Where to Stay
Classic Nordic style, a sauna, and a bounteous breakfast buffet make the Scandic Uplandia (Dragarbrunnsgatan 32; 011-46-18-495-2600) an excellent choice. Two other distinguished hotels are Grand Hotell Hörnan (Bangårdsgatan 1; 011-46-1813-9380), by the river, and First Hotel Linné (Skolgatan 45; 011-46-1810-2000), overlooking the Linnaeus Garden.
What to Eat
Dine at the Kung Krål (St. Persgatan 4), which serves contemporary Swedish cuisine, including exquisite lamb with lingonberry sauce; at Hambergs Fisk (Fyristorg 8), which specializes in fish and shellfish; and at Tzatziki (Fyristorg 4), with a terrace overlooking the river. An afternoon can be pleasantly whiled away at Ofvandahls (Sysslomansgatan 5) with sandwiches, pastries, and conversation.
If you like herring (Clupea harengus), you’ll have many opportunities to enjoy it in Uppsala, where it is found in unimaginable plenty, pickled or covered in various sauces. Even my herring-loving husband agrees, however, that a nonexpert should be wary of Surströmming, the fermented herring that comes in a bulging can (the sort of can that our mothers taught us to recognize as the portent of death by botulism). Although apparently perfectly safe, Surströmming is the definition of an acquired taste. It seems to be a food eaten (as ultrahot chili peppers often are) as a ritual of regional identity and bonding. Swedes admit this readily, and Surströmming is a source of jokes and merriment.
What to Do
Uppsala offers many museums within walking distance of one another. For inspiration, visit the Fredsmuseum, or Peace Museum (in Uppsala Castle). The Carolina Library (Dag Hammarskjöldsvag 1) contains remarkable artifacts and rare books. Among the many striking exhibits in the Gustavianum (Akademigatan 3) is the Augsburg Art Cabinet, a seventeenth-century museum-in-miniature whose 1,000 items include shells, a dried alligator, and a silver sink. Uppsala Cathedral (Domkyrkoplan 753), the largest church in Scandinavia, is the resting place of Carl Linnaeus and of the Swedish statesman Dag Hammarskjöld.
Several excellent day trips can be made from Uppsala. The historic Botanical Trails of Linnaeus wend through woods and fields adjacent to the city. A few miles away is the idyllic Hammarby (pictured above), a country manor house where Linnaeus summered. And three miles north is Gamla Uppsala, the site of some of Scandinavia’s most ancient monuments.
For information about special programs for the Linnaeus tercentenary in Sweden, contact Linné 2007 (www.linnaeus2007.se).