10 reasons to make Stockholm your next city break
Stockholm is the Swedish capital and covers an area of 73 square miles spread across 14 islands. It is one of the most visited cities in Scandinavia partly due to its world-class infrastructure and accommodation within the city. However, it is the city’s numerous historical and modern attractions which truly leave visitors impressed.
10. Stockholm metro
The Stockholm metro is the main transportation system used to get around the city of Stockholm. The 65.7 mile-long metro system was opened on October 1, 1950 and ferries over 300 million passengers per year. It is unique for its display of artwork, as it is actually considered to be the longest art exhibit in the world with 68.3 miles of the metro decorated with beautiful forms of art. Of the 100 stations in the metro, 90 are decorated with art of some kind.
Fotografiska is a contemporary photography center located in the Sodermalm neighborhood of Stockholm. The center is the largest of its kind in the city with 5,500 square meters of exhibition spaces. It attracts thousands of photography enthusiasts and showcases exhibits from world-famous photographers. Fotografiska was opened on May 21, 2010 and is housed in a 1906 building known as Stadsgarden which is listed by the city as a site of cultural interest. The Fotografiska is comprised of a photo gallery, a souvenir shop and an award-winning restaurant.
Djurgarden, also known as Kungliga Djurgarden, is an island located in central Stockholm and is one of the most diverse areas in the city with numerous historical buildings, museums, monuments, galleries, and an amusement park. The area is the most popular recreation venue for the Swedish locals as well as for international tourists, attracting over 10 million visitors every year. The right of disposition of the Kungliga Djurgarden has been owned by the Swedish monarch since the 15th century. The key attractions include the Nordic Museum which has the biggest collection of social history items in the country as well as Skansen, which is the oldest open-air museum in the world, attracting over 1.3 million visitors annually. The region is also home to Isbladskarret, a lake which is famed for its diversity of birds.
7. Stockholm Cathedral
The Stockholm Cathedral is an ancient cathedral located in Gamla stan, Stockholm (old town). It is the oldest church in the region with historians placing its year of construction to 1279. The old church is a popular tourist destination and is famed for its rich history with major events in the Swedish monarch’s history taking place in the cathedral. Events include several coronations, funerals, and weddings.
6. Ghost walking tour of Stockholm
Over its long history, the old town of Stockholm has been the basis of many legends with stories revolving around many mythical beings such as vampires, spirits, and ghosts. The haunted ancient buildings in Gamla stan are said to host spirits which roam in the middle of the night. While in Stockholm, visitors are encouraged to partake in these urban legends by taking ghost walking tours around Gamla stan.
5. Stockholm Old Town
Another point of interest in the city is the Stockholm Old Town. The Old Town is the oldest part of the city and is home to the oldest buildings in Stockholm. Also known as Staden mellan broarna or Gamla stan, the old town is comprised of Stadsholmen Island and the islets of Helgeandsholmen, Stromsborg, and Riddarholmen. Although Gamla stan dates back to the 13th century, the majority of the buildings are dated to the 17th and 18th centuries. Stockholm Old Town has many tourist attractions including the Nobel Museum, the 13th century Stockholm Cathedral and the 1722 built restaurant De gyldene freden, one of the oldest restaurants in the world. The center of the town is a large square known as the Stortorget which was the site of the 1520 Stockholm Bloodbath.
4. Food Tour
A visit to any city can never be complete without sampling the local delicacies. In Stockholm, visitors are urged to try several food tours offered around the city. The food tours come in two distinct culinary experiences comprised of the Nordic experience which is focused on the central region of the city known as Vasastan, and the culinary Sodermalm experience which is focused on the island of Sodermalm.
3. Drottningholm Palace
The Drottningholm Palace is the private home of the Swedish royal family. The picturesque palace’s name is derived from the Swedish word “Drottningholm” which means “Queen’s islet”. The Drottningholm Palace was constructed in the 16th century during the reign of Charles XI of Sweden and has served as the residence of the royal family for centuries. The Drottningholm Palace was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
2. ABBA the Museum
ABBA the Museum is an exhibition located on Djurgarden Island between the Liljevalchs art venue and the Grona Lund amusement park. ABBA the Museum is dedicated to the critically acclaimed Swedish pop group ABBA. ABBA is the most successful pop group in history with record sales being estimated at over 380 million. ABBA the Museum has numerous exhibits drawn from artifacts from the pop group and is a must-visit while in Stockholm.
1. Vasa Museum
The Vasa Museum is one of the most visited locations in Sweden with over one million visitors every year. Vasa is a maritime museum located on Djurgarden Island. Also known as Vasamuseet, Vasa Museum’s fame is attributed to its most valued possession; a 17th century salvaged warship, Vasa. The Vasa offers visitors a look at the ancient European naval warfare with the museum placing many models and exhibits detailing the history of the ship. Construction of the museum was commissioned in 1987 by the Swedish government and it was opened on June 15, 1990. It is estimated that over 25 million people have visited the Vasa Museum since it has been open.