• Stortorget square, Stockholm, Sweden
    Gamla Stan


Built on a string of islands connected by bridges, and surrounded by woods, Sweden's stunning capital is one-third water, one-third parks, one-third city. Stockholm is green, clean, and underrated, bubbling with energy and history. Crawl through Europe's best-preserved old warship and relax on a scenic harbor boat tour. Browse the cobbles and antique shops of the lantern-lit Old Town. Take a trip back in time at Skansen, Europe's first and best open-air folk museum. If you have more time and want to immerse yourself in some simple Swedish nature, consider spending a day or two exploring the incredibly scenic islands of Skärgården, an archipelago stretching 80 miles out into the Baltic Sea.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Skansen Europe's first and best open-air folk museum, with more than 150 old homes, churches, shops, and schools.

▲▲▲ Vasa Museum Ill-fated 17th-century warship dredged from the sea floor, now the showpiece of an interesting museum.

▲▲▲ Archipelago Mostly half-day cruises to Vaxholm and many other small island destinations.

▲▲ Military Parade and Changing of the Guard Punchy pomp starting near Nybroplan and finishing at Royal Palace outer courtyard.

▲▲ Royal Armory A fine collection of ceremonial medieval royal armor, historic and modern royal garments, and carriages, in the Royal Palace.

▲▲ City Hall Gilt mosaic architectural jewel of Stockholm and site of Nobel Prize banquet, with tower offering the city's best views.

▲▲ Nordic Museum Danish Renaissance palace design and five fascinating centuries of traditional Swedish lifestyles.

▲▲ Drottningholm Palace Resplendent 17th-century royal residence with a Baroque theater.

▲ Nobel Museum Star-studded tribute to some of the world's most accomplished scientists, artists, economists, and politicians.

▲ Royal Palace Museums Complex of Swedish royal museums, the two best of which are the Royal Apartments and Royal Treasury.

▲ Royal Coin Cabinet and Swedish Economic Museum Europe's best look at the history of money, with a sweep through the evolution of the Swedish economy to boot.

▲ Kungsträdgården Stockholm's lively central square, with life-size chess games, concerts, and perpetual action.

▲ Sergels Torg Modern square with underground mall.

▲ National Museum of Fine Arts While closed for renovation until 2018, some of the museum's arts and crafts collection is on display at the Nationalmuseum Design, located in the Kulturhuset Stadsteatern.

▲ Thielska Galleriet Enchanting waterside mansion with works of local artists Larsson, Zorn, and Munch.

▲ Millesgården Dramatic cliffside museum and grounds featuring works of Sweden's greatest sculptor, Carl Milles.