Be inspired by Stockholm

Stockholm, the marvellous Swedish capital, is constantly reinventing itself. Whether you take a weekend to start to discover it, a week to go a little deeper, or a series of getaway trips to explore the city to the full, you'll always find something new.

This watery city – spread over 14 islands – has been called the 'Venice of the north', and, like its Italian counterpart, it offers many delights for the visitor. To start with, Stockholm boasts one of the best preserved medieval city centres in the world – Gamla Stan – among whose winding streets and ochre houses you'll find everything from antique shops to pleasant cafes. Stockholm also has parks and fertile green islands, such as Djurgarden, a lively cultural life demonstrated by the number and variety of museums and galleries, designer shops – with leading Swedish names such as H&M and Ikea clearly at the forefront – aristocratic districts such as Ostermalm, and the Stadshuset, the city's architectural pride and joy. And all of it surrounded with clear, relaxing water.

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Ostermalmshallen Market, Stockholm
The Ostermalmshallen Market, which dates from the nineteenth century, is a great place to buy typical Swedish products, to sample the city's best salmon, or simply to feast your eyes on the stalls that brim with tempting delicacies / © Louise Billgert 

Gamla Stan, Stockholm
Gamla Stan is Stockholm's old town, whose medieval cobbled streets are home to some of the architectural highlights of the city, including the Nobel Museum, the Riddarhuset, the Cathedral and the Royal Palace 

Royal Opera House, Stockholm
The magnificent building of Stockholm's Royal Opera House hosted its first performance in 1773 / © Alexander Kenney / Operan Kungliga 

Malarpaviljongen open air restaurant, Stockholm
The lively terrace on the waters of Riddarfjarden, makes the Malarpaviljongen open air restaurant in Norr Malarstrand very popular in summer / © Henrik Trygg 

Strandbryggan Restaurant, Stockholm
Strandbryggan Restaurant and Bar in Strandvagen, alongside the Djurgardsbron Bridge, is an ideal place to enjoy an elegant meal / © Henrik Trygg 

Royal Palace, Stockholm
One of Stockholm's many bridges, with the Royal Palace in background / © Nicho Sodling 

Museum of Modern Art , Stockholm
The Museum of Modern Art is home to an important collection of Swedish and Nordic works, as well as international classics by masters such as Picasso and Dali / © Nicho Sodling 

Millennium trail, Stockholm
In recent years, many visitors to Stockholm have enjoyed the walking trail of the city that follows in the footsteps of Lisbeth Salander and the characters in Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy / © Frederic Reglain 

Stockholm archipelago
Coloured tents blossom on one of the rocky outcrops of the Stockholm archipelago, which, with over 20,000 islands, is one of the largest in the Baltic Sea / © Marten Adolfson / Johner 

National Museum of Antiquities, Stockholm
The National Museum of Antiquities houses a fascinating exhibition about the Vikings / © Christer Ahlin / Statens Historiska museum 

It's unsurprising that the Swedish capital has been called the 'Venice of the north', as it is spread over 14 islands, connected by scores of bridges / © Henrik Trygg 

Langviksskar Nature Reserve
The Langviksskar Nature Reserve comprises some 300 islands off the Swedish coast / © Orsolya Haarberg 

Seals, Stockholm
Animal- and nature-lovers will delight in up-close observation of the three types of seal to be found along the coast of Stockholm / © Orsolya Haarberg 

In 2010, Stockholm was the first city to be designated European Green Capital; in the picture, the island of Langviksskar / © Orsolya Haarberg