If you have been reading my blog lately, you know that I have been getting out and doing a lot of walking in the city… whether at the allotment gardens in Årsta, through the city or out at one of the many great parks in Stockholm. This has been a perfect time to take long walks. Good to get fresh air, keep socially distant and still meet with friends and socialize. Not to mention, it is a wonderful way to see the city… and I am always on the hunt for new walks and new areas. So, I was happy when my friend invited me the other day on a long walk around the neighborhoods of Hammarbyhamnen and Hammarby Sjöstad.
Hammarbyhamnen (“Hammarby harbor”) has a northern and southern section and, along with Hammarby Sjöstad (“Hammarby lake town”), they surround the waterway/lake called Hammarby Sjö. And, as I have mentioned in previous articles about walking in Stockholm, there is a Swedish law called allemansrätten which states that the public should always have access to nature and water. This means that walking along waterfronts in Stockholm is easy… including the coastline all along Hammarby Sjö.
|Restaurant Göteborg on Sickla Canal|
Now, what makes these areas interesting, both for locals and visitors, is that they are some of Stockholm’s newest neighborhoods. I remember back in the 1980’s (yes, I am that old) when this was an industrial part of the city, filled with factories and warehouses. The only reason to come to the area was to visit the odd underground nightclub that would pop up there. I may be old now, but I was young then! This all makes this area of Stockholm a great place for visitors… especially the ones who ask to see an authentic neighborhood and get off the beaten path.
Since the 1990’s, gentrification has turned the area into a modern neighborhood with pricey real estate as well as cute cafés, shops and parks. Trivia: gentrification really took off when Stockholm was a candidate to host the 2004 Summer Olympics and the area was slated as a possible location for the athletes’ village.
|Along Sickla Canal|
I started by meeting my friend at Skanstull, located at the southern point of then island Södermalm (where the Hotel Rival is located). We then headed south, over the bridge, to start our walk along the southern coast of the waterway. It is quite a broad walkway along the water and you have lots to look at along the way… moored old boats, passing ships, views over the water and beautiful building facades. Along the way you will find some waterfront shops and restaurants.
|Pier at Vasspark|
We walked the whole southern waterfront and even took a small detour and walked along the banks of Sickla Canal, crossing up by the water locks. The eastern shore of Hammarby Sjö contains some interesting architectural marvels… like Vasspark (which has wooden walkways leading through a forest of tall reeds) and nearby Observatorium, a round, tiered floating pier. We continued north and made our way to the boat harbors and made a pit stop for a late lunch and drinks at Marina Tapas. It was nice to sit there, rest our feet while sipping sangrias and watching the people walk by.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go back along the same way you came. The city has provided a free ferry that works in a circle around the lake, making stops at the aforementioned three neighborhoods: northern Hammarbyhamnen, southern Hammarbyhamnen and Hammarby Sjöstad. We took advantage of this and popped over on the ferry to walk back along the northern coastline. All in all, a great day and lots of fun exploring this area of Stockholm.
|Boat harbor with Marina tapas to the right|
To get to this area, you can take the subway (green line) to Skanstull and start your walk there like we did. If you don’t want to walk that much or have a limited amount of time… you can take the subway one more stop to the station Gullmarsplan and then switch to the tram Tvärbanan towards Sickla. This tram line runs along the whole southern shore. Finally, there is also a ferry line which connects these neighborhoods with the downtown area of Stockholm (this ferry, however, is not free like the other one I mentioned).