Stockholm beyond walking tours
Lola A. Åkerström spotlights other fun ways you can explore the city beyond walking tours and harbour ferries.
If you like guided tours, Stockholm offers offbeat experiences like flying over the city in a hot air balloon, going on a rooftop tour, cruising through city streets on a segway, as well as taking in some of the city’s panoramas from cliffs during a Stieg Larsson Millennium Tour dedicated to key spots and haunts from the famed author’s trilogy.
Hot Air Ballooning
One of the cool things about Stockholm is that it is one of a handful of cities around the world where you can actually land a certified hot air balloon in town. So a unique way of exploring Stockholm is to fly in a hot air balloon and there are several companies that operate balloon tours.
Scandinavian Balloons was started in 1979; and is the oldest ballooning company in Sweden and probably in Europe. Upp & Ner arranges ballooning over Stockholm, inflatable boat tours in the archipelago, seal safaris, and guided tours on segways. Far & Flyg is one of Sweden’s oldest and most experienced ballooning company with thousands of ascents under its belt.
This unique tour has you walking and shuffling (while harnessed safely of course) across Stockholm’s historic rooftops to show you views of the city from 360 degree angles and unique perspectives. The tour takes you 140 feet above ground along the rooftop of the 13th century Old Parliament building on the island of Riddarholmen while secured to a safety harness along a metal track which runs the perimeter of the roof.
Though Stockholm is a very walkable city, a 2-3 hour tour on a segway is a quick and relaxing way to explore Stockholm’s districts and beautiful waterside locations – from Skeppsholmen and Gamla stan to areas around Södermalm.
Biking around Djurgården
One of Stockholm’s many islands – Kungliga Djurgården (Royal Game Park) – is where many of the city’s historical museums, palaces, gardens, and lush green parks are located. Grab a rental bike from Stockholm City Bikes or from the waterfront stand right next to Djurgårdsbron (the bridge which leads onto the island) and enjoy a leisurely hour ride around the park.
Recommended stops include Vasamuseet – home to the Vasa warship which sank in 1628, Skansen – the world’s oldest open air museum, Nordiska museet to learn about Scandinavian culture, and Rosendal palace with its vibrant flower gardens.