Stockholm one of the most beautiful cities in Europe is spread over 14 Islands that make up an archipelago in the Baltic Ocean. The Capital and largest city in Sweden, Stockholm offers it’s visitors a vast array of choice of what to do there, whether it is indoors soaking up the art and culture of the country or outside enjoying the clean air and crystal clear waters. Summer breaks to Stockholm
will offer you wonderful weather and plenty of day light hours, in June and July there are about 18 hours of sunshine a day and it is one of the sunniest cities in Northern Europe and experiences the warmest summers out of all the Nordic countries.
Located in the southeast of the country and lying at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, a fresh water lake, Stockholm is an important global city and the cultural, political and economic center of Sweden.The history of Stockholm is long, indeed there has been a settlement here since Stone Age times and the city of Stockholm itself was founded in 1252 by a business man named Birger Jarl and within 100 years of the city being established, it grew into Sweden’s largest settlement. In 1634 Stockholm was to become the Capital of Sweden and over the years the city has enjoyed many highs and lows in its history, with famine wiping out nearly 100,000 people during the harsh winter of 1696 and a major plague outbreak in 1711 wiping out 1200 people a day.
The 18th Century was a period of growth and a blossoming descended on the city and many fine buildings were constructed .The 1860s saw further expansion of the city with many of the streets and avenues that are still seen today being created.
Stockholm today is a real mix of medieval and modern architecture and contains buildings from all periods in its history from the 13th Century onwards. The Capital was fortunate not to be touched by any destruction during both of the World Wars and so what you see today is a real mix of a modern, cosmopolitan city mixed with medieval and classical architecture with plenty of green spaces to relax in. It is this mix that makes Stockholm one of the most spectacular cities in Europe to visit and the architecture along with good weather, fine dining and great outdoor facilities makes it a must visit destination.
Stockholm Weekend Breaks What to Do.
Stockholm provides its visitors with a wealth of treats from stunning architecture, Scandinavian fine dining and styling to breathtaking scenery and stunning sea views and you will never be short of something to do here whether you are looking for a relaxing break or something a bit more energetic so here are some of the top must do trips in Stockholm on a weekend break.
Visit Gamla Stan.
A weekend break is plenty of time to explore Stockholm and one thing that is a must do is a visit to Gamla Stan. Gamla Stan or the “Old Town” is where Stockholm began in the 13th Century and it is here that you will still see the medieval squares and cobbled streets that make Stockholm such a beautiful city.
Gamla Stan is located on the small Island of Stadsholmen and a trip here will give you plenty of time to explore old Stockholm, visit some souvenir shops, walk through the narrow alleyways, with Mårten Trotzigs Gränd being the narrowest in Stockholm at a tiny 90cm wide at its narrowest point.
After exploring the quaint streets there are plenty of places to go for something to eat and a rest before more exploration of the town. In Gamla Stan you will discover the Royal Palace which should be your next trip.
The Royal Palace.
One of the largest Palaces in Europe and the Official Residence of the King of Sweden although in actual fact the Royal family don’t technically live here, the Royal Palace comprises over 600 rooms and has an impressive five museums for its visitors to look around.
The Palace was built mainly in the 18th Century on the spot where the original castle burnt down in 1697. It is an overwhelming display of Italian Baroque Styling and there is plenty to see and explore. Whilst there you can visit the Reception Rooms that offer an amazing display of 18th and 19th interiors. The Rikssalen (the Hall of State) is a must to see Queen Kristina’s silver throne. As well as the amazing rooms on display you can also visit The Armory which is underground and houses an impressive collection of armor and costumes and an amazing display of royal coaches and carriages in the Royal stables.
If you get there at the right time you will also be able to see the royal changing of the guards and the soldiers parade which is an impressive display of pomp and ceremony that you won’t want to miss.
Visit a Museum.
Stockholm has an impressive number of museums, in fact Stockholm seems to be crazy about them if the number they have is any indication, around 75 in total of which over a dozen are free to enter so there are plenty to while away a few hours in, especially if the weather is not great. Some stand out as ones not to be missed such as the Vasa Museum and the Nordic Museum.
The Vasa Museum is located on the Island of Djurgården and is a fully dedicated Maritime Museum so if you are interested in boats and the sea then this is the one for you. The Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia mainly due to the allure of the Vasa ship and its remarkable story. The Vasa ship is a huge, fully preserved 17th Century ship and the only one in the world.
The ship sank in 1628 and lay on the sea bed for 333 years until it resurfaced and was then salvaged. The ship offers an amazing insight into life on board a war ship in the 17th Century. The ships journey is a fascinating one and is told in great detail in the museum, from the shortest maiden voyage in history, sailing from the port and capsizing a mere 1’300 meters out, to the salvaging hundreds of years later of this amazing vessel.
The Nordic Museum is also located on the Island of Djurgården and this museum is dedicated to Nordic life and the study of the culture and history of Sweden from the early modern times to today. There is plenty to see in the museum with over 1.5 million objects contained within the museum’s collection, with items such as clothing, furniture, interiors, jewellery, textiles, photography and glass ware to mention just a few.
It is a complete study of Swedish life from the 16th Century onwards and this rich collection of artefacts will offer a fascinating insight into Sweden all set in the most stunning building. Only a short walk from the Vasa Museum it is definitely worth spending sometime here to find out more about this fascinating country and its culture and heritage.
Take a Boat Trip.
Stockholm is seen as the Venice of the North and everywhere you go in you will see water and so a great way to see the city and to take it all in is to get onto the water and enjoy a boat trip. There are a wide range of boat tours in Stockholm to chose from or if you prefer to you can go independently.
As well as ferry trips, there are tours of Under the Bridges which will take you past some of the cities most famous sights such as Djurgården island and Gamla Stan. Stockholm like Venice has an impressive number of bridges 50 in all and a tour on the waters is a wonderful way to view them.
There is also the Royal Canal Tour which will take you on a journey around Djurgården island. Further trips out will take you around the Stockholm Archipelago and trips on Lake Mälaren were you can spend either half a day or a full day enjoying the sights and have lunch or dinner whilst out on the water.
If water adventures are more your sort of thing then you can always rent a canoe or kayak and explore the Stockholm Archipelago independently. However you chose to experience it, time spent on the water is a must whilst in Stockholm and is a wonderful way to take in the city and a great way to enjoy all that is has to offer.
What to do in Stockholm – Final Words
If you are looking for a weekend break that is filled with culture, adventure and amazing sight seeing then Stockholm is the place for you. This wonderful city surrounded by water is the place to go for something different. A stylish, modern, cosmopolitan city with amazing dining, indeed Stockholm has attained an international reputation for it’s dining in recent years with many Michelin starred
restaurants, a huge selection of museums and places of interest and lots of stunning green spaces.
An easy country to get to from most European cities with great public transport, Stockholm is a must see city that will enchant and delight you.