Stockholm reminded me of Seoul

Even 5000 miles away, Sweden and South Korea share similar spots, each with their own flavor

Jae In Park

While reading the news on the BBC’s website, I happened across several interesting spots on the “Voices of Stockholm, Sweden”. I decided to visit some of those local places of interest, and on the very sunny day of April 17th, I visited Monteliusvägen and Östermalms Saluhall. Walking around, those two places kept reminding me of similar pictures of Seoul, my hometown and the capital city of South Korea. So here, as an international student ambassador representing my country, I’m going to start the review of Monteliusvägen and Östermalms Saluhall in a comparative view with Seoul.

* Monteliusvägen & Sky Park

Monteliusvägen is a beautiful 416m walking path located between Kattgränd and Skolgränd along the cliffs of Södermalm. On the path, there are terraces, benches, and some tables where you can stop by and enjoy the view. To quote a sentence from “Voices of Stockholm, Sweden”, “you can see several of the 14 islands that make up the centre of Stockholm, plus it’s a great spot to catch both sunrise and sunset”.

Similar to Monteliusvägen, Sky Park in Seoul is also an amazing place to have a relaxing moment, and view Seoul and some of its 31 bridges in the Han River. One interesting fact about the park is that it was once a municipal waste treatment plant, but recently in order to restore the local ecosystem, it had been transformed into this beautiful space. Now people can enjoy a magnificent landscape of Flame Grass colony on the park, of course without any smell of waste.

* Östermalms Saluhall & Gwangjang Market

“Anyone who is a culinary fan will appreciate a walk through this indoor food market.”  I couldn’t say more than this to describe my impression on Östermalms Saluhall. Östermalms Saluhall is a food market hall since 1888 with more than 20 stands selling high-quality gourmet meats, cheeses, seafood, and handmade chocolates. As visiting a traditional market is always a good way of exploring a city and as you are in Stockholm now, it is absolutely a stop to make.

Similarly, Gwangjang Market is a historical market around since 1905 where you can find anything from tasty foods to traditional clothing. It’s especially famous for its folksy dishes including bindaetteok (mung-bean pancake) and mayak-gimbap, roughly translated to English as ‘addict-able’ gimbap. Gimbap is a seaweed wrapped roll of rice and vegetables, etc., and mayak-gimbap is said to be so good that you get addicted after your first taste. Gwangjang Market has served as a place for Seoul citizens who want to have a happy moment reminiscing about the past while enjoying a tasty dish in an old-fashioned market.

To sum up, even though Monteliusvägen is more of a path to take a walk through, while Sky Park is more of a place for having a picnic, the two can be considered to be ‘balconies’ of each city. And though Östermalms Saluhall is neater with antique beauty, while Gwangjang Market has more old-fashioned flavor, they are places where you can explore a market traditional to its country of origin.