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 responses to “Upplev Mer – Stockholm Rooftop Walk”

  1. PCC Advantage Avatar

    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. banbamama Avatar

    That is a crazy but fun idea. I think I would stick with a bus tour lol. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  3. Lu Avatar

    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 :)

  4. wolke205 Avatar

    Omg..I m so scared of heights! I prefer to watch your pics, than try it myself lol Great post!

  5. Susan Elizabeth Ball Avatar

    What a cool way to experience the city!

  6. Mikalee Byerman Avatar

    A rooftop tour — how totally cool!

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

  7. Jennifer Avventura Avatar

    Great post, thanks for the tour idea should I ever make it to Stockholm. congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  8. gealach Avatar

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

  9. Reuben V. Greene, III Avatar

    Enjoyed your comments even though I have not yet visited Stockholm. When I do, I would like to do the tour, also.

  10. lukelebeau Avatar

    I have been on this tour a few times the past years and it has been great! I love sweeden! If only america could be more like it.


  11. James O'Brien Avatar

    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.

  12. […] 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 … Read More […]

  13. ournote2self Avatar

    Sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  14. larosson Avatar

    I’ve always wanted to go to Stockholm and this just looks brilliant!

  15. bercton Avatar

    Really interesting Stuff!..having a head for height! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Eva McCane Avatar

    that’s very cool! it’s true…views from up high are a fantastic way to really see your surroundings from a different perspective. thanks for sharing!

  17. Sarah Doyle Avatar

    What a wonderful idea! Makes me want to fly to Stockholm right now.

  18. avalontrek Avatar

    Bring me to Stockholm…. fantastic!

  19. Jenny Avatar

    i wish i had known about this when I went to stockholm!!!! bookmarking for next time though!!!

  20. be awake Avatar

    cool activity! take care :)

  21. Scott Schroeder Avatar

    I lived near Stockholm for a year. Wish I had experienced it from this perspective. It would be wonderful at midnight – midsommer.

  22. creativeconfessions Avatar

    This looks really fun and cool!

  23. Tess Avatar

    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!

  24. gaycarboys Avatar

    Great pics. You’re a braver man than I.

  25. Rincewind Avatar

    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…

  26. pl Avatar

    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)? :-)

    1. James O'Brien Avatar

      Tack för kommentarer. Du observerar väl. Ja, det ska jag besöka Kungsträdgården nästa vecka :)

  27. siddiquifayesal Avatar

    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???

  28. aahin Avatar

    your pictures make me love Stockholm even more!!!
    gotta subscribe!

  29. Mark Foreman Avatar

    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.

  30. nod 'n' smile Avatar

    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?

  31. Linda Avatar

    Fascinating perspective in your travels. I was drawn to this site without knowing that you were also into Genealogy. You might like to check out my sites at http://www.ancestrees.com and http://www.blog.thegenealogyreview. Maybe we are cousins!

  32. terrybear Avatar

    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.

  33. wrap me in phyllo dough Avatar

    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.

  34. zoega59 Avatar

    This isn´t a thing for me beacuse I am afraid of heights
    But Stockholm is a great town

    Thanks for sharing

  35. […] found this blog by an auzzie bloke currently visiting Sweden – thought you might be […]

  36. watercoolerlaughs Avatar

    Very cool. Urban exploration is so interesting!

  37. Lily Mulholland Avatar

    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!

  38. fluffymocchi Avatar

    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!!!

  39. marianapp Avatar

    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!

  40. liyela Avatar

    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.

  41. kolonistan Avatar

    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. James O'Brien Avatar

      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.

  42. Vadym Avatar

    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!

  43. Malin Avatar

    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.

  44. […] I would like to do it but I am afraid I can´t be above a the high of a ladder and hardly that. Read this about how to view Stockholm from new perspective. LikeBe the first to like this […]

  45. I Made You A Mixtape Avatar

    Rooftops! How cool! I’ve been to Stockholm a few times- the old town is absolutely charming!

  46. rubiescorner Avatar

    This was an interesting piece of work. You have written with clarity, and you kept my interest.

  47. Dan Avatar

    Killer!!! What a cool way to experience the city!

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