A panoramic view of Uppsala Cathedral and the city from the Uppsala Castle hill.

A day trip to Uppsala

Within the rigorous demands of being a master’s student at Karolinska Institutet, it’s essential to carve out moments for enjoyment and exploration – as Yagmur’s weekend trip from Stockholm to Helsinki. With this in mind, my friends and I embarked on a day trip to Uppsala, one of Sweden’s oldest and most famous cities nestled in the north.

It is only about an hour from Stockholm by train but feels like a different world. Uppsala has a rich history, a lively culture, and a great academic atmosphere. It is the perfect place for a day trip with friends. That’s what we did last weekend, and we had a blast. In this blog post, I will share our adventure and why we loved Uppsala as master’s students at KI.

“Surprise, surprise”

We started our trip to Uppsala on a cold Sunday morning with a blue sky and fresh air. We went to Stockholm City Central and bought our train tickets from Presbyrån’s self-service machine. With everything in order, our adventure commenced in the late morning.

However, our plans encountered a hiccup as we encountered unexpected line failures, necessitating two train changes at Upplands Väsby and Arlanda Airport. We were not happy about this at first, but we did not give up. We got off the train at the last stop and tried to have fun.

“Surprise, surprise,” said someone else on the train, but we did not complain. We decided to look around Upplands Väsby, a quiet town. We had our morning coffee, and then we continued our trip. We did not let the small problem stop us.

A selfie of four friends smiling and holding coffee cups at a train station on our trip to Uppsala
Me and my friends enjoying a morning coffee break at Upplands Väsby train station. Photo by: Hector

Tip – there are different means of transportation and ticket options to travel to Uppsala.

Exploring Uppsala

We reached Uppsala after a long and eventful train ride. We were hungry but also eager to see the city. We found a nice place to eat near the train station, where we satisfied our hunger and refreshed ourselves. Then we were ready to explore the city and its attractions.

A selfie of four friends smiling and eating lunch at a restaurant.
Having a cosy lunch at a restaurant in Uppsala. Photo by: Yohannes

The Uppsala Cathedral

First, we visited the Uppsala Cathedral, which is one of the oldest and most impressive buildings in Sweden, it felt like stepping into a history book. It is the tallest church in the Nordics with a splendid example of Gothic architecture that reflects centuries of Swedish history. It is also where many Swedish monarchs and saints are buried.

A picture of the exterior of the Uppsala Cathedral, showing its twin spires and Gothic style.
The magnificent Uppsala Cathedral, the largest and tallest church in Scandinavia. Photo by: Yohannes
A picture of the interior of the Uppsala Cathedral, showing its nave, aisles, and vaulted ceiling.
The interior of the Uppsala Cathedral, showing its grandeur and beauty. Photo by: Yohannes


Next, we went to the Gustavianum, the oldest standing building of Uppsala University and a historic building that is now the Uppsala University Museum. It houses magnificent historical collections. The museum features an impressive collection of historical artefacts and exhibits that display Uppsala’s rich past, from ancient times to modern days.

What astonished me was seeing Ethiopian books and scriptures from the 15th century, written in “Geez”, the oldest Ethiopian language. It made me curious about how they got there and what they meant. It made us feel like we were travelling back in time.

A picture of me looking at the Ethiopian scriptures behind a glass at the Gustavianum museum in our day trip to Uppsala
Me admiring the Ethiopian scriptures at the Gustavianum museum. Phto by: John
A picture of the city of Uppsala from the door of the Gustavianum museum.
The city of Uppsala as seen from the door of the Gustavianum museum. Photo by: Yohannes

Uppsala Castle and the Botanical Garden

We also stopped by the Uppsala Castle, which serves as the official residence of the governor of Uppsala County and houses two museums. It proudly sits on atop a hill and has a wonderful view of the city. It is a very old and majestic building, where many significant events occurred in Swedish history. There was also an art exhibition that day, showing how different artists depict life in Sweden. It was very fascinating and captivating to see.

A selfie of me and my three friends smiling outside the Uppsala Castle in our day trip to Uppsala
Posing happily outside the Uppsala Castle. Photo by: John

After admiring the castle and having a delightful fika there, we wanted to go to the botanical garden. But when we got there, we found out it was closed for the day. It was unfortunate, but it gave us a good reason to go back to visit Uppsala, especially in the summer to take advantage of the Botanical Garden. Then, we just sat on a bench outside the garden and enjoyed the scenery.

A picture of me and my two friends sitting on a bench outside the closed Botanical Garden. One part of the day trip to Uppsala
Sitting on a bench outside the closed Botanical Garden. Photo by: John

Finally, we walked around the city enjoying the sound of the river that runs through Uppsala. The cafes were full of cheerful and cosy students and people, which made us feel like we were part of the city, even if only for a day.

Lighting in the shape of cats on the bridge over the Uppsala river. Finalizing our trip to Uppsala
Lighting in the shape of cats on the bridge over the Uppsala River. Photo by: Linda

Closing thoughts

A person standing and viewing the sunset.
Me carrying the KI bag and watching the sunset from the Uppsala Castle. Photo by: John

Moreover, I’m filled with gratitude for the opportunity to explore this historic city with my friends. Our adventure was filled with unforgettable moments and valuable insights. Uppsala’s rich history, lively culture, and welcoming atmosphere left a lasting impression on us as master’s students at Karolinska Institutet. I encourage future travellers to add Uppsala to their travel plan, as it offers a blend of historic landmarks, vibrant cultural experiences, and serene landscapes waiting to be discovered.

We look forward to returning to Uppsala soon!

Yohannes - Health Economics Policy and Management

Yohannes - Health Economics Policy and Management

Hi there! My name is Yohannes, and I come from Ethiopia, the Cradle of Humanity. I've always been curious and ambitious, and my journey to Karolinska Institutet is a testament to that. I studied medicine and developed a deep fascination with the intersection of healthcare, economics, policy-making, and management. This passion led me to KI. I look forward to learning more about healthcare economics and becoming a part of the vibrant international community at KI. In my free time, I enjoy writing and drawing, always exploring and trying new things.


Adise Mosissa Ejeta

Adise Mosissa Ejeta

Uppsala is my dream place and I like so much to hear about it. It is my frist place of choice on application too.

Adise Mosissa Ejeta

Adise Mosissa Ejeta

Wow it is interesting Dr Yohanis!

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