Lucy: First Impressions of Stockholm

When I received my acceptance letter from Auckland saying I had been chosen to go to Stockholm University, I had no idea what to expect. I had picked my university options on a whim about a year in advance and it never really occurred to me that I’d be spending 5 months in whichever country I ended up getting chosen for. I was just happy to be going anywhere!

So, five months after receiving my acceptance letter, I was off to Europe with 30kgs of luggage and no clue what I was getting myself into. I’d never been to Sweden before, or Scandinavia in fact, so this was a destination completely out of my comfort zone but I threw myself in head first and now, two months in, it’s really starting to feel like home.

The first thing I realised when I hopped off the train in Stockholm after a month of Euro summer was that Stockholm was definitely going to be one of the colder destinations I could have chosen. I quickly swapped my sandals and shorts for a jumper and started to explore.

Exploring Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town

Stockholm has one of the most extensive public transport systems I’ve ever come across, basically getting you door to door wherever you want to go. An Access card will get you unlimited trips on any of the transport for a pretty good price, including the overground and underground trains, busses and even ferries. One of the best things about the underground system (or tunnelbana) is that every station has been decorated to make it into a work of art, and every station is different.


The various beautiful underground stations in Stockholm

Another thing unique to Sweden is they love fika! It literally translates to ‘coffee and a cake break’ meaning that it’s super common for Swedes to meet for afternoon tea to catch up and socialise. My Stockholm guide book says that in Sweden, locals eat on average 300 cinnamon buns each year. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but I sure am a convert!


Finally, one of the best things about Stockholm is that it’s built on the water across 14 islands. The water is one of the most comforting parts of the city and definitely makes it slightly easier to be away from the City of Sails. The archipelago that surrounds the city is stunning and only a short ferry ride away!

One of Stockholm’s many waterfronts!

That’s all from me now! Goodbye from (cold) Stockholm!


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