Stockholm is historically and culturally rich. A small city, it can easily be enjoyed on foot in just a few days.
As the name suggests, the historic Old Town (Gamla Stan) is the oldest part of the Swedish Capital. Walking through the narrow streets of this colourful medieval neighbourhood, you can’t help be struck by its picturesque charm. Here you’ll find some interesting museums, galleries, churches, antique shops and boutiques. The baroque style Royal Palace is the largest attraction in the area, and with over 600 rooms it is one of the largest palaces in Europe. Check out the soldier’s parade and daily changing of the guard.
One of Stockholm’s greenest and most interesting islands is Djurgården, an oasis of calm close to the city centre. It is a great place for a wander on foot or bike ride. It is home to popular family attractions such as the Vasa Museum, Skansen museum and zoo, and Gröna Lund amusement park. Allow a few hours to visit and consider hiring a bike for great cycle routes by the canals and through the parks.
The Vasa Ship Museum is a fantastic, free museum, made special the well-preserved 17th-century shipwrecked warship the ‘Vasa’, which sank on its maiden voyage. Great fun for all ages, this ornate art treasure will take you back hundreds of years. Allow at least an hour to appreciate the ship’s splendour and rich history.
There are lots of great museums in Stockholm. There is a Natural History Museum, Museum of Art, Museum of Medieval Stockholm, Army Museum, and even a Museum in honour of musical Swedish export, ABBA! The ABBA Museum, also on Djurgården, is a must-see for true Abba fans. It is housed in the Swedish Popular Music Hall of Fame where you can check out the country’s other musical talents.
The Skansen, the world’s first open-air museum founded in late 18th-century, is a charming trip down Swedish memory lane with authentic 18th and 19th-century houses, farm houses, artefacts and characters dressed in traditional attire telling stories about the past. The zoo and aquarium at this site add to the experience, and are great for families.
Just outside of the city, sits Millesgården on Lidingoe island, the home of artists Carl and Olga Milles. It is a beautiful garden with famous sculptures by Milles, an art gallery, museum and café.
Stockholm, naturally, has a smörgåsbord of gastronomic delights. While exploring, sample the husmanskost – Swedish fare. The grand Ostermalm Food Hall, dating back to the 1880’s is the best place for traditional delicacies such as such pickled herring, smoked reindeer and meatballs. Also stop for a ‘fika’ at a café on your travels, it’s the Swedish term for a coffee and cake break.