Nestled in a sprawling archipelago, Stockholm is a city that must be seen from above -- and a private helicopter tour with Flyover Stockholm is the best way to do it!
The first thing you'll notice when you arrive in Stockholm is it's beautiful architecture. Every European country has its own style of historic building style and Sweden is no different. Its style is both colorful and grandiose, and the best examples can be found in the capital. The second thing Stockholm has going for it, is its unique geography. Situated in a sprawling archipelago, and spread across many islands, there can’t be many cities in the world with this many bridges and waterways in such a small space.
Of course, you get a sense of both of these things while wandering around, but it is only from above that you can really appreciate them. There is no doubt that one of the best things we did during our stay in Stockholm was seeing the city from a helicopter tour with Flyover Stockholm.
This wasn't our first time in a helicopter -- but that didn't make it any less exciting! In fact, for us just getting up in a helicopter is fun experience, however once we were circling the city we were blown away by the views of the city as well as the novelty of our mode of transport. So many details jumped out at us which we would not have been able to see otherwise. We noticed how brightly colored the houses are, with their red and yellow facades contrasting with their slate black roofs. We knew that Stockholm had many islands (there are fourteen in the center to be precise), but seeing them from above helps you appreciate the elaborate waterway system even more. Venice and Amsterdam are famous for their canals, but Stockholm should get more recognition for its similar geography.
Our flight consisted of a city tour, which took in all of Stockholm’s central highlights. Most of the flight centered on Gamla Stan (the city’s old town), and there we saw the Royal Palace, the City Hall and countless other buildings of historical and contemporary importance. What’s more, we could also see the rest of the city stretching out into the distance. It was great to get a sense of where everything was in relation to everything else, and to how it was all connected by bridges. We also flew over some of the outer parts of the city while getting to and from the airport where we took off. While these areas didn’t have the tourist attractions of the center, it was interesting to get a sense of where the locals live. Most suburbs ringed the lake and had their own waterfronts. A couple of houses we saw sat on their own little peninsulas surrounded by water and trees. They looked so cozy and romantic, and almost made me want to move into one... Though I’m not sure I could survive the cold winters!
Our tour lasted twenty minutes, and is just one of the many that Flyover Stockholm offers. Although I’m pretty sure any amount of time in the helicopter would be to short, I definitely recommend booking the longest one you can...trust me you won't want to get out. We came away wishing that we had longer, and with so much to see time passes quickly when you are up there. The longer tours run for between thirty minutes and a full hour, and they take in either the inner or the outer islands of the Stockholm Archipelago. There are around one thousand islands out there, and they are wild, rugged and sparsely populated. I imagine that they would look spectacular from the air. As the route to the archipelago takes you over the city, you still get to see everything we saw on our tour if you go for the longer option. You can even land on one of the islands for a picnic if you want to go all out.
The tours all depart from Bromma Airport, which is fairly easy to get to, as it is only fifteen minutes from the city center. The best way to reach it is by taxi or Uber, but you can get there by public transport from the Central Station in about half an hour. If you are in a large group it is important to know that the helicopters are small and so can only take four passengers at a time.
The Flyover group which runs the tours is a franchise, which currently operates in the Netherlands and Mumbai, India. They are looking to expand globally, so keep an eye for them in the future wherever you happen to be visiting. They also have a strong commitment to social responsibility, and have partnered with an organization called Greenseat to make their flights carbon neutral. A portion of the tour price is donated to Greenseat who then use the money to support projects in the developing world which encourage sustainable energy use. Knowing this means that you can enjoy your flight even more, as you can be sure that as well as having a great time you are not damaging the environment.
Our ride in a helicopter was the best thing we did in Stockholm and we can’t recommend it enough to visitors. In fact, even if you have lived in the city all your life, you should take a tour and see the city from a new angle. Stockholm is a memorable place on its own, but a Flyover tour makes it truly unforgettable.