June 16, 2018

Walk, Jog or Bike Around Djurgård Canal

Canal with pathways on either side.
Did you know that 95% of the population of Stockholm live within 300 meters of a green area (park, forest, etc.)? More statistics... the city has 1,000 parks, 7 nature reserves, 24 official beaches and 10% of the surface area of Stockholm is water (source). This means that, even though you are visiting a major urban area, you can easily get out and enjoy some nature while in Stockholm. One of the easiest ways to do this is to visit the island of Djurgården in central Stockholm, which is part of the world's first National City Park.
Now, chances are you will find yourself on Djurgården at some point during your visit as many of Stockholm's most popular attractions are found on the western edge of the park/island... like the Vasa Museum, Gröna Lund, Skansen and ABBA the Museum. Unfortunately, many visitors miss the fact that there are acres and acres of forest, park, waterways and fields beyond the museums which they can enjoy. Besides that you also have several smaller art museums, cafés, gardens and restaurants tucked away in the park and off the beaten path.
This park is a favorite place for Stockholmers to come to spend part of a summer day to partake in some outdoor activities... walking, jogging, biking or paddling. Or even less strenuous activities like just enjoying a picnic. My parents are visiting me right now and I took them for a walk on Djurgården the other day to enjoy the beautiful nature.
There are several options for trails or walking routes. For example, one of my favorites is to take bus #69 out to its final stop, Blockhusudden, on the very eastern tip of Djurgården and then walk back along the coast to the city. I even blogged about it here a few years ago. But on this day we didn't have enough time for that walk, so we chose a shorter route around the canal separating the island from the mainland. This is the same canal the popular Royal Canal Tour travels through.
Trippy artwork
With bridges on both ends of the canal, you can actually walk the whole circular route around the canal... 5 or 7 kilometers, depending on what bridge you choose to cross. You can even chose a shorter/different route by taking the same bus #69 out to the stop Djurgårdsbrunn and then walk back along the canal. If you do this, make sure you take the bus 69 marked "Blockhusudden" and not "Kaknästornet" (which doesn't go all the way).
It is an easy walk and well marked. It is a good idea to bring water if it is a hot day. Otherwise there are some cafés and restaurants along the way. For example at Djurgårdsbrunn. We opted to stop for lunch at one of my favorite places: Rosendals Wärdshus (location). Delicious shrimp sandwiches and rosé wine in the sun! Blog article about Rosendal.
Rosendals Wärdshus
The easiest way to get to Djurgård island from the Hotel Rival is by taking the Djurgård Ferry from nearby Gamla Stan which takes you across the harbor to the island. If you are interested in taking bus #69, as mentioned above, then the best place to pick that up is at Nybroplan. A good place to rent bikes on Djurgården is at Sjöcaféet, which is next to the Djurgården tourist office where you can get maps and more information about the park. So, take advantage of all of the green areas in Stockholm and get out and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. .
Map with canal marked, click to enlarge.

Entrance to Royal Djurgården
Back to civilization... 
Bus 69

June 13, 2018

Mosebacke Torg & Söders Höjder

I was out this Sunday with family and friends for brunch at the restaurant Mosebacke Etablissement. The restaurant is located in a quaint historic neighborhood, just a 10-15 minute walk from the Hotel Rival. The neighborhood is called "Söders Höjder", which means southern heights, and is a nice place to wander about and soak up the history, check out the architecture & views and perhaps visit one of the restaurants and bars in the area.
Katarina Church
One of the landmarks is Katarina Church. Originally built in the late 1600's, it has been through two major fires with one as late as 1990. Located on the heights, the high church tower can be seen from most of the city. Several famous Swedes are buried in the church cemetery including politician Anna Lindh, actor Michael Nyqvist, musician Cornelis Vreeswijk and poet and Nobel prize laureate Tomas Tranströmer.
Just north of the church is a small neighborhood with cobblestone streets and older architecture from the 1600 and 1700's. I like walking around and looking at the beautiful buildings with a mix of architectural styles. One street that is popular with a certain segment of tourists is Fiskargatan, which was where the character Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium trilogy of books ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", etc.) bought an apartment. You will also find a great wall mural painted by the Brazilian street artists (brothers) Os Gêmeos, which plays  on themes from these books.
The square Mosebacke Torg is another landmark. This quaint square and park was actually named Stockholm's most beautiful square in 2006, and it is very charming. On the northern end of the square you have the entertainment venue Södra Teatern ("southern theatre") which houses a theatre, nightclub and a few bars and restaurants.
One of the most popular bars here during the summer months is their terrace Mosebackesterrassen which is an outdoor bar with great views of the city, often with live music. Another popular restaurant on the other side of the square is trendy Woodstockholm, an interesting combination of restaurant and furniture store.
Södra Teatern
On the northern end of the square you will find Katarina Hissen. This walkway leads out to an elevator (not in use now due to the construction at Slussen below) as well as the famous restaurant Gondolen. Here you have great views over the city which you can either enjoy from the walkway or at the restaurant. This area is located just in between the old town (Gamla Stan) and the shopping district SoFo in Södermalm... so it is easy to stop by while you are out discovering Stockholm. It is between two subway stations: Slussen (red and green lines) and Medborgarplatsen (green line).
Mosebacke Torg
Katarina Hissen, leading out to...
...views of Stockholm harbor. 

