Sightseeing in Stockholm and Estonia
As I sit in my room listening to Christmas music (I know it’s early, but I really can’t resist), I am reminded that I have less than a month left here in Sweden. It’s unbelievable how quickly my semester abroad has gone by!
Aside from studying and hanging around Vallgatan residence with my friends, I have found some time to go explore elsewhere. Last weekend, I travelled with nine friends from six different countries to Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. We surprised a friend for his birthday by taking him on a trip there. We left early Saturday morning by train and when we arrived, I was excited to see so many Christmas decorations across the city! Stockholm is a busy city with so much to see.
We dropped our stuff off at the hostel, then decided to explore the city. After walking around for a short time, the sun already began to set at 4:00 pm, making it feel later than it actually was. Stockholm is so beautiful at night, as there are so many lights scattered across the city. We wandered into a relatively hidden walkway and came across this stunning night view of the city.
The following afternoon, we decided to take a trip to the Vasa Museum. I’m not usually a huge history museum fan, as I prefer to take in the city’s architecture and design, but this museum had a really interesting backstory. It holds a large boat that sunk several hundred years ago. After being shattered into many pieces, it was recovered and put back together. It was neat to see up close because it was so large and detailed. The museum also held old clothing, skeletons and other well-preserved artifacts from the ship.
After our trip to the museum, we explored more of the city. We walked through the central part of the city before deciding to take a fika break at Espresso House, which is a chain coffeehouse with some seriously delicious chocolate muffins and lattes.
Sweden has the best coffee and it has caused me to start drinking about triple the amount of coffee I drink back home! I’ll be sad to leave behind the delicious coffee and cinnamon buns here.
On Monday morning, half of us headed to a trip hosted by our university called “Sea Battle”, where we spent three days on a cruise ship across the Baltic Sea to Tallinn, Estonia before heading back to Stockholm.
Now, I was really looking forward to this trip because I wanted to get the chance to see Estonia. However, I was not looking forward to spending so much time on a boat and trying to sleep through the rocking motion.
It had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends and meeting several new people during our three-day adventure. Each night, there was a new event happening to keep us entertained on the journey to Tallinn and back.
The best part of the trip was definitely the few hours we got to spend in Estonia! We arrived at the Tallinn port around 9:00 am and had several hours to explore the city. Tallinn is such a charming place with historic-looking architecture. There are medieval-themed places you can visit that are far from modern inside, and one of our friends even got to try on knight armour in the middle of the streets. We walked through the cobblestone streets, which were lined with colourful buildings, adorable shops and markets built into the stone walls.
Before hopping back on the boat to Stockholm, we took a final coffee break in Estonia. I indulged in this delicious and beautifully-crafted latte.
I recommend Tallinn as somewhere to visit if you want to travel to a place in Europe that is truly unique. It’s a city with vibrant architecture, incredible views and an old-world feel.