Sweden’s capital Stockholm, is often called the “Venice of the North”. This city is built on fourteen islands and on the banks of the archipelago where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea.
The city centre is virtually situated on water: Over 30% of the city area consists of water and green parks. All fourteen islands are connected by 57 bridges.
Gamla Stan (the old town) is located on a small island. Here you will find plenty of restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques on the winding streets. You also find the Royal Castle and the world’s most long-established bank: the Bank of Sweden, founded in 1656.
From downtown Stockholm it’s easy to catch a boat and to visit the islands. There are approximately 24,000 islands and islets to choose from.
There are plenty of interesting places to visit in and around Stockholm.
Amongst the top ten are: Gamla Stan (Old town), The Royal Palace, The Vasa Museum, Skansen, an open air museum, Fotografiska, The City Hall, Moderna Museet (The Modern Museum), boat sightseeing, Royal National City Park, Sky View (on the top of the Globe).
The Globe looks like a huge golf ball and here you can attend sports events, concerts, musicals, etc.
If you desire a long walk in the most beautiful of surroundings, I suggest a walk on Djurgården.
Here you will find beautiful paths to follow, e.g., Kronprinessan Victoria och Prins Daniel’s kärleksstig (Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s love path), a gift to the city when they got married.
At Djurgården you also will find the ABBA Museum, a constant exhibition.
Everywhere in Stockholm you can hire a bike. In all Scandinavia, it has become very popular to rent a bike.
Where to stay if you visit Stockholm? The city offers plenty of hotels in all price categories. The most famous and exclusive hotel is the Grand Hotel, located at Nybroviken overlooking a part of the harbour. Here VIP guests stay when visiting Stockholm. At Djurgården, we have Villa Hasselbacken and Villa Källhagen, both very popular and beautiful hotels. Villa Källhagen is located only a few metres from the waterfront in very green surroundings. It is a popular place for summer weddings.
Sweden has never been very famous for its cuisine, but there is a lot more than meatballs with mashed potatoes and Lingon berries (Cranberries). In fact, our country offers a lot of beautiful raw products. We have plenty of fish and seafood, meat like moose, venison, boar, and beef. We also have lots of very good tasting bread.
In summer, I suggest you take a boat out to Fjäderholmarna, a beautiful island with restaurants serving traditional Swedish food which comes with a beautiful view over the sea.
Sandhamn is another popular island. Here you find Stockholm high society, enjoying the maritime atmosphere and all the good restaurants. If you are brave, you can take a dip into the frigid sea, seldom more than 22-23 degrees Celsius.
If you ask me to describe it today, I would say Stockholm is a young and trendy city. All the popular international brand labels you can find at NK (The Nordic Company), the biggest and finest department store in the city. NK became well known after the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Anna Lind, was stabbed in the store on September 10th, 2003.
At famous Biblioteksgatan (Library Street) you will also find many of the same best known brands.
Today, I find that Stockholm offers everything a modern city should have.
Let me tell you a few facts about Stockholm, starting with the Royal Palace. The Palace is the official residence and the Major Royal Palace of the Swedish monarchy, now inhabited by Carl the 16th Gustav. This palace was built in Baroque Style by the architects Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and Carl Hårleman. It was opened in December 7th, 1754, and was renovated in 2011. If you want to learn more about the Palace, I recommend a guided tour. The King and Queen Silvia live at a Palace located in Drottningholm which is situated and built on the island of Lovön. This beautiful castle was built in the late 16th century. Drottningholm Palace is one of Stockholm’s three World Heritage Sites.
It’s a nice excursion to visit Drottningholm. The combination of the exotic Chinese Pavilion Pleasure Palace, the Palace Theatre and the magnificent gardens, combine to make a unique experience.
The Palace Drottningholm was built by architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder under a commission by Queen Hedvig Eleonora. Part of the palace is open to the public year round.
Crown Princess Victoria, with her family, lives at Haga Slott (Haga Castle) outside Stockholm. This castle was the birthplace and early home of King Carl, the 16th Gustav. The family of the Crown Princess moved to Haga in 2010. A number of rooms in the main apartment are used for the Crown Princess Couple’s representation.
The Haga Castle was designed by Carl Christoffer Gjörwell (1766-1837) and the building was completed by late 1805. Today the castle has been renovated to suit a family lifestyle with small children.
Crown Princess Victoria’s younger sister Princess Madeleine divides her time between Sweden and England, and their brother Prince Carl Philip and his wife, Princess Sofia, are living at Djurgården with their son Alexander and are soon expecting their second child.
If you visit Stockholm, I think you should pay a visit to the Vasa Museum. This is today the most visited museum in all of Scandinavia, with more than one million visitors every year. It’s a maritime museum located on Djurgården. The museum displays the only, almost fully intact, 17th Century frigate ship that has been salvaged, the 64 cannon warship “Vasa” which sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. The museum was opened in 1990. In 1981 the Swedish government decided that a permanent Vasa Museum was to be constructed and a competition for the design of the museum building was organised. 384 architects sent in models of their ideas and the final winners were Marianne Dahlbäck and Göran Månsson with “ASK” (BOX).
The inauguration ceremony took place on November 2nd, 1987.
The museum also features three other museum ships moored in the harbour outside: the icebreaker Sankt Erik, the light vessel Finngrundet and the torpedo boat Spica.
Talking about Djurgården, if you feel youthful and childlike, visit the amusement Park Gröna Lund. Here you will find all kinds of attractions and on the big stage, you can listen to live bands with artists of varying fame.
Stockholm is absolutely fantastic in the summer, but honestly, it is also very charming in winter time. A stroll in the Old Town, shortly before Christmas, is a wonderful experience. Here you can enjoy a hot, spicy wine called Glögg in Swedish and crispy gingerbreads or a Hot Dog, the old fashion way. Go skating in Kungsträdgården or just walk around and admire the Christmas decorations. The Swedish population is especially known for decorating their homes at Christmas. In every window you will see small lamps giving an inviting heartwarming feeling. As the winters are long and very dark, the people do everything they can to lighten it up.
I can warmly recommend a visit to Stockholm, in my eyes, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.