Just a two-hour flight from London is Sweden’s sparkling capital, Stockholm. This Scandinavian treasure is made up of 14 islands on an archipelago where the Baltic Sea meets Lake Mälaren.
Stockholmers tenderly call their city “Beauty on Water.” And despite being spread across the Stockholm Archipelago, it is still one of the easiest cities in Europe to navigate. Connected by a network of 57 bridges, Stockholm is a joy to explore on foot, Though any local will tell you, the best way to get around is on two wheels.
Start your adventure in Gamla Stan, the medieval old town where Stockholm was founded in 1252. Drift through narrow cobblestone streets, which have changed little in 750 years. Thanks to Sweden’s neutrality during the Second World War, Stockholm’s medieval treasures have remained pristine.
The Nobel Museum
But this city is more than just elegant bricks and mortar, it is a city built on ideas. At the Nobel Museum, learn about the legendary minds that put Stockholm on the map, and join in the celebration of visionaries from across the globe.
Gamla Stan’s historic central square
Rest and replenish in Stortorget, Gamla Stan’s historic central square. While you’re here, partake in ‘Fika’, the languid Swedish ritual of slowing down and enjoying coffee and baked treats.
The Royal Palace
Pay a visit to the official residence of the King of Sweden, the Royal Palace. Marvel at the commanding baroque-style structure and take a tour through some of its 600 rooms.
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals, you may have more luck if you take the scenic hour-long voyage to Drottningholm Palace.
Serving as a summer retreat for most of the 18th century, the royal family now spend most of their time here, and it’s not hard to see why. Perched on the edge of Lake Mälaren, and surrounded by immaculate gardens, Drottningholm Palace is a regal oasis.
Explore the gilded library and baroque bedchamber, where past queens once escaped the pressures of their royal duties.
Travel back into the 21st century in Norrmalm, a downtown area brimming with historic and modern attractions, indulgent shopping options, and some of Stockholm’s culinary favorites. The beloved Swedish sense of style is on display everywhere here, even down to the simplest cafes and shops.
This legendary design prowess has resulted in a city of balance where modern creations meld seamlessly into historical masterpieces.
The Medieval Museum
At the Medieval Museum, discover how Sweden’s first inhabitants laid the foundations of one of Scandinavia’s finest cities.
What was born as an outpost to defend the country from invasion, became a gleaming capital, characterized by elegance and sophistication.
The National Museum
Take a 10-minute walk to the National Museum, and delve through time into an era when art and creativity began to flow through Stockholm’s unique identity.
Before leaving Norrmalm, have a bite to eat with the locals in the city’s living room, King’s Garden.
The Island of Djurgarden
Discover another leafy escape just minutes from downtown on the Island of Djurgarden. Stockholm’s greenest island was once the King’s private hunting grounds. Today this woodland paradise is sprinkled with historical attractions and some of the city’s best museums.
The Vasa Museum
At the Vasa Museum, gaze up at the most powerfully armed warship of the 17th century. Laden with bronze cannons, The Vasa was a richly decorated symbol of the power of King Gustavus, the Lion of the North.
However, this top-heavy warship capsized just minutes into its maiden voyage and vanished into the depths of Stockholm harbor for 333 years.
Follow the sound of carnival tunes and the smell of freshly spun cotton candy to Sweden’s oldest theme park, Gröna Lund.
This magical waterfront attraction has delighted thrill seekers of all ages since 1883.
ABBA: The Museum
Take a musical journey down memory lane at ABBA: The Museum. A celebration of the super troopers who took the world by storm, this museum showcases costumes, memorabilia and concert footage of the 70’s pop sensations.
The island of Sodermalm
For a more contemporary look at Swedish pop culture, set a course for the island of Sodermalm. Overflowing with eclectic cafés, bars and vintage shops this area makes the style look easy.
Shop fashion and food at Hornstulls Market, or be inspired by the ever-changing exhibits at Fotografiska.
Stockholm City Hall
Cruise back across the bay to Kungsholmen and experience the local tempo in this residential quarter. Though this island isn’t just apartments and coffee shops, it is also home to one of the most striking pieces of architecture in the city skyline.
Topped with three golden crowns, the spire of Stockholm City Hall dominates the horizon. Step into the grand and imposing Blue Hall, which hosts the Nobel Banquet dinner each year.
Then in the Golden Hall, admire the shimmering Queen of Lake Mälaren, a beloved symbol of Sweden. Stockholm is a city which perfectly encapsulates the two vital ingredients of Swedish magic; sophistication and simplicity.
Leading the way in design and innovation, yet forever faithful to its historical riches, this ‘beauty on water’ ebbs and flows to its own rhythm.
A rhythm that inspires the mind and stirs the soul.