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Sweden: The Rain in Stockholm Didn't Slow Us Down

Summary: On this early July day, and on our first day in Stockholm, we were greeted with intermittent downpours of rain. The weather in Northern Europe can be unpredictable, with Stockholm getting on average, 164 days of rain each year. Fortunately, our sightseeing plans on this rainy day were mostly indoors, with much of our time spent at the extraordinary Royal Palace. Our evening archipelago cruise also had indoor seating, so the rain did not slow us down.

[This blog is part of a 4-days in Sweden series, which is part of our 15-days in Northern Europe trip].

Arriving in Stockholm. Transferring from Stockholm airport to the City center is easy. Upon arrival we followed signs until we reached an Arlanda ticket center. This airport transfer line is in bright yellow and is hard to miss. Trains for this 20 minute journey to Central Station, run every 15 minutes, depending on the time of day. From here, we first headed to our AirBnB to drop our bags. Incidentally, it began pouring rain just as we had to make the walk from the train station to our flat. Tip: If you travel with backpacks like we do, carrying a poncho is perfect since you can fit over your bags and keep everything dry.

Next, we headed out on foot from our Gamla Stan flat to grab a bite to eat. We loved staying in this picturesque neighborhood.

Lunch. This little, cozy spot near the Palace served us a reasonably priced, traditional Swedish meatball lunch.

Royal Palace. After lunch, we headed over to spend time at the Royal Palace. This official residence of His Majesty The King has more than 600 rooms. Public access to the Palace is limited but guests are treated to three museums, in addition to viewing the Royal Apartments.

History of the Palace. The original site of the Palace consisted of a 13th century fortress until being replaced in the 17th century with a castle. A great fire in 1697 destroyed the castle and prompted the building of a new Palace by King Charles XII who reigned from 1697-1718. Under architect, Nicodemus Tessin's design, a strictly Baroque style Palace was built. After his death in 1728, architect Carl Hårleman took over the Palace construction until he too failed to live to completion. After Hårleman's death in 1753, the Palace was finally completed by two architects, Carl Johan Cronstedt and Carl Gustaf Tessin in 1754.

Museums. The Palace is the home of four museums holding much of Stockholm and Sweden's history: Livrustkammaren, The Treasury, Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities, and The Tre Kronor Museum.

Walking Along the Water. After our time at the Palace, we walked along the water, on our way to catch an evening Stockholm archipelago boat cruise. Our lucky break was the that the rain let up just in time for us to get to the boat.

Stockholm Cruise. At $33 per person, this relatively inexpensive, 2.5 hour evening cruise was a nice way to see the area's archipelago. Admittedly, if it hadn't been raining, we would have probably spent more time admiring the many islands and country homes along the shoreline. However, after having just flown in from Norway, it ended up being nice, restful evening activity. Us older adults enjoyed a glass of wine and watched the rain as we traveling along the water. [note- the rain started after boarding so we do not have many photos].

Evening Walk Back. The rain also made for a quiet walk back through the Gamla Stan neighborhood. By the next day, these streets would be filled again with tourists and locals, alike. But for now, enjoyed the exquisitely quiet streets.


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