Spread out over 14 islands, with an eye towards the Baltic Sea to the East, Sweden’s capital city of Stockholm is a beautiful, colorful, vibrant, and modern 700 year old European city. It’s also a lot of fun to take photos in! I had a chance to visit this great city back in March (on my way to go Dogsledding above the Arctic Circle, which is a story for another time), and really fell in love with it. I only spent a few days here, and barely scratched the surface, but what I found was really quite awesome. Here’s a quick photo tour of the city of Stockholm:
One of the places you must surely visit in the Old Town of Stockholm (Gamla Stan). This is the oldest section of town, which dates back to the 13th century, although most of the buildings date to the 17th century now. I really love the colorful buildings on the various town squares.
The best way to visit Gamla Stan is on foot, where you will find a labyrinth of cobbled streets and colorful buildings. Wandering (a.k.a. getting totally lost) is a blast.
I really like this pretty reflection of the old, colorful buildings in the river. It was March, and therefore quite cold, which you can see by the small chunks of ice on the river.
The Royal Palace, or Stockholm Palace, also situated in Old Town, is the actual residence of the Swedish Monarch. It’s a beautiful building, and is hard to miss not only because of it’s color and architecture, but also because of the guards that watch the entrance.
We happened to be visiting Stockholm at the time when their beloved Princess Lillian died at the age of 97. Known as the people’s Princess, Lillian met Prince Bertil when she was 28 and they were lovers for 30 years, but could not marry. Due to Sweden’s strict royal succession rules — which at the time did not permit a contender for the throne to marry a commoner — King Gustav VI Adolph (the current king’s grandfather) would not give his blessing to the union. So they lived as lovers for 33 years before they were finally married when times, and opinions, had changed enough to permit it. These royal guards marched in front of the Royal Palace during her funeral procession, which was a moving experience.
What can I say? I love bikes, and I love photographing bikes. I’ve found many European cities to be great for taking photos of bikes (Amsterdam! Paris!), and Stockholm is no different. I like shiny European bikes shot in black and white with shop windows and flowers behind them. I wouldn’t say there are a TON of bikes in Stockholm, but certainly enough to make this photographer happy.
Stockholm has a lively nightlife as well. Here, patrons dine at the famous International Press Club. Check out the photos on the wall of all the famous people who have been here! Also, they serve some of the best European beer i the bar…..a must for a drink (or a dinner) while visiting Stockholm.
Another “MUST” for any visit to Stockholm is the incredible Vasa Museum. How often to do get to come face to face (or face to stern) with a 17th century Swedish warship? This magnificent ship sank in 1628 o her maiden voyage out of Stockholm, and is on display in full regalia at the awesome Vasa museum. For more info on the ship, check out the Vasa museum website: http://www.vasamuseet.se/en/
Sunset in Stockholm is a magical time. Be sure to be near the water (which is hard to NOT be near because it is everywhere) when the sun is going down. You will get to see Stockholm in its magic hour.
I’ll leave you with this final image of the sun setting behind a steeple and bridges. If you get the chance, take a visit to Stockholm. It’s a beautiful, cosmopolitan, modern, and vibrant city (that is also a lot of fun to take photos in!).
Thanks for viewing my posts over the past many months. It’s been an honor to post on my good friend’s (Dave and Deb from the PlanetD) website, and I have really enjoyed the great feedback you have all provided over the many posts. I am going to take a break from posting here to work on my own website and blog, but I hope to return in the coming months. Until then, I wish you all safe, fun, and photo-filled travels! Please keep in touch!
Jonathan Irish is a seasoned travel photographer who has traveled to over 65 countries and specializes in photographs of people, landscapes, abstracts, and, above all, cultures abroad. His work has appeared in various National Geographic publications, and he is represented by National Geographic’s Image Collection www.NationalGeographicStock.com/jonathanirish. When he is not traveling the world in search of amazing photos, he gathers inspiration from the other great photographers at National Geographic, where he is the Program Director for National Geographic Adventures Jonathan lives in Washington, D.C.
Check out more of his photography at JonathanIrish.com
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