For the inhabitants there's a tribal status to each of the city's islands. But for the visitor, Stockholm's archipelago location primarily helps to dissect the city, both in terms of history and in terms of Stockholm's different characteristics, conveniently packaging the capital into easily handled, ultimately digestible areas.

The central island of Gamla Stan wows visitors with its medieval beauty, small café-lined squares, and winding, narrow lanes. To the south, Södermalm challenges with contemporary boutiques, hip hangouts, and left-of-center sensibilities. North of Gamla Stan is Norrmalm, the financial and business heart of the city. Travel west and you'll find Kungsholmen, site of Stadshuset (City Hall). Turn east from Norrmalm and Östermalm awaits, an old residential neighborhood with the most money, the most glamour, and the most expensive street on the Swedish Monopoly board. Finally, beyond Östermalm lies the island of Djurgården, once a royal game preserve, now the site of lovely parks and museums.

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  • 1. Fotografiska

    Södermalm | Museum/Gallery

    Opened in 2010, this contemporary photography museum housed in a 1906 red brick art nouveau building along the Södermalm waterfront spotlights...Read More

  • 2. Kungliga Slottet

    Gamla Stan | Castle/Palace

    Designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, the Royal Palace was completed in 1760 to replace the Tre Kronor palace, which burned down in 1697...Read More

  • 3. Rosendals Trädgård

    Djurgården | Garden

    This gorgeous slice of greenery is a perfect place to spend a few hours on a late summer afternoon. When the weather's nice, people flock to...Read More

  • 4. SkyView


    This glass-covered gondola travels along the along the outer rim of Stockholm's Globe Arena, some 140 yards above the sea. It makes for spectacular...Read More

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  • 5. Stadshuset

    Kungsholmen | Government Building

    The architect Ragnar Östberg, one of the founders of the National Romantic movement, completed Stockholm's City Hall in 1923. The headquarters...Read More

  • 6. Vasamuseet

    Djurgården | Museum/Gallery

    The warship Vasa sank 20 minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628, consigned to a watery grave until it was raised from the seabed in 1961....Read More

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  • 7. ABBA The Museum

    Djurgården | Museum/Gallery

    Stockholm's newest attraction explores the phenomenon of ABBA, Sweden's most famous musical export. The crowds of visitors are a testament to...Read More

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  • 8. Gröna Lund Tivoli

    Djurgården | Amusement Park/Water Park

    Smaller than Copenhagen's Tivoli or Göteborg's Liseberg, this amusement park has managed to retain much of its historical charm, while making...Read More

  • 9. Historiska Museet

    Östermalm | Museum/Gallery

    Viking treasures and the Gold Room are the main draw at this historical museum, but well-presented exhibitions that cover various periods of...Read More

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  • 10. Hötorget

    Norrmalm | Market/Bazaar

    Once the city's hay market, this is now a popular gathering place where you're more likely to find apples, pears, and, in summer, to-die-for...Read More

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  • 11. Junibacken

    Djurgården | Amusement Park/Water Park

    In this storybook house you travel in small carriages through the world of children's book writer Astrid Lindgren, creator of the irrepressible...Read More

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  • 12. Kulturhuset Stadsteatern

    Norrmalm | Arts/Performance Venue

    Since it opened in 1974, architect Peter Celsing's cultural center, a glass-and-stone monolith on the south side of Sergels Torg, has become...Read More

  • 13. Kungsträdgården

    Norrmalm | Plaza/Square

    Once the royal kitchen garden, this is now Stockholm's smallest but most central park. It is often used to host festivals and events, but is...Read More

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  • 14. Moderna Museet

    Skeppsholmen | Museum/Gallery

    The museum's excellent collection includes works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Dalí, Brancusi, and other international artists. You can also view examples...Read More

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  • 15. Nobelmuseet

    Gamla Stan | Museum/Gallery

    The Swedish Academy meets at Börshuset (the Stock Exchange) every year to decide the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. The building...Read More

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  • 16. Nordiska Museet

    Djurgården | Museum/Gallery

    Inside an imposing late-Victorian structure, the Nordic Museum holds exhibits on many aspects of Swedish life, including trends, traditions...Read More

  • 17. Östermalmstorg

    Östermalm | Plaza/Square

    This market square and its neighboring streets represent old, established Stockholm. At the southwestern corner of the square, Östermalms Saluhall...Read More

  • 18. Riddarholmskyrkan

    Gamla Stan | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Dating from 1270, the Grey Friars monastery is one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm; it's the burial place for two medieval kings, as well...Read More

  • 19. Riksdagshuset

    Gamla Stan | Government Building

    When in session, the Swedish Parliament meets in this Neoclassical building, which was inaugurated in 1905. Above the entrance, the architect...Read More

  • 20. Skansen

    Djurgården | Zoo/Aquarium

    The world's first open-air museum, Skansen was founded in 1891 by philologist and ethnographer Artur Hazelius, who is buried here. Drawing from...Read More

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