Surrounded by forests and water, Stockholm has the feel of a small town. The royal capital of Sweden is actually a collection of islands linked by bridges. To the east, the Baltic Sea bustles with ferries and ships. To the west, Lake Malaren provides plenty of space for water sports and sailing. Stockholm's residents seem to be more a part of a small community than a sophisticated European city. But they are intensely proud of their city.
Stockholm travel, Sweden Tourist Attractions
Stockholmers have good reason to be proud. Their city's blue waters are so unpolluted that swimming and fishing are possible in the city center. Fishermen catch trout and salmon near the Royal Palace. Swimmers can take a dip within view of the Old Town. This experience is a small miracle that few cities can offer.
Stockholm is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful national capitals in the world. The Old Town in summer is particularly spectacular and walking around the city''s waterways and parks is a glorious way to spend a week-long stretch of European summer.
Almost two million people live in greater Stockholm, and over 15% of them are immigrants. Just stroll through the quaint streets, and you''ll hear everything from Polish to Japanese. The city''s royal residences include the largest palace in the world still in use.
This lovely, lively city, with its maritime bent and international flavour, is a magnet for tourists. It is ideally situated for trade connections, with the 24,000 islands protecting the urban islands from the open seas. In fact, the city Stockholm attractions is best seen from the water.
Stockholm is built on islands, except for the modern centre, focused on the ugly Sergels Torg. This business and shopping hub is linked by a network of subways to Centralstationen . The subways link with the metro stations.
Most of Sweden has a cool temperate climate, with precipitation in all seasons, but the southern quarter of the country has a warm temperate climate. Sweden is shielded from rainy Atlantic weather systems and can be influenced by high pressure over Russia, giving fine weather instead. Stockholm has an average of about nine hours of sunshine daily from May to July.Colosseum in Rome
The Summer Music Festival, held from late May through August at the Drottningholms Court Theatre, celebrates opera, classical music and ballets by featuring productions that use historical, original instruments.
Each November, the Stockholm International Film Festival offers new filmmakers a competitive forum in which to strut their stuff. A relative newcomer to the scene and one of the few 24-hour film festivals in existence, this event has become one of Europe''s Stockholm tourism most important film competitions. The Stockholm Jazz Festival blows through town in mid-July.
Kungliga Slottet is the largest royal castle in the world still used for its original purpose. It was constructed on the site of the ''old'' royal castle, Tre Kronor, which burned down in 1697. The walls of the north wing of the castle survived and were incorporated in the new palace, but the medieval designs are now concealed by a baroque exterior.
The new palace, which has 608 rooms, was designed by the court architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, and wasn''t completed until 57 years after the fire.
Since water defines Stockholm in so many ways, no visitor should miss a tour by boat. Tour boats pass by many of Stockholm's beautiful bridges, palaces and churches. One of the most famous tours is named "Under the Bridges of Stockholm."
The typical boat tour includes the Old Town, or Gamla Stan. Situated on an island, this old city center still looks like a medieval city. The 608-room Royal Palace houses the Royal Armory and the Royal Treasury. The Treasury includes underground rooms where the Crown Jewels are on display. In the State Apartments, the Writing Room of King Oskar II has remained untouched since his death in 1907. The nearby Stockholm Cathedral displays ancient wooden carvings. The 700-year-old Riddarholm Church is the Stockholm attractions traditional burial place for Swedish kings. Besides historical attractions, Gamla Stan also offers chic shops and world-class restaurants.
After leaving the Old Town, the boat tour also goes by City Hall on Lake Malaren. The building's large square tower rises from the corner facing the water's edge. Here the king and queen of Sweden look on each year as the Nobel Prize winners receive their awards. The elegant interior includes the famous Blue Room, where the Nobel banquet takes place.
On the city's Baltic side, the tour takes visitors past the Skansen Museum. Skansen is an outdoor "Sweden in miniature." The 80-acre park has sections representing the different regions of the country. The visitor can wander from Lapland in the north to Skane in the south. A stroll through the park also takes the visitor through five centuries of Swedish history. Resident craftsmen demonstrate some traditional trades: glass blowing, pottery making and printing. An animal park provides a close-up look at wolves, reindeer and elk, as well as typical farm animals.
Also on the Baltic side of the city, the Wasa Museum, the home of the flagship Wasa, stands near the water's edge. Once the pride of the Swedish navy, the ship sank on its maiden voyage. Now restored, it is a perfect example of a 17th-century seagoing vessel. The thousands of everyday objects recovered with the ship give a fascinating picture of daily life in Sweden 300 years ago.
After a boat tour of the city, the next step should be a trip to some of the 24,000 islands in the beautiful Stockholm archipelago. Some are just rocks; others are green with forests. Many have small villages and country homes. Everyone is welcome to fish, swim and camp.
As the "Venice of the North," Stockholm takes water seriously. Every August, the city goes all out for the Stockholm Water Festival. The festival sports events and other activities go on 24 hours a day: swimming championships, marathons, music, art and dancing. In the evenings, fireworks light up the sky. The King awards the Stockholm Water Prize for the most outstanding contribution to water conservation. By Stockholm travel preserving its precious natural resource, Stockholm has become one of the most pristine cities in the world. It has every reason to celebrate.