Stockholm resonates with culture and elegance.
Historic buildings and beautiful parks line the waterways of what is often described as the Venice of the North. Whether you are in search of recreation, relaxation or inspiration, Sweden’s capital has it all. These are the choices which should not be missed from any visit to the city.
MARIEFRED AND LAKE MÄLAREN
A little outside Stockholm, Lake Mälaren is a must for anyone wanting to relax and explore the surrounding landscape.
Two luxury steamboats have been plying their routes through the beautiful islands and still waters for over 100 years and can take you to the royal palace of Drottningholm, or even further afield to the tiny lakeside retreat of Mariefred. A city of less than 4,000 inhabitants, its quiet charms perfectly complement the peacefulness of the lake. Another royal estate can be explored from here, the castle of Gripsholm, widely regarded as one of Sweden’s finest historical treasures. A heritage steam railway is also maintained from Mariefred, and features the most extensive preserved network of 600 mm narrow-gauge railway in the world.
At the Moderna Museet you will find one of Europe’s most distinguished collections of modern and contemporary art with key works from the hands of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Henri Matisse, Meret Oppenheim and many others.
Containing paintings, sculptures, installations, film and video, drawings and graphic art, the Collection comprises Swedish and international art from the entire 19th century to today. The Moderna Museet opened in 1958 in the building which today houses the Arkitekturmuseet (Museum of Architecture). The new building, designed by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, was inaugurated in 1998. Today, the Moderna Museet is the most visited art museum in Sweden.
One of the highlights of any stay in Stockholm is a trip to the Vasa Museum.
It features an expansive collection of the maritime history of the country, and is the most visited museum in Scandanavia. Its crowning glory is the preserved wreck of the Vasa warship which sank on its maiden voyage from the city in 1628. It is the only example of a seventeenth century ship on display anywhere in the world. The unique historical experience is complemented by the exceptional services offered by the institution. A fabulous banquet hall surrounds the ship exhibit providing a unique venue for celebrations and events.
The permanent residence of the Swedish royal family and the first site in the country to achieve World Heritage status, Drottningholm is a magnificent example of 17th century splendor.
The palace is one of the finest of the royal estates and has now opened a selection of its doors for viewings. The estate was originally commissioned by Queen Hedvig Eleonora and has since been expanded by several royal personages. Within the grounds of the beautiful park is the Drottningholm Slottsteater, the best preserved eighteenth century theater in Europe. Every summer the venue holds an opera festival where the original stage machinery can be seen in dramatic use. The situation of the palace along the banks of Lake Mälaren makes its access from the water a delightful option. There are two luxurious preserved steamboats which regularly convey visitors from Stockholm and include a lunch on the lake.
Hagaparken, or simply Haga, has been favoured by Swedish royalty for centuries.
The park was created by King Gustav III in the 1770s as the grounds for his royal palace. After his murder in 1792 the palace was never completed and stands as a grand ruin in the stately grounds. Situated in a northern Stockholm suburb, it has long been the preserve of the privileged seeking to step out of the city and enjoy nature. An attractive feature is the Butterfly House, a tropical oasis throughout the year filled with hundreds of free-flying specimens from all over the world. The surrounding grounds also feature an expansive lake and botanical gardens to explore and enjoy.
Gamla Stan and its neighbouring island of Riddarholmen are like a living museum of medieval Stockholm, with winding cobblestone streets overlooked by the ancient edifices of the city’s past.
The fairytale appearance of the area in winter is complemented by the sympathetically designed cafés, bars and shops. Several beautiful churches punctuate Gamla Stan, but the highlight for many is the Royal Palace. One of the largest in the world, the official seat of Swedish royalty boasts over 600 rooms and a reception room modeled on the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. A daily spectacle at the palace is the changing of the guard, offering visitors the chance to experience royal regalia first hand.
A distinctive feature of Stockholm’s skyline, the Ericsson globe is the largest hemispherical building in the world and Sweden’s national indoor arena.
The venue hosts a number of the biggest events in the country including Stockholm Ice, the LG Ice Hockey games and the annual sports ceremony. In 2010 the Globe also opened a new attraction. A funicular gondola now traverses the peak of the dome, offering uninterrupted views across the city for private groups. The venue offers several exclusive packages to its clients and those interested in a uniquely special experience should contact the VIP consultant.
BALLOON FLIGHT OVER STOCKHOLM
Available year round but best from May to September
A graceful balloon flight over Stockholm will be just the way to gain an exclusive appreciation of this fantastic city. Upp & Nerr offers personally tailored packages for couples and groups looking for a special experience. The flights are ideal for viewing famous landmarks such as the Royal Palace and the distinctive Ericsson Globe along the Stockholm skyline. The VIP package includes a private car, champagne reception and picnic, followed by a private balloon flight in which the pilot travels in another balloon behind to ensure that you and your party can enjoy the unique experience in greater seclusion.
This opulent 19th century palace was inspired by North Italian Renaissance architecture and designed by Friedrich August Stüler, famed for the Neues Museum in Berlin.
It houses some half a million drawings dating from the Middle Ages to 1900, including those of the Dutch master, Rembrandt. Visitors come in particular to see Alexander Roslin’s The Lady with the Veil and the sculpture of Cupid and Psyche by the renowned 18th-century artist, John Tobias Sergel. The National is the perfect place to start an exploration of Stockholm’s cultural heritage.