When it comes to some of the most stunning cities in the world, Stockholm is best of the best. The Swedish capital, which is spread across 14 islands, connected by over 50 bridges, which is why sometimes it is called “the Venice of the North” or “Beauty on Water”. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm Archipelago of 24,000 islands and islets. Located on the country’s east coast on the estuary where Lake Mälaren joins the Baltic Sea, this city is a mix of medieval structures and cutting-edge contemporary architecture.
One third of the land area within the city limits is covered by water, and the remaining one third is under parks and wooded areas. The Stockholm Port is the largest one in the Baltics, with a population of 1.65 million. Stockholm is the seat of Sweden’s constitutional Monarch and its Parliamentary Government, as well as cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden with the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ballet, the Royal Swedish Opera and the Royal Theater where such legends as Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Ingmar Bergman were discovered.
Gamla Stan, later officially Staden mellan broarna, in translation “The Town between the Bridges” is Stockholm’s historic center, located on an island which is part of the Stockholm Archipelago. It presents the oldest part of Stockholm and is a popular tourist attraction. When walking around, beautiful narrow cobblestone streets discover the beautiful buildings dating from the 14th through to the 19th century, today turned into boutiques, restaurants, cafes and clubs. Sweden has a very high standard of living, achieved by the government innovative programs, such as: the old age pension, public housing and assistance for higher education. The world-famous Nobel Prize Banquet takes place each year on December 10th in Stockholm City Hall. Also, around 50,000 summer homes and chalets make this area very popular for holidays, together with 250,000 private boats in the City and its suburbs. The countless number of cruise ships that come and go on their visit to Stockholm, can witness this natural beauty completed in the time of the Ice Age a journey which takes approximately 3 hours and affords a visual feast of ever-changing scenery.
Stockholm is ranked as the healthiest city in Europe and a wonderful place to visit. The following is the list of the most popular attractions in Stockholm:
1 Cathedral (Storkyrkan) is the oldest church in Stockholm, located in the center of the city in Gamla Stan, the oldest quarter of the City. Built in 1279 the exterior dates mainly from the 1700’s. Storkyrkan has been the venue of important events, such as Royal baptisms, coronations. The Cathedral is closed for Sunday services between 11:00 am and 12:30 pm.
2 Royal Palace is the official residence of the Swedish royal family. It is one of Europe’s largest palaces, dating from the 18th century, with more than 600 rooms spread across the seven floors. It is also located in the old town, Gamla Stan, at the foot of the Norrbro Bridge. The Changing of the Guard takes place in the outer courtyard daily at Noon and at 1:00pm on Sunday. The palace is also home to three museums.
3 Riddarholms Church (Riddarholskyrkan) is the church of the former medieval Greyfrias Monastery in Stockholm. The church is the final resting place of most Swedish monarchs. It stands across from the old town and was founded in the 13th century.
4 City Hall (Stadshuset) is more than just a collection of government buildings, it is a cultural and educational center. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Stockholm, it is well worth to visit. It is also the location of the Nobel Prize Banquet in the spectacular Golden Hall which is covered with 19 million mosaic tiles, depicting Swedish history. The Blue Hall inside it, contains Scandinavia’s largest organ with 10,275 pipes.
5 Skansen, the the world’s oldest open-air museum on the picturesque island of Djurgården, established in 1891 and excellent place to learn more about Sweden. It is home to Stockholm’s only ZOO and contains 150 buildings, brought together as a representation of Swedish life, from farmer to aristocrat. It is the site of many traditional Swedish festivals.
6 Vasa Museum (Vasa Museet) is a maritime museum, situated near Skansen. This place displays he only almost fully intact ship that has ever been salvaged, the 64-gun Flagship Wasa, a war ship, built in the early 17th century that, like the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic during its maiden voyage on August 10th, 1628. It took 300 years for the ship to be discovered and salvaged. Raised and restored in the 1960’s, it is remarkably well preserved and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the City.
Millesgården now serves as an art museum and sculpture garden, located on the island of Lidingö, on the grounds of the former home of the famous Swedish sculptor Carl Milles and his wife, artist Olga. It consists of three main parts: the artist’s former home, an art gallery, and a sculpture park. It is also a site of their burial.
Sigtuna, holds memories from over 1,000 years. Here is Sweden’s first town, the only 10th century town with its original town plan still preserved: churches and ruins, castles and the craft men’s village. It was founded by the first Christian King, Eric the Victorious and is situated about 36 miles from Stockholm, along one of the narrow inlets of Lake Mälaren. Today, Sigtuna town has given name to the whole municipality, which also embraces Sweden’s International Airport Arlanda, Marsta and Rosersberg. Today King Eric the Victorius main street is lined by picturesque wooden houses, with shops, restaurants and cafes. All year around, visitors from near and far come to walk this street, Sweden’s first pedestrian street.
Uppsala, the cultural capital of Sweden, 46 miles north of Stockholm has been a religious and cultural center since the early days of the Vikings, so this is a perfect place for history lovers. The Upsala cathedral has spectacular spires that rise up into the sky, and it is the biggest cathedral in Scandinavia, dating from the 13th century. The early Kings of Sweden are buried here, also it is the site of the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477, famous for its library (Carolina Rediviva), which contains the treasured silver codex, a gothic bible written in 500 A.D. Uppsala is also the site of the 16th century Uppsala Castle, beautiful building of red brick with two great towers.