Sweden’s capital is a city built on water, spreading out over 14 islands with water covering about 30% of the city. Stockholm has grand public buildings, palaces, museum, and a rich cultural history that tell a beautiful 700 year-old story.
Sweden separated from its union with Denmark and Norway in 1521, and Stockholm eventually became the country’s capital in 1634. Today, the city’s 1.5 million people account for over 1/6 of the entire population of Sweden. The city has a number of highly-regarded universities, and holds a high percentage of the country’s professionals. Stockholm also remains one of the most visited cities in Europe.
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Walk the Old Town
The bustling, compact island of Gamla Stan serves as the city’s old town, and is one of the largest neighborhoods with 16th-century buildings in Europe.
Buildings are painted in vivid colors typical of Mediterranean villages and some even feature wrought-iron signs symbolizing ancient craftworkers’ guilds and faces of religious figures. Get lost in the cobblestone streets, little squares, and small alleyways. You’ll also find the 18th-century Royal Palace atop the hill.
Visit Stockholm PalaceStockholm Royal Palace is the official residence of the Swedish monarch. The palace is a daily place of work for The King and Queen as well as for the various departments that make up the Royal Court.
The grand palace is built in the baroque style with a whopping 600+ rooms, Royal Apartments, museums and more.
Part of the Royal Palace, the Treasury exhibits the Swedish state regalia which are used for royal weddings, christenings, and funerals. Among the priceless treasures are King Gustav Vasa’s sword of state, King Erik XIV’s crown, orb and scepter, as well as a collection of princely crowns.
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The Vasa is the only preserved 17th-century ship in the world, and a unique art treasure of the city. More than 95% of the ship is original which is beautifully decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures.
The warship sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628, and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. Today, the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in all of Scandinavia!
Stockholm’s medieval Cathedral, built in 1279, houses unique historic objects like the St George and Dragon sculpture (1489), the legendary Vädersoltavlan (1535), and Lena Lervik’s sculpture ”Joseph and Mary. Since 1527, the Cathedral has been a Lutheran church, and a wide range of religious services and concerts are held here.
The Ericsson Globe is Stockholm’s most iconic structure and the world’s largest spherical building since it’s inauguration in 1989. The Globe hosts a variety of cultural events and concerts throughout the year.
Tip: Don’t miss out on the Skyview, a gondola running along the outside of the structure’s curved wall that offers a spectacular view of the city and surrounding landscape.
Stockholm is a city rich in sightseeing and cultural pursuits. There are many more things to experience so if you are looking to get the most from your trip check out Guidester’s personal travel guide.