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Cultural experience in Stockholm

Stockholm is both the capital city of Sweden and the largest city in the whole of Scandinavia. As you might expect from such an important metropolis there are numerous attractions and entertainment options to be found here, including plenty for culture vultures to enjoy. The city’s impressive architecture, theatres, museums and landmarks all combine to provide options for several days of seeing the sights and evenings of artistically rich entertainment.

Denmark in Winter

Flights to Stockholm regularly depart from a large number of major airports in the UK such as London Heathrow International Airport. People who take the time to search for the latest deals and discounts will soon discover that there are plenty of cheap flights to Stockholm to choose from, especially in the low season. For example take a look at SAS’ cheap flights to Stockholm and it is very likely that you will find the fare that suits you.

Birka the Viking Town is situated on the island of Björkö in the middle of Lake Mälaren and is a great place to explore during the day. The town is the remains of a real Viking community and visitors will be able to spend time exploring the town before learning more about its rich history and culture in the onsite museum.

The Royal Dramatic Theatre is Sweden’s most important venue for spoken drama and more than a thousand performances are staged here each and every year. The theatre boasts a total of six different stages and some of the world’s most celebrated actors have travelled to tread the boards here over the years.

Drottningholm Court Theatre can be found in the magnificent Drottningholm Royal Park and boasts a magnificent stage that dates back to the 18th century. Visitors who arrive in Stockholm between May and September will have the opportunity to take in one of the numerous opera and ballet performances that mark this season.

Few culture vultures could resist the chance to enjoy a night at the Royal Swedish Opera. This impressive institution is known locally as the Kungliga Operan and has been hosting unforgettable performances since 1773. A large number of famous figures from Stockholm society including visiting dignitaries and celebrities can often be seen at the Royal Swedish Opera and tickets are highly sought after.

Visiting the Museum of Dance is a great way to discover Stockholm’s cultural roots. The museum is located on Gustav Adolfs torg and features numerous artefacts related to the arts including Russian ballet costumes, African masks and Indian demon statues, while the museum’s temporary and permanent exhibitions offer an interesting glimpse into the history of dance.

Stockholm also features numerous other interesting and informative museums for visitors to explore that provide an insight into the city’s rich culture. The Stockholm City Museum is the largest museum in the whole of Sweden and contains a collection of more than 300,000 historical artefacts as well as three million photographs and 20,000 pieces of artwork. Art lovers will want to allow plenty of time to fully soak up all of the treasures that located within the walls of the Swedish National Museum of Fine Arts, while a trip to the Swedish Museum of Architecture is a must for lovers of architecture.

All this and more combines to make Stockholm an extremely exciting cultural destination. Visitors who have limited time to spend in the city and want to get the most out of their experience can also arrange to take a tour with a knowledgeable local guide, who will be able to provide inside information about certain attractions as well as revealing a number of hidden gems that are often overlooked by tourists who choose to explore the city independently.

 

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Natural Holidays in Lapland

It seems that when most people imagine their dream holidays, tropical beaches come to mind. They want to escape the relatively cold weather of their temperate homes and relax in shorts and flipflops, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for some people, a sense of adventure draws them in the opposite direction—the far north. The Arctic Circle makes for a unique holiday destination for many reasons, but the most obvious is the natural environment and outdoors activities that are only possible there. Lapland in particular has many exciting activities to offer.

Natural Holidays in Lapland 1This region that spans both Sweden and Finland is a paradise for those that love the outdoors, though it changes drastically with the seasons. The difference between winter and summer there is dramatic, to say the least. In the winter, the harsh Lapland climate is intimidating but allows for some of the most scenic skiing in the world. The top-rated resorts have excellent terrain and almost non-existent lift lines, with expansive panoramic views over vast tracts of wilderness on clear days. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are also popular activities, and in some regions are actually necessary for basic transportation when the snow buries roads for extended periods of time. Some remote Scandinavian villages still rely on dog sleds for transporting goods and supplies across long distances, and dog sled treks are a fantastic way for visitors to get a feel for the people, the countryside, and the animals. Bonding with the hardworking sled dogs is a fun and rewarding experience for anyone, and trips lasting anywhere from a week to an afternoon are easy to arrange. Snowmobiling, the modern answer to dog sledding, is another popular activity for visitors.

