City With A Heart: Stockholm’s Gamla Stan

From the lofty heights of City Hall’s “Large Tower,” Stockholm’s Old Town appears in the shape of a heart. The symbolism is ?tting in more than one way.

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Gamla Stan, as the Old Town is known, certainly pumps life into the Swedish capital. The Old Town’s busy pedestrian arteries pulsate with locals and tourists alike.

But visitors are nothing new to Stockholm’s birthplace. It has been attracting them for nearly 800 years, and even today, Gamla Stan has the character of a medieval city.

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With its well-preserved buildings, cozy cafes, narrow alleys and cobble-stone streets, Gamla Stan deserves a place at the top of your “must see” list.

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Wander freely through Gamla Stan, but don’t miss the 15th-century Gothic Cathedral (Storkyrkan) or the 18th-century Royal Palace and the changing of the guard. It’s quite a ceremony, and you won’t want to miss it.

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But to truly absorb Gamla Stan you need do nothing more than take a seat and watch the world pass.

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Gamla Stan offers plenty of opportunities to shop, both in Gamla Stan itself and on the nearby pedestrian shopping street Drottninggatan.

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Wander with or without a guide along the original network of streets. Here in Gamla Stan, it’s more than okay to permit yourself to be detoured. It’s preferred.

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You won’t get lost — at least not for long, and you’ll have no trouble ?nding your way back to your cruise ship, which is never far away.

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You won’t ?nd a better place to spend your time in Stockholm. Gamla Stan, after all, is not only Stockholm’s number one tourist attraction. It is the capital city’s big and open heart.

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