Welcoming the spring with wacky rafts and student choirs

The city might be old, dating back to the 3rd century by some accounts, but it most certainly isn’t old-fashioned. While on vacation in Sweden, make sure you enjoy a daytrip to this fascinating, lively city.

Uppsala University was founded in 1477 and is the Nordic countries’ oldest center of higher education. It’s Sweden’s answer to Oxford, Cambridge or the Sorbonne and has the same vivacious atmosphere. There are students everywhere and a buzz in the air, typical of a bustling, vibrant, highly inventive university city

If you ever get the chance, you should come to Uppsala on the last day of April. It is the celebration of Valborg (Walpurgis), the welcoming of spring. It is a public holiday celebrated throughout Sweden. But nowhere is it done quite as enthusiastically as here in Uppsala. Champagne, party frocks and dinner jackets, live music and laughter: the city becomes one enormous party. The highlight is the legendary rafting event where students challenge their fate trying to navigate the Fyris river with the most astonishing homemade rafts. Thousands flock down to the river to watch.

But to welcome spring you must sing. Choirs are an essential part of the Mayday celebrations. One of the most famous is the Uppland male voice choir, Orphei Drängar, who have performed at the Lincoln Centre in New York, The Albert Hall in London, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin etc.

Come to Uppsala and you’ll find yourself bursting into song too!