The capital of Sweden, Stockholm is the largest city in the Nordic region, home to more than one million people in the metro area. It is a unique city that is spread across more than a dozen different islands and has many unique features that make it a favorite among sightseers.
The Stockholm area has a rich history that dates as far back as the 6th century BC, and it has many museums, historical landmarks, and other tourist attractions that celebrate that rich culture.
The Old Town
Sightseers who want a great place to visit where they can see some unique architecture, take in local culture, and enjoy a few shops and eateries should take a trip to the Old Town. The Old Town is the oldest part of Stockholm, with much of the architecture dating back centuries. It is very well-traveled by tourists but still a marvel to take in both for shopping purposes and for a chance to examine the important people and places in Stockholm. There are several historical churches in the area as well as the Royal Palace. For those who want refreshment rather than history, there are a number of ice cream shops where you can taste some of the home-made snacks that the city has to offer.
Stockholm is home to several unique venues that play “escape games” – games in which you are presented with a puzzle and must use that knowledge to be able to leave the area. Of the different escape game locations, Roomescape is the most highly rated by tourists. In Roomescape, you and one to four other players find yourselves locked in a room and have one hour to figure your way out. Getting out of the room involves using logic and solving puzzles, not to mention making sure that you cooperate well with your teammates. The time limit and the fact that you are actually locked in the room makes this a very exciting game that people remember fondly for the rest of their lives.
The Swedish people have a long history tied to the ocean, and the Vasa Museum celebrates and commemorates that history. This is one of the most expansive and interesting maritime museums in the world, featuring a lot of different boats, replicas, and exhibits. At the center of the museum is the exhibit that gives the place its name – the Vasa, a 64-gun warship from the 17th century. This warship sank on its maiden voyage but has since been salvaged. Because of age and degradation caused by the sea, finding an intact warship from this period is a very rare occurrence, with the Vasa being the only one of its kind. The ship itself is proudly on display, and additional replicas allow you to explore the Vasa for yourself, getting a feel for what it was like to sail on the high seas aboard such a warship.
One of Stockholm’s major shopping centers, Nordiska Kompaniet is a six-story department store that is perfect for somebody who wants to take care of souvenir buying, dining, and even people watching all in the same place. The department store is more than 100 years old and has become ingrained as a central part of the city of Stockholm. This is the place where modern conveniences such as frozen vegetables, blue jeans, and CDs all made their first appearances in Stockholm, and there are a number of new toys and gadgets that hope for that level of success. Food ranges from simple fast food to fine dining. You can spend hours here and never visit the same shop twice.
If you want to see what parts of rock and roll culture made their way to Sweden or just happen to be curious as to how the people of Stockholm view American culture, Sivletto is an excellent place to visit. Relatively new in the Stockholm commercial scene, it has nonetheless made a big splash with locals and tourists alike. The entire boutique is done up as a 1950s-style American café with an amazing level of authenticity. Customers are offered a chance to join in the fun, with stylists offering the chance to turn anybody into an Elvis Presley or Doris Day lookalike for a little while. This is a unique experience that manages to provide a fun look at decades gone by and provides lots of great activities, whether you are a child of the 50s or not.
If you’re looking for fine dining in Stockholm that will also give you a taste of what grows locally in the region, Smorgastarteriet is a terrific option. This restaurant draws its menu from five main local sources and makes sure that the food is produced fresh and prepared well. A carefully put together wine list allows customers to find a vintage that is suited to the meal, with most of the wines being organic. There are meals of different sizes and types, from light lunch fare to heavier evening dishes, and the staff takes the time to describe each dish in detail. For those who want a culinary adventure without having to be completely on their own when it comes time to pick their dish, this is a great restaurant.
Other Tourism Advice
The city of Stockholm is very much tied to the Baltic Sea, and if you plan to visit the area you should make sure you schedule some time to spend on the water. Baltic cruises are available throughout the year, and ferries can help you travel inexpensively to the many different islands that make up the city. Several of the local parks cater to picnickers, so don’t be afraid to take a basket lunch with you when the weather is nice. Always bring your camera, because the sites in and around Stockholm are truly something to behold.
Stockholm is one of the great wonders of Northern Europe and is absolutely a city you should consider visiting if you are planning a Swedish getaway. Most travelers will enjoy the summer season the most, but the city is well worth a visit no matter what time of the year you happen to be in the area.