June 9, 2018

Where to Watch the 2018 Football (Soccer) World Cup in Stockholm?

The world's largest sporting event, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Football (soccer for you Yanks), starts next week! It is being played in Russia and the first game will be on June 14th with the final match scheduled for July 15th. One whole month of amazing football. 32 nations from around the world have qualified, including Sweden, and football fans in Stockholm (both locals and visitors) always want to know where they can see the matches. To start off with, all matches will be shown live on Swedish TV (SVT1, SVT2, TV4) which you can see in your room at Hotel Rival. It is also being shown live on certain cable stations (CMore channels). But, it is always more fun to watch the matches with others! Just about every pub and sports bar in Stockholm will be showing the games, but below you will find a few more stand-out bars and restaurants that will be showing live matches to their patrons. Expect large crowds when Sweden is playing!

Outdoors (mostly)

You also have a chain of sports bars called O'Leary's (with about 9 locations in the the central part of Stockholm) that will, of course, be showing the games at their bars. I composed this list from information from three Swedish websites (that contain even more options than the list above): Nöjesguiden, Stockholm Direkt and ThatsUp. Many of the websites linked above for the bars and restaurants are in Swedish. If you are staying at the Hotel Rival, contact me directly for further assistance.

June 5, 2018

Summer Pedestrian Streets 2018

For the fourth year in a row, the city of Stockholm is turning certain streets into (partial or complete) pedestrian streets during the summer months. Restaurants, bars and cafés put out outdoor seating into the streets (not just on the sidewalks) and locals stroll up and down in the late summer evenings. This has become very popular with locals and visitors alike, so much that they add more and more streets every year. This year they have more than doubled the amount of pedestrian streets from 4 to 9!
The pedestrian streets this year are Rörstrandsgatan and Norrtullsgatan in the Vasastan neighborhood, Gamla Brogatan in Norrmalm, Nybrogatan in Östermalm, Bergsgatan, Norra Agnegatan and Hornsbergs Strand in Kungsholmen and Skånegatan and Swedenborgsgatan in Södermalm. My favorites are Swedenborgsgatan, Skånegatan and Rörstrandsgatan... mainly as these were the original streets to become pedestrian four summers ago, so the establishments on those streets have learned to take advantage of this and locals have become used to these streets being pedestrian in the summer. I am sure the others will become as good with a little experience.
Swedenborgsgatan (both pictures in article from there) is of special interest for guests staying at the Hotel Rival as it is literally right around the corner from the hotel. The street starts at the square Mariatorget (where the hotel is located) and runs 4 blocks or so to the Stockholm Södra Station. On those blocks you will find several restaurants, pubs, cafés and wine bars. All with outdoor seating. For example: Morfar GinkoDryck Wine BarHalf Way InnBistro SüdJohan & NyströmPetrus Bakery and Da Luigi. More information in Swedish: click here!

