stockholm royal palace

This royal palace guard seems to be doing his best to ignore Kara!

After living in Stockholm for seven years now, I’ve shown a lot of people around town. I’ve had a lot of people ask me where I like to take guests,  so I’ll share what I call the highlights tour. My cousin Kara and her husband Jim were just here for a long weekend and since the weather was sunny for the most part – with the occasional shower thrown in – we opted to save the museums for a rainy day. I’ve lived in Stockholm long enough to adopt the local custom of being outside as much as possible!

stortorget

The storybook buildings of Stortorget.

With this in mind, here’s a look at what we did on their visit on days one and two. (Most of day one was taken over by jet lag!) For Baltic and nature views, as well as a look at some expensive real estate, we took walks along Strandvägen and the perimeter of Djurgården. For general people and boat watching, we stopped to have drinks at Strandbryggan Sea Club.

palace gift shop

Trying a crown on for size at the Royal Palace gift shop.

Walking around Gamla Stan – the old town – is a given for souvenir shopping as well as to see some of the oldest buildings in town. We went straight up to Stortorget – the big square – to see the beautiful old buildings dating from the 1600s there. And of course, you have to pose by the fountain which was where the Stockholm bloodbath of 1520 took place when Danish-Swedish King Kristian II  had 90 people beheaded and hanged.

strandbryggan sea club

Strandbryggan Sea Club.

For a calmer scene, we walked to the Royal Palace. Designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, it dates from 1754 and has a Roman style facade with a French interior. We took photos from the courtyard by the entrance to the state apartments – this is also the spot where you can watch the changing of the palace guards and where the royal family will wave from a balcony on such celebration days as the king’s birthday. Even though the royal family doesn’t actually live here, the guards put on a good show with horses and music. For the best views of the palace overall and to get a better idea of its enormous size, walk down the steep hill Slottsbacken and to the water along Skeppsbron.

To avoid going on too long in one post, I’ll cover days two and three where we cycled around town and explored the archipealgo separately.

slottsbacken

Slottsbacken, looking toward the National Museum and storm clouds in the distance.

royal palace

A portion of the Royal Palace and its 608 rooms.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kezia September 9, 2011 at 15:02

How nice that Kara got such royal treatment in Stockholm! Mom, dad, and I are enjoying the pics of her and Jim’s grownup getaway.

2 Sandra September 9, 2011 at 16:23

That’s great Kezia. We loved having them here!

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