Don't miss these Sweden attractions
Gamla Stan (Old Town)
Originally, Stockholm was composed of just this one small island in the center of the city, through which earlier generations controlled Baltic trade routes. Today the island is dominated by the Kungliga Slottet (The Royal Palace), one of the largest palaces in all of Europe and the winter home of the Swedish royal family. The massive complex contains various museums, including the extravagant Royal Apartments and the lavishly decorated Rikssalen Skattkammaren (Royal Treasury) now houses enough jewel-encrusted accessories to make a thief drool, while the nearby Livrustkammaren (Armory) presents an extensive collection of swords, suits of armor, and carriages that look like they came straight out of Cinderella.
Djurgarden is a lush national park in the heart of the city, a perfect place for a long walk or a summer picnic. It is also home to Skansen, a popular open-air museum featuring 150 historical buildings, handicrafts, and a zoo.
The wooded islands of the Stockholm archipelago grow rockier and increasingly dramatic closer to the Baltic. The archipelago is perfect for picnicking and hiking, the water is very cold but swimmable on its many beaches.
Uppsala is regarded as the historical and religious centre of Sweden. It's a daytime alternative to the capital, with a delightful river-cut centre, not to mention an active student-geared nightlife. At the centre of the medieval town, a ten minute walk from the train station, is the great Domkyrkan, Scandinavia's largest cathedral. The echoing interior remains impressive, particularly the French Gothic ambulatory, with its tiny chapels, one of which contains a lively set of restored fourteenth-century wall paintings that tell the legend of St. Erik, Sweden's patron saint, while another contains his relics.