June 1, 2018

Midsummer Weekend 2018

Picture I took last year at the pole raising ceremony at Skansen on Midsummer's Eve. 
Well, it is almost that time of the year again. Midsummer (June 22nd-24th)! With the exception of perhaps Christmas, Midsummer is the biggest holiday in the Swedish calendar. It is also the weekend where confused tourists and visitors wander the streets of Stockholm and wonder why many parts resemble a ghost town. Generally, they either have no clue it is Midsummer (or even what it is) or they expected a more festive holiday atmosphere with partying in the streets, like a Catholic festival. But this is a sacred holiday, much like Christmas, which Swedes spend with family and friends. Preferably in a summer home outside of the city. It is a very old holiday, celebrating the summer solstice, dating back to Sweden's pagan past. But as long as you are aware of the holiday and what it entails, you should be fine. Most places geared for tourists tend to be open or partially open. Here are some tips on what is open/closed, what to expect and where to celebrate:


  • Skansen- open every day, all weekend.
  • Vasa Museum- open every day, all weekend.
  • Fotografiska (photography)- open every day, all weekend.
  • ABBA the Museum- open every day, all weekend.
  • Royal Palace- open every day, all weekend.
  • Drottningholm Palace- open every day, all weekend.
  • Moderna (modern art)- closed Friday, open Saturday & Sunday.
  • Nobel (Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prizes)- closed Friday, open Saturday & Sunday.
  • Nordiska (nordic culture)- open every day, all weekend.
  • Historiska (history)- closed Friday & Saturday, open Sunday.
  • Medeltidsmuseet (medieval)- closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Spritmuseum (drinkable spirits)- open all weekend, shorter hours.
  • Vikingaliv (Vikings)- open all weekend, shorter hours.

If you are travelling with children (or are young at heart) both the amusement park Gröna Lund and Junibacken, the home of Pippi Longstocking and her friends, are open all weekend.
Pippi Longstocking moves into Junibacken
Photo by Ulf Huett - Junibacken


Here is where you can get into a little trouble. Many restaurants are closed for the whole weekend, while others will be closed at least on Friday. Higher-end, Michelin star restaurants are almost all closed Friday through Monday. Most hotel restaurants are open to the general public (like the Rival Bistro) all weekend. There are also some other restaurants that are open during Midsummer... your best luck will be with hotel restaurants, places in Gamla Stan as well as restaurants like Hard Rock Café. If you are staying at the Rival Hotel, contact me as soon as possible for help booking a table, as they will probably fill up and last minute reservations might be tough! 


Also a little tough. Many smaller boutiques will be closed for the whole weekend. Even large shopping centers, like Mood and Sturegallerian, will close on both Friday and Saturday (Sturegallerian is closed on Sunday as well). The two largest department stores, NK and Åhlens City, will close early on Friday (NK at 2pm and Åhlens at 4pm) and stay closed on Saturday. The Mall of Scandinavia will close on Friday at 4pm and be mostly closed on Saturday. Officially, it is only Saturday which is a bank holiday... but Friday is about as close as you can come "unofficially", so expect many pharmacies, banks and liquor stores to be closed that day as well.


Large sightseeing companies like Strömma run as normal with bus, boat and combination tours available all weekend. Smaller, independant sightseeing companies may be closed. Public transportation runs as normal, though on a more limited "holiday" schedule, all weekend.
Photo by Clive Tompsett/imagebank.sweden.se

Experience Midsummer-

After all of this negativity, you may be wondering "but where do we experience the Midsummer celebrations?". Well, the best place to see how Swedes traditionally celebrate this holiday is at Skansen. Raising of the maypole, dancing the little frog dance, etc. Check their calendar for a program of what is going on all weekend long! You can also check this funny video to get a crash course in how to celebrate like a Swede, While many Swedes do leave the city, the few that are left will celebrate with picnics and games in the different parks throughout the city. So, when in doubt, just head outdoors to celebrate. If you are staying at the Rival Hotel and need further information... contact us directly at the hotel!
Midnight sun... 

May 30, 2018

What's Going on in June?

