Stockholm, the Jewel of the North

Category: Travel Chronicle
Location: Stockholm ( Sweden )

Norstedts book publishing company Norstedts book publishing company

Stockholm, so-called Venice of the North, is Sweden's capital, and the largest city in the Nordic countries.

The city sits in a series of islands where the freshwater Lake Mlaren meets the Baltic sea. Actually, 'Holme' means islet in Swedish.

Cold morning view of Gamla Stan, Stockholm's old town. Cold morning view of Gamla Stan, Stockholm's old town.

Gamla Stan is the name that Stockholm's old town receives, meaning literally 'Old Town'. It's located in a central island. Its tight shop-filled labyrinthine old streets remind more of Western European central quarters, like Barcelona's Gothic quarter, than those of a Nordic city.

Jrntorget square in Gamla Stan. Jrntorget square in Gamla Stan.

As any big old European capital, Stockholm is filled with all kinds of monumental buildings, again with a Western European touch, but with Scandinavian soul.

Being Sweden a Kingdom, one can't avoid visiting the Royal Palace, where the Royal Armoury is displayed, and it's guard change.

Guard change in the Royal Palace Guard change in the Royal Palace

But that's just the beginning, there's plenty of museums to visit, like the Fotografiska photography museum, Historiska history museum, Armé army museum, etc.

Specially appealing is the island of Djurgården, where the Gröna Lund amusement park, the Nordiska and Vaasa museums are located as well as the impressive Skansen open-air museum (my favourite by far).

And of course, for anyone that fancies high-standard shopping, there's Biblioteksgatan, where you can find items of the best luxurious trademarks.

Biblioteksgatan in central Stockholm Biblioteksgatan in central Stockholm