One of the largest palaces in Europe, the magnificence and grandeur of this 18th Century royal residence is one of many sights not to be missed in Stockholm. The Royal Palace stands on the site of the old Tre Kronor Castle, devastated by fire in 1697, and was officially opened in 1754 as the home of King Adolph Frederick. Consisting of no less than five museums, boasting impressive Italian architecture, and holding a stunning waterfront location at the edge of Lake Mälaren, the Royal Palace makes for a perfect day out for all the family.
1. A Royal Day Out
If you’re looking for a great day out suitable for the whole family, look no further than the Royal Palace. For those interested in Stockholm’s vast history and culture, daily guided tours with some of the most lively tour guides you’ll ever encounter will allow you to journey through the many rooms open to the public such as the royal apartments, the library, and the chapel.
The Pillar Hall is definitely worth a visit, although you may experience a touch of house envy afterwards. The hallways leading between these rooms are just as fascinating, crowded with detailed sculptures and portraits of past royalty. One of the most interesting sights is perhaps the silver throne. Produced for the coronation of Queen Christina in 1650, it is one of the few items recovered from Tre Kronor Castle following the fire. As you’re enjoying the guided tour, don’t forget to check out the amazingly decorated ceilings, just be sure not to get a stiff neck!
The Tre Kronor Museum is an ideal choice for history buffs, whereas both the Livrustkammaren and Skattkammaren will be sure to keep the kids entertained with their collections of royal carriages and crown jewels.
The most popular attraction at the Royal Palace is without a doubt the changing of the guards. A 40 minute ceremony taking place daily at 12:15pm during the summer months, the changing of the guards is a must see. The guards, in their vivid blue uniforms, stand out sharply against the gray backdrop of the Royal Palace, providing a fantastic photo opportunity for photography enthusiasts, but make sure to get there early, it can get rather crowded, especially during nice weather). The best part of the changing of the guards? It’s free!
2. Getting There
The Royal Palace is located in the Old Town, or Gamla Stan, area of the city and tickets can be purchased at the ticket booths situated in the courtyard. Tickets cost 150 Swedish Krona (SEK) for adults, about $23, or 75 SEK (roughly $11) for children aged between 7 and 18. Children under 3 can enter for free, although note that pushchairs are not permitted inside the building. Parking is available nearby, or for those wanting to use public transport, the red and green subway lines stop at T-Gamla Stan. The Royal Palace is approximately a 5 minute walk from the station.
3. Make A Day Of It
No trip to Stockholm would be complete without a wander through the 13th Century cobbled streets of the Old Town, marvelling at the impressive German architecture and travelling back in time with traditional horse and carriage rides.
After the changing of the guards, why not stop locally for a spot of lunch? The Old Town boasts one of Sweden’s most famous restaurants, Den Gyldene Freden, acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records for being the oldest restaurant still to be both in its original location and original surroundings. As such, prices can be quite steep, but the creme brulee is to die for!
For something a bit more relaxed and competitively priced, head over to O’Connell’s Irish Bar for some Irish stew and a pint of Guinness.