Winter sports are just great. Too bad the Nordic winter seems to be getting worse every year when it comes to snow, and the season with optimal conditions is veeery short. However, when we DO have snow (and sun!) – oh boy, there’s so much fun stuff to do!
One of my all time winter favorites is ice swimming. Especially in Finland, I always go visit this public sauna when I’m in Tampere (picture form Hellasgården though). It doesn’t get any more Finnish than that: hot sauna full of people in all ages and genders, dipping/jumping/diving into the frozen lake one after another. Sitting outside and enjoying a casual sauna drink and/or sausage.
Everyone agrees to a few unwritten sauna rules: 1) there’s always seats for more people (even if there wasn’t – no such thing as sitting too close to someone) and 2) you politely glance at fellow sauna folks before throwing more water on the stones. You mostly talk about the weather, the exoticism of sauna and current holidays. You always wish your sauna-mates a happy weekend, Easter, Christmas, New Year’s or whatever before leaving.
A nice tip for outdoor activities in Stockholm is the area of Hellasgården. They have all kinds of inside and outside sports, including extensive trails, lake & sauna, outdoor gym and cafés. I’ve been there mushroom hunting, skating as well as ice swimming, and the best part is that it’s super close to the city: only 15 minutes busride from Slussen!
Yet, you don’t even have to go to Hellasgården to find outdoor areas in Stockholm – the nature is everywhere. Stockholm is a city where you can have it all: exciting urban life and beautiful nature right next to each other.