Let’s Plan a Trip to Stockholm!February 23, 2017
Is it ever too soon to start planning your next getaway? It’s only spring, but we’re thinking about how we want to spend our Midsummer holiday.
We reached out to Covington Travel to see if it could help us dream a little. Covington’s Beverly McLean, social media director and writer of the company’s Travel Maestro blog, helped us dream up a trip to Stockholm to celebrate the summer holiday.
We’d like to plan a week-long trip for two to Sweden to celebrate Midsummer, which takes place Friday, June 19 through Saturday, June 20. When should we book our flights and hotels, and when should you recommend we travel?
Since summer is prime season for visiting Sweden, you should purchase airline tickets as early as possible to get the lowest prices and best flights. The same goes for hotel reservations, especially over Midsummer celebrations when there will be many travelers. It’s worth noting that cancellation penalties will likely apply, so travel insurance is recommended to protect your investment.
The celebration kicks off mid-afternoon on Friday (Midsummers Eve) and it never really gets dark, so the festivities can go on until the wee hours, or even continue right through Saturday (Midsummer). For that reason, you should plan to arrive in Sweden mid-week before the events so you have time to adjust to the time change and don’t sleep through the merriment.
While we’d love to experience the Swedish countryside for an authentic Midsummer experience, it is a major
holiday time, and we want to make sure we have access to amenities that may be closed in some of the smaller towns. Let’s go to Stockholm. What hotel would you recommend?
For the best of the best, look to the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. The hotel is situated on the waterfront overlooking the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town. Individually designed bedrooms and a Michelin-starred restaurant make the Grand Hôtel an A-list choice.
For a smaller, boutique hotel experience, try the Ett Hem, a 1910 three-story brick townhouse transformed from a private residence into a home away from home. With customer service similar to a B&B, but with the experience of a lush, luxury hotel, Ett Hem boosts 12 rooms and a cozy courtyard garden – the perfect setting for celebrating your trip over a bottle of wine. If this is more your style, act now, because when we checked, they were already selling out space in the weeks surrounding Midsummer.
Once we land at the Stockholm airport, what’s the best way to get from there to the hotel? And how do you recommend we navigate around while we’re staying in Stockholm?
International passengers arrive at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, 25 miles north of Stockholm. The best way to get into the city is by the high-speed, non-stop airport rail link, Arlanda Express – the ride into Stockholm takes 20 minutes.
For daily sightseeing, the city is very walkable. The city center is compact, and the excellent public transportation system is useful for getting to outlying parts of town. You might also enjoy renting a bicycle to get around.
We know we’d like to participate in the festivities at Skansen, a huge open-air museum that hosts a weekend-long celebration. What other attractions are located in this part of Stockholm?
Skansen is open year-round but will have special programming, like maypole dances and folk music, during Midsummer. On the museum grounds, there are rural houses, historic gardens and parks, as well as craftsmen and artisans. Skansen also has a zoo that showcases Nordic animals and there is an aquarium, which requires a separate admission ticket.
Near Skansen, in the Djurgården area of the city, you can also enjoy several indoor museums including one dedicated to Swedish pop-icons ABBA and the Spritmuseum, which explores Swedish drinking traditions and has a tasting room. Also in Djurgården is Gröna Lund, an amusement park with rides, arcades and concerts.
Midsummer is going to be awesome, and to further the celebrations, we want to treat ourselves. Where should we go to get a nice dinner? We’re not too worried about the budget this night.
While you’re there, you’ll obviously want to sample authentic Swedish cuisine! We already mentioned the restaurant at the Grand Hôtel, but there are some others you could try. Frantzén is a popular dinner spot that is going to celebrate a re-opening at a new location. It should be ready by Midsummer, so keep an eye on them. Lilla Ego is another fantastic option – not too pricey and the food is well-reviewed. If you need a good lunch or dinner spot, Rolfs Kök could be a good option, too.