What the ring of canals is for Amsterdam, Gamla Stan is for Stockholm: elegant and splendid, with colourful merchant’s homes, lovely squares and a majestic royal palace. Looking out from the rooftop, it is easy to see why Amsterdam is no match for Stockholm as the ‘Venice of the North’: this is genuinely a city on the water.
The numerous attractions of Gamla Stan are as regal as the palace. The Storkyrkan cathedral is the setting of fairytale weddings and coronations and Riddarholmskyrkan is the final resting place of all Swedish monarchs since the 17th century. This small island is the greatest tourist attraction of Stockholm and for good reason. Apart from the palace and Parliament, Gamla Stan is also home to excellent restaurants, surprising museums and charming cafés. Quiet winding streets and staired alleys with wooden houses merge with old squares with stately merchants’ homes.