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. 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

  • 5. 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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  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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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  • 9. 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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  • 10. 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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  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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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  • 13. Stockholms Stadsbibliotek

    Vasastan | Library/Archive

    The Stockholm City Library is among the most captivating buildings in town. Designed by the famous Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund and completed...Read More

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  • 14. 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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  • 15. 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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