Worth getting out of bed for...
- The best and most self-indulgent place from which to view the city is the restaurant Eriks Gondolen on Stadsgården (see under restaurants).
- Arts and culture
- The Moderna Museet has a superb collection of Swedish and international art. More than 16,000 paintings and sculptures are housed in the National Museum on Södra Blasieholmshamnen. The open-air museum Skansen on Djurgården recalls the Sweden of bygone days, with flora and fauna, farms, manor-houses and craftspeople at work. The Vasamuseet: the Vasa is the world’s only surviving 17th-century ship (www.vasamuseet.se).
- Something for nothing
- Watch the changing of the guard (12h15, or 13h15 on Sundays) daily in the Outer Courtyard of the beautiful Royal Palace. Play in the snow in winter!
- Biblioteksgatan, near Stureplan, has a concentration of upmarket shops. On Hornsgatan are irresistible interior design and art shops. Södermalm has many secondhand and antiques shops, as well as one-off boutiques and skater shops. For handicrafts and knick-knacks, visit the Old Town of Gamla Stan. Don’t leave without visiting Östermalmshallen Market on Humlegårdsgatan, open until 18h Monday–Thursday; 18h30 Friday; 16h Saturday and 14h Sunday. In a characterful building next to the flower market, it’s a huge delicatessen selling every type of top-quality food you can think of.
- Get a boat out to the archipelago of Vaxholm in summer and have a champagne picnic (ask the hotel to pack you one). Or sail to the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (two hours from the central port) and visit the pretty beaches and harbour at Sandhamn, on the island of Sandön.
June Midsummer skies barely grow dark, and Swedes celebrate on the weekend closest to 24 June. At Skansen, the oldest open-air museum in Europe, the festivities bring out maypoles, traditional costumes and games, and folk musicians and dancers. July Stockholm Jazz Festival (www. stockholmjazz.com). 13 December St Lucia Day: celebrations in honour of the patron saint of light, to brighten up a very dark time of the year.