I am an architecture nut, and love to explore impressive structures. Since I became a wheelchair traveler, I have visited many of the world's tallest buildings and towers.
Last month, in Stockholm, Sweden, I was able to check out SkyView Stockholm. The unique attraction transports tourists to the top of the world's largest spherical building, Ericsson Globe. SkyView is completely accessible to wheelchairs, and I'd like to share how to make the most of the experience.
Ericsson Globe, know by locals as Globen ("The Globe"), is a massive indoor arena in Sweden's capital city. The Globe has hosted all manner of events, including music concerts, award shows and sporting contests. The first two games of the 2008-09 National Hockey League season were played abroad - in The Globe.
The structure, holding the record of largest hemispherical building in the world, was opened in 1989. Its interior volume exceeds 21 million cubic feet, with an indoor height of 279 feet. I've given you enough to do the math and figure out the sphere's circumference on your own. 😉
Wheelchair Accessible SkyView Experience
SkyView Stockholm is an attraction connected to, but separate from the Globe. It is aimed at tourists visiting the City of Stockholm. SkyView consists of two spherical inclined elevators that run on tracks attached to the exterior of the Ericsson Globe. Each "carriage" holds up to 20 people and provides an elevated view of the city's skyline. I like to think of it as a sightseeing funicular that climbs a building, rather than a hill. It reaches the apex of the building at a height of 425 feet.
The entire experience lasts between 25 and 30 minutes, so it doesn't require much of a time commitment. You'll start with a brief, 5-minute video presentation. Through this video, you'll learn about the history of the Ericsson Globe and the construction of SkyView. The film is narrated in English, with Swedish subtitles.
Directly from the small theater, which seats about 20 people, you'll make your way to the SkyView capsule. I recommend wheelchair users get on first, as the space inside is limited and you'll want to get a spot next to the glass. The boarding area and pathway is completely level and barrier-free, making it easy to roll into and out of the capsule.
Once everyone has boarded the capsule, it will begin its journey to the top of the Ericsson Globe. It will take just a few minute to get to the top.
The capsule stops at the top of The Globe for about 10 minutes. This is your opportunity to take photographs and enjoy the view of Stockholm.
On all sides of the capsule, maps label the sights you can see below. The photograph above is the view pointing towards Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town and historic city center. The weather cloudy on the day I visited, but I imagine the view would be spectacular on a sun-filled winter day. Snow adds beauty to even the most unimpressive vista.
Although the capsule was a bit cramped, people were happy to make way for me. I suppose they figured it best not to be run over by a power wheelchair. 😉
As we began to make our way back down, I snapped the wheelchair travel selfie pictured above. Remember to take selfies when you travel and share it with me using the hashtag #wctselfie. I love seeing where my readers are traveling to!
If you need to use the bathroom before or after the tour, there is a wheelchair accessible bathroom next to the gift shop. This is a private facility, and is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair user and his/her assistant or carer.
Tickets & Cost
Adults can purchase tickets for 150 SEK (~$17 USD). Tickets for children (ages 5-12) and seniors (ages 65 and up) are priced at 100 SEK (~$11 USD). There are no discounts offered for people with disabilities, including wheelchair users.
I personally think this is too expensive, but there is an alternative way to save money. Purchase the Stockholm Pass, and receive admission to many of the city's best attractions. The Stockholm Pass starts at 595 SEK (~$67 USD) for one day and goes up to 1,295 SEK (~$146 USD) for five days. I purchased a 3-day Stockholm Pass, and estimate that I saved a couple hundred dollars on admission costs to museums and attractions.
Location & Transportation
I made my way to the Ericsson Globe and SkyView using the city's metro subway system. I took line number 19 from Central Station and got off at Globen Station. This station is a 5-10 minute walk from the arena.
If you are getting off at Globen Station, use the exit closest to the Globe - this will save you a lot of time and frustration. There are elevators and an elevated walkway to cross the street. You'll head towards a shopping mall, and be at The Globe in just a few minutes.
Several city bus lines are also located nearby.
If you are traveling to SkyView by car, parking is available at the Tele2 Arena and at the Globen Shopping Center. Both are within walking distance of SkyView.