The Seaside Wonder of Stockholm
—M. M. Leonard
Stockholm, Sweden, is known for traditions both old and new. The eight-hundred-year-old city is famous for its wonderful arts and culture, excellent waterfront views, and high quality of life. To be sure, Stockholm has many unique elements that set it apart from other world capitals.
Perhaps Stockholm's most singular feature is that the city is spread across 14 islands at the edge of the Baltic Sea. For the traveler, this means that the best way to begin a visit to the city is to take a boat trip along the canals to become acquainted with the various islands and districts that make up the city. The summer months are an especially good time for this, with their mild weather and cool, refreshing sea breezes.
One district you will certainly want to visit is Gamla Stan, Stockholm's old town center. Gamla Stan's narrow stone-paved alleys hide numerous shops and cafes. Make your way through the alleys, and you will reach a large square surrounded by brightly painted merchant buildings. Head further north to find the six-hundred-room Royal Palace, which is still home to the Swedish king. Guided tours of the palace are available, so if you want a taste of the royal Swedish life, look no further.