Gamla Stan, the old town
Kungliga Slottet, the swedish Royal Palace
The Vasa, an extraordinary 17th century warship

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The city of the fourteen islands

Without a doubt Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and a vacation in Sweden with an MSC cruise will prove it.
Built on no fewer than fourteen islands, where the fresh water of Lake Mälaren meets the brackish Baltic Sea, clean air and open space are in plentiful supply here. An MSC cruise of Northern Europe will give you the opportunity to appreciate its port front, reach the Baltic Sea and experience the atmospheres with a tour of the town where broad boulevards lined with elegant buildings are reflected in the deep blue water, and rows of painted wooden houseboats bob gently alongside the cobbled waterfront.

But Stockholm is also a hi-tech metropolis, as you will find out on your excursion on land during your cruise, with futuristic skyscrapers and a bustling commercial heart. The old town, Gamla Stan, is a district with cobbled streets and narrow alleyways huddled together on a triangular-shaped island.

Today the area is an atmospheric mixture of buildings surrounded on all sides by a latticework of medieval lanes and alleyways. The district of Norrmalm swaps tradition for a thoroughly contemporary feel: this is downtown Stockholm where you’ll find shopping malls, huge department stores and conspicuous, showy wealth. In the green island of Djurgården you can see an extraordinary 17th century warship, the Vasa, rescued and preserved after sinking in Stockholm harbour.

Cross Norrbron or Riksbron from the Riksdagshuset and up rears the most distinctive monumental building in Stockholm, Kungliga Slottet – a low, square, yellowy-brown construction, with two arms that stretch down towards the water. It’s uniform and sombre outside, but with a magnificent Rococo interior that’s a swirl of staterooms and museums.

Itssheer size is quite overwhelming: you should not miss the Royal Apartments and the Treasure Room. The former are used for royal receptions and the second keeps a collection of crowns studded with precious stones.

Must see places in Stockholm

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    Luxuriant woods and boundless spaces
    Luxuriant woods and boundless spaces

    A holiday to Sweden will show you principally a land of forests and lakes. Its towns and cities are small by European standards and are mostly located in the southern third of the country, where the majority of Swedes live.

    Of its cities, serenely beautiful Stockholm is supreme. Sitting elegantly on fourteen different islands, where the waters of Lake Mälaren meet the Baltic Sea, the city boasts some fantastic architecture, fine museums and by far the best culture and nightlife in the country.

    The 24,000 islands which comprise the Stockholm archipelago are a perfect antidote to the urban bustle, offering endless opportunities to explore unspoilt island villages and to go swimming.
    On the west coast, Gothenburg, the country’s second city, is another of Sweden’s most appealing destinations. Gothenburgers have a reputation for being among the friendliest people in Sweden, and the city’s network of canals and spacious avenues is reminiscent of Amsterdam, whose architects designed it.

    During an MSC Northern Europe cruise to Sweden you will discover that the south is the most cosmopolitan part of the country, owing to the proximity of Denmark and the rest of the European continent, and home to the glorious ancient university seat of Lund, while nearby Malmö, Sweden’s third city, heaves with youthful nightlife around its medieval core.