Uppsala is an ancient and beautiful Swedish city, famous for its outstanding architectural monuments and museums. This is a great place to relax, attracting guests with landscaped parks and gardens.
Who and why should come to Uppsala
People come to Uppsala to get acquainted with the Scandinavian historical heritage. Ancient temples, castles, towers are in perfect condition and can tell a lot about the heroic past of the Swedish people. The city, founded in the 5th century, is considered the residence of the Yngling dynasty — the semi-legendary kings of Sweden and Norway.
Now Uppsala is the cultural center of the country, attracting the attention of tourists with numerous museums. They store the richest collections of paintings, archaeological finds, ethnographic exhibits that reveal the history of the region.
Every year on April 30, people come to Uppsala to celebrate Walpurgis Night. In the evening, the townspeople make large bonfires, hold a witch exorcism ceremony, arrange fireworks, open-air dances. In the summer, young people gather in the city, wishing to take part in the reggae festival. The large-scale event is attended by more than 10 thousand people. For several days, concerts and fairs are held in parks and squares.
Tourists with children are happy to have fun in the water park, explore the botanical garden and the Biotopia biological museum. For an interesting pastime, the Turbo Sport Zone & Adventure sports complex is suitable. There are trampolines, climbing walls, slides for children of all ages and a small cafe.
In the warm season, lovers of outdoor activities can see picturesque lakes, go fishing and swimming. In winter — go skating, skiing, snowboarding.
While relaxing in Uppsala, try the national cuisine. Salted herring, a shrimp cocktail garnished with herbs, venison steaks, and sylt waffles with chocolate or cream are very popular.
Historical landmarks and architecture
In the northern part of the city there is a historical district — Old Uppsala. It was here that the first pre-Christian buildings were erected. Unfortunately, in the XIII century, many buildings were destroyed by fire. An ancient stone church and burial mounds dating back to the 5th-6th centuries have survived to this day. Three Royal Mounds are considered the symbol of Sweden.
According to one version, they are the home of the Scandinavian gods Odin, Thor and Frey, according to another, they are the tomb of the legendary Swedish kings. Old Uppsala is a real open-air museum, which is under state protection.
In the center of Uppsala is a 13th-century cathedral belonging to the Lutheran church. The building, erected in a mixed Gothic style, is one of the tallest in Northern Europe (more than 118 meters). Half a million people visit Uppsala Cathedral every year.
People come to pray, listen to church music, and see ancient stone statues. Famous people of the city are buried on the territory of the temple, and inside there is a gilded ark with the relics of the Swedish king Eric IX the Holy.
the Royal Castle
In the middle of the 16th century, King Gustav I ordered the construction of a palace for his residence. The castle was of great strategic importance until the capital of the Swedish kingdom was officially moved to Stockholm. In 1702, a fire broke out in the building, which led to serious destruction.
After the reconstruction, the castle became the property of the governor. For many years there was an archive and a city prison. Now the architectural complex is open to tourists, and the Museum of Arts operates on its territory.
Church of the Holy Trinity
Not far from the Cathedral is the Church of the Holy Trinity, erected at the beginning of the XIV century. It consists of a stone basilica with three naves and a church tower. In the courtyard there is an ancient sundial showing Scandinavian winter time.
The walls of the building are decorated with medieval drawings. The small church is a parish church where services are regularly held.
In Uppsala, you can admire the well-preserved castle of the 15th century. It is an impregnable fortress, protected by massive walls and a moat filled with water. Sixteen spacious halls are used for conferences. The rest of the rooms house a medieval kitchen and a bar, master classes in pottery and drawing are held.
A hotel for travelers was built nearby. Guests of Vik Castle can taste national dishes and learn about the life of the ancient feudal lords.
Skukloster Castle, built in the 17th century, rises on Lake Mälaren in the vicinity of Uppsala. The baroque building belonged to Carl-Gustav Wrangel, a Swedish admiral. The death of the owner prevented the completion of construction, and the new owners were in no hurry to invest in the interior of the castle. One hall remained unfinished to this day.
Here tourists can see the construction site of the 17th century, tools, drawings. Skukloster itself is now a state museum. Visitors are shown the magnificent decoration of the completed halls, collections of weapons, furniture and silver utensils. The pearl of the museum is the painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo «Portrait of Emperor Rudolf II as Vertumn».
In 1995, a mosque was built in Uppsala, which is considered the northernmost mosque in Sweden. A beautiful white building with a wide dome and a high minaret is the Islamic center of Scandinavia. There are rooms for prayers, halls for reading books and lectures. For those who wish, study visits to the mosque are organized.
