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Modern Sweden Tour: Exploring the Klara District

Dig deep into contemporary Stockholm with an expert guide and find out what makes the city tick
From US$412 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
3 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Klara Church
  • Hötorget Market
Photos & Highlights
  • Discover lesser known cultural landmarks while understanding Sweden's roots through the lens of the contemporary Stockholm
  • Led by a local social historian or expert
Select a date
Tour Description
Scandinavian society as a whole is often viewed from the outside as a progressive Utopia. To what extent is that stereotype true? On this Swedish Socialism Tour we critically assess some Swedish stereotypes in the company of a local expert, using the Klara, Stockholm district in the borough of Norrmalm as a backdrop for discussion. The renovation of the district was among the most emphatic in postwar Europe and part of the biggest ever building program in Sweden. Together, we'll discover the architecture of the modern Swedish welfare state, the cultural idea of Sweden, and explore the city through the lens of Sweden today.

Trade Routes, Tracing Roots

Beginning at the epicenter of Stockholm’s transportation network, Central Station, we’ll find ourselves equally so at the hub of the modern-day city. First, we’ll briefly place Stockholm’s history in context, linking the sleek city that we see today with the first trading post settlements of Gamla stan and the suburban expansion to Norrmalm, the district in which today’s Central Station is located. Together, we’ll start to stroll the streets of the old district sometimes known as Klara and peel back the layers of its story.

For a closer look at the city's history, try our Gamla stan Tour, exploring Sweden's Old Town.

Klara, Stockholm

Along the way, we’ll spot landmarks like the Klara Church, the ancient monastery and house of worship which gave this area its nickname. As we take in its medieval Northern architecture, complete with red brick and sharp-spired turrets that pierce the sky, the meaning behind this towering site will guide our discussion of the area’s structural renovation: progressive renewal or disregard of heritage buildings?

Stockholm's Mod Facelift

Moving further through Klara and towards Sergels torg, we’ll see how the church stands alone in this area, one final bastion of visible ancient history. The landscape around us will swiftly progress to the 20th century, giving us the opportunity to examine pervasive external stereotypes about Swedish social systems, governance, and everyday life today. At bustling Sergels torg, bordered by institutions like the Kulturhuset (House of Culture) and the Stockholm City Theater, we’ll stand in this truly modern square and consider how it contrasts with what might once have been, when Stockholm was a waypoint for merchants transporting valuable goods or during its renaissance as a cultural cosmopolitan destination, dating back decades but accelerating towards the 20th century.

Sampling Stockholm's International Side

We’ll also save time for a nibble at Hötorget Saluhall, the site of a market hall that has been providing local producers with a space to offer their wares since the late-19th century. Today, it’s a smorgasbord of cuisines from around the world, and we’ll pass all kinds of vendors. For those ready to taste Stockholm's cuisine, this is the place to sample a local delicacy or two—perhaps smoked salmon, cheese pastry, or one of the three versions of the infamous traditional herring: pickled, with mustard, or simply raw.

Swedish Socialism Tour

Before our walk draws to a close, we will have looked at Norrmalm, and Klara in particular, through the eyes of a local expert who can help us to unlock its stories and secrets: of 1960s-era developers reimagining their city’s mercantile roots as foundation for a glossy commercial district, of architecting urban change on a massive scale, and more broadly, of what insight this can give us into Swedes and their social and cultural values.
Where You'll Start
7 Reviews (4.43)

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I'm so sorry to have to leave a review that is not glowing or at least average. But, the tour felt like we were reading our guide book. Nothing special or interesting was added by the guide. We felt bored and just wanted to go back to our hotel. I'm so sorry.
Lars was so knowledgeable. We wanted to know more about Swedish society. He answered all our questions. We loved him.
Lars was an excellent tour guide, knowledgeable, personable and responsive to questions. In all our travels, we never had a better experience on a tour. Thanks!