Stockholm in Spring – Visiting Kungsträdgården

by Elena on April 24, 2012

Kungsträdgården in Spring in StockholmVisiting Stockholm in spring, particularly in late April or early May, means that you might be lucky enough to see the beautiful bloom of the cherry trees in Kungsträdgården. This central Stockholm park offers a stunning display of cherry blossom for about a week each year with an explosion of fluffy pink flowers making the news across Sweden as a sign of spring’s arrival. The park is filled with visitors, Swedes and tourists alike, and a trip to Kungsträdgården is a must for anyone on a Stockholm city trip with Ulko Tours.

Stockholm Spring Weather

The Swedish spring offers around ten hours of sunlight during early May days, and temperatures between 6-16C (43-61F), with a bloom of color spreading across Stockholm as flowers start to open, the street cafes set out their tables, and park picnics and games commence with enthusiasm. The key to enjoying a springtime trip to Stockholm is to dress in layers as there can be storms and downpours amid the glorious days of sunshine and cherry blossoms.

Cherry Blossom and Stockholm’s Spring

Kungsträdgården itself (known as Kungsan by locals), translates to ‘King’s Garden’, and the sight of the trees in full bloom makes it easy to see why. The park is central to Stockholm and is a popular place for locals to meet for coffee, enjoy an open-air concert, and even skate during winter. The first of May sees the left-wing political parties in Sweden holding their annual demonstrations, and the nearby galleries and restaurants give the area a liberal and artistic feel.

Kungsträdgården’s Geography

The park is separated into four zones running north to south, with the most northerly zone known only by the presence of the Fountain of Wolodarski, and the other zones commemorating Charles XIII, Molin, and Charles XII. To the south of the park is the quay with a bridge over to the Old Town and the Royal Palace, two major Stockholm landmarks. North of Kungsträdgården is a shopping area (Hamngatan) comprising department stores and other outlets. There is also a Kungsträdgården Metro station to the east of the park, making it easy to while away hours in the park on your Stockholm city tour and be back in time for dinner, or even head over the Royal Swedish Opera on the west side of the park.

The History of Kungsträdgården

stockholm spring Kungsträdgården street chess

Stockholm's Kungsträdgården (King's Garden) offers the opportunity for street chess under the beautiful cherry blossom in Spring.

The garden dates back to the Middle Ages, and its first mention appears to be in 1430 as the ‘King’s cabbage garden’, before land acquired in 1454 increased the size of the park, a trend that continued over the next century. The garden was enclosed and given more structure in the 17th and 18th centuries, centering on a fountain. The walls came down in the 19th Century however and further changes continued with Charles XIII’s reign and Charles XIV’s desire for more gravelled open space in which to stroll and for military parades. Molin’s Fountain, an impressive bronze structure was also given a permanent location in the park and tree-lined avenues threaded through the land to give it its current appearance.

Beautiful Stockholm

Acquisition by the city in 1970 has allowed Kungsträdgården to stay a public park, negating worries over the park being replaced in part by various buildings. The building of the metro station in the 1970s caused considerable protest due to the planned removal of old elms, with people actually chaining themselves to the trees to save them. Plans altered and the mindset of preservation and conservation set in, allowing the elms to remain, the station to be relocated, and even many other buildings in Stockholm to be conserved instead of being demolished as had been planned.

Picnic in the Park in Stockholm

Kungsträdgården is a fine example of how cities can plan and restructure their environment to make it a happy and safe place to visit and live. Some troubles in the 1980s led to alterations to the park’s layout, with the effect of dispersing problematic groups and reducing crime. Running through the cherry blossom on a spring day in Stockholm is almost magical and anyone visiting the city should remember to bring their camera here to capture the beauty of this springtime snow. Adding a welcome break to the usual museums, galleries, and shopping trips on many a Stockholm city tour itinerary, ask Ulko Tours about scheduling a visit, with a picnic perhaps, to Kungsträdgården, a beautiful central Stockholm park that is simply stunning in Spring, but beautiful all year round.

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