As the capital of Sweden, Stockholm acts as a microcosm of the surrounding country and conserves heritage while constantly innovating through art, architecture, and balancing traditional style with contemporary charm. With so many activities, landmarks, galleries, and cultural highlights to choose from, here are the 8 best historical places to visit in Stockholm.
The remains of the massive 17th-century ship for which the gallery is named is the focal point of the Vasa Museum. The impressively large ship was constructed during the era of the Stockholm Kingdom and was intended to become a floating fortress to conquer new lands during the age of Western European colonial expansion.
To the kingdom’s dismay, the ship sank to the bottom of the Saltsjön Bay in the Baltic Sea minutes after setting sail. Marine archeologists uncovered thousands of artifacts while excavating the massive vessel and assembled the giant ship with approximately 14,000 individual pieces like a puzzle for visitors to view and learn more about.
The Royal Palace of Stockholm, also known as the Kungliga Slottet, is one of Europe’s largest palatial complexes and dates back to the 17th-century. Lavish Baroque and Rococo designs embellish each room, and opulent furnishings adorn their walls. Galleries such as the Armory and Royal Stable showcase the elaborate collections of royal costumes and glinting armor, as well as coronation carriages and remarkable coaches fit for royalty.
Stockholm’s Royal Palace befits the regal ambiance of His Majesty the King of Sweden, the noble family, and government buildings, including Parliament, the Royal Press Office, and the Royal Chapel.
Fjallgatan is a street in Stockholm famous for its panoramic views of the harbor and the surrounding historical architecture. Well-preserved wooden buildings dating back to the 18th century surround the viewpoints along Fjallgatan, and the Kaffestuga Café provides patrons with a charming atmosphere filled with the aroma of spices accentuating the neighboring beauty.
The brilliant scenes of land and sea continue to draw locals and visitors to the vibrant viewpoint in summer when the grass shines an emerald color, the flowers blossom, and the water possesses a cobalt sheen.
The Skansen Open-Air Museum attracts visitors and residents of Stockholm alike with a vibrant setting encompassing the oldest open-air museum in the world. The complex represents Sweden in miniature form, hosting 150 farms and homes highlighting both the diversity of culture from around the country in addition to Sweden’s historical evolution.
The gallery was opened in the late-19th century to highlight the nature, villages, commerce, and industry of each region of Sweden. Many visitors enjoy the glass-blowing demonstrations, fresh-baked Swedish pastries, and visiting the elk, reindeer, brown bears, and wolves.
Stockholm’s modern art museum has a fantastic permanent collection of sculptures and photography, video installations, and paintings. With a diverse range of contemporary masters like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol on display, visitors can also explore artists from the art worlds of Scandinavia and Russia.
The museum also stages temporary exhibitions and is backdropped by fantastic views of the Saltsjön’s waters. The galleries and sculpture park often boast advanced installations with screenings, talks, and audio-visual events that will elevate your experience of the Moderna Museet.
The past and present of Sweden come to life in the Nordiska Museet, the largest cultural history museum in Sweden. Its galleries display the fashion, textiles, furniture, and traditional customs of Sweden’s heritage found in tangible artifacts, replicas, and photographs.
The eclectic architectural aesthetic of the building dates back to the early 20th-century, and it brags a significant Renaissance design similar to a castle with large open spaces. Inside, you will find sacred Sami objects, paintings by August Strindberg, and other artifacts comprising a collection of approximately 1.5 million pieces dating back to the 16th-century.
Stockholm’s City Library, Stadsbiblioteket, is an ode to modern architectural brilliance and stands as a symbol of Swedish Grace. This distinct aesthetic from the 1920s saw architects combined neoclassical elements with timeless proportions, luxuriously hand-crafted materials, and multi-layered objects.
You can wander the upper levels and peer down into the lower collections that host approximately 2 million books and over 2.4 million tapes. In addition to the magnificent collection of books, the grand design of the library makes Stockholm’s City Library one of the unique destinations to visit when exploring Sweden.
Stockholm's Metro Art Gallery has not only provided stunning works in transport hubs across the city since 1941 but also doubles as the world's longest art gallery spread across approximately 90 stations. The elaborate installations work like a vision of mobile art where commuters and visitors can find intricate mosaics, stunning paintings, detailed sculptures, and meticulous installations.
Art within the metro stations adds to the city's architectural details, turning each destination into a modern-day work of art where you can discover secrets, surprises, and hidden images during your travels through Stockholm.
If you wish to dive into Sweden’s fascinating culture and heritage, these are a few of the best historical places that you can visit, and your travel specialist can help you plan the perfect exploration of Stockholm. Plan your trip today by completing a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.