Stockholm’s charm is evident via its stunning buildings and the way the light continually plays on these centuries-old architectural wonders.


Whether strolling in the morning glow of the sun in Gamla Stan or in between spring showers along the waterfront, Stockholm offers visually-pleasing moments of enjoyment.

[Gamla Jernkontoret, central Stockholm]

[Fotografiska, Stockholm’s gorgeous photography museum by the cruise ship terminal]

I had a few days to explore ahead of a two-week Viking Ocean Cruise. After a full day of international travel, this is a great way to unwind, walk and lose myself amongst the narrow cobblestoned streets as well as take in a few key sights.


Located in the heart of Gamla Stan, the Nobel Prize Museum sits high on the list of Stockholm attractions and is an excellent way to learn about the award’s history, its recipients as well as the life of Alfred Nobel.

[Every Nobel Prize recipient, above on a moving conveyor belt]

In 1901, the first Nobel Peace Prize was issued, according to Alfred Nobel’s testament. His name’s origin comes from a Swedish village, and not from the “noble” aspect of this award, as some might believe.


Housed in a building dating to 1770, the museum was opened in 2001 to celebrate the Peace Prize’s centennial.

Annually, up to 18 laureates can be awarded the Peace Prize in the following categories:
– Physics
– Chemistry
– Medicine or Physiology (alternating)
– Literature
– Peace
– Economics

[Nobel Peace Center, Oslo]

The award ceremony takes place on December 10, to mark the anniversary of Nobel’s death and is presented at a ceremony in Stockholm. It was interesting to learn that the laureates are announced at a press conference in Oslo and that this year, the 1,000th laureate could be awarded! Albert Einstein is the current Nobel record holder with nine nominations and wins.


Gain a new perspective of the city via its waterways. Stromma offers several seasonal tours, providing visitors a low-key way to relax while learning about the city’s history through the ages. And it’s ideal for days when jet lag hits and your legs can’t keep up!


The Bridges of Stockholm tour is available three times a day and in 12 languages (via disposable earbuds handed out onboard).


I visited the Royal Palace (Kungliga slottet) on King’s Day (April 30, King Karl Gustav’s actual birthday) and explored The Treasury and Three Crowns Museum ahead of the fanfare (the Royal Apartments were closed until later in the afternoon).

[Lovisa Ulrika’s crown, 1751]

Containing over 600 rooms, The Palace was largely built during the 18th century in the Italian Baroque style, on the spot where the Three Crowns (Tre Kronor) castle burned down in 1697.

[Aigrette with clasp and braid in gold, silver, diamonds, rose-cut diamonds; mid-18th century]

[Early 16th century iron chest where crown jewels were stored until 1732]

This is a special jubilee year for the 77-year old King as he celebrates 50 years on the throne this coming September.

[King Gustav with his family from the Royal Palace balcony on his birthday]

After music and speeches outside the palace, the King and his family came out onto the balcony to greet the excited crowd waiting below.

Trygg Valborg photo of Walpurgis
[Walpurgis at Skansen Open Air Museum; photo by Trygg Valborg]

Walpurgis night, or Valborgsmässoafton, dates back as far as the Middle Ages and is celebrated annually on the last day in April.

Farmers would let their livestock graze late into the evening and lit bonfires to ward off any predators or evil spirits lurking in the shadows.

In Stockholm, Walpurgis is celebrated in a few key places (Skansen Open Air Museum and Riddarholmen Island, adjacent to Gamla Stan), marking the start of spring together with choral music to add to the atmosphere.

[Bonfire at Riddarholmen]

Explore Stockholm’s yesteryear at Skansen Open Air Museum, located on Djurgården Island, easily accessible by the city’s ferry system.


Skansen was opened in 1981 by Artur Hazelius, with the goal of showcasing life throughout Sweden’s pre-industrial era.



The complex is situated on a hill with imposing views of the city and the self-guided tour begins near the entrance via an escalator that brings you to the Town Quarter, with a pottery studio, tannery, bakery, printer’s workshop and more.

[Children’s Zoo]


Further along the hillside are where the animal stables are housed together with the Children’s Zoo. The lush landscape is filled with flowers, birds, lots of open spaces to enjoy a picnic as well as to admire the surrounding parts of Stockholm.

Stockholm-9 Stockholm-8
[36 steps, 90 centimetres wide: Märten Trotzigs Gränd is Stockholm’s narrowest street]

As the summer season is just starting to kick into gear, I wasn’t able to take advantage of the singing at the main stage, marketplace or demonstrations, however this is a great family-friendly place to visit. Getting here by local ferry adds to the adventure on an eight-minute ride from Gamla Stan’s Slussen terminal along the Skeppsbron.

[View from ferry to Gamla Stan]

I was provided a VIP attractions pass and a transit card by Visit Stockholm for the purpose of touring Stockholm and of creating this feature. Opinions, as always, remain my own.

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