Museums in Uppsala
A three-story building with a high dome, which is part of Uppsala University, was built in 1625. At the end of the last century, by order of the King of Sweden, the Gustavianum Museum was opened in it. There are five permanent exhibitions here: an anatomical theater, a cabinet of curiosities, an archaeological collection, exhibits from the Viking Age and a collection of documents about famous Uppsala scientists.
Museum of Carl Linnaeus
In the southeastern part of the city there is a historical house-museum dedicated to the botanist and physician Carl Linnaeus. The complex consists of three buildings, which housed the living quarters of the owners and workers, a brewery and a bakery.
The wooden house, intended for the rest of the scientist, has two floors, a basement and an attic. Tourists can see the interior decoration, walk through the beautiful garden, look into the greenhouse, learn a lot of interesting things about the famous botanist.
An art museum has been opened in the ancient castle in the city center. Temporary and permanent exhibitions occupy several floors. Visitors can admire paintings by old masters and modern Swedish artists, see a collection of clay plates, cups, and pots. There is also a cafe in the building where you can have lunch and drink aromatic coffee with cakes.
Uppland Provincial Museum
In the city on the Furis River there is an island called Kvarnholmen. It is easy to find an old watermill there, which is a museum. The four-story building houses an extensive collection of archaeological finds and ethnographic exhibits. The collection of photographs illustrating the changes in the face of the province of Uppland since the beginning of 1860 is very popular.
The historical museum in Uppsala Royal Castle is called Vasaborgen. Coming here, you can wander through the picturesque medieval ruins, hear fascinating stories about princesses, kings and ghosts, see ancient weapons, go down into the catacombs. There is a gift shop at the entrance to the museum. They sell handicrafts of local residents and all sorts of trinkets related to Uppsala and Sweden.
Bror Hjort House Museum
Bror Hjort is a Swedish painter and sculptor who left behind stone and wooden statues and beautiful landscapes. Near the Uppsala railway station there is a fountain and a sculpture of Näckens polska by the master. In 1943, Bror Hjort bought a house in the city to set up a studio. After his death, a museum was opened in it, which now houses a large collection of paintings and statues of the master.
There is a public park next to Uppsala Central Station. Within its boundaries is the biological museum Biotopia. The small building hosts exhibitions dedicated to Scandinavian wild animals. The halls are equipped in the form of a sea coast, forest clearings, lakes. Adults and children can see here stuffed birds, wolves, lynxes, elks and learn about the life of these animals.
Parks and entertainment
Near the house-museum of Carl Linnaeus, the oldest botanical garden was planted, founded by Professor Olof Rudbeck Sr. in 1655. Soon young Linnaeus visited this garden and got a job there. Gradually, he refurbished it according to his classification of plants.
1300 species of trees, shrubs and herbs grow in the modern garden. On the territory there is a pond with white water lilies and newts living there, a greenhouse with tropical plants. The paths are lined with decorative grass and pebbles.
Not far from the university library there is a public city park called English. It is a popular holiday destination for tourists and locals. The park, planted with deciduous trees, has beautiful alleys, benches and swings for children.
Walking in the shade of lindens and oaks, it is easy to find the bust of Charles XIV, standing on a high pedestal, and the monument to Folke Bernadotte. In the evenings, neon lights turn on in the trees.
The Furis River flows through Uppsala, which is a natural decoration of the city. Along its course there are beautiful parks, the Kungsangen nature reserve, ancient architectural monuments. Deciduous trees are planted on the central embankment, there are several bridges, the railings of which are decorated with locks left by lovers and friends.
Walking along the embankment, you can admire the majestic white buildings in the Scandinavian style, buy souvenirs or buy a ticket for a small steamboat and ride along the river.
Fjällnora (Mountain Sorrel) Park
In the vicinity of Uppsala is a great place to relax with beautiful scenery, lakes and beaches. In the park, tourists can rent a boat, catamaran, canoe, camping tent. Cottages, cafes and a shop are built in the shade of trees. Here you can have fun all day or stay for a few days to enjoy nature and relax from the bustle of the city.
The Fyrishov complex, open in Uppsala, is open all year round and specializes in swimming and relaxation. A water park has been built on its territory, including water slides for children and adults, a 50-meter pond, an area for kids and a huge outdoor pool, which operates in the summer.
Guests of the complex can visit the spa, gym, rent a hotel room, and order food in the restaurant.