Everyone says that Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and it is! Stockholm is a series of 14 islands where the freshwater Lake Malaren meets the salt water Baltic Sea. The city consists of 1/3 water, 1/3 city, and 1/3 green space. Centered around the “old town” of Gamla Stan, featuring the Royal Palace, the city is connected by numerous bridges. While larger than I imagined, getting around is easy due to its layout.
We decided to start our day with a one hour bus tour to orient ourselves. As someone who actively avoids group bus excursions, I found that this is actually a simple way to get a quick overview of everything the city has to offer. The best options can be found through Stromma Tours, with booking available through your local hotel or online. We found their 75 minute Panorama tour to fit our needs the best.
The tour starts at Gustav Adolfs Torg, the square shown below……. look for the Royal Opera building to know you are there.
The tour takes you around the main parts of the city and old town, and over to the hip, up-and-coming Sodermalm.
The Nordic Museum…
We decided to visit the Vasa Museum, located on the island of Djurgarden. On display is the only fully intact 17th century ship ever salvaged. The Vasa ship sunk on its maiden voyage in 1628, due to being too top heavy with guns and cannons.
Walking through the cobblestone streets of Gamla Stan (old town)……
……..then a stop at the magnificent Grand Hotel, built in 1874, for tea time.
We came across the royal marching band en route to the changing of the guard ceremony! Walking alongside, we followed them to the Royal Palace.
The islands of Stockholm continue out into a vast archipelago. Take a beautiful boat ride to these outer islands for relaxing views. What a wonderful way to get a feel for the Stockholm lifestyle than to be out on the water. Lots of local were out with their sailboats. We chose a tour again with Stromma, which offered a wonderful ship experience with a guide.
End the night with a delicious traditional Swedish dinner in Gamla Stan. Be sure to make reservations in advance! There are many wonderful restaurants in this area, but they book up quickly.