Midsummer Celebration
Photo by Yanan Li/mediabank.visitstockholm.com 
The quick answer is... lots! June is always a busy month in Stockholm as the summer season kicks off in earnest. Festivals, concerts, sports events and much more. I have posted a full calendar for the year earlier, but I thought a more detailed calendar for June would be a good idea to help you plan your stay if you are coming this month. Even if you don't find something to your interest, keep in mind that many of these events can mean traffic, road closures, crowds and other factors which may still affect you.
  • 1st- Iron Maiden concert at Tele2 Arena
  • 1st- Sweden vs Denmark soccer match (friendly) at Friends Arena. The teams will be testing themselves (and each other) ahead of the upcoming World Cup in Russia later this month. 
  • 2nd- The 40th annual Stockholm Marathon. This is a major event with tens of thousands of runners from over 100 countries participating. The race course is through most of the city and this means a lot of road closures so plan accordingly (give yourself extra time if you are going to the airport or cruise ship terminal). If you are out exploring the city, stick to walking, subways and ferries.
  • 5th to 10th- The Stockholm Early Music Festival at different venues in the Old Town. This is a festival for lovers of baroque, renaissance and medieval music! The venues add to the historic feel of the concerts. 
  • 5th to 10th- A Taste of Stockholm (restaurant festival) in Kungsträdgården. This is one of my favorite annual festivals. Many local restaurants open tents and booths in the park so it is a good way to get a taste of what Stockholm has to offer. Bar tents, food trucks, live music and shows as well! Open day and evening with free admission! 
  • 6th- The Swedish National Holiday. This is a bank holiday. The best place to go to celebrate this holiday is Skansen park. Flag waving, dancing, music, games and more. The Royal Family will be present, after they take a horse and carriage ride from the palace to the park. Speaking of royalty, the Royal Palace and its museums will be open this day to the public with free admission! 
    Stockholm View
    Photo by Alexander Dokukin/mediabank.visitstockholm.com 
  • 8th to 10th- Stockholm Brewers Festival. Around 15 of Stockholm's microbreweries will be on hand and it is a great chance to sample Stockholm craft beers. Beer, food, music! At the Orion Theatre on Södermalm. 
  • 9th- Stockholm City Swim-Run race. A 27 kilometer long race in the northern outskirtsof the city (Haga Park and surroundings) where participants alternate between running and swimming. 
  • 10th- Stockholm Bauhaus Athletics Diamond League (international track and field competition) at Stadion (the 1912 Stockholm Olympic stadium). This event attracts some of the best track & field athletes in the world! 
  • 10th- Katy Perry concert at Ericsson Globe Arena
  • 14th- Polar Music Prize (international music awards). This year's recepients are Metallica and The Afghanistan National Institute of Music. 
  • 14th- Ed Sheeran concert at Friends Arena
  • 15th & 16th- Summerburst festival, with house music and international DJs, at Östermalms IP. Very popular music festival for the "younger" crowd. 
  • 22nd to 24th- Midsummer weekend (major traditional Swedish holiday). This is arguably the largest holiday in the Swedish calendar, rivaling Christmas as a time when Swedes celebrate with family and friends. Many restaurant, store and museum closures. The link here is to information from last year. I will be writing one for this year soon but in the meantime have a look at the link as the information will be quite similar!  
  • 25th- JayZ and Beyoncé concert at Friends Arena
  • 28th to July 1st- ÅF Offshore Race (major sailing regatta) in the harbor and archipelago. The race starts on July 1st and the boats race out around the island of Gotland in the Baltic and then on to Sandhamn. In the days leading up to the race, there is a sailing village set up on Skeppsholmen where spectators can admire the boats, drink & dine and listen to music. 
    AF Offshore Race
    Photo by Erik G Svensson/mediabank.visitstockholm.com 
These are, of course, just the highlights of the month. There are many other smaller concerts, exhibitis and sporting events going on. If you are staying at the Hotel Rival, contact me directly for further information. 

May 25, 2018

Summer Art Exhibitions 2018

At Millesgården. Bågskytten (Archer), 1919. Photo: Yanan Li
There are so many great museums to see when visiting Stockholm! But which ones to visit when you are only here for a few short days? Besides lots of amazing museums focing on history, we have many wonderful art museums... large and small. Here is a list of the different exhibitions being shown at the art museums and major galleries this summer in Stockholm. Hopefully it will help you plan your days in Stockholm! If you are staying here on the cusp of spring and summer, click here to read about the spring art exhibits as some may still be ongoing while you are here. If you are staying at the Hotel Rival, contact me directly for information and help planning your stay.
Photo by: © Max Plunger

May 24, 2018

Restaurants Closed For a Few Weeks During the Summer (2018)

This post may come as bad news, at least for "foodies" visiting Stockholm during the summer. Many top tier restaurants (Michelin star, gourmet) close for a few weeks during the summer. This is mainly due to the generous Swedish vacation rules leading many top restaurants to feel that they can't offer excellent food & service with summer replacement staff. Another reason is that many Stockholmers leave the city during this period and there aren't enough visiting "foodies" to fill these types of restaurants to make it profitable to remain open. No businessmen in town either, wining & dining clients. At any rate, the good news is that there are a few which will be open all summer and several other top restaurants have some other options during these weeks... and you always have a plethora of other great restaurants (not listed here) in the city to choose from! If you look at the list below, you will see that the closing dates are quite spread out so that there is always a few top tier restaurants to choose from. Most of these restaurants are also closed during the big Midsummer holiday weekend (June 22nd-24th). More on Midsummer weekend soon... 

