City: Stockholm (Gamla Stan)
The Royal Palace rises majestically above the Old Town Gamla Stan. This imposing building dating from... the first half of the 18th century combines various architectural styles: French Classicism and Italian Renaissance determine the facades, while sumptuous Rococo decorates the majority of the almost 600 rooms and halls. Since the royal family moved to Drottningholm Palace this town palace has been used primarily for representative functions and as a museum. The treasure chamber and armoury with the imperial insignia and the splendid carriages give some impression of the pomp and ceremony at the Swedish court over the past few centuries.more
How did a serf live on a farm in Småland 400 years ago? What were working and living conditions like... in a Scandinavian town in the 19th century? The first open-air museum in Europe, opened in 1891, provides interesting and vivid answers to these and other questions on Swedish history, economy and society. Covering an area of 30 ha, it includes around 150 authentic buildings from all the regions in Sweden and from different centuries. Perhaps even more impressive than the buildings themselves are the presentations of traditional production methods performed on the "Craft Days", which reflect the daily lifestyle of people in rural Sweden in the pre-industrial age.more
1961 was one of the great moments in marine archeology: the "Vasa", flagship of the Swedish fleet and... sunk in 1628, was raised from the depths of Stockholm harbour. With its original rigging, its magnificent coat of arms on the bow and the many woodcarvings and figures, it is the best preserved and most completely restored shipwreck of its age anywhere in the world.
Foot bridges run alongside the 62 m long three-master at various levels, allowing visitors to have a closer look. In the museum completed in 1990, computer simulations and films provide information on the history of this 1,300 ton battleship and the salvage operation.more
Thanks to its design and artistic interior this city hall is considered to be one of the outstanding... Swedish architectural monuments of the 20th century. It was built by Ragnar Östberg between 1911-1923 at the southeastern edge of Kungsholmen and houses the council chamber of the Stockholm city parliament. It should not be confused with the actual city hall in Stockholm. The annual banquet for the Noble Prize winners is held in the Blue Hall, which is reminiscent of an Italian Renaissance palace. Other highlights of a guided tour include the Gallery of the Prince and the Golden Hall, which is decorated with the largest mosaic artwork of modern times. As a crowning finish to the sightseeing tour, you can enjoy the views from the 106 m high tower - each step really is worth the effort (accessible from May to September 10 am-4 pm) - or you could have a snack in the vaults of the city hall cellar.more
Riddarholms Church with its characteristic iron steeple is the burial place for Swedish royalty. With... the exception of Queen Kristina, all monarchs from Gustav Adolf II. (1632) to Gustav V. (1950) are buried here. Stockholm's sole remaining monastery church dating from the Middle Ages, which once belong to the Franciscan order, provides the framework. The religious building was expanded by a few chapels over the course of the centuries until the building became secularized at the beginning of the 19th century and was converted into a museum church The exquisite sepulchres of the Swedish monarchs are full of symbolic designs and provide an interesting journey through history. A special feature of the church adornments are the escutcheons of an old order of knights, the Knights of the Order of Seraphim, which numerous politicians in the modern era belong to.more
City: Drottningholm in/near Stockholm Category: Sightseeing
An excursion to Drottningholm, once the summer residence and the residence of the royal family since... the 1980s, provides another opportunity to take a boat trip (approx. one hour from Stadshuset quay). The complex is divided into sections from the eras of Hedvig Eleonora, Lovisa Ulrika and Gustav III. A few wings of the castle are open to the public and give an impression of the prestige rooms with various styles of furnishing from different epochs. You should plan sufficient time for a walk in the spacious palace park and the integrated pleasure garden with its Chinese Pavilion. The complex dates back to the 17th century and was planned according to the symmetrical principles of a baroque garden - a brilliant synthesis of nature and culture and in the meantime an illustrious member of the UNESCO World Heritage List.more
There are no longer and clues to the fact that the Kungsträdgården was where the herbs for the royal... meals were once grown. The "Kungsan" - as the locals call it - feels more like an Italian piazza. The heart of the city beats here, this is Stockholm's relaxed, Mediterranean side.
The long, tree-lined Kungsträdgården is at its best on warm summer days. This is when the people of Stockholm and tourists alike stroll around the square, which has more of a park feeling to it. Couples canoodle on the benches, chess players ponder their next move in front of their child-size pieces and a game of boule is played just a little further on. Street musicians accompany everything with South American or country music sounds, and there are stalls selling all sorts of knick-knacks. There are numerous boutiques, department stores, theatres, cinemas, restaurants and cafés around Kungsträdgården. The Karl XII Torg at the southern end features a statue of the king who was murdered in 1718.more
City: Saltsjöbaden in/near Stockholm Category: Sightseeing
The elegant suburb of Saltsjöbaden was designed by industrial tycoon Gustaf Wallenberg as an exclusive... residential area and seaside resort at the end of the 19th century. Wallenberg contracted several well-known architects who designed several impressive luxury villas for the rich clientele.
