The City of Stockholm is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Beautiful and relatively pollution-free, Stockholm is a city of music and art, entertainment and amusement, culture and diversity. Even the city’s subway is a culture center, having been given the nickname “the world’s longest art gallery.”
Stockholm contains over 129 art galleries, 96 movie theaters, 70 museums, 66 churches, 57 theaters, two dance theaters, several concert halls, and the Royal Opera and Ballet. It is impossible in this small space to list all the attractions and activities available to visitors. Nevertheless, we can mention some of the most popular highlights at the Ports of Stockholm.
Gamla Stan, The Old City, is mainly on the island of Stadsholmen. This is the original 14th Century Stockholm. Today, about three thousand people live there. Most of the buildings in Gamla Stan are from the 18th and 19th Centuries, but they are all dominated by the King’s Castle. Gamla Stan also has the most choices in restaurants, studios, museums, and tourist shops as well as wonderful paths to take a foot tour of the oldest part of the city. Gamla Stan combines the old with the new Stockholm, so expect to see a lot of tourists.
Every December 10th, the Ports of Stockholm celebrates the world’s most excellent thinkers at the Nobel Prize Festival. It is on that day that the Nobel prizes for literature, physics, medicine, economics, and chemistry are presented before the King and Queen of Sweden. (The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway before that country’s King.) During the festival, the laureates present Nobel Lectures in the days before the Award Ceremony.
The Ports of Stockholm’s Vasa Museum contains the 17th Century royal warship, the Vasa, that sank in 1628 and was salvaged from the ocean floor 333 years later in 1961. Sinking just after it was launched, the Vasa is the only of its kind in the world. Almost completely preserved, the ship is a definite must-see, especially because it is unknown whether and how long the current preservation methods will maintain her current condition. The facility is equipped for those who are not physically able to walk all levels of the ship, so no one will miss out on the treat.
The Ports of Stockholm’s Historical Museum tells the story of 10 thousand years of Swedish history, focusing on the Vikings. The museum contains unique finds from Sweden’s first town, Brika, as well as many of the finest wooden sculptures and handicrafts in Northern Europe. Free guided tours are conducted in English at 1pm every day in the summer. Here, visitors will find objects from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. The museum tells the story by looking at eight different lives of people who lived in the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. The Gold Room contains a total of 52 kilograms of gold and more than 200 kilograms of silver in some of the most beautiful jewelry objects in the world. It even contains a replica of a Medieval church where visitors learn about Saint Birgitta. A trip through the Historical Museum calls for at least half a day, if not much more, in a busy schedule.
The 21st Century is also represented in the Ports of Stockholm’s Cosmonova, a new attraction in the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet. This planetarium includes a wonderful omni-theater and the world’s biggest film format. Cosmonova is the only IMAX7 theater, and it plays digital 3D films. The digital planetarium takes visitors on a mesmerizing trip into outer space.
Travelers who want to see the Ports of Stockholm by sea can find a long list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.