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Take a tour to Scandi heaven

Travel | April 2016

The Vasa, which sank on its maiden voyage in 1628

Jane Anderson offers her travel tips

Are you hooked on Scandi crime fiction? Do you like maritime history? Have you ever sung along to Abba? If you tick any of these boxes, you should go to Stockholm. Built on fourteen islands, this beautiful city is less than three hours from Gatwick. Landing at Arlanda, a twenty-minute express train delivers you to the city centre, where all areas are accessible by metro.

Head to the museum island of Djurgarden to see the Vasa. This magnificent 17th-century warship, towering above awestruck visitors, spent 300 years at the bottom of Stockholm harbour. She took two years to build but travelled only 1,300 metres before capsizing and sinking with the loss of fifty lives. Bristling with the latest advanced firepower, she was top-heavy and this instability led to her undoing. Raised in 1961, so well-preserved that she could float unaided, the Vasa is unmissable. 

Around the corner we found the Abba museum. You can make your own demo tape or perform onstage with the group, using holograms. You may even answer the phone and speak to an Abba member. A thirty-minute walk takes you to Gamla Stan, the Old Town, where you can follow in the footsteps of Lisbeth Salander of Dragon Tattoo fame, visiting the Royal Palace or Medieval Museum en route. In summer, take a boat trip across the archipelago to get a taste of the locals’ daily commute. Do take your credit card, many cafés and museums are card-only. And don’t learn Swedish! Perfect English is spoken everywhere.


This story was from April 2016 issue. Subscribe Now