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From Stockholm to Kiruna & Abisko

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From the capital city of Sweden, my friend and I moved on to another town for another adventures. We decided to travel up to Abisko, a small little town in the Lapland region of the northern Sweden. There are several ways to reach Abisko from Stockholm; either by bus, train or plane. But due to time constraint, we opted to travel in the faster way which is by taking plane to Kiruna first, and from there we take train to Abisko. 

#1: From Stockhom Arlanda, we flew with Norwegian to Kiruna Airport

#2: We booked the morning flight in order for us to catch train to Abisko

Norwegian is a low-cost airline and it's the largest airline of Norway. We got this one-way flight for €115 (approx. to RM523) for 2 pax and we even included 20kg check-in luggage. Similar like AirAsia, it's no frills airline where you need to pay additional fee for non-essential services such as in-flight meals, entertainment and check-in luggage. Apart from Norwegian, you can search for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) too for direct flight to Kiruna from Stockholm. 

#3: A tiny of Kiruna Airport 

There are two ways to reach Abisko from Kiruna; you can travel by bus or train and my friend opted for the latter. Regardless which option you choose, both departs from Kiruna Central Station. So once we stepped out from the tiny Kiruna Airport, we took airport bus transfer operated by "Hörvalls Bus" heading to "Hjalmar Lundbohmsvägen/Bus station". No prebooking is necessary and you can purchase ticket onboard the bus with cash or credit cards. Bear in mind that there's no ATM available at Kiruna Airport for cash withdrawal, so always bring along your debit/credit cards with you. A single trip cost 110 SEK for adult and 55 SEK for children up to 16 years.  
The reason why my friend chosen to travel by train instead of bus is because there are at least 4 direct trains compare to bus where it only operates 1 daily. And by the time we arrived Kiruna Airport, we unable to catch us with the bus schedule. The train rides took approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes to reach Abisko Ostra and we paid 99 SEK for a single trip. It seems like the airport bus shuttle fares tend to be more pricey than the train fare when the bus ride took less than half an hour ride.   

#4: Abisko Ostra Station

Because Abisko is a small and tiny town, hence there are not many choices when comes to accommodation. It's best to plan your trip ahead. We managed to book this Abisko Guest House at least 4 months in advance before our trip. 

#5: Abisko Guest House, 5 minutes walk from Abisko Ostra Station.

#6: Small but cozy common area

#7: Our favourite area - most of the time we spent our time here

#8: Shared kitchen when guests can cook their meal 

#9: This is how our room looks like 

Date Stayed: 12 September - 14 September 2016 (2 nights) 
Room Rate: 1,180 SEK for an economy twin room with shared bathroom for two nights (Booked via Booking.com)

Not far away from the guest house, there's a small grocery store and to be frank, that's the one and only thing we can visit in the immediate vicinity. With a population less than 100 people, don't expect any upscale restaurants, 5 star hotels and countless of boutique shops here. But to think of it, due to the less population, Abisko tends to be more peaceful, serene and calm than any other places I've been. It's absolutely a perfect place to relax your mind and soul from the hustle and bustle of city life. And also an ideal spot to heal the broken heart too. 

#10: One and only grocery store within the town

#11: Majority of the racks are pretty empty but luckily we managed to buy few things we want

And that's some brief introduction of Abisko town. Wondering why both of us chosen to come here? Stay tune for the next post for more.

#12: Autumn always my favourite season. How about you? 

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Stockholm, Sweden For Less Than 36 Hours

Stockholm, not just the capital city of Sweden but it's also the land of Ikea, H&M, Candy Crush and not forgetting the world notable Swedish meatballs. After approximately of 13 hours and 30 minutes of flight with Qatar Airlines with almost 3 hours of short transit in Doha Hamad International Airport, my friend and I had finally safely landed in one of the Scandinavian's big city. Feeling so surreal, but at the same time feeling pretty anxious too. 

#1: Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden 

As usual, the immigration clearance was slightly tedious with few questions being asked but with all the complete documentations we had prepared earlier (such as flight tickets, hotel reservation), there's nothing to worry about. Just stay calm and be prepared always. 

From Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, there are several way to reach the city center but we opted for The Arlanda Express Train where we can access it at the lower level floor.  It departs every 15 minutes and the journey takes around 20 minutes to arrive at Stockholm Central Station. This option might be pricey compare to other means of transportation, but it's way more faster and convenient since we arrived pretty late at night. Budget vs safety, for sure I will choose the latter. 
#2: Arlanda Express Train to Stockholm Central Station

We booked Old Town Lodge Stockholm for two good nights stay. It's a small cozy hostel situated in the heart of Stockholm, Gamla Stan with 4 different type of rooms; single room, double room, 4-bed room and cubicle-dormitory. We opted for the double room with shared bathroom. 

#3: Old Town Lodge Stockholm 

#4: Double bedroom with shared bathroom and shared kitchen 

Although the room might be small and compact, thankfully it's spotless clean and the bed is pretty comfortable. Just that there's no window within the room but we don't have any issue with that cause my friend and I spent most of our times wandering around the city. There is a small shared kitchen where you can find an oven, microwave, fridge, coffee machine and kettle - perfect for those who like to cook while travelling. The only thing we dislike about this is that they don't provide any bedsheet and we need to pack the bedsheet ourselves. 

Date Stayed: 10 September - 12 September 2016 (2 nights) 
Room Rate: SEK733 for a double bed room with shared bathroom (Booked via Booking.com)

How To Get To Old Town Lodge From Stockholm Central Station:
As the hostel located in Gamla Stan, one need to take metro from Stockholm Central Station to Gamla Stan Metro Station. And from there, it's about 7 minutes walk to the hostel. 


1) Gamla Stan 
We kicked off the next morning by meandering through the colourful and picturesque medieval buildings and narrow cobblestone street of the Old Town of Stockholm. That's explain why I insisted to stay here, instead of choosing to stay nearby Central Station. Here, you will find countless of souvenir shops, authentic restaurants, craftwork boutiques and even the city's oldest cafe, Sundbergs Konditori. 

2) The Royal Palace (Sveriges Kungahus)
On the northern part of the Old Town, it's dominated by the classical and dynamic Royal Palace. This is the official residence of His Majesty The King and also the setting for most of the monarchy's official receptions. This combination of royal residence, workplace and culture-historical monument open to the public all year round. 

3) Riksdagshuset
It's the Parliament House of Sweden, sits on Helgeandsholmen Island. Just like The Royal Palace, Riksdagshuset is open for anyone wishing to attend a debate or public hearing. But because it's not within our interest, we're there just to take photos surrounding the building, especially the stunning bridge - it's perfect for the Gram.  

4) Avicii Arena 
Initially known as Stockholm Globe Arena and previously as Ericsson Globe, but commonly referred to in Swedish simply as Globen, is one of the Stockholm's modern landmarks. It's the world's largest spherical building and officially a national arena for the Swedish national hockey team. Up the iconic Avicii Arena, one can gain unparalleled and uninterrupted 360-degree views over the beautiful city from the glass cabin that scales the side of this impressive building.  

5) Stockholm Metro Station
Yes, the metro station of the city is a must-to-visit in your list when you're visiting Stockholm. Majority of the Stockholm's metro stations are spruced up with awe-inspiring statues, mesmerising murals and art installations on its platform, walls and even waiting hall. So spending a day in Stockholm by hopping from one station to another is basically like visiting the world’s longest art exhibition. You can read more here where I shared more photos. 

6) Swedish Meatball 
A trip to Sweden is incomplete without savouring the country's most famous culinary item - none other than Swedish Meatball. Unfortunately due to religious reason and because they unable to change to other, I have no choice but to opted for other. 

Swedish meatball paired with mashed potato and cranberries sauce (My friend's dinner)

My dinner - Pasta with chicken

This is the restaurant where we had our dinner

Ended our final night in Stockholm by stopping by Stortorget, a public square in Gamla Stan 

Basic Information About Sweden:
  • For Malaysia, visa is NOT required for short visits to Sweden, not longer than 90 days. 
  • Sweden has its own official currency and it's known as krona (SEK). From our past experiences, this currency is commonly found in any money changers, especially in Kuala Lumpur. [RM1 = 2.05 SEK] 
  • However, do bring along your debit/credit card as the country is going cashless. I still vividly remember when we arrived Stockholm Central Station from the airport, we intended to buy metro ticket in order to reach the station near our hostel. Unfortunately, they only accept payment by card, not cash. Thankfully my friend brought along her cards that time. And don't forget to activate your cards for international usage at the nearest ATM machine in Malaysia before flying. 
  • Although official language for Sweden is Swedish, don't worry cause almost everyone in Sweden excels at speaking English. My friend and I don't have any issue communicate with the local when we're there.  
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