Home to world’s first-ever ice-bar and largest-spherical building, Sweden glitters in stride with the most futuristic trends to follow. While Stockholm, the renowned capital is all set, to blow away your mind with its heritage and cultural wonders. From food adventures to musical enclaves, we explored everything Stockholm has to offer to its first-time visitors. In between exploring the landmarks, we indulged in the local Swedish meatballs, lingonberry jam, and crayfish feast which was a refreshing break from the European cuisine we have been tasting all this while. Even though what truly connected us to the true essence of Sweden was taking the long leisurely walks on the cobblestone alleyways or the marina bay.
The aimless sauntering allowed us to capture pictures of the old ochre-colored houses, musical and theatrical parks and significant landmarks symbolizing Sweden’s national romanticism. Our exploration shortlisted these 5 places you must visit in Stockholm to get to know the city and Swedes better.
1. Stockholm Town Hall Noble Prize Venue
Situated on the island of Kungsholmen, Stockholm Town Hall is a grand Noble Prize Venue gleaming across the streets of Hantverkargatan. Featuring 3 starlet towers all it takes to get to the top of Stockholm Town Hall is 365 stairs or an elevator ride. For my first time, I don’t know if I was mesmerized by the interiors or the fact that I was inside a Noble Prize Venue. Which, is graced by the presence of noble laureates and the King of Sweden on 10th of December each year. From aesthetically decorated Swedish poles, rich history, Blue and Golden Halls to a structure built from 8 million blocks, Stockholm Town Hall is far beyond the traditional modernism.
Read More: Inside Stockholm City Hall Noble Prize Venue
It’s common to fall in love with the Oriental-Venetian engineering, elemental courtyards, and arcades with spectacular bricked walls. Even though, Golden Hall’s wall painting and the Blue Hall’s organ is what you must look out for eventually. The Blue Hall organ contains 10,270 pipes which makes it the largest of all in Scandinavia.
2. Vasa Ship Museum
Vasa Ship Museum takes you straight to the 16th-century era when Vasa Ship set-on-sail for the first time. Although, the ship sank within a few hours of its maiden voyage, only, to be discovered again on a seabed after three centuries. Built for Gustavus Adolphus, then King of Sweden, Vasa Ship was fitted with best of bronze cannons and ornamentations. Therefore, it was astonishing to find out that even after 333 years, the ship arrived almost intact on the shoreline. Vasamuseet (Vasa Museum) is where you get a glimpse of both the ship as well as, thousands of artefacts rescued with it. Widely recognized as the ideogram of the great power-period, Vasa is one ship which lets you evaluate the historical significance of Swedish shipwrecks.
3. Stockholm Royal Palace
The 13th-century Stockholm Palace (the Swedish Kungliga Slottet) is the official royal residence of the Swedish monarch. Situated in Gamla Stan locality of Stockholm, the Palace represents the centre of King’s official duties. The Palace itself is a magnificent creation designed by architect Nicodemus Tessin in the sixteenth century. Further renovated in the 17th-century, this Palace features both the ancient as well as, the modern interiors. Taking a trip down this Palace is as good as walking the red carpet like the regents. The Rococo style majestic interiors feature grand facades decorated with wall-sized paintings, regal antique furniture, and guarded artefacts designed only and only for the Royals. Stockholm Royal Palace tells you everything you need to know about Sweden and that too without uttering a word. I kept walking in silence while the grandeur kept unfolding at every corner.
4. Ericsson Globen Arena
Ericsson Globen Arena is Earth’s largest hemispherical building. That’s one great reason to visit, other being the spectacular Stockholm views you get to observe from it’s rooftop. Interestingly, this multi-purpose venue also represents the Sun of the Swedish Solar System. Which, apparently is the largest scale model of the Solar System in the World. From a concert venue where artists like Michael Jackson and Jon Bon Jove have performed to a Gondola house that gives you a glimpse of Stockholm in a gist, Globen Arena is everything you will never expect it to be. If you are visiting Stockholm anytime soon, this is one venue you must certainly visit.
5. The Absolut Ice Bar
You can cover all the above landmarks in a matter of hours. However, at the end of the day hit up the ‘Absolut-Ice-Bar’ to re-energize body and soul. Frequented by Hollywood celebrities this Icy-Bar features furnishings and gizmos built from pure Ice harvested from the river of Torne. What more, you even get a drink complimentary with your entry pass. But, the fun begins when you order sizzling appetizers served to you on freezing ice bowls. An evening at Absolut Ice Bar is how you should ideally wrap up your Stockholm trip.
Do share your favourite spots in Stockholm and places you think I should visit on my next trip.