Discover why Stockholm, the Swedish capital, could be the perfect destination for your next vacation in this short guide of the Floating City.
It is known as the “fun island.” In the past, it served as the hunting ground for the Swedish kings. It is also the greenest island in a city full of parks and gardens. Skansen, the first and most famous ethnographic open-air museum of the world, is its main attraction. Here, visitors will be able to explore the traditional Swedish lifestyle of yore in faithfully reproduced dwellings that recall the founding of the nation.
Another recommended attraction is the Vasa Museum, which houses the warship Vasa, built in 1628 and considered, at the time, the most powerful ship ever built, a 200-foot long battleship with 64 bronze cannons. The magnificent vessel sank on its maiden voyage and was rescued in 1956; its restoration took more than 20 years. The Museum makes a wonderful excursion for history buffs.
The outskirts of Stockholm
The Palace is the official residence of the Swedish Royal Family and bears the mark of many of the country’s monarchs. Travelers can visit the elegant parlors of Queens Hedvig Eleonora and Lovisa Ulrika, as well as King Gustav III’s private apartments, in addition to other rooms decorated by the monarch in 1700, including the spectacular China dinning room, with exquisite wall coverings designed by the 18th century tapestry painter Lars Bolander. The Palace Chapel was designed by architect Carl Harleman in 1746 and Mass is still celebrated today on the last Sunday of every month.
The Palace also boasts an impressive and luxurious garden inspired by Versailles, with fountains, waterfalls, artificial lakes, bridges, bronze and marble statues, and a canal system that runs through the entire park.
Carl Milles Museum
Carl Milles, one of the most famous Swedish sculptors, lived in Millesgården (Lindigö Island) with his wife, Olga, also an artist. His studio/residence was turned into the Carl Milles Museum. The Millesgården sculpture park houses the artist’s masterpieces and has beautiful vistas of the city’s harbor. It also features an open-air cafe and a celebrated bistro, where the chefs prepare delightful Scandinavian cuisine.
Exotic products like moose and reindeer meat, delicious herring, mullet roe and the ubiquitous salmon, served fresh or cured, alongside exceptional seafood and pastries, permeate Swedish cuisine.
Two of Stockholm’s best options for authentic Swedish dining are Solliden restaurant at the Skansen Museum and Den Gyldene Freden, located in the city center. We strongly recommend the traditional smörgasbord, a typical Swedish buffet with a little bit of everything. On the other hand, you can find cuisine from around the world as it could not be otherwise in such a cosmopolitan city. The best restaurants are concentrated in Gamla Stan and Södermalm. ■
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