There is no capital city to compare with Stockholm for stunning views and unique beauty, the natural landscape is magnificent particularly when combined with its rich history and vibrant culture, it’s easy to see why visitors are enchanted and the city is a photographer’s pleasure.
Flying over the capital of Sweden is a sight to behold as the city is broken up over a number of islands and surrounded by sparkling deep blue water. As if floating on water the city has embraced its environment with organized sightseeing boat trips around the city or to Lake Mälaren or the Baltic Sea and lots of restaurants and bars on the water.
One of the best ways to see the city in all its glory is to join a boat tour as all the best places are located along the historical canals and waterways. Unlike any other city in the world Stockholm stretches out over 14 islands connected by architecturally detailed bridges, a tour by water gives the opportunity to sit back and relax whilst meandering leisurely through the canals getting the finest views of the charming designs, medieval buildings and contemporary sights that have made this Swedish beauty such an extraordinary destination. Here are just some of the top river tours available to look out for on a visit for the best attractions at a slow, easy pace.
The Royal Canal Tour of Stockholm takes you along the canals whilst pointing out the city’s most popular sights and monuments. It follows the Djurgarden canal until you reach the ocean then turns back towards the city passing Fjaderholmarna, Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde art museum with beautiful waterside gardens; the Vasa Museum where you can see the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world, and a unique art treasure; Sodermalm one of the prettiest parts of Stockholm; and Slussen, said to be the center for live music and rock culture.
The Stockholm Historical Canal Tour takes a similar route through the canals past famous buildings including the City Hall, and then goes on to visit the islands of Kungsholmen and the idyllic Langholmen, popular for picnics and swimming on its beaches, and Reimersholme with an appealing display of architecture and serene green spots.
Guiding you along the city’s quays, The Stockholm Winter Tour makes its way around the island and up to Fjäderholmarna where the archipelago begins. One of the best parts about this particular tour is that they serve Swedish Glögg, a traditional hot mulled wine, Swedish peasoup and even a glass of arrack if you’re lucky!
Under the Bridges of Stockholm Tour takes you floating under 15 bridges and through two locks connecting the Baltic Sea with Lake Mälaren. It features most of the city’s finest sights, including the inner city, the Old Town, the islands Södermalm, Lilla and Stora Essingen, and Djurgården.
Hop-on Hop-off boats are a great way to explore from the water. Either choose to stay on and see the sights or alight when you see something that interests you and get back on again once you’ve seen enough. As tickets are valid for 24 hours you have the whole day to explore. A fun way of getting around, the scenery is beautiful and the boats comfortable, stop at Vasa museum and take a quick detour to the walkways on Djurgården for brunch, hop off at Nybroplan and do a little shopping in Hamngatan and Biblioteksgatan. Gröna Lund is perfect if you’ve kids in tow as they’ll love the roller coasters and attractions before going onto the underwater world of Aquaria and Skansen, the oldest open air museum in the world. The Royal Palace has tombs of past kings and be impressed by the changing of the guards.
Tours generally leave on the hour or at certain times so check when booking and be aware that some will also be seasonal. There are company’s that arrange to pick you up from your hotel or rental apartment and return you once the trip is over, some will even throw in lunch. Tours are often offered in different languages and have half-price or free deals for kids.