Upplev Mer – Stockholm Rooftop Walk

In most modern towns and cities, the higher you go, the more interesting the view. That’s not the case with Stockholm.

Stockholm is a low-rise city, and the best views, in my opinion, can be experienced just above the roof-line. The view from Katarinahissen near Slussen, for example, is terrific. In contrast, the view from Globen is too high, and too far away to gain a sense of either the city or the landmass.

Last year, I went on the excursion to the top of Globen, and found it more interesting to watch the workers remove the snow and ice from the top of the sports arena than to look out over Stockholm. I’m told the same thing is true of Kaknastornet.

But the Stockholm rooftop tour – Upplev mer (experience more) is in a whole class of its own. I read about it a year or so ago, and so when I planned this trip back to Stockholm, it was one of the first things I booked for. Put simply, it’s a 75 minute guided tour – with extensive historical background – from the rooftop of one of the buildings on Riddaholmen, one of the central islands of Stockholm.

Upplev mer - Stockholm rooftop tour
Upplev mer – Stockholm rooftop tour

There was only four English speakers on the tour – an American couple, a young Czech woman living in Paris, and me – and so I think we had a more highly personalised, intimate experience than the larger German-speaking group just behind us. Our tour guide was excellent, by the way, sticking to a script, but also responding to our interests and more than happy to answer questions. She also had a nice sense of humour.

What was really great, though, was the view from just above the rooftop. You get a really great sense of the location of many of the city landmarks: where the Royal Palace sits, for example compared to Gamla Stan. We noticed the Royal Palace was flying the Swedish flag at half-mast, by the way, in recognition of the deaths in Oslo.

Upplev mer - Stockholm rooftop tour
Upplev mer – Stockholm rooftop tour

You also get a great sense of the history of Stockholm as it unfolded, including some perspective on the reclaimed land that makes up part of the old town. On top of that, it was fascinating to look down on the construction works of the cross city tunnel.

I’m not afraid of heights in any way shape or form – I spent much of my childhood climbing on the roof of our house to “come down now” cries from my mother – and so I found it absolutely enjoyable. As you’re securely hitched to a safety wire, the risk of falling seems quite remote. However, I’d say if you do have a fear of heights you might find it a little confronting.

Bottom line though? One of the best tourism experiences I’ve enjoyed in Stockholm.

49 Replies to “Upplev Mer – Stockholm Rooftop Walk”

  1. Wow! I didn’t even know you could do that in Stockholm (not that I’ve ever been there, of course…lol). That looks so cool! If I’m ever in the area, I’ll have to give it a go. I’m not afraid of heights either, so I think I should be okay… :)

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  2. What a wonderful way to see a city! I’ve never been, but I’m still making my way through the Millenium Trilogy, so the names sound familiar, although I have no real idea of where they are in relation to each other! Congratulations on getting Freshly Pressed :)

  3. A rooftop tour — how totally cool!

    Love this. Sometimes the immediate horizon can offer the most amazing perspective — in life and in cities!

  4. Interesting! I live in Stockholm and I’ve heard about these tours. I’m too afraid of heights to do it myself, though.:-)

  5. Thanks all for the lovely comments. At first I thought it was spam, but then I saw my post on Freshly Pressed and was very excited and proud to have this post chosen.

  6. I was glad to see this one the Freshly Pressed page, as I’ve lived in Stockholm all my life and love the city. I’ve heard of these tours before, and I’ll make sure I show any visiting friends this post, and hopefully the tour as well.

    Glad you enjoyed this wonderful city!

  7. dang, this looks really amazing, am a swede in London but will surely take this tour when I go back for holidays there… thanks for the tip…

  8. Saw you on Freshly Pressed, and, being a Swede, living in-or-close-to Stockholm all my life, I had to read your post.
    I’ve read about those rooftop tours, but never been to one myself – maybe I should give it a go.

    While here, I checked out some of your other posts as well. Nice readings!

    Min gissning är att folks förvåning över att du talar svenska är för att svenska är ett så pass litet språk, och “Vem i hela världen vill lära sig det? Svårt att bemästra, och bara c:a tio miljoner talare.”
    Å andra sidan är jag själv “hobby-intresserad” av språk, så: Varför inte?
    When mastering Swedish, you also have easy/-ier access to Norwegian and Danish.

