Skogskyrkogården can literally be translated as forest graveyard. That is actually what it is: a graveyard in a forest. Or rather: forest and cemetery merge seamlessly. A unique place in a suburb of Stockholm!
Skogskyrkogården in Enskede is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Swedish actress Greta Garbo, among others, found her final resting place there. Rumors say that the Swedish DJ Avicii is also buried there, but unlike Greta Garbo’s grave that you even see marked on Google Maps, Avicii’s final resting place is a well-kept secret.
Architecture & landscape
The cemetery was created between 1917 and 1920. There are several chapels and prayer rooms. There are few paths, which gives the whole a very naturalistic look.
The architects Gunnar Asplund (himself also buried here) and Sigurd Lewerentz designed the cemetery on an old pine-covered quarry. Nature and the graves are intertwined.
The cemetery is quite expansive. I was surprised that there were cars in the graveyard. Only around All Saints’ Day there is no car traffic allowed in the cemetery. To make it even crazier: there are even buses running around and there is a bus stop.
Skogskyrkogården – practical information
Before your visit, download the dedicated app (android/iOs). This audio guide will give you more information about the various sights in Skogskyrkogården. There is free wifi in the visitor center. There are also free visitor toilets spread throughout the domain.
How to reach Skogskyrkogården?
Take the metro to the Skogskyrkogården stop. From here, the cemetery is indicated by arrows. The metro stop is about 5 kilometers from Slussen, so you can also go on foot. I went by metro but returned on foot.
Skogskyrkogården is open 24/24, every day of the year. Special celebrations are planned for alla helgons dag.
Remember you are on a cemetery. Even though you are there as a tourist and you may consider the cemetery as a tourist attraction, respect the privacy of the locals who come to commemorate their loved ones.
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I stayed there in the summer and enjoyed a green and (sometimes also) sunny Lapland. Gällivare is also a popular place in winter. There was still snow on top of nearby Dundret during the summer. During the winter months, the area around Dundret turns into a popular ski area where you can also do night skiing. If skiing north of the Arctic Circle is on your bucket list, then you have to go here!
In a small town in Lapland there are not many facilities. It is therefore a good idea to integrate a number of facilities in the hotel that the local residents eagerly use. There is also a bowling alley in the hotel. The hotel offers special rates for their guests.
The local knitting club regularly meets in the hotel’s café/restaurant. I loved eavesdropping while eating my quiche at the other table.
Wellness and rooftop Skybar at Grand Hotel Lapland
The rooftop of Grand Hotel Lapland offers fantastic views of Dundret. During the summer months you can enjoy the rooftop terrace, a heated and covered swimming pool and an outdoor jacuzzi. Inside there is also a sauna (separate for women and men, there is also a mixed sauna) with a relaxation area and a spacious gym.
During the summer months it gets barely dark (to not dark at all during some weeks around 21 June) in Gällivare. The rooftop is a great place to spot the midnightsun. Unfortunately it was cloudy when I was there. I suspect that Gällivare is too lit to spot the northern lights in the winter months, but if you take a walk outside the town you might have a better chance.
Tip: Gällivare is only 80 km from Kiruna, the mining village that will be moved about 4 km in the coming years. The world famous ice hotel is also nearby.
How to get to Grand Hotel Lapland?
The hotel is located close to Gällivare station. If you come by train, you can’t miss it. If you come by car, you can park on the hotel site.
In the summer of 2017 I traveled with Inlandsbanan all the way to Swedish Lapland. Slow travel, you might say. The first day the train from Inlandsbanan took me to Östersund (Jämtland), to leave early the next morning for Gällivare. On the way back I spent a night in Östersund. I chose Hotel Emma.
Hotel Emma is within walking distance of the station (Västra) and proved to be a popular stop for Inlandsbanan travellers. The hotel is located in the shopping street of Östersund. Unfortunately the shops were already closed when the train arrived. Several restaurants and bars can be found in the immediate vicinity. There is also a supermarket nearby.
The extraordinary breakfast at Hotel Emma
Hotel Emma does not have a typical hotel entrance. It takes a while to find the bell. There are also other companies in the same building. The room was comfortable and rather traditional. You have everything you need but you will not be blown away by the rooms. Cozy living rooms can also be found between the rooms where you can read a book in peace.
What blew me away was the friendly welcome and especially the extensive breakfast. On the buffet I mainly discovered homemade and local products. It gave me a warm B&B feeling. Moreover, you could bake your own waffles! There were different types of juices, different types of homemade jam, various pastries to choose from and lots of fresh products. In short: just for breakfast alone, I’d like to go to Hotel Emma back!
How do you get to Hotel Emma in Östersund?
Hotel Emma is centrally located in Östersund. From Stortorget you walk straight into Prästgatan and you will soon see the hotel on your left. From Östersund station you can walk straight through Prästgatan. The hotel is then on your right, 850 meters from the station.
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