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Modern art in Malmö: Moderna Museet

Posted in Malmö by

Art lovers who are on a city trip in Malmö should not miss Moderna Museet. The little brother of the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, offers always changing exhibitions. Always a good reason to walk by. Admission is for free.


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The museum is housed in a former generator, dating from 1901 and it opened its doors in 2009. The exhibitions focuses on both Swedish and international art. In addition to the temporary exhibitions, a part of the art collection of Moderna Museet is also shown in Malmö.

Temporary exhibitions

I visited Moderna Museet in Malmö in December 2017 and visited the exhibition Akut from Ulf Rollof. The second exhibition, Public Movement, will run until February 18, 2018. On their website you will find an overview of the upcoming exhibitions.

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Moderna Museet Malmö – practical information

Entrance to Moderna Museet is free of charge. So you can easily walk in and out if it should not turn out to be your thing. The museum is closed on Mondays. From Tuesday to Friday it is open from 11 am to 6 pm, in the weekend from 11 am to 5 pm. Every Saturday at 15h there is a guided tour in Swedish through the temporary exhibitions. They also organize special events for families. There is also a (small) museum shop. Be sure to visit the museum café as well where you can go for fika or a light lunch.

The City Hall of Stockholm

Posted in Stockholm by

When I see the town hall popping up on the horizon it feels like being home. Stockholm City Hall (Stadshuset) is a rather impressive building. The red stones against the blue sky are so photogenic! On top of the tower, the 3 crowns show off. It is my favorite building in Stockholm. Even though the city hall looks much older, it is a quite recent building. It is the place where the annual noble dinner takes place after the Nobel Prize ceremony in Konserthuset and it is the only reason that first time tourists during their city trip also go to Kungsholmen Island.

The building

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The building was built between 1911 and 1923 by Kreuger & Tall and the architect of the building is Ragnar Östberg. No less than 8 million bricks were needed to build Stockholm City Hall. Stadshuset is really a landmark and you can see the building from many places in Stockholm. Because you have a beautiful view from Riddarholmen during sunset and the city hall fits in beautifully, it will without doubt be the building that I have photographed the most. It is a real Stockholm view for me. Visiting Stockholm’s City Hall can only be done by following a guided tour. These are organized every day both in Swedish as in English.

The halls

Blue Hall

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The Blue Hall is the first room where a tour in Stadshuset takes you. You’ll see it immediately: the blue room is not blue. The hall is 1500m² and 22m high and was originally intended as an open courtyard where you could see the blue sky. The architect Ragnar Östberg gained his inspiration from the Italian Renaissance. Because of the weather conditions in Scandinavia, the room also needed a roof so that the room could be used throughout the year.

The aim was to paint the red bricks blue to have a blue sky in the room, but when the architect saw how beautiful the light fell on the red stones, he eventually decided to let the stones like this. In the meantime, the name had already been used by everyone so it has always remained the Blue Hall.

In the corner of the Blue Hall you will find Scandinavia’s largest organ with 10,000 organ pipes and 135 registers. It is in the Blue Hall that the Nobeldiner is served on December 10 each year.

The Golden Hall – Gyllende Salen

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The moment the doors of the Golden Room open are one of the most spectacular moments of the tour. Every door weighs 1 ton and is made out of copper. Inside, 18 million tiles from gold leaf form a breathtaking mosaic. The gold leaf is attached between 2 glass plates. The design is from Einar Forseth. Pull & Wagner was responsible for the manufacturing. The mosaic shows all kinds of scenes from Swedish mythology and legends.

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It is here that invited guests to the Nobel Prize after dinner are invited to a dance party. Originally, dinner was served here but because there is room for 700 people, it is now the dance hall and serves the blue hall as a banquet hall.

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The Prince Gallery – Prinsens Galleri

In this hall, the important guests are received. On one side you are facing Lake Mälaren and Södermalm. On the other side of the table you have the same view, but painted on the wall! This way, the guests had a nice view of Stockholm on both sides of the table. It was Prince Eugen, the youngest son of Oscar II, who painted these paintings, named Stockholm’s Shores.


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In the basement of the town hall you can taste all the menus ever served on the Nobeldiner.

The tower

The town hall tower is 106 meters high. 2.5 million bricks are used for construction. The tower weighs 24,000 tons which is twice the weight of the Eiffel Tower! You can climb to the top of the tower. You have 365 steps to take (there is also an elevator which allows you to skip a large part of these stairs). A great view of Gamla Stan and the rest of Stockholm is your reward. This viewing platform is 73 meters high.

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In the tower there is also a museum with a 7.6 meter high statue of Erik IX, the patron saint of Stockholm, designed by the Sandberg brothers. It was originally intended that this statue would be placed on the tower but eventually they chose the 3 golden crowns (Tre Kronor has been Sweden’s national symbol since the 14th century). The copper crowns have a diameter of 2.2 meters and are 1.1 meters high. They weigh 70 kg / piece. Other models of the images that you can see on the tower and the town hall can be seen here in this tower museum.

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9 clocks up to 3000 kg hang in the tower. Every hour, the clocks sounds and there is a special melody at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock.

