7 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Stockholm
7 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Stockholm
Stockholm lies on a number of islands and peninsulas at the outflow of Lake Mälar into the Baltic, which here forms a deep inlet. The charm of its setting lies in the intermingling of land and water - the skerries fringing the coast, the crags rearing up from the sea, the intricate pattern of waterways encompassing the city. World-class museums, theaters, galleries, and gorgeous parklands await, and traveling around couldn't be easier. The excellent underground railway system, the Tunnelbana (T-bana), takes you almost anywhere in the city. A highly efficient and regular bus network fills in any gaps between destinations. Alternatively, take the time to walk instead, as Stockholm is a terrific city to absorb on foot.
1. Djurgarden Island
Whether you’re looking to stroll in the forest or visit museums, Djurgarden island in central Stockholm is the place to go. The island, accessible by foot, ferry or bus, attracts more than 10 million people annually who come to relax at this most popular tourist attraction in Stockholm. Djurgarden is home to the amusement park Grona Lund, yacht harbors, meadows, forests, walking trails, the world’s oldest open-air museum Skansen and historic buildings including Rosendal Palace.
2. Vasa Museum
The Vasa was an early 17th century war ship that, like the Titanic, sunk on its maiden voyage. After 300 years on the ocean floor, the ship was salvaged to become the only 17th century almost-intact sailing ship ever preserved. Today it stars in the Vasa Museum, a maritime museum that is the most visited museum in Scandinavia. The museum building itself is unique; 384 architects submitted designs, with the winning one featuring a copper roof with stylized masts the height of Vasa’s. The Vasa can be viewed from six levels. Other exhibits center on Sweden’s maritime history and include four other ships.
3. Gamla Stan
Stockholm’s Old Town is situated on the island Stadsholmen. Officially named Staden mellan broama, which means “the town between the bridges,” it’s known informally as Gamla Stan. The medieval Old Town is filled with cobblestone streets and North German architecture. It is home to the large square Stortorget, site of a bloody massacre in 1520. Historic buildings include the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral and Den glyden freden, a restaurant in business since 1722. The Nobel Museum also is located in Gamla Stan.
Stadshuset (City Hall) is more than just government offices. It’s one of Stockholm’s major tourist attractions. It’s home to an upscale restaurant, Stadshuskällaren, and is where the Nobel Prize banquet takes place. As far as history buildings go, it’s not, having been constructed in the late 20th century. City hall is made several halls, including the Blue Hall, home to Scandinavia’s largest organ with 10,270 pipes, and the Golden Hall with its 18 million mosaic tiles that depict Swedish history. Visitor access to the hall is by guided tour.
5. Drottningholm Palace
Sweden has several palaces, but Drottningholm Palace is where the royal family lives. Located on Lovon island, the name of this late 16th century palace means “queen’s islet.” The original palace burned in 1661 but was rebuilt. It was used as a summer residence for a couple of centuries, but fell into disuse and decay in the 19th century. It has since been modernized and restored. Palace grounds include a 1736 church used by locals the last Sunday of every month and an eclectic mix of gardens dating back to the 17th century. The gardens are the main tourist attraction here.
6. Skansen Open-Air Museum
Build in 1891, the world’s oldest open air museum, Skansen, is a good place to learn more about Sweden. It houses Stockholm’s only zoo, which features animals native to Sweden. You’ll also find a traditional pre-industrial mini-Sweden, with 150 farms and buildings relocated from other parts of the country. You’ll see costumed staff demonstrating crafts and other facets of 19th century life. Located on pretty Djurgarden island, it’s where many traditional Swedish festivals, such as Lucia and Midsummer, are celebrated. Enjoy, too, the views of Stockholm from here.
7. Kungliga Slottet
Kungliga Slottet is the official residence of the Swedish royal family though its only used for official ceremonies and open to the public. With more than 600 rooms on seven floors, it is one Europe’s largest palaces. Nothing cozy about this place! Designed in the early 18th century and modeled after a Roman palace, the palace houses the royal family’s work space, halls for state functions and the Royal Court of Sweden. The palace also is home to three museums: Treasury, a museum of antiquities and the Kroner Museum, named for an earlier medieval palace.