Michelin star and Bib Gourmand restaurants:
  • Mathias Dahlgren- closed between July 13th and August 6th (both the Food Bar/Matbaren and Rutabaga).
  • Frantzén- closed between June 16th and July 18th. 
  • Oaxen Krog- open all summer as normal.
  • Oaxen Slip- open all summer... every day for lunch & dinner.
  • Gastrologik- open all summer, as well as their more casual sister restaurant Speceriet
  • Ekstedt- closed between July 28th and August 21st. .
  • Esperanto- the dining room is closed between June 26th and August 2nd. Instead they open up what they call their Summer Salon in their sun room where guests sit at a communal table. Read more about this here. They have other restaurants in the house with different summer schedules... Shibumi is open all summer with plans on moving to an outdoor seating area between June 26th and August 18th (approximate dates). Imouto is closed between June 22nd and August 2nd.
  • Operakällaren- closed between July 8th and August 7th. Their more casual Bakfickan will be open all summer.
  • Volt- closed between July 15th and August 14th.
  • Sushi Sho- closed the entire month of July. .
  • Agrikultur- closed between June 17th and August 2nd. 
  • Aloë- closed between June 22nd and August 7th. However, their more casual sister restaurant Rino's Bodega will be open all summer (same adress as Aloë). 
  • Rolfs Kök- closed between July 1st and August 5th.
  • Den Gyldene Freden- open all summer. 
  • Lilla Ego- closed between July 8th and August 13th.
  • Nook- closed between July 1st and August 6th. 
  • Proviant Östermalm- closed between July 8th and July 29th. 
  • Ulla Winbladh- open all summer.
  • Brasserie Bobonne- closed between July 14th and August 14th. 
  • EAT- open all summer. 
  • Kagge's- closed between June 18th and July 4th. 
Other top rated restaurants:
  • Fotografiska- Great news here! For the first time, they will be open all summer!
  • Svartengrens- closed between July 15th and August 6th. 
  • AG- closed between July 1st and August 5th. 
  • Lux Day to Day- closed between July 15th and August 13th.
  • Farang- closed between July 10th and August 8th.
  • Adam/Albin- closed between July 15th and August 2nd.  
  • Smörgåstårteriet- open all summer.
  • Djuret- closed between June 21st and August 15th. Instead they open up a Spanish outdoor barbecue restaurant, in their inner courtyard, called Svinet.
  • Pubologi- closed between June 21st and August 1st. . 
  • Flickan- closed between June 17th and August 1st. 
  • Le Rouge- closed between June 21st and August 13th. 
  • SMAK- closed between July 1st and August 15th. 
  • Teatergrillen- closed between July 7th and August 8th.
  • Wedholms Fisk- open all summer. 
What this all means is that you need to plan a little ahead if you wish to dine at a top tier Stockholm restaurant during your summer visit and be aware that your favorite (or the one you read about) might not be open. However there are still many great restaurants open during these weeks as well as some restaurants that are open only during the summer months that are definitely worth a visit... so you won't go hungry! If you are staying at the Rival Hotel, contact me directly for help in booking any tables ahead of your visit. Our restaurant Bistro Rival is open all summer.

May 19, 2018

The 2018 Summer Salon at Esperanto!

