We created an itinerary for you to make the most out of your day in Uppsala. Times are flexible so make sure to check the train schedules for the particular day of the week you are planning to go there. Also, feel free to skip any places depending on your own tastes, we merely tried to include things that both nature-lovers as well as history-buffs would enjoy. The places we recommend are our genuine suggestions and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did when we visited Uppsala!
Travel to Uppsala
To make it to Uppsala on a regular day, it can take up to:
Stockholm Arlanda Airport – Uppsala: 18 minutes
Stockholm City (T-centralen) – Uppsala: 60 minutes
Here are a few options you can take to travel to Uppsala:
- Pendeltag 40 – direction Uppsala C
- Download the SL app to find the most accurate, up-to-date, information on public transportation options in Stockholm. Alternatively, you can also use the browser search engine on their website directly.
- To buy your ticket, simply use your green SL card/mobile app pass and pay extra to make it to Uppsala
- Note: students can only get student pass if they are students at a Swedish university with a valid Mecenat card ID!
- SJ regional train – direction (if you don’t have the SL metro card)
- Bus ride (~100 SEK roundtrip)
- Cheapest option but longest and perhaps less comfortable than both trains.
- No arrival in the morning, only afternoon departure.
Once you arrive at Uppsala’s Central Station, it’s time to start exploring! Here are a few fika places we recommend if you want to grab some coffee and something sweet near Uppsala’s train station:
These coffee shops are all in the direction of the next stops, so feel free to have a quick break at any of them.
11:00 – University and Library
The main university building is worth visiting, the interior and main hall are quite bautiful. If we want to visit the Library exhibition we have to go to the building next to it, it has free access and breathtaking samples. You can find maps, books, and the Codex Argentum! There are amazing objects, for example Mozart music sheets, Newton mathematics principle and Olaus Magnus carta Marina.
11:30 – Castle and Botanical Gardens
Take the chance to walk up to Uppsala’s Castle as you cross the bridge to this part of town (which looks very much like the Swedish version of Amsterdam’s canals).
The Uppsala Castle lies at the top of a hill which stands beside a deep mud cliff stretching to the Earth’s bottom crust layer. The Castle’s history began in 1549, intended to be the residence of newly-established Swedish King Gustav Vasa. Since then, it was destroyed in a big fire and then reconstructed to its current state in 1740. Inside the Castle, you can visit an Art Museum as well as the Vasaborgen, a spooky museum of 16th century ruins from the original Uppsala castle.
Next, you can cross the road behind the Castle and walk right into the Botanical Gardens. These beautiful gardens are something of a wonder and definitely worth the visit! They are home to also some Uppsala University research facilities as well as a few botanical museum sites, such as the Tropical Greenhouse, fun for people of all ages. A 100-yr-old coffee shop named Cafe Victoria lies on the Botanical Gardens’ grounds but it is only open during the summer season. The tropical greenhouse might seem small but it is quite nice, the species they have are very interesting and the nenúfar fountain is gorgeous if you catch it blooming.
Explore the Gardens for as long as you like but if you start getting hungry, make your way back towards the Castle and walk down to the main shopping streets, Svartbäcksgatan or Dragarbrunnsgatan, where you will find plenty of restaurants to have lunch at. Some cute little shops you can check out around Stadsbibliotek include The English Bookshop and the tea shop, Tehörnan.
13:00 – Lunch
Our top recommendations:
- Saluhallen: food market with a variety of Swedish food options, including fish dishes; if the weather is nice, the terrace by the water is super enjoyable
14:00 – Linnaeus’ house and garden (open May to September only)
If you finished having lunch in the area of the restaurants we suggested above, you will be close by our next recommended stop – Linnaeus’ house and gardens. Unfortunately, the grounds are only open from May to September. If you happen to visit Uppsala in the Fall or Winter, go ahead and skip this stop and make your way directly to the Uppsala Cathedral nearby.
Otherwise, if you’re lucky to visit during the summer season, check out the summer home where Linnaeus spent most of his time, one of Sweden’s best-preserved 18th century farms, and also the home to the world’s largest living collection of Linnaean plants. In Linnaeus’ gardens, you will find close to 1300 species of plants and flowers which were cultivated by Linnaeus himself, according to his own classification system (taxonomy).
Close by, if you fancy a cake or two, we recommend Cafe Linne, a lovely little place for local traditional pastries and cakes.
15:00 – Cathedral
The Uppsala Cathedral is right near the centre of Uppsala, on the other side of the main canal. It stands tall and glorious in its stature, one of the oldest and tallest religious buildings in all of Scandinavia. The cathedral was built in the Gothic style, reconstructed and altered several times over many centuries. You can read more about the cathedral’s interesting architecture and history at the entrance to the church, across from the gift shop. When you enter the main hall of the cathedral, make your way to the end of the hall and there you will find the tomb of Gustav Vasa, the first king of modern-day Sweden. All around his burial site, you will find paintings depicting snapshots of his life. You can always visit the cathedral first thing when you arrive, however, at 15:00 they have a daily tour free of charge. They explain the most important things in English and is quite worth it.
For an afternoon fika, we suggest you partake in this Swedish tradition of sitting down for coffee and a sweet pastry at the Cathedral’s coffee shop, Katedralkaféet. They have delicious carrot cake as well as the conventional cinnamon buns.
15:30 – Upplands Museet
Then, for one last museum run, we recommend checking out the completely free-to-visit Upplands Museet. Only a 2 min walk from the Cathedral, you will find this museum to be full with insights about the history of Uppsala, the Vikings, and the religious foundations of the Uppsala Cathedral. The museum’s exhibits are all written/displayed in Swedish but find the handheld printed English versions of the text on a wooden stand as you step into each floor of the museum. Incredibly interactive and informative, Upplands Museet is an excellent place to learn more about the history and cultural significance of the Vikings and the found Upplands runestones. You can even write your own runic inscription on an interactive monitor at the museum’s exhibit.
17:30 – Walk along Stadsträdgården
If you have some time left or want to skip one of the other stops for more fresh air, the city’s great park is our best nature trail suggestion. Stadsträdgården is lovely to walk through, beautiful views of the canal, especially during the Autumn season, with falling leaves flying with the wind in shades of yellow and red, makes this place a very special romantic setting.
18:30 – Dinner (if you are following the Swedish dinner times) or Return to Stockholm for dinner at 19:30
Either choose another of the spots we recommended for Lunch above, or make your way back to Stockholm before night time to have a meal back in town.
Hope you had a fun and informative time well-spent in Uppsala City! Return whenever you’re back in the Stockholm Region!
Other fun things you can try in Uppsala, according to the mood of your fellow travellers’ group:
Klosterparken – little castles and houses simulate the Viking settlement in this cute little playground for toddlers and adults alike. Perfect for families with young children.