Centred on the island housing the Old Town (or Gamla Stan), Stockholm spreads its urban arms across the surrounding archipelago and hills that form the landscape of the Swedish capital. A modern city with lots of history, it’s a place that is both easy to explore and where even the metro system is a work of art.
Sometimes referred to as the Venice of Scandinavia, Stockholm is a city where water is always present in the cityscape. Settled around some of the larger islands in an archipelago that consists of more than 30,000 islands, the many bridges and seaside streets, combined with the colourful buildings and the quaint cobbled walkways, make it a wonderful place to just stroll around in. Start your exploration of the city in the Old Town right in the middle of the city. Here you can visit the Royal Palace, where the King of Sweden still resides, as well as the adjacent Museum of Medieval Stockholm. Walking past the Storkyrkan Church, you will come up to the historic main square of the city, Stortorget. Here you can grab a light lunch from one of the charming restaurants or go all in and sample the staple Scandinavian midday speciality of smorgasbord, which is delicious helpings of rye bread generously decorated with various toppings and trimmings.
Next, cross one of the many bridges to either the southern island of Södermalm, where you can visit the contemporary photography museum, Fotografiska, or head north to Stockholm’s mainland and the two major shopping streets of Vasagatan and Sveavägen. If, after spending your money on chic Scandinavian design in one of the many trendy shops, your legs feel a bit tired, you can retire to a café nearby for the traditional Swedish afternoon treat known as Fika, which consists of coffee and delicious pastries.
If you’re seeking to explore the further reaches of Stockholm, you can head into the city’s metro system. Known as the world’s longest art gallery, each station has been decorated by artists. Spot the moose in the red-painted Solna Centrum Station, follow the chequered paths under the exposed bedrock at Kungsträdgården Station and find your very own favourite station along the seven lines that make up this enchanting network. Once you make it out of the underground again, you still have plenty of things to discover in the city. See the gigantic old ship at the Vasa Museum or visit the more modern ABBA Museum right next to it; explore the Museum of Modern Art or catch a concert at the golf ball-shaped Globe Arena. In Stockholm you’ll be surrounded by things to see and do, as well as friendly Swedes, who will happily recommend what to do next on your city break in their beloved capital.
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