Stockholm is an exciting blend of the old and the new. You'll find minimalist design as well as baroque castles, all in a walkable city with great shopping — particularly for those with a soft spot for clean design and playful use of color — plus fabulous museums, and gorgeous parks.
What We Love
Skansen: This open-air museum and zoo is filled with 19th-century buildings that have been moved from other parts of Sweden to celebrate a simpler time. There are 150 houses and farmsteads, as well as a rose garden, fields full of crops, and an 18th-century wooden church. You can even see how the Swedes wove yarn and made shoes.
Ostermalms Saluhall: This 19th-century market is made up of cafes, bars, and food stalls that sell all the Nordic delicacies you can imagine. Among the colorful fruit and vegetable stands, look for butchers specializing in game, which could include elk and reindeer, as well as more exotic meats, such as bear. Grab a coffee or, if you're there for lunch, an open-faced sandwich, a plate of Swedish meatballs bathed in a rich brown sauce, or a tray of oysters on ice. Then set off on an expedition for souvenirs such as lingonberry jam.
Best Known For
The Royal Palace of Stockholm: The city's baroque palace isn't just a showpiece, it's actually the home of the Swedish Royal Family. Still, you can watch the daily changing of the guard, complete with a performance by a military band on horseback. Then tour several museums — full of armor and costumes — as well as palace guest apartments.
Old Town: Wander through this warren of winding, narrow cobblestone streets for a look at the most charming, historic part of the city. Look for antique shops and frescoes that date back to the middle ages, and bars that serve aquavit.
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Who It's Best For
Culture Vultures: This city has more museums than you could ever visit on a cruise; art and history lovers can get lost in the richness and sophistication of the city.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
The Dollar Doesn't Go Far Here: Expect to shell out big bucks everywhere you go, from department stores to restaurants, and even museums, which have steep entrance fees.
Sarah Rose is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for The Wall Street Journal.