The first place that I lived when I moved to Sweden is Uppsala, which is a University town that is essentially everything that you would think of when envisioning Sweden. Very cute, clean, and with cobblestone streets. Though it is very cute, it is actually the forth largest city in Sweden, making it quite populated, though you would not know it from walking around.
Moving to a different country has always been a goal of mine, which for some people may seem like a small thing to do, while for others it seems like a huge step. I found it surprisingly seamless, but I think that a portion of that had to do with the fact that Swedish culture isn’t entirely different from what I am used to, living in Washington State. Also I think it helps if you have very blonde hair and blue eyes, because they really cannot tell that you are not in fact Swedish.
This is one of the most famous landmarks in Uppsala, and it is one of the highest points, which is why I often used it as a guiding area. Whenever I am not sure where I am, I typically figured it out based on the Cathedral. As with many other Cathedrals, the Uppsala Cathedral is huge and beautiful, the art inside is gorgeous. If you have the chance I would also recommend going to a church service, which is held on Sundays at 11 AM. Though I am not Lutheran, it was a truly transcendental experience to hear the voices of the choir reverberating through the high arches. You can also walk through the sides of the cathedral and look at the beautiful art at any time.
Uppsala Botanical Gardens
I may be partial because these gardens are right near Uppsala University, but these botanical gardens are beautiful. There is also an indoor portion and the entirety is free to get into which makes it even better. Uppsala University is very proud of its alumni Carl Von Linne who was also a professor there. His specialty was in botany so it is only natural that Uppsala would have a lovely botanical garden.
As soon as you set foot in Uppsala, there are two buildings that are very evidently prominent. One being the Cathedral, and the other being the castle. This castle is a pink salmon hue and is essentially on the top of a hill, which makes it quite easy to find. In this castle, there is a free art museum that has new art installations all the time. Last year when I went there was an emphasis on peace and war with an incredible black and white wall mural. This year it was more focused on performance art, and my favorite exhibit was one where the artist walks on a wire between two canyons carrying art from one cliff to the other. It was truly mesmorizing to watch. Anyway, it is a really cool museum that is entirely free which makes it even better.
Take a walk along the river
While this seems like an obvious choice, the river that runs through Uppsala has a vast number of beautiful bridges that cross it. Every time I am walking somewhere I love to find new bridges that are unique, and if you come in the summer, you will get to see all of the hanging baskets that are set out. While the river used to have more practical reasons for being the hub of the town, now it is a great guiding point and there are always cool restaurants and cafes along the water with incredible views.
Visit Cafe Von Linnea
This was one of my favorite cafes to visit in Uppsala due to the relatively inexpensive prices and the huge kanelbullar! It is a cost little cafe that is perfect for fika with friends or to take your computer and to do a bit of writing. I would highly recommend this spot.
I feel that I give this advice quite a bit, however I believe it rings true in Uppsala. Whenever I headed to the University for class, I tried to take a different route and to see something new. I found in Uppsala, no matter where I ended up, I could always find my way by finding the cathedral. There are so many amazing things that can be found by simply wandering a bit off one’s typical path
I loved Uppsala, and I try to go back and visit whenever possible. It is one of my goals to visit the biggest cities of Sweden while I am living here. Have you ever visited Uppsala? Let me know if you have any favorites from Sweden I should see!