Sweden’s capital is one of Europe’s most captivating cities. Beautifully constructed on a series of islands, it’s made up of one-third green space and one-third water. The buildings which cover the other third are coloured shades of ochre and terracotta, so that even on a drab day, the city seems to glow with abundant light, giving the place a bright, open feel.
Everywhere in the city is within easy reach: the islands are laced together with myriad bridges, making walking a delight of constantly changing views. There are over 70 museums to explore, together with Europe’s best-preserved medieval centre and a raft of internationally acclaimed galleries. The cuisine is superb, with many fine restaurants making the most of excellent local fish and seafood. And the shopping is refreshingly appealing: Swedish design, long celebrated, is booming, the charm of traditional Scandinavia sitting comfortably next to sleek lines from young designers. That this vibrant city is so uplifting is thanks largely to the Swedes themselves: relaxed, friendly and universally polite, they speak shamingly good English.
Stockholm is most idyllic in summer, when the heat and long evenings lure people out to islands in the archipelago. But it's lovely in winter too, when snow covers the ground, skies are deep blue, and everyone gathers in cosy candlelit bars and restaurants.