With its rich and diverse history, Stockholm is a treasure trove of cultural sights and iconic landmarks. Considered the capital of Scandinavia, the city rose to prominence in the early 17th century. Since then, the development of trade and transportation has seen the Swedish capital transformed into the urban metropolis we see today. If you’re planning a Stockholm city break, then you can be sure you’ll see some splendid attractions. Here are five of the best.
The City Hall
Housing more than 200 people for the Municipal Council, this public building remains one of the city’s major tourist hot spots. It also provides the exclusive setting for the coveted Nobel Price banquet, held annually. Visitors can take a guided tour or climb the stairs of The City Hall Tower which rises 106 metres in the air. Back on ground level, a museum provides a fascinating insight into the building’s history.
The Royal Palace
Where better to admire the grandeur of Stockholm’s history than at its Royal Palace, home to the King of Sweden. Welcoming the public, visitors can explore the opulent reception rooms of this 18th-century masterpiece. The largest palace in Europe is also home to five museums showcasing period artwork, antiques and royal costumes.
The Vasa Museum
Centred on its showpiece — the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world — this remains the most visited museum in Scandinavia. The impressive vessel sank in the waters surrounding Stockholm in 1928 but was recovered almost 333 years later. An interactive film provides an insight into life on these boats whilst several exhibitions showcase artefacts from the period.
Skansen Open-Air Museum
To fully immerse yourself in Sweden’s vibrant culture, pay a visit to the oldest open-air museum in the world. Situated on Royal Djurgarden, this area features 150 miniature farms taken from different parts of the country. This kaleidoscope of traditions offers an insight into rural Scandinavia. The venue also hosts cultural celebrations such as Midsummer and Walpurgis Night.
Situated only twenty minutes by ferry, Utö is one of the beautiful islands of the outer southern archipelago. Aside from the white-sand beaches and abundance of outdoor activities, there’s also a collection of historic sights. One of the most popular is Sweden’s oldest mine where visitors can take a guided tour and explore the gloomy depths. There are also preserved miners’ dwellings and a museum where you can learn more about life underground.
The equally impressive neighbouring island of Finnhamn is accessible throughout the whole year. This nature reserve offers a variety of accommodations from a hostel to a campsite with facilities and holiday cottages with ocean views. Guests can hike one of the many woodland trails or hire a rowing boat and try their luck at fishing.
To enjoy the best of Stockholm, be sure to visit some of these attractions. It makes for an unforgettable experience and you’ll learn more about this city’s colourful past.