Stockholm, capital of Sweden, is built on 14 islands of the vast Stockholm archipelago on the Baltic Sea. Boat trips are popular, including out to the new royal palace at Drottningholm and to other islands in the archipelago including Vaxholm.
Gamla Stan (the old town) includes the Royal Palace and Parliament. North of Gamla Stan is the modern city centre, and the nearby City Hall gives impressive views onto Gamla Stan.
On Djurgarden is the Vasa museum, containing a 17th century warship which sank minutes after launch and was recovered in 1961 after 333 years underwater. Also on the island is Skansen, a park containing traditional Swedish buildings and native animals. The TV tower just north of Djurgarden is good for views over the islands.
The cobblestone streets and ochre-colored buildings of medieval Gamla Stan, the old town, are home to a 13th-century cathedral, the royal palace of Kungliga Slottet and its underground armory, cafes and restaurants. Ferries and sightseeing boats shuttle passengers between islands, beneath more than 50 bridges.
Stockholm’s old town
Gamla stan (The Old Town), until 1980 officially Staden mellan broarna (The Town between the Bridges), is the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Gamla stan consists primarily of the island Stadsholmen. The surrounding islets Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen, and Strömsborg are officially part of, but not colloquially included in, Gamla stan. The word “stan” is simply a contraction of the word “staden” (“sta’n”), meaning “the town.”