feeling inside of me? Why does my soul want to leave every time I come back home? There is wide world outside and I just don’t seem to have the self-control to stay in one place for too long.

I may not be born traveler but that is never been the point for me. Some may say I do everything wrongly and this way I will never experience all my bucket list items. But I visit foreigner countries to learn, to get in trouble and feel like living. Inside of me lives lost soul and it encourages me to leave. For me this is the only right way there is. For me this is the life style making me happy.

So for all of you who travel “the wrong way” let’s just continue our own way of travelling and prove everyone else wrong!

.    .    .

 

So I didn’t have post for today because I decided to do last minute trip to travel writing lecture on Friday and didn’t have time to write. But here is older post I must have written last summer! I don’t know why I never published it… Maybe because it is kind of embarrassing?

You can read more random Travel Rants from here. And like always feel free to comment any thoughts you have.

With love,

Viivi Severina

My Travel Year 2016

It’s the last day of year 2016 and I have decided to (totally not be original and) write summary of my travel year 2016.

This year has been eventful one for me. A lot of travelling, move to new city and starting studying again. Because everyone else is doing these year 2016 things I decided to gather together my own travel memories and best post from the present year (four hours till midnight!)

Missing Japan

Travel Year 2016: Japan KyotoMy year started with being happy to be finally back at home but still missing my amazing three months in Japan. At this state of my mind I also started this blog! One of the best decisions of my year I think. Who said after travel blues can’t cause good things to happen.

Surprising Trip To France

Travel year 2016 MontpellierThe first trip of my year was to France! I was invited to spend two weeks in sunny Montpellier. I got to see the beautiful beach towns, old streets and kind French people.

Too many cruises

Tallinn's Old Town QuoteThis year was also full of shorter cruises because my schedule was quite booked with the school. I did family cruise to Sweden and travelled to Tallinn for the first time (and for the second time to see the Christmas Market).

Travelling in Finland

Travel Year 2016 Helsinki

End of my summer was full of university exams around Finland so I did more than a few trips around the country. Sometimes it’s good to explore your own home country and see what is has to offer. For example I visited Helsinki, Seitseminen National Park and moved to new city.

London Holiday

Big ben and Telephone box London

The biggest travel I did this autumn was to London. I got to visit Harry Potter attractions and see a lot of things I had seen when I was younger. Everything is in different point of view when you see it for the second, third or fourth time.

 

My Blogging Year 2016

When this year changes we also come closer to my blog’s first year’s end. I have written many different posts but here is some of the best/most popular ones:

insane

My travel bucket list post of me explaining what are my biggest travel dreams.

My travel post about seeing Tallinn’s Christmas market.

My travel diary to London.

Kiasma museum helsinki

30 travel things I want to do before I turn 30 years old.

Travel rant: being scared…

So all in all I have had quite good year, right? A lot of travelling but I think my next year is going to be even more full of adventures. How has your year been? And how are you going to spend the coming year 2017?

Happy New Year for Everyone!

With love,

Viivi Severina