The city of Uppsala, located just 70km north of Stockholm, is characterized by an impressive range of historic architecture as well as outstanding natural scenery. The black spires of Scandinavia's largest cathedral dominate the skyline, while the winding Fyris River intersects the east and west.
The stately buildings of Sweden's oldest university, dating back to 1477, sit surrounded by collections of green parks in the center of Uppsala. With so many magnificent gardens to explore and excellent sports facilities all around, families travelling to the city can make sure they get plenty of fresh air along with their culture.
Uppsala is one of Sweden’s most accessible cities. It's not through exaggeration that the city has earned the nickname ‘Bike Town’; there are more bicycles here than inhabitants. Cycle hire is naturally readily available, with bikes for all ages, so spend your first day navigating the city’s extensive network of beautifully maintained paths. If you want the freedom to wander in and out of shops without stopping to lock up first, it's also a very pedestrian-friendly city. The Husby Trail along the Fyris River leads past brooks, fields and forests, and you can print out free nature trail play packs to keep little ones engaged along the way.
Sports in the city
20 minutes' walk along the River Fyris from the city center will lead you to Fyrishov, a huge sports complex with its own camping area and chalets. Open all year round, the Fyrishov Water Park has tropical-themed pools with water slides, jet streams and waterfalls that kids and teens will adore.
Golf fans won’t be disappointed by the local facilities, either. There are several first-class courses within easy reach of the city, including Uppsala GK, the oldest club in the region which has played host to several championships. Children new to the game might prefer to try out Fotbollsgolf, a fun-filled hybrid that swaps 18 holes for 18 goals played out on a specially designed course.
With its large lily pond, rosarium and beloved café, Stadsträdgården is one of Uppsala’s most beautiful parks. In spring, summer, and autumn the large playground and open-air theater make this the ideal place to spend a family day out. Translating as City Park, this popular green space is only 15 minutes' walk away from our Radisson Blu Hotel, Uppsala; itself a top choice for families thanks to its interconnecting rooms and central location.
To sneak in some education along with all the fun, head to Vasaparken, a unique natural experiment that brings together plants from across Sweden to show off the country's biodiversity. It's also where you'll find Biotopia, a brilliantly interactive museum that has displays in English and Swedish.
As you might expect from a Scandinavian city, Uppsala looks its best under a thick coat of snow. To make the most of a winter visit, drive half an hour from the city center to Fjällnora, a popular center for outdoor activities all year round thanks to its forests, hills and lakes. Summer activities like kayaking, hiking and swimming give way to a fantastic program of snowier sports, including Nordic skating on Lake Trehörningen, cross-country skiing along the trails and even ice fishing.