Stockholm

Sweden's capital city spreads out over 14 islands in Lake Mälaren and looks out proudly to the Baltic Sea to the east. Her grand public buildings, palaces, rich cultural history and museums tell her 700 year-old history beautifully.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the Old Town (Gamla Stan); expect and get cobblestone streets, crooked but beautifully preserved buildings, the Royal Palace, gothic churches and excellent cafés, bars, restaurants and Swedish design-ware shops. Take our advice and get a hit of caffeine at one of Stockholm's many fine cafés before trawling the boutiques, shops and stores of upscale Swedish and international design boutiques of Östermalm, and independent Swedish labels, vintage and retro shops and boutiques of Södermalm. If you're a fan of Steig Larsson's Millennium Trilogy books and movies Södermalm is the place to be because this is the setting for the Millennium Tour.

Do yourself a favour and buy a Stockholm Card when you're here. Travel by bus, train and metro. And get loads of free admissions to Stockholm museums and other attractions.

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