Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden, and doesn’t receive nearly as many visitors as places like Paris or Rome, which is a shame, because the city is in many ways their equals in both the magnificence of architecture and culture, and far surpasses almost any other European city in the friendliness of its people to visitors. So if you ever find yourself in Northern Europe, why not take the time to make a trip to this forgotten jewel of the North, you won’t regret it. And here are five things you won’t want to miss while you’re there.
5. Take A Boat Around The Harbor
Stockholm is a lovely city that made its name for centuries as a center for trade between Northern Europe and the rest of the world. Like the rest of the Scandinavian countries, this means that the sea is a vital part of Sweden’s, and Stockholm’s, history. The Stockholm Harbor runs its way around the length of the southern part of the city and is connected to much of the rest of the city by deep inlets which separate Stockholm into 17 different islands. When you visit Stockholm, ships from all over Europe will be docked there and the streets adjacent will be lined with cozy little cafes from which to take them in. If that isn’t enough nautical action for you, and how could it be, you can find boat tours everywhere to take you out into the harbor and deposit you on the other side of the city. It is an amazing experience to feel the cold breeze of the Baltic on your face as you cruise past ancient forts and late 19th-century architecture.
4.Visit the ABBA Museum
Sweden’s most famous export, of course, may just be ABBA, the teen sensation of the mid-1970’s who were formed in Stockholm. And as you might expect, the city features its own museum dedicated to the group. Opened just three years ago, you can soak up all the ABBA you can handle, touring through a catalog of their songs and mannequins displaying some of the most garish pop idol wardrobes the 70’s had to offer. You can even get your picture taken with some wax replicas of the group, which will surely delight your friends once you explain who these people are.
3.Visit the Old City
Stockholm has existed since the 13th century, and many of the buildings of that time still exist, albeit after centuries of repurposing and renovations. The central plan is still the same for the most part in the old city, which you can find next to the Royal Palace. In fact, it is one of the best-preserved Medieval cities in Europe. The narrow cobbled lanes are lined with shops selling souvenirs and Nutella waffles to tourists from all over the world. What better place to get a waffle and some dark Swedish beer while soaking up the Medieval vibe.
2. Visit the Royal Palace
Speaking of Royal Palaces, the one in Stockholm is absolutely magnificent. The original building dates back all the way to the founding of the city in the middle ages, although a fire burned down much of it four centuries later. However, you can still see much of the foundations of the 13th-century castle which have been excavated under the contemporary palace. And in addition, the building was reconstructed after the blaze with unparalleled opulence. The palace is decorated with marble floors and centuries old tapestries dating back to the time when Swedish Kings were rightfully feared and respected all over Northern Europe. The tour will set you back a mere 12 dollars or so, and is well worth the price of admission as it includes the palace, the living quarters, and the treasury, which contains the crown jewels of Sweden.
1.Check Out The Suburbs
Once you tire of the inner city, why not make your way out to where the average citizen of Stockholm lives. Simply follow the roads away from the city center out into the suburbs, where the dazzling European architecture still pervades and you can see people going about their daily lives. As an added bonus, things are cheaper here than in the city proper, or at least as cheap as things get in Sweden. If you happen to be visiting the city on a nice day, you can stop by one of Stockholm’s many parks and catch people sunbathing as they hurry to take advantage of the rare summer sun in one of Europe’s northernmost capitals.