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. 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

  • 2. 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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  • 3. 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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  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Storkyrkan

    Gamla Stan | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Dedicated to St. Nicholas, Storkyrkan (literally, the Great Church) has been at the heart of Stockholm since the 13th century. It has been modified...Read More

  • 7. Stortorget

    Gamla Stan | Plaza/Square

    Here in 1520 the Danish king Christian II ordered a massacre of Swedish noblemen. The slaughter paved the way for a national revolt against...Read More

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  • 8. Nationalmuseum

    Norrmalm | Museum/Gallery

    Sweden's leading art museum has an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, and other works of art and design. The emphasis is...Read More

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