September 27, 2013

Visit Djurgården!

Entrance to the visitors' center
I braved the drizzly weather today to visit the visitors' center for Djurgården called Visit Djurgården. Djurgården is both the name of an island as well as a National City Park (which includes the island). In fact, it is the world's first National City Park. For the sake of comparison, you could say that it is Stockholm's version of Hyde or Central Park. In the past this was a royal game park and these days it is still owned by the Crown. It is a great park to take a nature walk.
Some beauty found on the island.
Besides acres and acres of beautiful parks, woodlands and fields... Djurgården also has the highest concentration of tourist sites (museums, art galleries, amusement parks, etc;) in Stockholm. So if you are planning a visit to Stockholm, chances are pretty high that you will spend a considerable amount of your visit on this island! Here you will find museums such as the Vasa, Nordic, ABBA, Biology, Technology, Spirits and Maritime History. There are also several great art galleries/museums including Liljevalchs, Waldermarsudde and Thielska. If that wasn't enough, then you have Skansen park & zoo, Aquaria as well as the amusement parks Gröna Lund and Junibacken. You don't have to go hungry while here... quite a few restaurants like Villa Godthem, Ulla Winbladh and Oaxen Krog. Several cafés are spread throughout the park... a personal favorite during the summer is the rose gardens at Rosendals Trädgård.
Sjöcafé, adjacent to center, with boats and bikes for rent!
So you can see why I am so happy that they have built a visitor center just for the island/park. A great idea! There is so much to see and do that you sometimes need some expert advice... besides me! The visitors center is located just on the island side of Djurgårdsbron (the bridge connecting the island with the mainland). The center is open daily, year-round, and is manned by experts on Djurgården and its sites. There are also free maps of the park as well as brochures of the different museums and art galleries to help you decide what to visit. The center is connected to the newly renovated café Sjöcafé, so you can stay for ahwile and have a coffee or glass of wine. The café also rents paddle boats, kayaks and bicycles.
Take a street car to Djurgården, or...
Getting to Djurgården is quite easy... either by bus, street car or ferry (especially good for Rival Hotel guests!). Or why not walk along the waterfront promenade of Strandvägen? If you want to plan ahead of your visit, their website (linked at the top of this article) is filled with great information and an interactive map!
...a ferry (with Gröna Lund in background).

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