Independent Schools Cultural Alliance - ISCA – Summer Programs in the UK

Sweden

Sweden is a stunning country made up of thousands of islands, lakes, dense forests and snow-capped mountains. Along with unparalleled natural beauty, Sweden also has a long and exciting history with so many medieval cities, beautiful castles and fantastic museums to explore.

The first place to visit is Stockholm. Stockholm is one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world. It is the largest city in Scandinavia, is made up of 14 islands and has countless things to see and do.

We recommend using the subway to get around. The Stockholm subway system is said to be the world’s longest art exhibition at 110 kilometres long. It has more than 90 decorated subway stations which pay homage to women’s rights, the workers who built the subway, peace, environmental issues and so much more.

Once you have experienced the wonderful subway stations, visit the ultra-chic neighbourhood of Södermalm, in the heart of Stockholm. It was once one of the poorest areas in Stockholm but is now home to an endless array of quirky shops and cool cafes. It’s a great place to partake in ‘Fika’. Like ‘afternoon tea’ in the UK, a ‘Fika’ is Sweden’s way to have a chat with friends over coffee and a few baked goods.

One of Stockholm’s 14 islands is Gamla Stan. Gamla Stan is full of historic churches, museums and the Royal Palace. Exploring this historic island is a great way to spend a day or two.

From here, head over to Djurgården Island and go to the ABBA Museum. Ever since they won the 1975 Eurovision contest with their song ‘Waterloo’, ABBA has been Sweden’s most successful band. At the museum you can marvel at their original costumes, enjoy the interactive displays and even audition to be a 5th member of the band in a specially designed karaoke stage complete with hologram of the group.

Next stop is the Vasa Museum to learn more about Sweden’s maritime history. The Vasa Museum is home to a range of historic ships from Sweden’s Golden Age including the best example of a Swedish 17th century warship. The famous Vasa Ship, which sank right as it set sail on her maiden voyage in 1628, is the main attraction. The cold sea kept the 64-gun warship intact and the museum does a brilliant job of putting the ship into the historical context of the 17th century.

One of the top attractions of Djurgården Island is Gröna Lund. Gröna Lund is a city centre amusement park which has a range of roller coasters and other rides. In the summer months, it is also known for regularly hosting music concerts.

On the west coast of Sweden is Kosterhavet National Park. Kosterhavet National Park is the country’s first marine park located on and around the Koster Islands. The area spans almost 400 square kilometres and is home to 6,000 marine species and to Sweden’s only coral reef. It is a wonderful place to experience the Midnight Sun. This is the weird phenomenon whereby the sun never sets between the end of May and mid-July.

The last stop is the Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland. Located in Jukkasjärvi, the Ice Hotel is built out of ice during the winter months. Imagine eating from an ice plate, drinking from a glass made of ice and sleeping in an ice bed (with big fur blankets of course!) You can do all of this, but for a price…$1,000 a night! I rather expensive luxury but one that you’ll remember forever.