Uppsala is the historic and spiritual heart of Sweden.
Famous as a medieval university city, Uppsala was once the political and religious centre of Viking-era Sweden. Today, it is Sweden’s fourth largest city and one of the country’s most dynamic thanks to its bustling university population.
Located just 40 minutes north of Sweden’s capital city, Uppsala is the perfect option if you’re looking for a quick and interesting day trip from Stockholm.
Getting to Uppsala from Stockholm couldn’t be easier.
SJ AB, Sweden’s state-owned railway company runs regular trips from Stockholm Central Station. This journey takes just 40 minutes, but the trains run less frequently (every hour, every half-hour during peak times).
SL, the organization responsible for running all of the public transportation in Stockholm country operates commuter trains from Stockholm every half-hour. The pendeltåg takes just 55 minutes to get from one city the other, and the views are not to be missed.
If the bus is more your scene, Flixbus runs several trips each day. The trip is a little bit longer (1 hour 15 minutes) but for just €3 (30SEK) the price can’t be beaten!
Swedbus also runs from Stockholm City Terminalen once or twice each day (this may change depending on day/season). The journey costs just as much as the train but isn’t nearly as fast.
What To See & Do
Uppsala is best explored on foot. The city is small enough that you can walk from one end to the other (at a comfortable pace) in less than 30 minutes. As long as you plan on keeping your journey contained to the city centre, you won’t have any need for transportation within the city.
In the summertime, Uppsala is the ideal city to explore by bike. The city is divided by the Fyris River with the medieval quarter laying to the west and the modern quarter laying to the east. The river is lined with paved paths making it perfect for a waterside ride.
Uppsala Cathedral (Domkyrka)
Uppsala Cathedral is Scandinavia’s largest cathedral and is the burial site of many members of the Swedish royal family. It is also the largest building in Uppsala standing nearly 120m high), dominating the city’s skyline. The cathedral is an impressive sight, even for those who subscribe to the ABC’s of travel (anything but churches).
Uppsala Castle was built in 1549 by King Gustav Vasa, the founder of the Vasa royal dynasty. Today, the castle is home to several museums and is the residence of the Uppsala County General. Along with the Cathedral, Uppsala Castle dominates the cities skyline. Due to its size and location atop Uppsalaåsen, you couldn’t miss it if you tried.
Thanks to its location perched above the city, the castle offers some of the most spectacular views of city. It’s well worth the hike up the hill!
The Botanical Garden
Uppsala is home to a number of stunning parks and gardens, including the Botanical Gardens. Located across the street from the castle, the Botanical Garden is made up of the Baroque Gardens, an Orangery and a Tropical Greenhouse. Most are free, so why not spend an afternoon amongst the orange trees – something I bet you never thought you’d do in Sweden!
Take a River Cruise
Sit back, relax and soak in the summer sun while cruising down the river.
Wander down Svartbäcksgatan
The city’s main shopping street, Svartbäcksgatan, is a pedestrian street which runs parallel to the river, two blocks east. Here you’ll find shops of all varieties – from high street fashions to unique boutiques.
The English Book Shop
Uppsala is home to one of the few, all-English bookshops in Scandinavia. Described as the sort of place where you can lose yourself for hours, The English Bookshop this is a must visit for any English speaker in the area.
After a day of sightseeing and shopping, there’s no better place to end your visit than the Salluhallen. This food hall offers various types of high-quality foods and drinks in all different shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to pop into for a quick lunch or snack before your journey home.
Uppsala is a quaint and unique city. Often overshadowed by Stockholm, Uppsala is a city with so much to offer. From history and culture to delicious foods and drinks, Uppsala has something for everyone, making it the perfect day trip from Stockholm.
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