Posted Oct 31, 2012
One incredible region where you can escape completely® on a European cruise is Scandinavia, where pristine snow, vast fjords and imposing mountain peaks create one of the planet's most beautiful landscapes. That's not to mention the warm, friendly people of countries like Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway you're bound to encounter along the course of your voyage.
For a vacation that's unlike any other, consider a European cruise that calls in Stockholm. Here are some of the sights and sounds that the city has to offer.
Royal Palace & Armoury
Everybody raves about Queen Elizabeth II of England and the Royal Family, but Sweden boasts a monarchy of its own. His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, and his wife Queen Silvia have been the nation's reigning monarchs since King Gustaf first assumed the throne in 1973. If you would like to get a first-hand look at the royal family's estate, you can visit their official residence at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.
Open throughout the year to visitors and tourists, the palace is one of the most impressive and elaborate in all of Europe. The building was designed in the Roman palace style by architect Nicodemus Tessin and completed in the mid 1700s. Featuring more than 600 rooms, perhaps the most impressive area is the Royal Armoury, which is located in the palace cellars. The armoury is the oldest museum in Sweden and was created in 1628 by King Gustav II. Visitors can see an array of military and royal artifacts that range from the late 15th century to today.
History buffs who are interested in delving into the origins of Sweden should not miss the opportunity to explore Gamla Stan, Stockholm's incredibly preserved medieval center. This district is the oldest part of the city and dates back to Stockholm's founding in 1252. Visitors can walk down the historic cobblestone streets and check out a variety of cafes, crafters, restaurants and stores.
Gamla Stan also contains the country's national Stockholm Cathedral and the Royal Palace as well as the Nobel Museum. At the heart of the district lies Stortorget square, a center that includes some of the oldest streets in all of Stockholm. You can also explore Riddarholmen Church - which lies on the nearby island of Riddarholmen - a Franciscan church which has served as the royal burial ground for generations since its construction in the 13th century.
After exploring some of Sweden's most historic medieval attractions, you might want to kick back with a cold drink and relax. Well, you won't find a cooler beverage in the entire city than at the Stockholm Ice Bar. This unique hangout is constructed out of solid ice taken from the Torne River in the northern part of Sweden and kept at a chilly 23 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year - even the glasses are made of ice!
If you're on the lookout for the coolest European cruise available, don't miss out on an incredible adventure to Stockholm. Click here to check out the amazing blend of contemporary and medieval attractions that this historic city has to offer.