Hi guys! My name is Lotte and I’m from Utrecht, the Netherlands. I study media and performance and I’m spending this semester here in Stockholm! So far, I love it here! I spent my time hiking, cycling, going to the theater/cinema/museum, looking for cool clubs, getting lost in T-centralen, going to the gym and watching Mamma Mia. But sometimes, I love to get out of Stockholm for a while. I love traveling and I think it’s important to see and experience as much as you can!
During a semester in Stockholm, you get to know Sweden and Swedish culture pretty well. BUT, Sweden is so much more than just Stockholm (even though the residents of Stockholm might disagree). Sweden is about 11 times bigger than The Netherlands, so there is enough to see! I would therefore recommend everyone to take trips! Taking trips is such an Erasmus thing to do, you don’t want to miss out on that. In this blogpost I will suggest a few awesome trips you could take during your stay here!
If you’re the adventurous type (and if you have money), go to Lapland. This is honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited! I could really recommend joining a trip from Scanbalt(SUS arranges one trip every semester in collaboration with them as well). In just a few days you do everything you would want to do in Lapland: dog-sledding, snow scooter, sauna + dip in an ice lake, petting reindeers, cross-country skiing and (if you’re lucky) spotting the northern lights. It might be a good idea to bring some food from home, since it is a bit more expensive up there (and since Abisko doesn’t have a supermarket). If you are thinking about going to Lapland, the best time would be in march, so hurry up!
Only 3 hours by train away is Göteborg, one of the biggest cities and a must-see in Sweden! It is a perfect destination for a city-trip or a get-away weekend. Göteborg is a nice, easy-going, hipster town with quite some cool, hidden lunch or dinner places. If you’re in Göteborg, make sure you visit Röda Sten Konsthall. This place has some really good exhibitions, a great view over the water and the best vegetarian/vegan buffet ever. In Göteborg, they take the kanelbulle we know to the next level with a big plate-sized kanelbulle (!!!). If you want to try those, go to Haga. Haga is the old city center, a nice street with some lovely boutiques to stroll around in.
If you want to keep it closer to home, Sigtuna and Uppsala are nice places to visit. And the good thing is, they’re only an hour away by train! The train tickets are not that expensive, so it’s a great way to spend a free day! Sigtuna is a really small, old, typical Swedish town. It is filled with runes, churches and cute colored houses. Sigtuna is next to a huge beautiful lake, which also makes it a great place for hikes! Uppsala is a rather small student city. You can visit a free museum in a pink castle and there’s a big cathedral. On the 30th of April, there is Walpurgis Eve (in Swedish: Sista april), the ‘largest student event of the year’! This is the celebration of the arrival of spring in Sweden and in Uppsala there will be a lot of festive things to do this day! I can’t tell you for sure what it’s like, but I will definitely be in Uppsala that day to check it out!
If you are just completely done with Sweden, you could also take some trips abroad. A nice (and cheap) thing to do is taking a cruise to Tallinn, Estonia. You spend two nights on the boat and have about 7 hours of free time in Tallinn in-between. On the boat, there are enough possibilities to get a drink and dance, which is amazing! Tallinn itself is a small city with a cute, old center, nice to walk around in for a few hours. If you’re there, make sure you visit Kevin and his vegan chocolate shop, best chocolate ever! One extra plus: you can buy really cheap alcohol on the boat, since the shops on board are tax-free!
If these options are all not your thing, you could also rent a car (or a bike!) and just start driving (or cycling!). There is so much beautiful nature around, you will not be disappointed. Have fun discovering Sweden and its surroundings!