Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet)

#8 in Best Things To Do in Stockholm
Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) picture
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Key Info

Gamla Stan

Details

Castles/Palaces, Museums, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.2scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

While Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia actually live at Drottningholm Palace (some 20 minutes west of Stockholm), Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace) serves as their workplace and is the setting for most official receptions. It's also a popular tourist attraction. Visitors are allowed to tour the Royal Apartments, Treasury and the Tre Kronor Museum. The name apartments are given to signify a series of state rooms, and there are about four different sets of apartments within the Royal Apartments including the Orders of the Chivalry, Guest, State and Bernadotte apartments the latter of which contains 14 rooms alone. And we haven't even gotten into what's in the Treasury and the Tre Kronor Museum. Safe to say it would be hard to see the palace in one afternoon. But if you are short on time, don't miss royal relics, including crowns and swords, found in the Treasury, or the Hall of State, found in the Royal Apartments. Today, the Hall of State acts as the venue for official functions, but up until 1975 it was the meeting place for parliamentary sessions. It's also the home of a silver throne that was gifted to the former Queen Kristina for her coronation in the 17th century. Whichever room you decide to venture into, expect truly grandiose interiors throughout. 

Visitors were definitely impressed with the magnificent architecture and decor of the palace, and had a few suggestions on how to tackle the massive attraction. Many considered the Armoury a must-visit, as well as the changing of the guards ceremony. Others highly recommended paying extra for a guided tour, which some said greatly enhanced their experience of the palace. However you decide to tour the attraction, don't get discouraged if you don't see it all. With more than 600 rooms, it's one of the biggest palaces in Europe.

The Royal Palace of Stockholm is located in Gamla Stan (Old Town). Admission costs 160 kronor (about $19) for adults and 80 kronor (about $10) for anyone ages 7 through 17 (children younger than 7 get in for free). Hours vary by season, but from July to August expect the museum to the palace to be open for touring from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information, visit the Royal Palace's website

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#1 Gamla Stan (Old Town)

In Stockholm, travelers don't necessarily need to venture to one of the city's museums to learn about its past. Instead, stroll through Gamla Stan, the neighborhood where Stockholm itself was founded in 1252. Cobblestone streets, winding alleyways and colorful, classic architecture abound, creating a medieval atmosphere visitors can't seem to get enough of. But Gamla Stan's charming ambience isn't all the area has going for it. The neighborhood is home to some of the city's top attractions, including the Stockholm Cathedral, Parliament, the Nobel Museum (which houses exhibits about the Nobel Peace Prize and its laureates) and the Royal Palace. Gamla Stan is also where you'll find Stockholm's oldest street, Köpmangatan, and Mårten Trotzigs gränd alleyway, the city's narrowest pathway at only 35 inches wide at its smallest point. 

Though travelers said there are plenty of cafes, shops and attractions here, some reviewers found Gamla Stan to be a tourist trap. Visitors said restaurants are often overpriced, and some were put off by the kitschy shops that catered to tourists. However, you don't have to spend money to get the best of Gamla Stan. Many tourists enjoyed simply strolling around the area and recommended everyone do the same, as they felt the scenery was the neighborhood's best asset. Gamla Stan is completely free to stroll through and aside from the various businesses that dot the area, is open for exploration 24 hours a day. For more information, visit the Stockholm Tourism Board's website.

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