I am back! I just had some extra time off from work and the good news is that I spent my time here in Stockholm and did some fun things which I can share with you here. First up is a visit to the quaint allotment gardens (or kolonilotter in Swedish) in Årsta. I have been doing a lot of walking in the city parks and along the waterways during the pandemic as it is great with some fresh air and perfect for social distancing! The other day I did a walk with friends along the shores of Årstaviken for the first time and saw their beautiful allotment gardens.

For those who don’t know about allotment gardens, these are small gardens found in many European cities where locals can grow their own herbs and vegetables and have a bit of the outdoors (in an urban area) for their own. In the US and Canada there are versions of these gardens called “community gardens”. They usually always have a small cottage on the lot as well. I am unsure what they look like in other countries, but in Sweden they are generally very beautiful and well maintained. They usually look like miniature versions of Swedish summer homes. It is always fun to walk around the areas and admire the houses and gardens.

Allotment gardens in Stockholm are very popular… especially as they are not really building new ones and the current gardens are often passed on within families. I read recently that there are around 10,000 people in line for purchasing these gardens in Stockholm! This might also explain why they are so well tended. These garden areas are spread throughout Stockholm, with many of them in the suburbs. There are a few in the city, most notably on the island of Södermalm (where Hotel Rival is located)… like in Tantolunden and Årstalunden. Click here to read an older article I wrote about them.

But, for this walk, I crossed the bridge from Södermalm to the suburbs of Årsta and visited the allotment gardens at Dianelunden. The gardens are tucked within the Årsta Forest nature reserve, where we continued our walk. It is wonderful to just walk through the lanes in the gardens, admiring the beautiful houses and impressive flower and vegetable gardens. Keep in mind though that the gardens are private properties so you can’t go into them and will have to admire them from the lane. With that being said, you will probably encounter the owners as they work in their gardens and are generally happy to hear compliments. These gardens are really a slice of Swedish tradition and nature.

The easiest way to get to Dianelunden is to take the subway (green line) to Gullmarsplan station and walk down from there (about a 15 minute stroll). Make sure to visit the forest reserve while you are there and take advantage of all the green areas in Stockholm! If you are staying at the Hotel Rival, contact me directly for more information and/or directions.

You can also visit Årsta forest and…
…maybe take a swim?
The allotment gardens at Årstalunden as seen across Årstaviken. 

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