Stockholm is most certainly the crown jewel of Swedish cities. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what it is that makes it so special, but my guess is that it is the perfect combination of a number of things, from its natural geography among thousands of islands, its stunning, colorful architecture, and its cozy neighborhoods.
Situated on the rocky coast of the Baltic Sea, the city’s stoic architecture has a presence so strong that, especially when seen from the water, looks almost inpenetrable. The austerity of the architecture is not unlike the Swedes themselves; strong, seemingly unemotional, and not always the friendliest of folks. (And I can say that because I’m Swedish!)
The architecture of Stockholm has strong, clean lines.
The oldest part of the city, “Gamla Stan”, while over-run with tourists during much of the year, is nevertheless a must-see. Its narrow, crooked streets date back to the 13th century, and the colorful stuccoed buildings are unlike anything you will see in other European cities.
Colorful stucco’ed buildings of Gamla Stan
Other parts of Stockholm worth exploring are Sodermalm and Kungsholmen. These two neighborhoods are less “touristy”, and both neighborhoods have taken on the reputation of being trendier, artsier, and filled with superb restaurants and shops.
A church in Kungsholmen.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded at the Statehouse each year.
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, Stockholm is surrounded by thousands of islands(over 24,ooo to be exact), forming one of the most famous and most stunning archipelagos in the world. Swedes come here for day trips and month-long summer holidays. In less than two hours, one is transported from the bustle of city life to the simplicity of island calm. The islands vary in level of development, from completely rustic to fully modernized.
A trip to one of the islands transports visitors to another time and place.
This concludes our series on Swedish Style. Hopefully you learned a few things about Swedish architecture and understated simplicity that is the Swedish way of life.
Hej hej, Sverige, until next time!