For a moment I felt like Batman. Standing on the roof of Stockholm’s old Parliament building I imagined myself swooping down to the street far below where I’d be ready to do all sorts of superhero-type stuff. But then it dawned on me that I wasn’t wearing tights or a cape and that any sort of swooping would definitely be a very bad idea.

I’d been promised that if I were brave enough to take a rooftop tour and walk on the slopes of the seven-story high building that I’d experience something that few visitors to Stockholm do – a panoramic bird’s eye view of the Swedish capital.

The adventure begins in the building’s attic where participants in the rooftop walk are outfitted with full-body harnesses and protective helmets and given a rundown on how to proceed safely. Then one-by-one the members of the small (about 10 people) expedition climb through a hatch and out onto a tiny platform where the body harnesses are linked to a steel cable that’s secured to the rooftop. This is essentially your lifeline; should you lose your balance and fall these cables will keep you on (or in some places, mostly on!) the roof.

The old Parliament building is rectangular with a courtyard in the middle, so there’s a potentially frightening view to either side of the narrow walkway if you look straight down. At times the path is within a couple feet of the building’s edge, and there are no handrails to hold onto.

Then there’s a place on the course where you have to walk backwards down a dozen steps; this is a bit harrowing as again there’s nothing but your safety line to hang onto while you make the descent. To say the walk is exhilarating is an understatement. Fortunately, the magnificent city of Stockholm sprawling on the horizon is far more exhilarating!

The tours ( are led by an experienced and knowledgeable guide (There’s one bringing up the rear, too.) and really, after a few minutes, you’re too busy listening to historical tidbits and enjoying the view to be scared. If you decide to take this tour you’ll be on the roof for about an hour, and you’ll have an incredible story to tell for a lifetime.

No one has ever gotten hurt on the roof and no special skills are required – just a little guts. The sky-high activity turned out to be so much fun that once I was back on the ground I thought it appropriate to make a toast to Stockholm, of course, from another very unique location.

The Nordic Sea Hotel is home to an unusual place to have a drink: the Absolut Ice Bar. This is one of the few places on the planet where you have to put on warm clothing to go inside, but comfy hooded parkas and gloves are provided.

The Absolut Ice Bar is the world’s first permanent ice bar and everything inside is carved out of crystal clear ice made from pure water brought in from Swedish Lapland. Your drink is served in a “glass” made of ice, too.

Fans of modern design can marvel at the ice sculptures that decorate the room and watch everything sparkle as the ambient lighting changes color. When you leave here you truly can say you’ve been to the “coolest” bar in Stockholm!

Whether you’re looking for a traditional adventure or hair-raising fun, Stockholm won’t disappoint. Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) flies direct to Stockholm from Chicago with connecting flights from LAX.

For more information, visit or