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Stockholm Travel Guide - Sights and Museums
Stockholm spreads over 14 separate islands, each connected by bridges. It, as well as the rest of Sweden, has been untouched by war for over 200 years. There is neither public graft nor any noticeable poverty. Tourists are always surprised to learn that Stockholm has as many museums as Paris. One needs a minimum of 3 full days to really see Stockholm.

Transportation: Busses and subway (tunnelbana)... marked by a large blue "T". A 1,2,3 day unlimited pass is excellent and it also admits one to most attractions. The Stockholm Card, while a bit pricey is the most convenient way to go. Just flash the card everywhere. Taxi's are very expensive and should generally be avoided. On Public Transportation, one can transfer as often as desired within a one-hour period. Always check for the senior discount -50% cheaper.

Wasa Museum (Wasavaret): Located on the island of Djurgarden, this museum houses the warship Wasa, which was resurrected from the bottom of the harbor in 1961, after it had lain there for over 300 years. The ship has been housed in a special building with controlled temperature, which allowed it to gradually "dry out" without falling apart. The building was quite humid. However, restoration is now complete and it's possible to visit the ship without being uncomfortable. This musuem is the most visited attraction in Sweden. Take bus 44 or 47 from Mybroplan and ask the conductor to stop near the Wasa. (You'll notice the unique shape of the building - like a ship - as you approach). You can also take trolley 7 from the Royal Theatre, or the ferry from Mybroplan. Daily 9:30-6:00.

Skansen: This is a unique open-air museum near the Wasa Museum. There are more than 150 ancient farmhouses, huts, 16th century churches, etc located here. They were once scattered all over the country. They were moved here to preserve and to maintain them as a heritage for the nation. It's like no other part in the world... with a very natural feeling about it. The "staff" is dressed in native costumes and are extremely friendly. You've never seen so many blondes in your life. This is the best open-air museum in Scandinavia. Take bus 44 or 47 from Nybroplan... or trolley 7 from Royal Theatre, or ferry from Slussen. Daily 8-11:30 PM.

Nordic Museum: Also near the Wasa Museum. This museum houses an impressive collection of implements, costumes, and furnishings depicting life in Sweden from the 1500's to the present. It is the most outstanding museum of national life in Scandinavia with over one million objects. Tu-Fr 10-4, Fr-Sa 12-5. Closed Monday.

National Museum: This is a very good museum with some top masterpieces. What one really goes to see is the room full of Rembrandts and Rubens, plus some first-rate pieces by the Impressionists. The museum is located near the Grand Hotel and is open daily except Monday 11-5. Free on Tuesday.

Museum of Modern Art: There's a good collection here - works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, The Cubists, and the Surrealists. The museum is located on Skeppsholmen Island. Cross the bridge opposite the National Museum and then walk past the church until you spot a "moving sculpture". Open daily except Monday 11-9. (You can also take bus 65 from Central Station to Skeppsholmen Island... or T-Bahn to Kungstradgar + a 10 minute walk).

City Hall (Stadshuset): This is considered to be the finest example of modern architecture in Europe, but don't be fooled by the word "modern" . Completed in 1923, the redbrick structure is dominated by a lofty square-tower, 348 feet high. It is topped by 3 crowns, which are the symbol of Sweden, and also the national coat of arms. There are two courts - the open civic court and the interior covered court. The Blue Hall is used for banquets (The awarding of the Nobel Prize is held here). The Golden Court is the best known and the most magnificent banquet room of City Hall. On its walls are about 18 million pieces of gold and colored mosaics made of special glass. The Southern Gallery contains murals by Prince Eugen, the painter prince of Sweden. The 101 city council members meet in the Council Chamber. City Hall is located on the island of Kungsholmen. Guided tours daily at 10 AM. Tower is open 11-3. Take bus 48,53,62. Or take T-Bahn to Radhuset... and then a walk.

