Uppsala and Sigtuna lie just north of Stockholm and make for a perfect day trip or longer stay.
So, what to do and see in the university city of Uppsala? Kick off with a visit to part medieval, part Gothic Uppsala Domkyrka, or Uppsala Cathedral. Inaugurated in 1435, Gothic re-styled in the 19th century, it is a must see/do in Uppsala.
Gamla (Old) Uppsala, just north of the city, boasts impressive 6th century burial mounds and in its museum you can learn about the legend of the Svea kings and gory human sacrifices (kids love this bit). Go here for Gamla Uppsala Museum, Odinsborg restaurant and Disagården open-air museum.
Carl von Linné
Another ‘must’ in Uppsala is Carl von Linné, Sweden’s greatest ever scientist and father of modern taxonomy. He lived and worked in Uppsala in the 18th century and there are museums, gardens, parks etc dedicated to his memory in Uppsala. Go here for absolutely everything Carl von Linné.
If the kids start dragging their feet, hit the nearest café and treat them to a Swedish classic of pancakes with whipped cream and jam. And then let them loose at Fyrishov Water Park. In addition to its historical charms, Uppsala is Sweden’s fourth largest city with a good range of shops, restaurants and cafés.
The town of Sigtuna? Quaint? The place is a complete charm-fest and Sweden’s first town (founded in AD 980).
Sigtuna hugs the northern shores of Lake Mälaren and its cobblestone streets are arteries of the almost 1,000 year-old Stora gatan, or main street, with clusters of shops selling Swedish fashion, design and handicrafts.
For the low down on Sigtuna’s history visit Sigtuna Museum for its brilliant exhibitions and displays. For some ancient Viking detective work, pop into the museum or Tourist Office on Stora gatan and ask or a futhark, or key. This will help you unlock the mysteries of the town’s more than 150 rune stones. Careful how you pronounce futhark though.
Both Uppsala and Sigtuna are year-round destinations and equally as beautiful white clad in winter snow or in the summertime sun.