HOW SWEDE IT IS
Side Trip: Stockholm to Uppsala
For a big-city break, take a 40-minute train ride north—past fields and birch-filled forests—to the charming university town of Uppsala, Sweden, where the summer sun hardly sets.
Uppsala's oldest landmarks, a trio of royal burial mounds from the 6th century, are a few kilometers outside of town in an area called Gamla Uppsala, or Old Uppsala. As early as the 6th century, Gamla Uppsala was an important political and religious center, a home to Viking kings, and the site of mysterious pagan sacrifice rituals. Near the mounds, a 15th-century church faces the 21st-century Gamla Uppsala museum that details both the area's known history and its many unsubstantiated legends.
On long summer days, when the sun doesn't set until 10:30 or so, the fields around Gamla Uppsala are great for lounging on a picnic blanket. Give in to the urge to linger—surely there's a later train back to Stockholm.
Direct trains to Uppsala depart two to three times per hour from Stockholm Central Station; round-trip tickets cost about $14, and the trip takes 40 minutes. From Stockholm–Arlanda Airport, the train trip takes 20 minutes, and tickets cost about $28 round trip, sj.se.
For Gamla Uppsala, take bus 2 or 110 from Kungsgatan, in front of the train station. Round-trip tickets are about $7.40 on-board or $5 at Pressbyrån newsstands (there's one in the train station).
Spending the night
The Scandic Uplandia hotel by the main shopping drag, Svartbäcksgatan, has contemporary rooms and an on-site sauna (doubles from $100, including a breakfast buffet). Or try the nearby hostel-style Uppsala Vandrarhem & Hotell (doubles from $60). At most Uppsala hotels, prices drop considerably on weekends and in late summer when business is slower.