Getting out and about in springtime Stockholm

As the Scandinavian sun continues to pour more and more light onto Stockholm, The Local has compiled a list of off-the-beaten-path ways in which you can soak up the slowly warming sights and sounds of the Swedish metropolis.

Getting out and about in springtime Stockholm

On your bike:

It’s no secret that Swedes love to cycle and, in a bike-friendly city like Stockholm, pedaling along waterfront paths and urban streets can be one of the most enjoyable ways in which to experience the city.

Bike rental companies in Stockholm offer several options for visitors, with a range of prices based on type of bike and rental duration. They’re also great resources for suggesting the best routes and sometimes offer bike tours of their own.

Bike Sweden

City Bikes

Rent a Bike

Stockholm from the water:

In a city of islands already saturated with cruise tours, kayaking and canoeing are fresh options for seeing Stockholm from the water. Rental companies lend out equipment for a range of time frames, and prices can cost as little as around 150 kronor for 2 hours of paddling.

Svima Sport

Kafé Kajak

Panorama views from the top of the Stockholm Globe:

Climbing to 130 meters above sea level, the SkyView at the Ericsson Globe Arena offers visitors a chance to see Stockholm from atop the largest spherical building in the world.

Two glass gondolas, built by Swedish ski lift builders and holding 16 passengers each, creep to the top of the Globe every ten minutes during SkyView’s opening hours. Tickets cost 130 kronor ($20) for adults and 100 kronor for children and seniors and can be booked online before you visit. There are also a number of “drop-in” SkyView tickets that can be purchased at the Globe’s service center if you don’t pre-book.

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Stockholm from the sky:

Stockholm is one of the few cities in Europe that allows hot air balloons to fly over it. Ballooning season for companies offering the service lasts from May to September each year– the nearly constant sunlight of the Swedish summer offering great opportunities to see the city even at night. Prices are generally around 1995 kronor per person.

Far&Flyg Balloon Company

Balloons– Sweden

For water-borne speed junkies:

Strap on a life jacket and hop in a “RIB”– a “Rigid Inflatable Boat” that jets across water at up to 45 knots per hour, giving you not only an hour and a half tour of some of Stockholm’s most noteworthy sights, but a fun ride to boot. Tickets cost 425 kronor per hour and also include waterproof gear to keep the Baltic in your sight rather than on your clothes.

RIB Sightseeing

Stockholm on foot:

International Masters students Jens Brinkman and José Fuster began offering jogging tours of Stockholm after picking up on a new trend of sightseeing by jogging in cities such as London, Paris, and New York.

“It’s always good to see it in an active way and not taking it in so passively,” Brinkman told The Local.

The pair offers three types of scheduled jogging tours– urban, waterside, and nature– every week for 300 kronor per person, as well as customizable tours. Tours usually last an hour and pace can be adjusted based on a group’s fitness and jogging experience.

Stockholm Jogging Tours

Stockholm by Segway:

Remember Segways? Those funny, two-wheeled contraptions we were all supposed to be cruising around on by now? While we may not be taking them to work everyday, the high-tech scooters can be a unique way to leisurely stroll– or, uh, roll–your way through Stockholm. Segway tours of the city can be booked by phone.

Segway Tours

Anita Badejo

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Sweden: A land of hairdressers and writers

Sweden's capital Stockholm is full of hairdressers and writers, and sometimes even writers in hairdressers. And it can be a disturbing city when you're a bald Frenchman who happens to be a writer, observes Luis de Miranda.

Sweden: A land of hairdressers and writers

As a bald French writer exiled in Stockholm since last year, I have rapidly noticed that 50 percent of the Swedish population is either a hairdresser or a writer – or both.

In Stockholm, there is a frisör every fifty metres, where you usually find a lonely person getting a blond hair colour or a new cut, while reading the newspaper.

In the newspaper you will find many articles about people who engage in many different activities but who are also often designated as författare (writer): Sven Svensson, actor and författare; Camilla Johansson, yoga instructor and författare; Fredrik Reinfeldt, prime minister and författare.

It seems that any kind of printed material entitles you to be a författare, and some daily newspapers need to display book reviews in every edition in order to keep the pace and make all the författare happy.

Let’s be honest: I can understand that everybody agrees to call everybody else

a writer – that is an interesting form of collective vanity – but why so many

hairdressers? Some say it’s about money laundering. Or is it also about vanity?

People want to have nice blond hair and it is understandable. But as a bald French writer, I simply don’t exist here in Sweden: having little hair makes me invisible and

being a writer makes me very common.

I am considering wearing a wig and stopping my Swedish classes in order to remain relatively illiterate in the language of Swedenborg (no, this is not the name of my hairdresser). I shall refrain from writing even the slightest memoir on beard shaving.

But please don’t misunderstand me. I love Sweden and the Swedes. I respect any författare, any frisör, and I like fika, folkhem, filmjölk and feminism…

Sweden is just…fantastic.

Luis de Miranda is a French novelist, philosopher, editor and film director who has been in Stockholm for a year. He is also bald.