So, Stockholm! The Venice of the North! And rightly so. With its many canals and romantic old town centre, Stockholm is a magical destination all year round. Summer may be more comfortable as regards to temperatures, but who can deny that a snowy Christmas would be great in Stockholm?
1. Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan literally means “Old Town” and is the historical centre of Stockholm. In the summer it is quite busy with visitors but if you go early in the morning or later in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy it at leisure.
2. Vasa Museum
The Museum houses the ill-fated warship Vasa, which sunk shortly after embarking on its maiden voyage in 1628. It was still in the harbour when it sunk, which is why it got retrieved and is now displayed in a museum. Very impressive, a huge ship indeed. Well worth a visit.
3. Stockholm City Hall
Stockholm is proud of its city hall and rightly so. Although not a historical building, it is still very impressive, both inside and outside. Its most famous part is the “Golden Room”, where the Nobel Laureates banquet takes place.
4. Skeppsholmen island
One of the many little islands of Stockholm, this is green, lush and quiet, while it houses several museums. This is where you’ll find the Modern Art Museum too. On the island’s southern side you can see a beautiful 19th century wooden ship that nowadays functions as a youth hostel.
5. Moderna Museet
As I already mentioned, on Skeppsholmen island you’ll find the Moderna Museet, or Museum of Modern Art. Here you’ll find some amazing art by Picasso, Dali, Lioubov Popova and others.
6. The underground (subway) art gallery
Undergrounds (aka Tube or Subway, depending on which side of the pond you live) can be boring places. Well, not in Stockholm, they don’t! Several of Stockholm’s underground stations have been decorated by more than 150 artists in total.
The most interesting of these stations to see some really cool art are:
- Blue Line: Kungsträdgården, T-centralen, Rådhuset, Solna Centrum, Tensta
- Green Line: Hötorget, Thorildsplan, Bagarmossen
- Red Line: Tekniska Högskolan, Stadion
7. The Palace
The Royal Palace is one of Europe’s biggest, with over 600 rooms. It was built in the 18th century, over an older medieval castle called “Tre Kronor”. These days the Swedish royal family no longer lives here. They prefer a quieter palace in the suburbs of Stockholm. However, the Palace is still the official residence of the King, therefore he uses it for official functions of the state.
8. Stockholm Public Library
Probably the most Instagrammed library in Europe! It is worth a visit to admire its unique round shape, even if you are not a book lover (how could you possibly not be though?!). It was built in 1928 and designed by the great Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund. The library houses books in languages other than Swedish as well, e.g. English, French, German, etc.
9. SoFo in Södermalm
SoFo is the hipster and trendy heart of Stockholm. SoFo is an acronym for “South of Folkungagatan”, or south of Folkung street (yep, gatan means street in Swedish, that much I was able to figure out). This is where you’ll find all the trendy, hipster and alternative fashion houses, shops and designers. A very alive and popular district.
It seems Swedish cuisine is up and coming lately. The city’s gastro scene is for sure very active and popular these days. Haymarket is one of the best spots to taste and buy Swedish food. The area was a marketplace since the 1200s but the current building was completely renovated in 2013. You’ll find pretty much everything that Swedish cuisine has to offer here. Alcohol is under strict lock and key though.
So this was my top 10 of Stockholm! Do you have any other places to add to the list?