Sweden’s capital and most populous city consists of 14 islands crisscrossed by more than 50 bridges. Some of the best ways to see this archipelago city overflowing with brightly colored buildings is by ferry, sightseeing boat, or on foot.
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The city's well-preserved medieval center, Gamla Stan, is where historic Stockholm originated. Here you will find the island of Stadsholmen and islets Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen and Strömsborg. Stadsholmen boasts the Royal Palace, which is the residence and workplace of the country’s monarchy, as well as the revered Nobel Prize Museum, where you can explore the work and ideas of more than 900 creative minds. Riddarholmen contains the National Archives of Sweden and Riddarholmen Church, the final resting place of many of Sweden’s monarchs. Helgeandsholmen is home to Sweden’s Parliament House, while Strömsborg, a tiny islet, is dominated by an 18th-century castle-like house that is today the headquarters of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
When to Go
The best time to visit Stockholm is during the summer, as the weather is the warmest and daylight lasts the longest. Keep in mind that during June in Stockholm, due to its far-north location, you will see more than 18.5 hours of daylight per day, almost 18 hours per day in July, and almost 16 in August.
What to See
Museums – Stockholm has approximately 50 museums. Some of the best and most interesting include the Museum of Modern Art, which features works by Dalí, Picasso, Matisse and more; Nordic Museum, whose collection reflects the Nordic lifestyle from the 16th century to the present; Nationalmuseum, the national gallery of Sweden and the country’s premier museum of art and design; ABBA The Museum, an interactive museum where any visitor can become the fifth member of the Swedish supergroup; and Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, which showcases the whole of Sweden via 150 dwellings from different parts of the country.
Nobel Prize Museum – Discover how ideas can change the world via exhibitions, lectures, dialogues and more. The Nobel Prize Museum also allows visitors to explore the work and ideas of hundreds of Nobel Prize laureates presented through short films, original artifacts and computer.
Stadshuset – Stockholm’s City Hall is built from eight million bricks, features a 348-foot bell tower adorned with three gilt crowns, the symbol of Sweden, and is the venue for the Nobel Prize banquet.
Storkyrkan – Located near the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan, the “Great Church” is the city’s medieval cathedral and one of its most-visited attractions. During its more than 750-year history, it has been the site of several coronations and royal weddings.
Gamla Stan is not only where the city of Stockholm originated, but home to many of its top attractions. Here you will find the Royal Palace, Nobel Prize Museum, and Stortorget, which is the oldest square in Stockholm, as well as a plethora of cobblestone streets, shops, cafés, and restaurants, including the city’s oldest restaurant, Den Gyldene Freden, which dates to 1722.