Natural Holidays in Lapland 2After and before the depth of winter, in March and September the earth is at its best location for viewing the famed aurora borealis, or northern lights. During the spring and fall equinoxes of these months, there is an increased chance of the geomagnetic storms that ignite the wildest colors of this eerie and beautiful phenomenon. To get the best views of the northern lights, escape the larger towns and cities and instead seek areas with less light pollution coming from human activity. Experiencing these sweeping curtains of color in the sky is undoubtedly the highlight for many visitors to Lapland and other areas in the far north.

Natural Holidays in Lapland 3In the summer, the weather becomes surprisingly temperate. Sweden and Finland are both marvelously pleasant at this time of year, and activities like trekking become more popular. Abisto National Park, one of Europe’s largest natural areas, is the home of the Kungsleden (“King’s Trail,”) a 425 km trek that takes about a month. Small trips are also very feasible, and take intrepid visitors through beautiful countryside, glacial waterfalls and lakes, and fields of wildflowers. Kayaking is another common pursuit.

Lapland is a beautiful area, and visiting at any time of year is a rewarding experience. So why stay on the beaten path? Leave the sunscreen at home and go on a real adventure.

 

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When is the best time to visit the Nordic Countries?

The Scandinavian countries have always been very popular destinations among travellers. They are popular not only for some of the best and naturally beautiful stunning scenic vistas in Europe, but they are also well-renowned for their laidback attitude, and their relaxed and easy lifestyle. For readers who are unaware, the Nordic Countries is a collective phrase used to refer to Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Also included in this collection of regions are the autonomous regions of Greenland, Faroe Islands, Svalbard and Aland. Scandinavian Countries is also a term used to refer to this region, but that does not include Greenland.

Denmark in Winter

Denmark in Winter

These countries share a common heritage and immense similarities in their societies. They are independent in their governing systems, but their cultural traditions and languages are similar. The Nordic nations have been renowned not only for their unique beauty, but also for the fact that they are among the most eco-conscious nations in the world. ‘Green’ is a term that is not used loosely here; it is a part of their persona, and they go to immense lengths to preserve their flora and fauna and to take care of their environment.

The best time to visit the Nordic countries is dependent upon the kind of holiday you would like to have. Flights to Stockholm are popular all through summer, and flights to Copenhagen always seem to be jam-packed with holiday travellers. If you are planning to have a summer holiday, then the best time to visit the Scandinavian countries would be the months from May till September. Why not take a look at the airfares now on a major Scandinavian Airline SAS (www.flysas.com/en/uk).Each country has its own special seasons, but if you are planning to travel through all the Nordic countries then travel towards the end of June till mid-July. The weather is beautiful with temperatures in Stockholm hovering around 16 C. The best aspect of this season is the fact that daylight hours last for 17 hours a day and you can travel around the country quite easily, as a result. These countries are within the Arctic region and during summer, the midnight sun is an unforgettable experience.

In Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the summer months have a fairly mild climate. This is quite surprising, especially when one considers the fact that all of these Nordic countries are so close to the Arctic. Finland has the most stable summer weather among these countries. In August, the weather in Norway can be very erratic, with sudden cold rain dropping the temperatures to an uncomfortable 8 C.

Winter sports are the forte of these nations and if you are a die-hard fan of mountain sports, then visit the Nordic countries during the winter season. Be prepared for harsh temperatures but amazingly white winter lands. Flights to Oslo in winter are easily available and there are not too many tourists. The countries are well-equipped for the skiing and winter sports aficionados, and there are world famous resorts as well. Except for coastal Norway, you will find a winter landscape here which is equal to none other in the world. The northern parts of Scandinavia are full of snow during winter months, but do remember that daylight hours are very short. And in the Arctic circles, the sun does not emerge for days on end.

Flights to Copenhagen from London are available all through the year, and this lovely city can be used as a starting point for your travels through this region. Visit Greenland for a totally unique experience; Finland for a crowd-free holiday; Norway for some fabulous fjords and quaint villages; and Sweden for the best castles and manors.

 

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