Just like Copenhagen, Stockholm also lay on my route north to the North Cape. I’ve mentioned a few times before how Copenhagen completely blew me away and raised my expectations of Stockholm. At the time, though, Stockholm failed to deliver, but that was probably due to my getting lost while trying to find my way to the city center. I can’t deny, however, what a gorgeous city it is. My stay in Stockholm was limited to only two days and three nights, time that I spent exploring, visiting churches and museums and admiring the city’s stunning waterfront.
Stockholm is located on a collection of islands, all interconnected by about fifty bridges, in Lake Mälaren. The greater Stockholm archipelago in the Baltic Sea consists of no less than 24,000 islands. Stockholm has a lot going for it. For instance, a third of the surface area is made up of water and another third of parks and green spaces. Additionally, the city is .
During my stay I visited as many landmarks and attractions as I possibly could. Here’s my very selective top .
5 Things to See in Stockholm
1. Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan (the Old Town) dates back to the 13th century and is chock-full with historic buildings, museums and churches. It is in fact one of the best preserved medieval city centers in Europe and probably Stockholm’s main tourist attraction. This is where the Nobel Museum, Stockholm Cathedral and the Royal Palace are located, among countless other attractions.
2. The Royal Palace
This is the official residency of the King of Sweden – the Queen’s residence is interestingly enough located in Drottningholm Palace. With more than 600 rooms it’s one of the largest palaces in Europe. In addition to those hundreds of rooms the Royal Palace is also home to no less than five museums. This is where you can see the Treasury, the Armory, the Three Crowns Museum, the Museum of Antiquities and a few spectacularly decorated reception rooms.
Djurgården is a green island in the middle of the city. It can be reached on a pleasant walk from Gamla Stan or by taking a ferry. This quiet island is where many of Stockholm’s world-class museums are located, as well as an amusement park, restaurants, cafés and hotels. Besides visiting museums and the amusement park, you can also rent bicycles for bike rides through the woods or a canoe or kayak to see the city from a different perspective.
4. Vasa Museum
The 69-meter-long Vasa was a warship, intended to be the pride of the Swedish fleet, that sank on its very first voyage in 1628. It was recovered in 1961 and is now the only preserved 17th-century ship in the world. The Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in all of Scandinavia, drawing in more than a million visitors per year, and features ten different exhibitions on life on board of the ship.
Skansen is one of those museums on the island of Djurgården. It . It offers a fantastic insight into life in Sweden as it once was and is home to dozens of old houses, farms, workshops and buildings. Skansen is also where Stockholm Zoo is located, a popular attraction among children.
In addition to these 5 things to see in Stockholm, you should really try and make time to visit the Moderna Museet, the City Hall, the Fotografiska Museet, Drottningholm Palace, the Royal National City Park and the Nobelmuseet as well. Going on a boat tour or bicycle ride is strongly recommended too. So much to do!