June 5, 2012

June 6th- Swedish National Holiday

Swedish flag flying high above Royal Palace!
While not as big as France's Bastille Day, USA's July 4th or even Norway's May 17th, the National Holiday on June 6th is still a day when Swedish hearts beat a little faster and when the blue and yellow flags fly a little higher! If you are in Stockholm tomorrow then there are plenty of things to see & do and ways to celebrate the holiday.
To start off with, the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan will be having an "open house" all day long... so it is a good place to start! Members of the royal family will be on hand at 09.45am along with the marine corps marching band for a ceremony before the castle opens its doors at 10am. After that all of the museums in the palace and even Royal Apartments will be open to the public... free of charge! These museums include Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities, the Royal Armoury and Treasury. Besides that there will be guided tours, music, gun salute, activities and plenty for children. June 6th will also be the premiere of the new exhibition at the palace about the king's uncle Prince Bertil who would have turned 100 this year. Beloved by Swedes, he was known as the Sport Prince, Motor Prince and even Prince Charming. Click here for a full program!

Another good place to spend the National Holiday is at Skansen park. Besides being a park and Stockholm's zoo, it is also an open air museum dedicated to Swedish traditions and cultural history. Here  you can see how Swedes have historically celebrated the holiday... with plenty of flag waving, singing, folk dancing and other activities. The royal family will even be in attendance in the evening during the traditional concert. Click here for the full program!
It is also the last day for the food festival A Taste of Stockholm!
Photo by Lars-Eric Örthlund, Skansen
If you want to get away from "official" celebrations then there will be plenty of parties and events happening in parks throughout the city. For example Rålambshovsparken and Vasaparken. It is also good to know that this is a bank holiday so banks, liquor stores and smaller shops will be closed. Museums, restaurants, sightseeing tours and shopping centers & department stores will be open as usual... with maybe shorter hours in some cases.

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