Stockholm

Stockholm Travel Guide

Stockholm Travel Guide by CC user mrlins on Flickr

Stockholm Travel Guide by CC user mrlins on Flickr

Introduction

Located amidst a navigable river delta for the express purpose of defending itself from naval attack, the many islands the compose the city of Stockholm has given it an air that few other federal capitals in Europe can match.

Add to that the fact that much of its old building stock avoided bombardment in the Second World War, and you have a charming city that will kick off your visit to Sweden and Scandinavia in grand style.

Cultural Experiences

Drottningholm Palace by CC user blee1996 on Flickr

While Sweden is known for being an egalitarian society, it still retains a monarchy, even if they are merely figureheads in the modern era. Even so, the impressive collection of royal palaces that they amassed over the years is well worth a look see during your time in Stockholm.

Start by checking out Stockholm Palace, which serves as the official residence of the Swedish monarchy. The royals actually live at Drottningholm Palace these days, though they still attend state functions in this marvelous building, which boasts over 1,400 rooms. The Royal Apartments, Chapel and Throne Room are all must-sees here, as is the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Another palace worth your time when in Stockholm is the aforementioned Drottningholm Palace. Built on the island of Lovon, this ornate structure served as the summer residence for the Swedish Royal Family in the 18th century.

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being a palace that in many respects mirrored the grandeur of the Palaces of Versailles in France, its opera house, chapel, and Baroque/English gardens will make a visit here a very rewarding one.

Next, make your way to the Vasa Museum, which is renowned for being home to the only 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged from the depths intact. Also known for being Scandinavia’s most visited museum, there is plenty to love about this marine-focused institution, as it centres around the life of seafaring sailors in the 17th century, all while using the mostly authentic body of the Vasa as a breathtaking backdrop.

If you wish to continue to imagine life in the days of old, but on land, taking a trip to the Skansen Open-Air Museum will give you an insight as to how life was for those living in rural Sweden prior to modern times.

Serving as the oldest open air museum in the world, it profiles life over the past five centuries, with living history actors and actresses that will bring these periods to a level of realism that you just can’t get in a conventional museum.

Other Attractions

Stockholm Old Town by CC user mcaven on Flickr

Looking to kick your feet up after a hectic day of sightseeing? On your second one in town, head to Stockholm’s Old Town, where brilliantly painted buildings, awesome cafes and restaurants, and this city’s waterfront all come together to create an atmosphere that is conducive to relaxation.

When you aren’t people watching, walk along its cobblestoned streets, admire the North German style architecture, and take in attractions such as the Nobel Museum and the Royal Coin Cabinet if you have plenty of time to play with.

If the glorious days of midsummer are in full effect when you find yourself in Stockholm, try to spend one of your afternoons on Djurgarden. Follow the lead of the locals by bringing a picnic lunch, but if you forget or don’t care for self-catering, not to worry, as there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from here.

If walking through its extensive green spaces is not entertaining enough for those that have kids, there is an amusement park on this island (Gröna Lund) that features 30 rides and attractions, as well as regular concerts throughout the summer.

Djurgarden is also home to many museums, which includes ABBA The Museum. Even if this legendary group isn’t part of your taste in music, their contribution to the industry is undeniable, and through their global popularity, they became this nation’s top selling artist of all time.

Modeled on the Beatles Museum in Liverpool, England, this attraction uses interactivity to draw you into the mania that this catchy pop group created during the 1970’s and 1980’s, even to the point where you can simulate playing their music on stage … cool.