StockholmBuilt across 14 islands, Stockholmers fondly refer to their fair city as ‘beauty on water’, and for good reason. Linked by bridges, ferries or the tunnelbana (metro), travelers can take in plenty by wandering the cobbled streets on foot, with lots to explore from end to end. Gamla Stan, or the Old Town, is a must-visit spot for those who fancy being drawn into a real-life fairytale. From the royal palace—home of the country’s monarch—to charming gable-style buildings, this architectural wonderland is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most enchanting and exquisitely preserved historic centers. Across town, world-class museums and galleries are brimming with glittering treasures that vary from Viking artifacts, and an ill-fated warship, to memorabilia from the Swedish-born Abba, and rebellious contemporary art.
For some greener respite, the forested and sparsely populated island of Djurgården (Deer Park) sits less than two miles to the east of Old Town. Drenched in parklands and zigzagged with bicycle paths, it's a welcome retreat from the hum drum of the more densely packed neighborhoods of Södermalm, and Norrmalm. While in the area, check out Skansen, an open-air museum depicting life in Sweden through the ages.