    I wish you a pleasant stay in Stockholm, Sweden!
    (Att döma av länk/postinnehåll kanske du besöker Kungsträdgården någon/några gånger under nästa vecka (första veckan i augusti)? :-)

  9. What a beautiful way to see something like a city which is, usually, associated with rather negative adjectives:-p
    I am from pretty far far away, India, if you must and I have NO idea if i will ever get a chance to do something like this. Although i am a wee bit phobic about heights I’m sure i’ll be in good shape doing this. I make my way to the Himalayas during my summer to be able to enjoy the height and to get over my phobia, so rooftops shouldn’t be problem:-)

    And btw congrats on being freshly pressed!!!!

    PS: How did you do the “freshly pressed” thing???

  10. Nice post, I wish that I could have been on that roof. I find that the view from a roof or aerial tower is always so much nicer than the view from the ground.

  11. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! What a wonderful way to experience a place from a different perspective (literally and figuratively). I see you’re from Sydney- have you also gone on the Bridge Walk there?

  12. No matter how great the view from a roof top, I know that it is definitely not for me.

    However, I enjoy watching tv with views from helicopter. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  13. I was just living in Greece for the year, and though skeptical of some “touristy” activities at first, I ended up really enjoying the few in which I indulged. Of course, you’ve got to draw the line at which will be productive and which are useless–and your Stockholm rooftop tour is a great example of the former. Thanks for sharing. If I make it to Stockholm I’d love to check it out.

  14. Wow, awesome. I was in Stockholm in Jan (freezing!) and April (not much warmer!) for work and had a couple of half days to look around this most beautiful city. I hadn’t heard of the rooftop walk and I could see how amazing that would be. I didn’t bother with the Globe for the reasons you identified. Above the Slussen was the best city view, for sure. We stayed in Sodermalm and walked into Gamla Stan and the main CBD a couple of times. It’s a wonderful walk, but if I ever am lucky enough to get there again (I’m from Canberra), I might just try that rooftop walk!

  15. wow! Funny, I just blogged about stockholm.. but I didn’t get to experience nearly as much as you have! I was only there for 2 days….

    I lived in Aussie for a bit during my Masters, you are so lucky to live in such a wonderful country!!!

  16. James, I agree with you James, Stockholm is a city to enjoy on the floor! Looking at the architecture, its streets … In January I was in the Globe and it was so disappointing! Especially because I thought the view was good, I was wrong. I believe that would be seen as the towers of Italy or Prague … another mistake! But okay, Stockholm has other beauties, I saw this tour on the roof on television, I had no courage to do it! congratulations! Hugs!

  17. I haven’t been to Stockholm. And I didn’t have the opportunity to to visit US. But the article has almost taken me there. I started my blog just recently. I may not be as good as writing. but i love to improve my writings. please visit my blog and leave your comments. recently i wrote about the Bus service which started in the smallest capital of the world, Male’ in MALDIVES.

  18. Loved reading about the rooftop tour in Stockholm. Reading is all I´m gonna do. I am so afraid of hight – even though I climbed a lot of trees in my childhood. Live in Stockholm and glad I could share your positive view of our capital. I will link to my travel blog http://besttripever.wordpress.com so others can share this experience.

    /Miss T

    PS: Why are you learning swedish of all languages? It`s seems a bit odd but maybe you have already given an answer earlier in your blog that I just found threw freshly pressed! :-)

    1. I really like Swedish culture – films, books, movies – and it helps in that regard. On a broaderr level, I also really like different cultures and languages, and I think it’s good to keep the mind active. Learning is for life, not just for the high school years.

  19. In Kiev, there are a few houses from the roof which can be seen virtually the entire city. View is fantastic. Especially when viewed from the right bank of the Dnieper on the left bank of the city!

  20. I grew up in Stockholm! Beautiful city that I do miss a lot, especially in the summer – though London is great too of course. I haven’t been on that tour, but I might have to now! Sounds great.

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