Stockholm tours and excursions
Choosing to stay on land in Stockholm is like not getting your feet wet in Venice. The Stockholm Card gives free boat tours on certain services during the summer. Strömma Canal Company and Stockholm Sightseeing both run various boat tours of the city, with departure points from quays near the Royal Dramatic Theatre, the Grand Hôtel and City Hall.Tel: +46 8 1200 4100.
City Sightseeing offers a variety of bus tours departing from the Royal Opera House. The 'Stockholm in a Nutshell' tour (combining a 90-minute bus tour around the city centre and a one-hour boat cruise to Djurgården) is one of the most popular.Tel: +46 70 624 4772.
The classic excursion from Stockholm, this is a water tour of the entire surrounding archipelago, getting up close to the 24,000 islands and islets of the Stockholm Archipelago – a region famed for its wild beauty and unique atmosphere, especially in summer. The standard package stops at three or four of the most appealing islands. During summer, Strömma Canal Company operates excursions departing from Stockholm Nybroplan, including lunch, coffee, a two-course dinner and guided tours. The full-day tour lasts 11 hours.Tel: +46 8 1200 4000.
Drottningholms Slott (Drottningholm Palace)
Just 15km (9 miles) west of central Stockholm, Drottningholms Slott on the island of Lovön is one of the most magnificent legacies of Sweden's imperial age, justly compared to Louis XIV's Versailles. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, work on the palace was begun by the great Swedish baroque architect, Nicodemus Tessin the Elder in 1662, for the dowager queen Hedwig Eleonora. Nicodemus died in 1681, and so the palace was finished by his son Nicodemus Tessin the Younger. It is surrounded by equally splendid gardens containing the delightful Rococo Chinese Pavilion, almost a palace in itself. It also has the world's best-preserved palace theatre, with its 18th-century stage machinery still in working order - a popular venue for summer concerts and performances.
Closed to the public in winter, the palace is the official residence of King Carl XVI Gustaf and the Swedish royal family. Guided tours in English are available on request.Tel: +46 8 402 6280.