Change the famed lyric “I am a rock /I am an island,” around to “I rock/I am 14 islands,” and you might be writing a song about Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city. This awesome urban archipelago is a mecca of design and culture. Set out on foot, or navigate through the ultra amazing, artistic subway stations to explore this city’s smorgasbord of sights!
1. You can write you friends a postcard saying, “I’M ON A BOATEL!” when you stay at the Af Chapman Hostel. This fun hostel is lodged partially in a building ashore (that was once used to store the royal castle’s firewood) and partially in a large boat. If you book early enough to ensure yourself a cabin on board, you b anything but bored by your experience!
2. In 1628, the ornately carved Vasa was geared up for her maiden voyage, sails flying, wood shining. She began to sail, buoyed on by the cheers of the admiring crowd when, suddenly, after a mere 1300 meters, she tipped over and sank. And so, the ship remained until 1961 when it was heaved out of the water. Now, you can visit this majestic old ship at the well-curated Vasa Museum!
3. Wake up early, and wind over to Gamala Stan, Stockholm’s old town, to spend the morning soaking up the sun and marveling at the 18th and 19th-century architecture. As the afternoon creeps up, visit the Royal Palace where, at precisely noon, the castle’s guards pomp and circumstance around in a changing of the guards ceremony. Before you head off the island, stop at Chokladkoppen for what some claim is the world’s best hot chocolate!
4. Want to see some novel architecture? Take a trip to the Stockholm Public Library. Three impressive wood-trimmed tiers of books spiral around the library’s rotunda, creating a visual poem of design.
5. Even if you’re no history buff, Skansen is a delightful way to pass the afternoon. This open-air museum is dappled with original examples of historic, traditional Swedish buildings, and is operated by a staff dressed in period costume. Stop at the bakery to buy a steaming, fresh kanelbulle, and be sure to take in a demonstration or two — say, glassblowing or loom weaving — at the lodge houses.
Are you stoked about Stockholm? Share your thoughts!