Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, is made up of many islands and bridges. This clean and colorful city has a lot to offer. I suggest staying at the Hobo Hotel, which offers modern lodging, fair pricing, and a central location.

Day One

Your first stop should be the Gamla Stan area, which is due south from the hotel. You can spend a few hours strolling around the area. Stortorget is the oldest square in the area. The beautiful and colorful old houses certainly hide its violent history. I think the best sight near here is the large Royal Palace, which is still home to the King of Sweden. There is a changing of the guard. Of the many museums in the complex, I recommend the treasury and the royal apartments to see the fascinating reception rooms and halls. When you’re done, try Stockholms Gästabud for lunch.

Other points of interest in Gamla Stan include the Medieval Museum, which explores the city from the 13th-16th century. Many artifacts on display were found during 1990s construction. The oldest church in the area is Storkyrkan, which houses a huge St. George and the Dragon sculpture and artistic tombs. Definitely explore the streets here, including Västerlånggatan which follows the path of the city’s ancient wall. You’ll find unique architecture almost any direction you go. There's even ancient Viking graffiti in places. Be sure to take the bridge south from Gamla Stan and hook a right to Monteliusvagen. This coastal stroll provides great city views from across the water. For dinner near the hotel, why not celebrate at Operakallaren or Mathias Dahlgren Matbaren - my fine dining recommendations.

Day Two

Today, head east to the island of Djurgården. Here you’ll find many great and unique museums. First, I recommend the Skansen open-air museum. It’s a fun and interactive way to learn about Swedish history and traditional lifestyle. There are great examples of buildings, windmills, crafts/trades with historical re-enactors, and a zoo with mostly Nordic animals. When you’re about ready to leave, grab a quick bite at the Stora Gungan Tavern – one of the many restaurants on premises.

The other museums nearby include the Nordic Museum and Vasa Museum. The Nordic Museum is the largest cultural history museum in the area, housed in a beautiful palace. The Vasa Museum displays the most intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged. It’s a warship that sunk in 1628. However, no one would blame you if you’d rather rent a bike to enjoy exploring the island instead. As you head back from the island, be sure to wander down Strandvagen. This picturesque boulevard is quite prestigious and a good place to enjoy dinner. Try Ångbåtsbryggan or Kajplats 18.

Day Three

Start your third day with a tour of City Hall to the west. You can’t miss the tall tower. I was quite surprised at how amazing the building is inside. The hall is home to the Nobel Prize award banquet. Guided tours are offered throughout the day. Of note is the exquisite Blue Hall and the “make-your-jaw-drop” Golden Hall with it’s stunning mosaics.

After this, you have options. If you love Viking artifacts, take a short walk east to the Swedish History Museum. Or, you could take public transportation west for about 45-minutes to Drottningholm Palace. It’s the best preserved 17th-century royal palace in Sweden and known for its rich décor and vast gardens. Another option is taking a 45-minute bus or metro ride south to Tyresta National Park. Hike dense and alluring forest, pick berries, relax by the lake, or see the exhibits at Naturrum.

Happy Travels!