Downtown Uppsala is, to a great extent, a pedestrian sanctuary.
Large parts of the downtown area are open only to foot traffic. Some
parts allow busses and bicycles as well.
You can start your sightseeing on foot in the downtown area. The dome church, the landmark site of Uppsala with its impressive spires, is a beautiful structure that reflects much of the history of the Swedish people. Several well-known Swedes from the past centuries have their final resting spot here.
The Fyris River is lovely; it is possible to mix walks along its banks with visits to many shops. Nearly all of the shops close at 6pm weekdays. On Saturdays, stores close at 2pm, except on lång lördag (long Saturday), when they are open until 5pm. For later shopping or shopping on Sundays, you'll probably have to venture out of the center of the city to a department store such as B&W or Obs.
The grounds of the Linnaeus Gardens
There is an indoor farmer's market downtown, Saluhallen, which is located at S:t Erikstorg, next to the Fyris River. Located in the same building is a lovely spot for an elegant and delicious meal, the restaurant Hallen.
For snacks and quick lunches, find a konditori. Here you can get wonderful bakelser (baked items) to eat while you drink a cup of rich Swedish kaffe (coffee). If you're in need of lunch, a konditori will have a variety of open-faced sandwiches for you to choose among. My personal favorite is the räksmörgås (shrimp sandwich): A nice slice of bread or a flat roll piled with lettuce, small shrimp, slices of hard-boiled egg, a dollop of mayonnaise, dill weed, and a slice of lemon.
The classic konditori in Uppsala is Ofvandals Konditori. It is located at S:t Olofsgatan and Sysslomansgatan. It's not necessarily the best, but it is definitely a classic!
A reflection of the dome church spires
in the Fyris River
A restful sanctuary, especially if you enjoy plantlife, is the interesting and beautiful Linnaeus Gardens. These gardens follow the design of the renowned botanist Carl von Linné: they are divided up according to the classification system that he designed in the 18th century. The building located on the grounds was the residence af Linnaeus and his family. These gardens are located fairly centrally, at Svartbäcksgatan 27.
A pom-pom sunflower at the Linnaeus Gardens
Four km north of Uppsala, you'll discover Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala). This is a wonderful spot for strolling on a nice day. Several Viking burial mounds form the heart of this area; there are paths that surround them and several plaques that explain various aspects of the region and the history. There are a couple of nice shops, including a Swedish handicraft shop, and a konditori. A special feature here is mjöd, a Viking ale made with honey.
About 25 km south of Uppsala is the small town of Sigtuna
(about whose name a friend in CS once wove a complex tale about fishing boats that
were beginning to use computers on-board, so that they created their own
Special Interest Group ...). Sigtuna has the ruins of three very old
churches, a modern and beautiful Lutheren church, and a large number of
runestones sprinkled about. There are many interesting shops to explore,
with the tourist center (marked with a dragon) a good first stop. A
wonderful place to stop and have coffee and a snack is Tant Brun
(Aunt Brown), housed in a quaint old building with very low
ceilings (do watch your head!!!).
The tourist information center in Sigtuna
The ruins of S:t Olof's in Sigtuna
It's hard to stop this description, there are so many wonderful places to visit! But this gives you a feeling for some of the things I've most enjoyed close to Uppsala. Of course, I have many more ideas about travel and sightseeing in Sweden. Although I'm an American, I've lived and worked in Sweden for several years, so have had the chance to sample the sights in many parts of the country.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! It will be fun to see you in Uppsala ...
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Last updated Saturday, October 12, 1996, 22:15