Saltsjöbaden could be reached in approximately half an hour from the centre of Stockholm thanks to the opening of the new railway line. As a result, it was hardly surprising that the elegant seaside suburb developed so well. The old wooden villas still exist and Saltsjöbaden is still one of the preferred residential areas of Stockholm. Life is good here, it is peaceful and the air tastes of salt and the sea. Two luxury hotels and a sanatorium were built in 1893 and the Grand Hotel quickly became a landmark of the town. The old-fashioned turretted palace hotel is located directly on the water and is strongly characterised by the predominant US style of that era. The fact that Saltsjöbaden is home to the more affluent people of Stockholm can be seen from the impressive yachts and gin palaces moored in the harbour.more
Located to the southwest of the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral was first mentioned in the year 1279,... making it the oldest church in the city. Built in the style of the Brick Gothic, it was altered and extended over the course of 200 years, and today embodies a Baroque style due to the final redesign in 1740. After the Reformation, it became a Lutheran Protestant church. It served as the site for royal weddings and coronations of Swedish monarchs, and is therefore blessed with particularly luxurious interior decor. The large Renaissance altar and the group of sculptures of Saint George and the Dragon, crafted by the Lübeck master Bernt Notke towards the end of the 15th century, are well worth seeing. There are paintings on the arches in the aisles, while next to the altar lies the magnificent grave of Jesper Mattson Kruus from the 17th century.more
The Stortorget, or ‘Big Square’, constitutes the center of the island of Stadsholmen and the historic... center of Gamla Stan. In the past, the Square was characterized by hustle and bustle of traders selling food, spices and all sorts of daily goods. Nowadays, it lies firmly in the hands of the tourists. Most tourists sit on the benches to take a break from walking through the historic center, or visit one of the restaurants that flank the Big Square. The Stortorget is framed by several small townhouses with grand Renaissance facades. The former stock exchange dating back to 1778 is also located here, which impresses thanks to its classical facade of columns; nowadays, it houses the Swedish Academy and the Nobel Museum. There are no reminders of the so-called Stockholm bloodbath of 1520, when King Christian II of Denmark had 82 leading officials put to death on the Stortorget.more
Sergels torg is one of the most important traffic intersections in the Stockholm district of Norrmalm.... The modern square came into being as a result of the much-disputed redevelopment process in the 1950s and 1960s. The entire district of Klara, home mainly to artists and literary figures living in old, historically important buildings, fell victim to this process. The center of the tiered square is characterized by a large, round fountain, in the middle of which is a 131 ft (40 m) high glass obelisk. The Kulturhuset (the House of Culture) is located on the southern end and is worth a visit thanks to its multifaceted performances, galleries, reading room, theater and cafés frequented by the Stockholm citizens. Five high-rise buildings from the 1960s are grouped around the square, which were all designed by famous Swedish architects.more
Old royal art collections were lost during the 1697 fire in Stockholm castle. The foundation of the collections... of the largest Swedish art museum today was laid by Carl Gustav Tessin in the first half of the 18th century. They include masterpieces of the 16th-20th centuries, including paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens.
The highlights of this museum, which has marvelous architecture, include French painters such as Boucher, Renoir, Degas and Gauguin. But above all, the museum especially allows you to study the development of Swedish painting. The extensive contributions of Nordic artists include, among others, the works of Carl Fredrik Hill as well as Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson, two artists well known in Germany.more
Gamla Stan with its Royal Palace is the core and the historic heart of Stockholm. The old town is situated... like a cork in a bottleneck at the narrowest spot of the waterway and has controlled trade on the border between the sea and Lake Mälaren (Mälarsee) since it was founded by Birger Jarl in 1252. But soon after it was founded, Stockholm began to outgrow Gamla Stan and expand onto the neighbouring islands and the mainland.
Today, Gamla Stan attracts the most tourists because of its fascinating blend of monumental architecture, picturesque alleyways, restaurants and shops. The oldest marketplace in the city, Stortorget, is surrounded by beautifully renovated buildings and forms the centre of Gamla Stan. You can use it as a starting point to explore through the narrow alleyways away from the hum of traffic. Antique and curio shops in Köpmangatan or the shops, boutiques, cafés and restaurants of Österlånggatan and Västerlånggatan are perfect for a spot of browsing or just mooching. There is a wide range of kitsch, junk and souvenirs in the side streets, some of which are very narrow indeed.more
The island of Djurgården is dedicated almost exclusively to recreation and relaxation. It is only a... few minutes to the green lungs of the city from the old town of Gamla Stan. With only few buildings and very little car traffic, it is the largest recreational area in the city centre and is very popular among the locals, especially at the weekends in summer.
