Along the Harbor
Finish: Museum of Architecture
Time: 3 hours
Best Times: Any day it's not raining
Worst Times: Rush hours (Mon-Fri 8-9:30am and 5:30-7pm)
Start at Hantverkargaten 1, on Kungsholmen, at:
1. Stadshuset (Stockholm City Hall)
It took 12 years, 8 million bricks, and 19 million gilded mosaic tiles to erect this city hall, which can be visited on a guided tour. Go inside the courtyard on your own and admire the architecture.
When exiting the building, turn right and walk across Stadshusbron (City Hall Bridge) to Norrmalm. On your right is the Stadshuscafeet, where sightseeing boats depart on canal cruises in summer. Walk past the boats and go under an underpass (watch out for fast-riding bicyclists).
Continue along the canal until you reach Tegelbacken, a waterfront square. At the entrance to the Vasabron bridge, cross the street and continue along Fredsgatan. Veer right at the intersection to Strömgatan, hugging the canal. This will take you past Rosenbad, a little triangular park.
The building on your right, across the canal, is the:
2. Swedish Parliament
You can visit this building on a guided tour, though we won't be stopping there on this walking tour.
Continue on Strömgatan to:
3. Gustav Adolfs Torg
From here you have a panoramic view of the Royal Palace across the canal and of the Royal Opera straight ahead. This is one of the most famous landmark squares in Stockholm, and the most scenically located.
Strömgatan resumes at the corner of the Opera House, site of the Operakällaren, for many years the finest restaurant in Stockholm. Continue along until you reach the southern tier of the:
These royal gardens, the summer living room of Stockholm, reach from Hamngatan on the north side down to the water. Established in the 1500s as a pleasure garden for the court, they are now open to all, with cafes, open-air restaurants, and refreshment kiosks.
Take a Break
Since the late 1800s, the Café Victoria, Kungsträdgården (tel. 08/21-86-00), in the center of Stockholm, has attracted crowds. It's an ideal spot for a refreshing drink or snack at any time during the day or evening. It's open Monday to Friday 11:30am to 10pm, Saturday noon to 3am, and Sunday from noon to 6pm.
Continue along the waterfront, past Strömbron, a bridge leading to Gamla Stan, and emerge onto Södra Blasieholmshamnen. At no. 8 is the:
5. Grand Hotel
For decades this has been the most prestigious address in Stockholm, attracting Nobel Prize winners as well as most visiting dignitaries and movie stars. On your right, any number of sightseeing boats depart in summer for tours of the Stockholm archipelago. From this vantage point, you'll have a good view of the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan.
Continue along Södra Blasieholmshamnen until you reach the:
6. National Museum
Here you'll find a repository of the state's art treasures -- everything from Renoir to Rembrandt.
Cross the Skeppsholmsbron bridge leading to the little island of:
The island holds a number of attractions.
After crossing the bridge, turn right along Västra Brobänken. On your right you'll pass the:
8. Af Chapman
This "tall ship," with fully rigged masts, once sailed the seas under three different flags before being permanently anchored in 1949 as a youth hostel.
Turn left onto Flaggmansvägen. Continue along Holmamiralens väg, passing the Nordiska Institute on your right. Cut right toward the water at Södra Brobänken. Take Södra Brobänken until you reach a bridge on your right. Cross the bridge, which leads to:
This is one of the most charming, but least visited, islands in Stockholm.
Head right along the water, going around Kastellholmskajen. Circle around and turn left at the end of Kastelleton. Walk back along Örlogsvägen, which runs through the center of the small island.
Cross the Kastellholmsbron bridge and return to the larger island of Skeppsholmen. This time go straight along Amiralsvägen, turning left onto Långa Raden. Cut right and continue to walk along Långa Raden. The first building on your left is the:
10. Museum of Architecture
The collection contains slides and thousands of architectural drawings and sketches from the past 100 years.
From this point at the end of the walking tour, you can catch bus no. 65 to take you back to the heart of Stockholm.