With its colorfully painted townhouses and winding cobblestone alleyways, Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town is one of the city’s most charming districts and the small island is buzzing with activity both day and night. Located right at the heart of the city center and linked by bridge to the main islands of Norrmalm and Sodermalm, Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s most historic district, dating back to 1252 and renowned as one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval centers.
One of Stockholm’s most popular art museums, the Moderna Museet houses one of Sweden’s largest collections of Swedish and International modern and contemporary art. Situated on the central island of Skeppsholmen, beside the Museum of Architecture, the museum’s striking glass façade and spacious, naturally lit interiors are the handiwork of renowned Spanish architect Rafael Moneo.
From the notorious Viking warriors to the merchant shipping boom of the 19th century, Stockholm has a long and colorful maritime history, and there are few more impressive examples of its naval prowess than the Vasa Ship Museum. Opened in 1990 on the island of Djurgarden, Stockholm’s Vasa Museum is now Sweden’s most popular museum, drawing over 1 million annual visitors.
The festive season is a magical time to visit Stockholm, but spending Christmas in the Swedish capital can be pricey. Thankfully, there are also plenty of free things to do in Stockholm over the holidays, so you can save your dollars for a night in Sweden’s famous Ice Hotel or a trip to see Santa in Lapland.
Sweden’s self-proclaimed ‘Christmas City’ is an atmospheric place to spend the holidays and with its dramatically illuminated shop fronts and traditional festive markets, Christmas shopping in Gothenburg is a popular choice for both locals and tourists.
Both an island and a borough, Stockholm’s Södermalm district is the city’s bohemian center, a hip area crammed with independent art galleries, vintage boutiques and lively nightclubs. Södermalm is among of the largest of the central islands, linked by bridge to the old town of Gamla Stan, the small islands of Långholmen and Reimersholme, and the start of the Stockholm archipelago.