Photo courtesy of Esperanto
Every summer, the majority of fine dining restaurants in Stockholm (Michelin star and such) close for a few weeks in July and August. This is usually a disappointment for traveling foodies coming to the city for vacation. Thankfully, all is not lost as there are a couple who remain open all summer in one form or another. Next week I will be writing a blog article listing how the top tier restaurants in Stockholm will be open this summer. Stay tuned!
Photo courtesy of Esperanto
One such restaurant that doesn't completely close is Esperanto, which has been awarded Best Restaurant in Sweden by the White Guide for several years in a row as well as mainting their star in the Michelin Guide for 11 years. The head chef and restauranteur is Sayan Isaksson and he also runs Michelin starred Imouto and Bib Gourmand rated Shibumi, all located in the same building as Esperanto. Chef Isaksson was also the creative genius behind the Nobel Prize banquets in 2015 and 2016.
While Esperanto and Imouto do close between June 26th and August 2nd, Chef Isaksson instead opens a "Summer Salon" is a sun room just adjacent to Esperanto's main dining room on the second floor of the building. The salon is made up of a community table which seats 16 people and the serving is a la carte style (two seatings each evening). This has proven to be a popular concept and they have done a summer salon now for 5 years in a row.
Each year, the Summer Salon has had a theme when it comes to the menu. Spanish and French cuisine have been featured and last year they had a Dim Sum Palace. This year, they are going back to Chef Isaksson's roots and serving a menu with culinary inspirations from Thailand (the country he was born and adopted from). The menu is made up of small and medium sized dishes.
Photo courtesy of Esperanto
I was invited this week to a press lunch at Esperanto where the concept and menu of their Summer Salon was presented. It was delicious and the plates beautifully presented. The dishes are not Thai (as in what you would order in a Thai restaurant), instead it is the flavors and ingredients which you will recognize from Thai cuisine but all served with a modern, creative twist.
Restaurants located in the green building to the left,
in the shadow of Engelbrekt Church. 
As I mentioned earlier, Esperanto, Imouto, Shibumi as well as the Summer Salon are all located in the same building in the downtown area. The easiest way to get there from the Hotel Rival is by subway... six stations on the red line to Tekniska Högskolan. From the station it is a 6-7 minute walk to the restaurants. Otherwise, it is a 10 minute taxi ride.

May 16, 2018

The Amusement Park Gröna Lund

I had a friend from London visiting this past weekend and I showed her around the city. We are having beautiful weather in Stockholm this week and she wanted to visit Gröna Lund, Stockholm's large amusement park. I hadn't actually visited the park in a long time (except for a concert or two) and it was fun to revisit it and get back in touch with my inner child. And, hey, makes for a good blog article!
To start off with, it is quite hard to visit Stockholm and not see the amusement park. Several of the rides are part of the city's skyline (we don't have high buildings here) and can be seen from many points in the city. Gröna Lund is located on the waterfront of the island of Djurgården, in Stockholm harbor. It is literally just a stone's throw from many of the city's main attractions like Skansen, ABBA the Museum and the Vasa Museum. So you will get close enough to hear people's screams of delight (terror?) as they ride the rollercoasters if you visit any of the other attractions.
Gröna Lund was founded back in the 1880's. It is quite unique in that several of the buildings in Gröna Lund were found here before it became an amusement park... so that they incorporated the buildings (restaurants, homes, commercial structures) into the park, giving Gröna Lund an historic feel. As it is located within the main part of the city, with no real opportunity of expansion, it is not a huge amusement park along the lines of Disneyland and Six Flags. But the park is filled with lots of rides, attractions, games and restaurants!
Before we get to the kiddie fun... Gröna Lund is also a popular attraction for adults due to it being a big summer concert venue. Many famous artists have performed here, like Bob Marley, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Kiss and Jimi Hendrix. This summer they will have over 70 concerts! Many Swedish acts (like Icona Pop and Lena Philipsson) but also international artists like Billy Idol, Ziggy Marley and the Offspring. See the full schedule by clicking here. No special tickets needed, just entry to the park.
In Gröna Lund, you will find a whole range of rides... 2 free falls, several roller coasters and classic rides like "tea cups" and a "flying carpet". And speaking of classic attractions, they also have carnival staples like a fun house, haunted house, bumper cars and carousels as well as typical tivoli games. In other words, fun for the whole family. If you are traveling with children, this could be a good treat for them after a day at museums. Lots of dining options as well (and bar options for the adults!).
The easiest way to get to Gröna Lund from the Hotel Rival is with the Djurgård Ferry from nearby Gamla Stan. In fact, the ferry terminal on Djurgården is right at the entrance of Gröna Lund! The ferries depart around every 15 minutes or so and the trip just takes 9 minutes. If you are in the downtown area, you can take the tram/trolley/street car out to Djurgården.
Gröna Lund is generally open from May to September, daily during the summer months. Click here for their calendar. Prices: entrance tickets to the park currently cost 120 SEK for guests ages 7 to 64 (free for others!). After that you buy scrip to use for the rides and attractions. Click here for more ticket information.