Stockholm's geographical location, at the point where Lake Malaren flows into the Baltic Sea, makes it a capital city with a difference. With vast areas of parkland and open water, in Stockholm it's just as easy to lose yourself among the city streets as inside the shopping malls of its modern centre Norrmalm.
At first glance Stockholm might seem aloof or imposing, earning the reputation 'Ice Queen' from its fellow countrymen, but this initial frostiness fades as you explore the winding streets of Gamla Stan or take in the majestic spectacle at the Vasa Museum, built around the immense remains of a 17th century warship.
Swedes are very politically minded and take pride in their centre of Government, City Hall. A tour of this building gives you a chance to see beautiful artworks and stunning banquet halls only rivalled by the interior of the nearby Royal Palace, home to Sweden's crown jewels.
Visit the oldest part of Stockholm and lose yourself amongst the Renaissance architecture and narrow alleys that make up this wealthy segment of the city. Once you've finished marvelling at the city's skyline from one of the bridges you'll find all the area's sights within walking distance, including the royal palace and grand church of Storkyrkan.
From the waterfront steamboats also sail out to the royal residence at Drottningholm, the Swedish Royal Family's permanent residence. Set in stunning parkland, the heritage-listed 17th century castle is a combination of exotic Chinese Pavilion pleasure palace, palace theatre with regular opera performances and magnificent palace gardens.