Royal Palace: One of the few palaces in Europe still used as an abode for royalty that allows visitors. Built in the Italian Baroque style between 1691 and 1754, the palace contains over 600 rooms - 10 of which are occupied by the king of Sweden. The palace is located in the Old Town or Gamla Stan. Be sure and see the colorful changing of the guard, which is, staged daily at noon. This ceremony is shared by all branches of the military. Some branches present more colorful shows than others, but they're all interesting. The palace is open daily from 10-3 and Sun 12-3. Tours leave every half-hour from 10-1:30 and visitors may still be required to take a tour rather than to walk through unattended.

Riddarholm Church: On the tiny island of Riddarholmen next to Old Town, this church dated from the 13th century. It was originally a monastery, but it is now the burial place of Swedish royalty. Almost all of them are buried here. The church is open daily from 10-3 and Sun 1-3.

Storkyrkan Church: This is the oldest church in Stockholm. Begun in the 13th century, it has been the setting for royal weddings and coronations. The interior is splendid and well worth a visit. See the wood sculpture of "St. George and the Dragon". Open daily 8-5:30 PM.

Stortorget: Located in Old Town, this is the old Marketplace. The square is dominated by a Rococo palace. Many say this square is similar to and a rival to Le Gran' Place in Brussels. Most of the buildings date from the 16th century. Very photogenic... and interesting shops.

Katarina Elevator: This is an open-lift, which rises to the top of a tall building. From the top one can see all the way to the Baltic and to the beginning of the Stockholm Archipelago. It is located south of Old Town. Take the subway to Slussen.

Drottingholm Palace: This palace was built for Queen Louisa Ulrika in 1766 and is preserved exactly as it was the day it opened. It's called the "Versailles of the North". In addition to the beautiful state apartments, see the impressive gardens filled with sculptures, and especially the Chinese Pavilon. The palace is located on the island of Lovon. Take the subway to Brommaplan and change to any "Malaro" bus. One can also go by ferry from City Hall, but it takes much longer. Daily 11-4. Sun 12-4.

Waldemarsudde: The "painter prince Eugen's" former home on the island of Djurgarden. It's located on the water in the center of a park, and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. It's an up-to-date palace - elegantly decorated - and well worth a visit. A great touch is the fresh flowers in every room - picked from the palace's gardens. Take bus 47 which stops at the front gate. Daily except Mon 11-5. Tue/Thu Evenings 7-9. Free.

Kaknas Tower: This is Stockholm's television tower, dating from 1967, and the tallest structure in Scandinavia. Take the elevator to the observation room and see the various islands, which make up Stockholm. Take bus 69 from Normalstorg to the tower. Daily 9-midnight. Free with 3-day card. There's a moderately priced restaurant with a self-service counter. Because the tower is out of town, don't make the trip unless the day is really clear. (And if you've already been to Katarina Elevator you might not want to visit this tower).

Miles Garden: The Swedish sculptor Carl Milles spent the last 48 years of his life designing and building these gardens on a hill on the island of Lidingo. They overlook all of Stockholm. Take the subway, line 14, to Ropsten, and then bus 203 to the gardens. To return, walk around the corner from the entrance to the Foresta Hotel, where you'll see a stop for the bus to Ropsten. (Check this. There may be another route now). Daily 11-5.

Grona Lund's Tivoli: For those who like Coney-Island-type amusement parks. The best reason to go is to visit the revolving tower for the after-dark views of Stockholm. Remember that it doesn't get dark until after 9 PM in the summertime. Daily 2-midnight. Free with 3-day card.

Boat tours: Two-hour canal tours leave Stromkajen, in front of the famous Grand Hotel. They pass under the bridges, travel through locks and canals and by the famous buildings and parks. Tours depart 3 times daily.

Royal Dramatic Theatre: This is where Greta Garbo got her start... and where Ingmar Bergman used to be the director.

Konserthuset: Concerts by the Stockholm Philharmonic and the Radio Orchestra. It's also the scene of the awarding of the Nobel Prizes... in City Hall.

Gustavus III Pavilion: Located in Haga Park, this pavilion dates from 1790. It's a handsome example of the late Gustavian Style.

House of Nobility: An architectural masterpiece. Dutch Baroque 17th century.

Rosendal Palace: Near the Kaknas Tower, this is the summer residence of the Royal Family.

Meditterranean Museum: Greek, Etruscan, Roman and Asian Antiquities.
About the Author
Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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