Djurgården was once a royal hunting reserve. Then the rich people built their splendid wooden villas here and there are now numerous museums worth visiting. In the Vasamuseet, you can see the flagship "Vasa", which sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. The Nordiska Museum is home to comprehensive collections on Swedish folklore. Skansen is the largest museum of historic buildings from the whole country. Works by Prince Eugen can be seen in the Waldermarsudde art nouveau villa. Another of the highlight of Djurgården is the National Museum with its top-rate collection of paintings. If you fancy something a bit more lightweight after all the culture, head for the Gröna Lund amusement park and soak up the fairground atmosphere.more
Pale neon light, single-colour tiled platforms and giant billboards are taboo in Stockholm's underground.... The underground stations have been the playground of avant-garde artists for around 50 years - and it's all legal. More than two thirds of the 100 Tunnelbana stations - including that at Kungsträtgården - now have art objects on display. The people of Stockholm are proud to call their underground the longest art gallery in the world.
A ride on the underground is a very special experience, and many visitors to Stockholm get out at each station to take a look at the art on show there. The highlight of the underground experience is the Blue Line from Kungsträdgården to Akalla and Hjulsta. Almost every station is a work of art which is worth seeing and a convincing victory over the monotony of public transport. Imagination is given free rein; you can see a rainbow, which flows over rough cliffs or take a look through a hole in an imaginary cliff to see a radiant blue sky. In Rådmansgatan station, Strindberg's piercing eyes point the way to his museum. Not all the pictures are cheerful and friendly - there are some bleaker images dealing with the destruction of the environment.more
The fact that the people of Stockholm have acquired a taste for Sergels Torg is primarily due to the... house of culture which was built in the early 1970s. Culture is presented in all its conceivable forms behind the long glass facade on the south side of the square, attracting three million visitors every year. The exhibitions, dance and theatre performances, cafés, libraries and bookshops or the chance of leafing through newspapers from all over the world always make a visit to Kulturhuset worthwhile.
The modern Sergels Torg, one of the most important hubs in Stockholm today, has the massive slum clearance in the 1960s to thank for its creation. Today, you need a very good imagination to believe that the Sergels Torg was once at the heart of the 'Klara' district. But the former bohemian district with its picturesque old houses, in which many writers and artists once lived, had to make way for urban renewal. Several bland concrete high-rises surround the square, which was controversial for many years. Only the glass obelisk in the middle of the central fountain is worth seeing.more
City: Adelsö in/near Stockholm Category: Sightseeing
Located in the middle of Lake Mälaren, the ‘birch island’ (Björkö) is just 25 mi (30 km) west... of Stockholm. This is where the Vikings established the trading center of Birka towards the end of the 8th century; 200 years later, over 1,000 people lived and worked there. Though it must have been a prosperous and flourishing settlement, it was abandoned soon afterwards, although nobody knows why. Today, a visit to Birka on one of the Stockholm steamboats is a popular daytrip. Birka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site predominantly due to the extensive cemetery in the vicinity of the settlement, in which archaeologists have found valuable artifacts from all over the world. In the museum (which offers regular guided tours in the summer), visitors can get a great overview of the lives of the Vikings in Birka.more
City: Stockholm (Skeppsholmen)
Since opening in 1958, the Moderna Museet on the island of Skeppsholmen has ranked among the most important... museums for modern and contemporary art in Europe. Works by international artists such as Miró, Max Ernst, Warhol, Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky and Braque are perfectly exhibited in the halls designed by the Spanish architect Ralf Moneo. 20th-century Swedish art is also represented. Particularly fascinating are avant-garde and moving art objects and installations such as the "Goat in a Car Tyre". A museum of architecture and photography is linked to the Moderna Museet.more
The people of Stockholm are lucky to have the Schärengarten right on their doorstep. There are approximately... 24,000 islands in the coastal area of Stockholm, although most of them only tiny, nameless rocks. Countless waterways link the city to the open sea and wind like twisting paths between the small and large jutting rocks.
In the middle of the 19th century, the first wealthy citizens of Stockholm discovered the Schären and built summer houses on the inner islands. The typical Stuga, a small red wooden house with white window frames, is still an integral part of the islands today. The change between bare cliffs and islands with blooming meadows and fields keeps on taking you by surprise. Tourist can also explore the island world on white Schären steamers which depart from Strömskajen by the Grand Hotel non-stop. If you have developed a fondness for the peaceful island way of life, you can also take excursions lasting several days as there are hotels, guest houses and simple hostels almost everywhere.more
In Sweden, many art lovers value Prince Eugen (1865-1947) as an outstanding landscape painter, but the... artist brother of King Gustav V is largely unknown in other countries. He moved to Waldermarsudde on the Stockholm island of Djurgården in 1905 and dedicated himself to painting. The inspiration for one of his most famous works, "Steamer running", came practically from his doorstep. The painting demonstrates his virtuoso mastery of light and shade.
