The Local has gathered the best of this charming city near Stockholm into one list to satisfy all travellers on all budgets. So whether you’re planning to visit Uppsala with your partner, family, dog, hamster or you’re flying solo, we’ve got you covered.
Where to eat
A firm local favourite, cosy Café Årummet is a quintessentially Swedish café that serves the typical line up: varma mackor (warm sandwiches), sallader (salads, including Swedish classic shrimp salad with egg and dill), and plenty of desserttårtor (delicious cakes and tarts topped with ice cream, cream or vanilla sauce). It’s an essential pitstop to indulge in a traditional Swedish fika.
When in Sweden, it would be a sin not to sample the local cuisine. The kitchen at Hava Skafferi combines ‘Swedish culture and an international culinary preparation’. The result? A modern menu with distinctive Swedish flavour. From June onwards, Hava opens its inner courtyard so that you can savour your meal with a side of live music.
Sweden isn’t known for being cheap but you’re more likely to pay less for a meal at a high-end restaurant in Uppsala than you are in Stockholm. Take Peppar peppar, for example. The White Guide-listed restaurant serves a five-course tasting menu for just 550 sek (€51) and you can add a wine pairing for an intoxicatingly-reasonable 420 sek (€39). Make sure to try the lamb shank which one TripAdvisor reviewer hailed as ‘glorious’.
Where to sleep
Uppsala is a city steeped in history and so it’s only fitting to stay somewhere with a bit of history itself. Hotell Kungsängstorg in central Uppsala offers 22 rooms in a former 19th-century rectory. All guests are welcome to have a buffet breakfast at the nearby Hotel Centralstation (which has the same management) and pet owners can bring their furry friends for an additional 100 sek (€9) a night.
Set in an elegant Neo-baroque building, Grand Hotel Hörnan is sumptuously upscale but not woefully unaffordable. Just a short walk from Uppsala’s famous cathedral and a stone’s throw from Uppsala Central Station, it’s right in the heart of the city and the midst of all the action. The one downside? It’ll be hard to tear yourself away from this plush hotel to go off exploring.
If you want to do Uppsala in style, small-scale boutique hotel Villa Anna will certainly tick that box. In the midst of the city’s most historical region, the beautifully-decorated hotel has nailed rustic Scandinavian charm. It also has a much-raved-about restaurant where you can enjoy afternoon tea with a tipple or a romantic meal accompanied by wines from Villa Anna’s vaulted wine cellar.
What to do
Uppsala Catherdral. Photo: Niklas Lundengård/destinationuppsala-mediaportal.qbank.se
Swedes spend their summer weekends outdoors; swimming, hiking and barbecuing hot dogs. Uppsala provides plenty of opportunity for all of the above with its many gardens and parks — all of which to wander around costs not a krona. For the full Swedish experience, visit Fjällnora friluftsområde, an outdoor recreation area surrounded by lakes and lush forests where you can go swimming, canoeing, trekking, fishing and grilling. You won’t want the day to end…and it doesn’t have to. Family-sized cabins can be rented for just 600 sek (€55) a night.
Looking for free culture in the city? Culture Night, a celebration of, you guessed it, culture, takes place annually. This year it’s on September 14th.
Uppsala is full of museums and galleries, none of which will break the bank to visit. If you’re looking to take home your very own Swedish gem, check out one of the city’s many summer loppisar (flea markets). Swedes are famous for their commitment to sustainability and summer, with its pop-up flea markets, is loppis season. If you’re looking for a second-hand steal, there are several good options including a traditional flea market on Vaksala torg, the Sunday market at Fyris Park and a flea market that runs every Sunday during summer at Ulva Kvarn just north of the city.
Sweden has a reputation for being pricey but splashing out isn’t really the Swedish way. Uppsala, like many Swedish cities, has its fine dining restaurants and its trendy wine bars (like Vinbaren, if you’re interested), but ultimately, the most satisfying thing to do in Uppsala is explore the greater city itself. Its bountiful nature, unique history and ubiquitous culture are the richest experiences Uppsala has to offer.
This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Destination Uppsala.