As a chic centre that draws filmmakers, designers, musicians and catwalk models like moths to a flame, this tiny capital is the perfect host. Pricy and intimate, the ancient influences take nothing away from its intensely fashionable and up to the minute vibe. There’s plenty of beauty here. The entire city is propped up across fourteen different islands, and wherever you turn you’ll find city-center fisherman and waves rolling down the channels.
In fact, you’ll find each island has its own unique character to uncover although many of them lie barely meters apart. Ostermalm, for example, has a reputation as the posh island with streets lined with still more boutiques up market cafes and grandiose buildings than the average Stockholm street. Old Town is the historical heartland, as the spot on which the original city was built, and has some intimate and narrow streets that date back to the 13th century, where you can reach out your arms and touch the crumbling walls on either side.
If you’re a bit of a culture vulture, you’ll soon be overwhelmed with startling options. Stockholm hides over 100 museums, each with their own specialty. The Vasa Museum is perhaps the best, built around the wreck site of a 17th century warship. The mast’s still poke from the cleverly designed roof. At the other end of the ancient scale, there’s the Kungliga Slottet, a 608-room opulent castle that used to house the king, though now it’s more of an official meeting destination.
Skansen is the perfect family attraction, home to both traditional houses and a Nordic animal zoo. If you prefer to take in some wilder nature, hop on a boat tour through the archipelago, a sandy, tide-stricken stretch of islands that reach out most of the way to Finland.
All in all, you’ll find an alluring and impressively modern piece of Scandinavia that comes with a hefty price tag, but if you’re at all interested in fashion, art, or old romantic rustic cities, you’ll probably leave with an entirely different kind of Stockholm Syndrome.
The Changing of Guards at the castle is worth a look as well and attracts plenty of tourists and locals.