I visited Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, in the summer of 2011 and absolutely loved my time here. The beautiful canals and clean, open streets, and the fact that the sun shone the whole time I was there left me with a great impression of this city.
There are many attractions worth visiting in the city such as the imposing city hall which is the location of the annual Nobel Peace Prize banquet. You can take a guided tour around the interior of the hall which I think would be best as the guides are very knowledgeable and give you a lot of information that you would otherwise be unaware of.
|Stockholm City Hall|
Every year after a sumptuous dinner in Blå hallen, the Blue Hall, Nobel Prize recipients, royalty and special guests dance in Gyllene salen, the Golden Hall, which is decorated in over 18 million gold mosaic tiles and is a definite must see. The sheer size of the hall covered in glittering golden mosaics is stunning and very impressive.
The beautiful mosaic interior
Whilst in Stockholm I also took a boat trip on the archipelago which I found to be a fabulously easy way to see the city. Most of the boat trips offer a hop-on, hop-off service stopping at places such as the wonderful
which houses the wreck of the Vasa warship which sunk on its maiden voyage and
lay at the bottom of the sea for more than 300 years before being brought to
the surface. The sails of the Vasa warship have been incorporated into the structure of the museum and can now be seen protruding from the top of the building cleverly intertwining modern architecture and an old shipwreck to create a truly unique museum. Vasa Museum
|The Vasa Museum|
There is also a theme park- Tivoli Grona Lund which I personally didn't get to visit but it looked great fun from what I saw as I sailed past on my boat trip around the archipelago.
Stockholm Palace, the official residence of the king of Sweden, which dates back to the 18th Century is another great place to visit in the city. You can witness the changing of the guards, the Högvakten, around lunchtime but the precise timings vary according to the season so it's best to find out before you arrive at the palace.
|One of the Högvakten|
My favourite part of the Palace by far was the Slottskyrkan, or The Royal Chapel. The magnificent white and gold interior has the organs as a striking feature above the altar and I found it absolutely beautiful and quite different to what I had expected from the outside which is rather unassuming.
|The interior of The Royal Chapel|
It is very easy to walk past The Royal Chapel as when I was there I only stumbled upon it by chance but it's definitely well worth seeking out. There are occasional organ concerts here which I imagine would be amazing as it is such a beautiful setting and the music would only add to that.