The ultimate walking tour of Uppsala
Sweden has a reputation for famously fresh, clean air and vast green spaces. Uppsala is no different meaning the best way to explore the city is on your own two feet.
Less than an hour from Stockholm Arlanda airport and the capital itself, Uppsala is blessed with some of Sweden’s most historic architecture, dotted between a wealth of parks and gardens, making it ideal for strolling around.
An ancient university city
Start your tour of Uppsala’s key sights at the iconic cathedral. Its gothic towers, measuring around 120 metres, make it Scandinavia’s tallest church. From here, it’s a short hop to Universitesthuset, the university’s main building. The Renaissance Hall dates back to the late 19th century, but the university itself was established in 1477 and is the oldest in the Nordic countries. Head towards the river to take in the fascinating Upplandsmuseet (website in Swedish only), an old water mill that now houses exhibitions on Swedish folk culture.
Tour of the Old Town
A little to the north of the city lies Gamla Uppsala, the site of several hundred ancient burial mounds. The graves, some of which date back to the sixth century, are said to include those of renowned pre-Viking rulers mentioned in the epic Beowulf. Pick up the St. Erik’s Trail, a well-maintained 6km pilgrim’s path which runs from Uppsala Cathedral to Gamla Uppsala, following the route dedicated to Erik the Holy, a 12th century king who was martyred in the city. Sit down to dinner at Odinsborg, a traditional Swedish restaurant housed close to the mounds themselves where you can feast on a smörgåsbord, the legendary buffet of cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, meatballs, crisp bread and cheeses.
Learn about Sweden’s best-loved cat
Uppsala provides the setting for Swedish author Gösta Knutsson’s classic tales about a cat called Pelle Svanslös, or Peter-no-tail. The twelve Pelle books were published between 1939 and 1972 and chart the lovable tailless cat’s adventures around the city. UPPsala Experience (website in Swedish only) run guided walks around Peter’s favourite haunts, finishing in the wonderful Pelleparken. Located in Engelska Parken, this adorable attraction has slides, swings, and even a carousel.
The legacy of Linnaeus
No visit to Uppsala would be complete without tracing the footsteps of the city’s most distinguished citizen, the world famous botanist Carl Linnaeus. Born in 1707, Linnaeus studied at Uppsala University and lived in the city for over 50 years. One of history’s most influential scientists, Linnaeus is considered to be the father of modern biological taxonomy, thanks to his pioneering work on the classification of species.
His residence in the former Botanic Garden has been converted into a museum and the surrounding garden now carries his name. It’s home to more than a thousand different plant species, meticulously arranged according to Linnaeus’ own system. Inside the house, his belongings and furnishings have been lovingly preserved. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can head out on one of the eight Herbationes Upsalienses; a series of nature trails around Uppsala devised by Linnaeus as living lectures for his students.
Try one or all of these self-guided walking tours for yourself and discover the beautiful city of Uppsala. For more information, we at Park Inn by Radisson Uppsala will be happy to help. You can also contact Destination Uppsala for more information.