Waldemarsudde, which is one of the most popular museums in Sweden today, is made up of a castle-like main building, the gallery building, the old house and the linseed oil mill. Together with the surrounding park, Waldemarsudde is a grand estate which is well worth a visit. However, Prince Eugen was not only a gifted landscape painter who was influenced by French impressionism, but he was also an important art collector. He bought many paintings by young artists and thus created one of the most significant collections of contemporary Swedish painting. Prince Eugen's paintings and changing exhibitions are shown in parts of the main building, which still retains some of its original interior, and in the gallery.more
City: Vaxholm in/near Stockholm Category: Sightseeing
One of the most beautiful excursions takes you to Vaxholm, a small, picturesque village on a Schären... island to the north of Stockholm. White Schären steamers depart from Strömskajen or Strandvägen in Stockholm several times a day on the approximately one-hour trip to Vaxholm.
Vaxholm has a surprisingly long history, as King Gustav Vasa had a fortress built here as long ago as the middle of the 16th century in order safeguard the sea route to Stockholm. The fortress on a small island is a real tourist attraction, especially in summer. Later, Vaxholm became an important port for shipping and the fishing industry. On their quest for recreation, the people of Stockholm discovered the idyllic little town of Vaxholm about 100 years ago. Summerhouses sprung up all over the place, most of them richly decorated with wood carvings. Many of the picturesque houses of the old town are now home to shops, boutiques and restaurants. They are geared towards tourists and so there is almost always a celebration of some kind. At the beginning of June is the "Schären Boat Day", there is a a traditional midsummer celebration on 22 June and the Schären Market is held in mid-August.more
City: Solna in/near Stockholm Category: Sightseeing
Hagaparken lies in a charming location to the north of the city at Brunnsviken Bay and is one of the... preferred recreational areas for the people of Stockholm. The green meadows are perfect for picnics and games, and you can jog and cycle along the network of paths. But the park is also interesting for visitors to Stockholm as Gustav III had it built as summer park at the end of the 18th century.
Gustav III and his architects designed the park as a romantic landscape in the style of an English garden. However, his ambitious plans were only partially realised in part as he was assassinated at a masked ball in 1792. As a result, the planned museum palace was never completed; you can still visit the ruins today. The Haga Slott is, on the other hand, in a more impressive condition - it is used by the Swedish royal family uses it as visitor accommodation. The Pavilion Gustav III, with its unique location on the water, and the unusual copper tents which were once home to the guards regiment are both worth seeing. Near the tents, the Fjärils- och Fågelhuset with its numerous exotic birds and butterflies is also worth seeing.more
City: Mariefred in/near Stockholm Category: Sightseeing
There are two wonderfully relaxing ways to travel from Stockholm to the idyllic town of Mariefred. You... can either take the old steamer from Stockholm Stadshuskajen or the museum railway, which puffs and steams along at a snail's pace as it would have done 100 years ago.
The old, well-preserved wooden houses of Mariefred alone justify the trip, but most visitors come to visit Gripsholm Castle. The pink castle, construction on which started in 1370, on Lake Mälaren is the embodiment of Swedish romanticism. A total of 3,000 paintings hang in the corridors and rooms of the castle, which tell the history of Sweden over the last few centuries in dark oils. In Germany, Gripsholm became famous through Kurt Tucholsky's romantic love story of the same name. Unfortunately, the lightweight, buoyant summer story at Gripsholm Castle did not have a happy ending for Tucholsky. He committed suicide at the seaside resort of Hindås near Göteborg in 1935. His simple grave under an old oak tree in the cemetery near Gripsholm Castle features a Goethe quotation: "Everything transitory is but a metaphor".more
City: Lidingö in/near Stockholm Category: Sightseeing
In 1908, sculptor Carl Milles (1875-1955) bought a piece of land on the Schären island of Lidingö near... Stockholm. Together with his wife, he had a house and studio built over the following years in which they lived until 1931. After they moved out, the Milles set up a foundation with the intention of making their estate and numerous sculptures accessible to the public as a museum.
Carl Milles is considered the most important Swedish sculptor of the 20th century and is often cited in the same breath as Auguste Rodin. When Milles was still completely unknown, the two met in Paris, which was to be the start of a lifelong friendship. Today, Carl Milles' house and garden represents one of the most beautiful museums in Sweden, thanks to the terraced estate, the fountains, the sculptures and the columns and to the wonderful view. The lower terrace with its three fantastic fountains was only created after the Milles returned to Sweden in 1951 after 20 years in America.more