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Located around 25 minutes from Arlanda Airport and 70km northwest of Stockholm, Uppsala is the medieval, picture-perfect, and fourth-largest city in Sweden. It is a laid-back destination with academia in its vibes, thanks to its diverse and massive population of students.
There are many parks and waterways add to the feel of tranquillity. Nothing can replace the feeling of cycling through the twisting streets of the fourth largest city in Sweden.
There is no lack of cafes, quaint shops, and eateries for you to discover, along with some of the best places to visit in Uppsala.
With a magnificent cathedral dated back to the 13th century, Uppsala claims to be a city while still having a charm of the old town.
Fyrisan (Fyris) River intersects the city. This ancient town is located in the west, and the modern town is located towards the east.
In case you feel lost, look out for the cathedral, as it is seen from afar.
Uppsala was once ruled by Swedish kings, including Gustav Vasa in the 16th century, who is interred in the cathedral.
You may witness the fantastic history of Vikings period and spirit of education in the following Uppsala landmarks.
Also, this place makes the perfect day trip from Stockholm. Here are the top things to do in Uppsala:
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Table of Contents
- 1 Quick information and Uppsala travel tips
- 2 Experiences and top things to do in Uppsala
Quick information and Uppsala travel tips
- Currency? Swedish krona
- Languages? Swedish
- Where is this place? Located on the Eastern coast of Sweden just a few kilometers from Stockholm. Northern Europe.
- What is Sweden famous for? Skiing, Northern Lights, ABBA, meatballs, pickled herring, palaces, and IKEA.
- Best time to visit Uppsala and Sweden? All-year-round. But if you’re not a fan of winter, come in summer, spring, or autumn. The weather won’t be extreme but mind that spring and autumn might be wet from the rain. Just make sure to bring a good winter jacket and travel shoes with you!
- How to get there? You can easily get to Uppsala from Stockholm and some of the best ways to get there are by train (39mins), bus (1hr 35mins), or by driving yourself (51mins).
- Other famous places in Sweden? Stockholm, Kalmar, Gammelstad, Ystad, Gothenburg, Malmö, Swedish Lapland, Luelå, Kosterhavet, Gotland, Österlen, Lund, Marstrand, Skåne
- Famous neighboring countries? Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland
Do you need a visa for Sweden?
Sweden is part of the Schengen area and citizens of EU group of countries can freely enter this Baltic state while citizens of USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia can enter the country just with their passports and stay for 90 days.
You can check our guide on how to get a Schengen visa and as well to see if you’re eligible to enter the country with just your passports or if you’ll need to apply for a visa prior entry – read it here.
Where to book your flights to Sweden?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need insurance?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Experiences and top things to do in Uppsala
Domkyrka – Uppsala Cathedral
Uppsala Cathedral was built in the year 1270 but sanctified in 1435 and today; it is the top tourist attraction in Uppsala.
It has been changed and evolved several times over the centuries, and it had seen a significant renovation from 1885 to 1893 with neo-Gothic architecture.
It involved some of the stained glass windows, tall spires, and stunning murals.
Also, check out the remarkable Baroque pulpit (built in 1707) carved and inspired by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger by Burchard Precht.
In addition, explore the tomb and burial chapel of King Gustavus Adolphus (1576). Carl von Linne (Linnaeus), philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg and Archbishop Nathan Soderblom were also buried in the cathedral.
King Eric IX (St. Eric) was killed in 1160 by the Danes. His gilded reliquary is still one of several treasures in its Silver Chamber.
Universitetshuset – Uppsala University
You will get into the unique world of Swedish academia while walking through this university.
The recent buildings were built from 1879 to 1886 in the stunning Roman-Renaissance style. It houses the significant entrance foyer, which leads to the festival hall and grand auditorium with the capacity of over 1800 guests.
It features royal portraits of cultural figures and legendary university professors adorning the walls. You can discover the dinosaurs found in China at the Museum of Evolution.
The complex also features Carolina Rediviva (University Library), which is the most extensive library in Sweden. It houses over 30000 manuscripts and over 5 million volumes.
The world-renowned Codex Argenteus or Silver Bible is the iconic treasure in the library, which is kept on permanent exhibition. It most probably dates back to the 6th century.
Located opposite the cathedral, Museum Gustavianum is the former main complex of Uppsala University and was funded by Gustavus Adolphus.
It features the historical and cultural collections, Egyptian antiquities, Nordic antiquities, and Anatomical Theatre, built in the 1660s on the roof.
Some of its permanent exhibitions are Viking relics, including medals, valuable jewelry, swords and medals, Egyptian mummies, and Uppsala University’s history.
Also, do not miss its main complex, the legendary University Art Collection.
Uppsala Castle is the primary residence to County Governor, which houses the rich history of the city. It had witnessed most of the events, which transformed Sweden. A paranoid and psycho King Eric XIV executed a group of noblemen in 1567.
This incident was known as Sture murders. The sudden resignation of Queen Kristina in 1654 was announced in the Hall of State (Rikshallen). There are several art exhibitions of Art Museum inside, and it has the serene views of the city skyline and nearby countryside.
You can also walk along the pathways outside and visit the Botanical Gardens.
Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala) is located just 4km north of main city center where you can witness the land of the Vikings.
There are around 300 burial mounds stretched over the landscapes as well as the last resting place of heroes of old, Viking Kings and Queens.
Gamla Uppsala eventually had a cathedral in the 12th century when Christianity was founded, where Gamla Uppsala Kyrka, the ancient the church is now located.
Bror Hjorths House
The vivid, quirky, and unique works of painter Bror Hjorth (1968) and modernist sculpture pop out in this stunning museum.
Opened in 1798 for the public, it is the former studio and home of Hjorth where he lived his last years. It features a vast collection of his paintings, sculptures, sketches, and drawings which reflects his great passion for folk art.
It also has temporary exhibitions on display. You can also chill out in the gardens while having coffee.
Also, check out the Nackens Polska, his statue standing around 6m high.
Day trip in Sigtuna
Located in the Uppland on the Lake Malaren shore, and around 30 minutes of drive from Uppsala, Sigtuna is a quaint and secluded village offering the picturesque view of the so-called Swedish town.
It is the oldest surviving town in Sweden which is well known for ancient churches’ ruins and rune stones across the city.
You may browse through the craft shops and boutiques here at Stora Gatan and explore the remnants of St. Olaf’s Church and old Viking sites.
Uppland County Museum
Dating back to 1760s, Uppland County Museum is located in an old mill and offers insights to the craftsmanship, culture, and history, which shaped a different form of Sweden.
The museum has a vast range of temporary and permanent exhibitions like arts, photography, music, crafts, and folklore.
City Park (Stadstradgarden)
City Park is a peaceful paradise where you can relax and unwind, and it was built in the late 19th century. You may walk around the trees, admire its blooming flowers.
There is the Island of Bliss in the heart of lily pond where you can admire the botanist work table and chair of Carl Linnaeus.
The Linnaeus Museum
Curated by the well-known botanist Carl von Linne (Carl Linnaeus), the Linnaeus Museum was once used as his home.
Today, it houses exhibitions devoted to his scientific discoveries throughout his life.
It has been running by Linnaeus Society since 1937 and is now served as a well-maintained shrine dedicated to his enlightenment and extraordinary achievements of his lifetime.
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