Looking Back: Visiting Uppsala, Sweden in June 2016

Uppsala, Sweden.
Uppsala, Sweden.

I can’t believe that it’s been almost a full year since I launched my “Looking Back” blog series. Today, I’m concluding my blog series with one final post reminiscing about visiting Uppsala, Sweden (with a side trip to Stockholm) in the summer of 2016.

Uppsala, Sweden.
Uppsala, Sweden.

I’ll be honest – this post won’t be quite as photo-heavy as my previous posts. Unfortunately, my smartphone started acting up while I was overseas, and I ended up loosing a lot of my photos as a result. But I hope I can give you an idea of some of the historic architecture you’ll see around the city, as well as the plethora of museums and other historical sites at your disposal.

Historical Churches and Cathedrals

There were two churches near where I was staying in town: the immense Uppsala Cathedral, and the nearby Holy Trinity Parish.

  • Uppsala Cathedral (Uppsala Domkyrka) – built around 1270, it is the tallest church in the Nordic countries. While the cathedral itself is a site to see, be sure to take a walk around the yard to check out the runestones located on the grounds.
  • Holy Trinity Parish (Helga Trefaldighets Kyrka) – built shortly after the cathedral, it includes notable artwork by medieval artist Albertus Pictor.

Museums, Castles, and More

Uppsala Castle, Sweden.
Uppsala Castle, Sweden.

Uppsala Castle (Uppsala Slott)

Uppsala Castle was built in the 16th century by King Gustav Vasa. Today, it’s the home of three museums. I visited two out of the three during my outing that day. I started with the Vasaborgen, the castle’s history museum. If you enjoy climbing through ancient structures as much as I do, this would be my first recommendation.

The second museum I visited here was the Uppsala Konstmuseum (Art Museum). When I visited the entrance fee was a bit pricey, and the museum consisted of two floors of more historical artwork, and a third floor featuring contemporary works. The two floors of historic paintings and such were well worth the visit, but I have to say I was unimpressed with the contemporary installation at the time.

Linneanum & Evolutionsmuseet Zoologi

Linneanum in Uppsala, Sweden.
Linneanum in Uppsala, Sweden.

Directly across the street from Uppsala Castle is the building and grounds of the city’s botanical gardens at the Linneanum. Between the castle and the gardens, this is an excellent spot to get out and exercise in the heart of the city.

If you’ve still got the energy after visiting the expansive sites of the castle and botanical gardens, head a little south of the Linneanum and check out the university’s natural history museum – one of the best I’ve visited so far.

Riverboat Trip

Sunset view from our riverboat trip in Uppsala, Sweden.
Sunset view from our riverboat trip in Uppsala, Sweden.

As you might have guessed, our trip was due to one of my husband’s work trips, and we were lucky to participate in a riverboat excursion one evening. The river Fyris runs through the middle of Uppsala, and we spent a few hours meandering southward in the waning sunlight of a Nordic summer.

Stockholm, Sweden

View of a portion of Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden.
View of a portion of Gamla Stan from our hotel restaurant patio in Stockholm, Sweden.

As I mentioned previously, I lost most of my photos from this trip, but there are a few must-sees in Stockholm, even if you’re like us and only in town for a few days:

  • The Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet) – A museum dedicated to a preserved war vessel that sank in the 17th century. In addition to being able to get up close and personal with the ship itself, this museum has a wide array of exhibits about Vasa’s history. Bonus: use one of the water taxis available around the city to enjoy some additional views around the historic areas in the city.
  • Sound Pollution AB – It’s rare that I post a vacation blog and don’t include a reference to something in the goth/metal realm. Sound Pollution is a record shop in historic Gamla Stan specializing in metal, punk, and other subgenres. My favorite find here was a local compilation of goth bands from the area.
  • Handfaste The Viking Shop – Also located in Gamla Stan, this was my favorite place to pick up souvenirs for myself and for friends and family back home.

And that concludes my year-long “Looking Back” blog series. As we start to get COVID-19 under control and travel becomes safe again, I look forward to sharing my future trips with you moving forward. Stay tuned, and stay safe!

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