One of the most appealing cities in Europe, Stockholm has the added attraction of a vast archipelago of islands within easy striking distance of its centre. Stockholm is built on a series of islands, and in the depths of winter, when the sea is frozen solid, children can be seen ice skating to school past the enormous Royal Palace. There is a wide range of top class museums (check out the Vasa Museum - the perfectly preserved 17th century Swedish flagship - in particular) and attractions, stylish and luxurious hotels, and excellent restaurants showcasing the very best in what is a resurgent cuisine.
Add a plethora of bars and some extremely chic clubs, and Stockholm holidays are as much fun when the sun goes down as they are during the days - which can be brief in the extreme during the deep winter months. In summer the beautiful and diverse islands of the archipelago come into their own, and city dwellers flock to their charming clapboard holiday homes and take to the crystal clear waters of the Baltic in yachts and kayaks. There are a number of excellent hotels out in the archipelago, but it is just as easy to take a day trip to the likes of Sandhamn Island, where there are often sailing regattas.
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Sweden’s capital city, with its colourful buildings, amazing galleries and museums, next-generation restaurants, wild nightlife and historic soul, can be enjoyed for either a glorious weekend city break, a few nights before a wider exploration of Sweden or a longer holiday all of its own. The modern, dynamic sights of the city make a wonderful contrast to the wilderness of Swedish Lapland or the laid-back culture of Gothenburg and the beautiful West Coast, but there’s enough magnetism in Stockholm to keep you on your toes for days on end.
What is there to do in Stockholm?
Take a private walking tour through the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan, the city's Old Town, and pass gothic churches, the Parliament Building, the Opera House and the Royal Palace on your travels. Stockholm is built on an archipelago made up of 14 islands and during the warmer months, it’s possible to kayak between the waterways, paddling from ancient buildings to trendy cafés where you can stop for lunch to eat cinnamon buns, meatballs and potato dumplings. Sodermalm is the city’s trendiest neighbourhood, a collision of hipster bars, restaurants, boutique shops, plus compelling museums and hotels. Stockholm holidays are as wild as they are cultured, as adventure is just a stone’s throw away from the city, whether that’s in the 30,000 surrounding islands ripe for kayaking, sailing and hiking, or the ancient forest of Tyresta National Park, just 12 miles from the capital, which is rich in animal life and packed with biking and walking trails.
Who is Stockholm best for?
For couples, solo travellers and families on the lookout for a city break that mixes culture and history with a large dose of outdoor exploration, Stockholm holidays are just the ticket. Tour the Vasa Museum and see children’s eyes widen at the story of the king’s ship that lay at the bottom of the ocean for hundreds of years; stop for coffee and sample some of the city’s finest baked goods then embark on a safari in Tyresta National Park and get on the trail of wild boars, deer, foxes, hares and moose. Outdoor enthusiasts can kayak around the archipelago, go biking on numerous islands, hike in ancient forests, or if you’re visiting between December and March, experience some of the best ice skating conditions on earth and head off on an ice skating tour on natural ice.