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Gamla Stan E

Stockholm’s narrowest alley, Mårten Trotzigs gränd

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Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm

When you walk around Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town, you often see tourists with a map in their hands looking for the local sights. When they have found the Royal Palace and the great cathedral, Storkyrkan, they flock to Stockholm’s narrowest alley, Mårten Trotzigs gränd.

Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm

Mårten Trotzigs gränd

The narrowest alley in the Swedish capital is barely 90 cm wide at its narrowest. So you can easily touch both walls at the same time. Over the years, the alley had different names or nicknames. The current name comes from the German trader Mårten Traubtzich. At the end of the 16th century he bought some houses in this narrow alley and opened a shop there. He became one of the wealthiest residents of Stockholm at the time but was killed in 1617 (not in this alley but on one of his trading journeys).

Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm

How to find the narrowest alley in Stockholm?

Walk from Stortorget (the big market) towards Södermalm via Prästgatan. This street is very picturesque with the many colorful houses and cobblestones. Almost at the end of the street you will find the narrowest alley in Stockholm! If you go down the 36 steps and continue through the narrow alley, you will reach the Västerlånggatan. Here you will find a top restaurant with the name Mårten Trotzig.

Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm

In the alley you can barely pass with 2 next to each other. Especially when groups are in the alley, it is better to wait. Stockholm’s narrowest alley is literally a hidden spot in the city.

In the neighborhood

  • Sundsberg Konditori
  • Under Kastanjen
  • Chokladkoppen
  • Pubologi
  • Den Gyldene Freden

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Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm, het smalste steegje van Stockholm
18 January 2021

Live advent calendar in Gamla Stan

Posted in Stockholm E by
Levande julkalender

One of the nicest advent calendars I know of is Gamla Stan’s real live advent calendar. Levande julkalender is a lively advent calendar where a shutter opens every evening at one of the houses in Gamla Stan in Stockholm.

The spectators are treated to 15 minutes of culture. Poems are recited, stories read aloud, music is played and sung and there sometimes is some dancing. The stories and performances always have a link with Christmas and / or with Gamla Stan. It is quite small-scale, although the last times I went there I found that more and more people attended it.

Good to know: it’s all in Swedish. Yet you can to drop by to soak up the atmosphere if you don’t understand Swedish. The first time I attended Levande julkalendern it was in a courtyard. There was a choir that sang Tänd ett ljus and they (exceptionally) also handed out glögg and pepparkakor. A very nice moment that even my company then, who doesn’t understand Swedish still speaks about!

Levande julkalender practical information

Levande julkalender will go digital in 2020. This year they collected pieces from the archive from 2005 to 2019.

During the Advent from December 1 to December 24 every day at 6:15 pm somewhere in Gamla Stan, a shutter, window or door will open on a square or in one of the many narrow alleys. You can find the exact location on the Mäster Olofsgården site. Please note: On December 24, the shutter will open in the morning.

Tip: just before you go to the advent calendar, get a pepparkakslatte at Bröd & Salt to make it extra cozy and to keep you warm.

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24 December 2020

Visit Riksdagen, the Swedish Parliament

Posted in Stockholm E by
Riksdagen Sverige

The Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) is based in Riksdagshuset, on Helgeandsholmen in Stockholm. This small island is close to the Royal Palace. The Swedish National Bank used to be in this building. The building, which dates from the late 19th century, was not built specifically for the parliament.

You can make a free guided visit (in Swedish or in English) to Riksdagen. I chose the tour in Swedish.

During your visit, you will enter both parliament and the rooms where working groups and committees work. You will receive an explanation about the works of art that are on display, such as the carpet ‘Minnet av ett Landskap’. It took no less than 3,500 hours of work to finish this piece of art.

  • Riksdag Stockholm in de sneeuw
  • Riksdagen Sverige

Visit Riksdagen: practical

Attention: due to the corona virus, it is currently not possible to take a tour in the Swedish Parliament. Check the website for the latest info.

If you would like to join the English spoken tours, you can do so between mid-September and June on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 pm (not during the Christmas holidays. From midsummer to mid-August the tours take place on weekdays, at 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm.

You can also take the tour in Swedish. Then you can join between midsummer and mid-August at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm or 3:30 pm.

There are 28 places per tour. It is not possible to make a reservation in advance. It is advisable to arrive on time. Also keep in mind that there is a security check that takes place before the tour, so make sure you are there at least 10 minutes in advance.

When I visited Riksdagen, during a weekend in April, our tour still had some places available.

How do you reach Riksdagen?

The visitor’s entrance is located at Riksgatan 3, Stockholm. Bus 43 stops at Gustav Adolfs Torg.


Read more about elections in Sweden.

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Visit the Swedish parliament
11 September 2020