Photo: Ferryboat, Stockholm

A 19th-century ferryboat transports visitors to the Gröna Lund Tivoli Amusement Park from Old Town.

Photograph by Nicholas Pitt

Building a city on a collection of islands may have its logistical drawbacks; but no visitor to Stockholm will miss the most obvious peacetime benefit—space. There is an airy feel to the downtown that comes from the waters pretty much having been left alone to provide breathing space between neighborhoods. As the big brother of Sweden and most of Scandinavia, Stockholm is both despised and admired—as older siblings tend to be—but is supremely oblivious to it. Strong and confident, equally trendy and historic, and achingly beautiful come summer, this self-proclaimed “Capital of Scandinavia” counts among its treasures the Nobel Prize, more than 100 museums and attractions, and Europe’s largest royal palace, the official residence of His Majesty the King of Sweden.

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