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Stockholm tours and excursions

Stockholm tours

Boat tours

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.

Bus tours

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.

Stockholm excursions

Thousand Isles

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.
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Featured Hotels


Grand Hotel

The 310-room Grand Hotel has long been the most glamorous place to stay in the city and is justifiably one of the world's greatest hotels. Opening in 1874 its 21 luxurious suites are still popular with visiting celebrities and royalty - famous past guests include Theodore Roosevelt and Douglas Fairbanks.

Lydmar Hotel

Set in a listed building across from the Royal Palace, the Lydmar is a design-led boutique that combines homeliness with style and discreet service. Its 46 rooms are individually decorated, while the rest of the property boasts airy public spaces, gorgeous views of the sea and archipelago, and sharply dressed staff.

Queen's Hotel

With cheap stays hard to come by, this budget-friendly, family-run hotel on one of Stockholm's main shopping streets is a real gem. Newly updated, all rooms now come with free Wi-Fi and run from clean and cheerful singles to wildly spacious superior stays.

Elite Hotel Arcadia

This design hotel (part of a chain with five other properties in the city) has a central location in Östermalm, not far from Stockholm Stadium. The elegant 1950s property has been transformed into a sparkling, 4-star stay with Scandinavian minimalism throughout. With free Wi-Fi, a decent gym, a lovely restaurant and breakfast included, it's hard to better.

Castanea Hostel

Notable for its central location and suitability for lovebirds on a serious budget, the Castanea is set among the cobbles and historical lanes of the Old Town. There are 55 beds in total with a number of single and twin rooms, making it a cut above the usual snip-price joint.

Hotel Rival

This boutique hotel occupies a former cinema - hence the huge black and white photographs of Swedish film stars gracing the walls of the 99 bedrooms. The Rival is owned by Benny Andersson, of ABBA fame, who has turned it into one of the most rock 'n roll places to stay in Stockholm.