Chasing The Northern Lights - Day 1 (Stockholm)

  • Tuesday, December 23, 2014
  • By Iva Wen

I have been planning this trip since 1 year ago. I know I may sound kiasu (Singlish, fear of losing) but I managed to save $1000 each ticket because I bought it 12 months earlier. 

Our first stop - Stockholm. 

Click here to read day 2, day 3, day 4day 5day 6day 7 and day 8 report

Singapore – Sweden Stockholm (transit via Helsinki)

We made Helsinki as the base for this trip, we entered Europe via Helsinki and traveled to Stockholm and Rovaniemi from Helsinki. Air ticket is cheaper this way.  

It was a long flight from Singapore. It took us 12 hours to reach Helsinki. We didn't stay long in Helsinki airport. It's only an hour long transit and we arrived Stockholm Arlanda airport after 1 hour flight. 


From Arlanda airport to central station
  • Take "Flygnussarna" bus located outside the arrival terminal. Estimated time 35 - 45 minutes. 114 SEK per person. We bought our ticket online. Just print out the ticket and show it to driver when you get onto the bus.  
  • The fastest way is to take Arlanda Express train but also the most expensive option. Estimated time 20 minutes. 260 SEK per person
  • The cheapest option but the slowest. Take local bus to Marsta (nr 583) and take train to T-centralen. Estimated time 1 hour. Fare is all covered if you are using 2 days SL card.

Click here for airport transport information. 

We didn't purchase any tourist travel card or Stockholm card since it is a short stay in Stockholm. We bought single use ticket instead and cost us 44 SEK per pax per trip. Only on the 2nd day then we realized that we could buy the "2 person" ticket in 1 SL card at 120 SEK which comes with 4 tickets in Zone A to save money. 

Read here and here for more information on Stockholm transportation.

What to do in Stockholm

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. With 750 years history, this city is located on Sweden's south central east coast. It is build up of 14 islands connected by 57 bridges. More than 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces.

Some of the famous attractions in Stockholm:

  • Vasa Museum: the most visited museum in Scandinavia. Entrance fee SEK130, free admission with Stockholm Card
  • Skansen open air museum: the world first open air museum, it is great for family. Entrance fee SEK130, free admission with Stockholm Card
  • City HallEntrance fee SEK100, free admission with Stockholm Card

Read tripadvisor Stockholm 3 days suggested itinerary here.

Day 1 activity

Ostermalms Saluhall - Royal Palace - Stockholm Cathedral - Stockholm Old Town (Gamla Stan) - Old Town Christmas market

Day 1 itinerary may sound packed but these places are close to each other so I put them all into 1 day. Upon reaching our home stay in Stockholm, we quickly dropped our bag and kicked start our trip to Ostermalms Saluhall!

Östermalms Saluhall

We arrived Stockholm on Saturday. Saluhall is close on Sunday and close at 4pm on Saturday so we decided to visit Ostermalms Saluhall first.  

Opening hours: 9:30am - 4:00pm, close on Sunday

How to get there: 
From Ostermalmstorg station, follow sign to Östermalmstorg and exit from Nybrogatan. When you are out on the street, look to your left and you will see Saluhall. 

Click here to see alternative way getting to Saluhall.

Everything in Stockholm is expensive. A plate of fish & chips in Saluhall is sold at 250 SEK (about USD28). There were a lot of great food stalls in Ostermalms Saluhall, such as seafood, sandwich, cheese, chocolate and etc. 

We settled our late lunch at this stall with beef rice and bacon with boiled potato in mushroom sauce. These cost us 150 SEK (about USD24), affordable and taste great.

We moved on to Gamla Stan after Ostermalms Saluhall. We took T-bana from Ostermalms to Gamla Stan station. We went straight to the Xmas market and skip Royal Palace and Cathedral. 

The Royal Palace 

Address: Slottsbacken 1, Old Town (Gamla Stan) The Western Vault (3)

Opening hours 
15 September – 14 May: Tuesday–Sunday 10am - 4pm
15 May – 14 September: Daily 10am – 5pm

Entrance fee SEK150, free admission with Stockholm Card

How to get there: 

From T-Gamla Stan station and 5 minutes walk through Old town (via street Stortorget or street Västerlånggatan towards city)


From T-Kungsträdgården and ten minutes walk over the bridge Strömbron


Take Bus 2, 43, 55, 71 or 76 to station Slottsbacken or bus 3, 53 to Riddarhustorget and 5 minutes walk (via street Storkyrkobrinken).

Most of the palace was built from 1697 when most of the original palace burnt down, with remains incorporated into the new palace. It is one of the largest palace in Europe. It is the official residence of His Majestic the King of Sweden with 608 rooms and they took 57 years to completeDon’t miss the changing of the guard at 12.10pm (daily June to August; Wed, Sat and Sun otherwise). Read here

Stockholm Cathedral

Opening hours: daily 9am - 4pm

Admission fee SEK40 / 5 Euro (Euro is accepted)

How to get there:
Gamla Stan (the Old Town) between the Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum, a short walk from Centralen (the Central Station)

They do have English guided tour every Wednesday 10:15am. It's free, you just need to buy the entrance ticket or give donation when you enter cathedral.  

Don't miss Gamla Stan! Gamla Stan aka old town is the prettiest part of Stockholm. It is a small beautiful island with small interesting shops and narrow streets all round this town. Gamla Stan is small enough where you can explore in about 2 hours. Västerlånggatan and Österlånggatan are the main streets in this district. 

Visit Stockholm old town and the famous, oldest and the most traditional Christmas market! 

Opening hours: daily 11am - 6pm (23rd Nov - 23rd Dec)

Traditional markets have been held in Gamla Stan's main square since 1914 during festive season. It's so enjoyable to walk around old town and the aroma of mulled wine and gingerbread waft through the air. You can find gifts, handicrafts, chocolates and Christmas decorations here for the chilly Christmas. 

There are four main Stockholm Christmas markets: Skansen, Gamla Stan old town, Djurgàrden and the markets at Kungstradgàrden. We only visited old town Xmas market. It was weekend when we were there so the market was packed with locals and tourists. 

Check out this 10D7N complete itinerary here

Click here to read day 2, day 3, day 4day 5day 6day 7 and day 8 report

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