City Hall

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Of course, the town hall also serves as a city hall. Both the city council and the college are in the building. In the council hall, the city council meets every three weeks. As you can expect from Sweden, there are equal numbers of men and women. Look up too because the ceiling is quite impressive, unlike the rest of the pretty sober room.

Courtyard and Gardens

In the inner courtyard it is often a bustle of people and movement. On Saturday you will see a lot of wedding couples and bridesmaids at the inner courtyard of the town hall. Even those who do not live in Stockholm can marry here. There is also a garden on the waterfront.

Staying at the ICE hotel

Posted in Lapland by

When I traveled with the Inlandsbanan to Swedish Lapland this summer, I had booked another train to Kiruna and an overnight stay in the ice hotel. You are wondering what I was doing at the ICE hotel during the summer? Well, since this year, you can visit the ice hotel throughout the year.

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Last spring, they took large blocks of ice of 2 tonnes from the nearby river Torne. These blocks of ice were stored in gigantic freezers during the summer months so that they could start with the sculpting in September / October. The ice hotel then opened around December and remained until it started to thaw and the ice hotel disappeared again.

IJshotel Kiruna (7)

The ICE hotel in Jukkasjärvi (near Kiruna) is about 200 kilometers above the polar circle and was the first ice hotel in the world. Every year, dozens of snow and ice artists begin to shape the hotel and ice bar ready in time. This temporary hotel will continue to exist in the future. And a permanent ice hotel will be added.

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For this permanent building, they devised a sustainable construction. Thus, the permanent ice hotel is covered with a layer of moss. Thanks to the midnight sun, they can also get all the energy needed to keep the building constant at -5 degrees from solar panels. The ICEHOTEL 365 got 18 art suites. Every year the interior will change.

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Staying at the ICEhotel

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The entire interior, from bed to table and chair, is made of ice. On the bed is a mattress on which reindeer skins lies. These ensure that you do not get cold at night. Next to your ice room, you also have a warm room where you can dress and where you can leave your luggage (so that it does not freeze). There is also a heated lounge in the main building where you can sit at the fireplace in the evening. Also the showers + saunas and the toilets are in the main building.

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Warm area

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Changing is done in a warm room in the main building. Each room has its own enclosed space with deckchairs and even a bench. You do not need any special clothes or extra layers to sleep in the ice room: a single and thin layer of thermal underwear (merino wool) is enough! You can also buy that thermal underwear on the spot. A hat and gloves can also be handy. You will also get shoes / boots from the hotel. There’s a good reason for it: if you’d leave your shoes next to your bed, in the morning they would be cold! Once you’re back in the main building, you can switch back to your own warm shoes.

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Sleeping bag

Tip: Do not go to bed too early. In winter you may want to spot the northern lights, in summer you can catch a glimpse of the midnight sun (if it’s not cloudy at least). So I did not go to bed until midnight. You will receive a sleeping bag and a liner at the reception. Just take them to your room if you are going to sleep. The sleeping bag would freeze.

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That sleeping bag was a serious turn off for me. My sleeping bag stank! Really, they do not wash them between the guests. You do have a liner sheet but still. I exchanged my sleeping bag for one that smelled less but the idea alone … It ruined the experience for me. In retrospect, I’d better had taken my own anti-freeze sleeping bag or put an extra scarf around my head so that the sleeping bag was further away from me and my poor nose.

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In addition, I have to say that, thanks to the reindeer skin and the sleeping bag, I wasn’t feeling cold at all. Yes, in the morning my toes and my nose had a little cold, but it all worked well. I can imagine that if you’re in a sleeping bag with two persons, it’s even warmer.

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Wake up call with blåbärssoppa

After some time I found a comfortable way to lie down and I turned off the light. And then the light was out and you could not see the ice sculptures anymore. Just to say how relatively it is to sleep in an ice hotel.

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By eight o’clock in the morning I was awakened by the receptionist who had a cup of warm berry juice. Delicious! I took some pictures to capture the experience and hurried to the warm space. A breakfast and a sauna afterwards, I took off again.

Visiting the ice hotel

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Is an overnight stay in the ice paradise too adventurous for you? Then you can also just visit the hotel and the ice bar. A ticket costs about 30 euros. Not cheap but definitely worth it! Even more, I would not stay overnight in an ice hotel again but would just go for a visit.

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You can also follow a workshop on the spot where you make an ice sculpture yourself. You can also choose to stay in a warm room in Jukkasjärvi. Across the road is another restaurant where you can eat. Breakfast is also served there for those staying at the ICE hotel or in the warm rooms.

How do you reach the ICEHOTEL?

Most people may choose for the night train from Stockholm. I traveled with the Inlandsbanan to Galliväre and took the regular train to Kiruna. From here you can take both bus 501 and the ICEHOTEL shuttle bus. Please be aware of the departure times, because the 501 only drives 2 times a day. A taxi is also a possibility but know that in the remote areas the taxis are not very common. From Kiruna to Jukkasjärvi it ​​is about 30 kilometers.

From Stockholm there are flights to Kiruna. The flight takes one and a half hours. Kiruna Airport is 15 km from the ice hotel. From February 2018, direct charter flights from the Netherlands are possible.

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Is an overnight stay at the ice hotel on your bucket list? Or have you slept there and you want to share your story? Don’t hesitate to comment below!