To be royalty is something reserved for the fortunate few. However, a visitor to the Stockholm area need not be to the manor born to enjoy the day visiting royal palaces and gardens. Even a simple lunch or picnic in the park or garden becomes grand when in the footsteps of monarchs.
The Stockholm Royal Palace, Sveriges Kungahus, is the official residence of His Majesty King Carl Gustaf XVI and Queen Silvia. It is one of the largest palaces in Europe. Although the king does not actually live here, it is where he, the Queen, and the Royal Court work and where they hold royal receptions. There are seven floors and over 600 rooms in this baroque style palace designed by super-star architect, Nicodemus Tessin. Stroll the Royal Apartments, Royal Chapel, and three museums–and revel in the regalia in the Treasury, become immersed in the Medieval in the Tre Kroner Museum, and be surrounded by fine art of the Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities. It is open to visitors year-round.
A century-old steamer travels between the docks by City Hall and Drottningholm Palace. Commissioned by Queen Hedvig Eleonora during Sweden’s heyday, Drottningholm Palace was also designed by Nicodemus Tessin. King Carl Gustaf XVI and Queen Silvia live in the southern wing. The rest is open to the public, including the Chinese Pavilion, Royal Theater, and palace gardens. Strömma Kanalbolaget also offers a dinner cruise.
There are also royal palaces in the Royal National City Park, a blend a forests, parks and beaches, and world’s first national urban park. It includes the English landscape park, Haga Park, and spans from Ulriksdal in the north to the former royal hunting grounds, Djurgården in the south.
The green line of the Hop-on-Hop-off Bus runs from Gustav Adolf’s Square to Haga Park, and the Royal Haga boat trip is included with the ticket. The Fjäderholm Islands are also part of the national park and are easily reached by boat, including the popular Strömma Kanalbolaget.
Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel live at Haga Palace, which is not open to the public. Commissioned by King Gustafv IV Adolf in 1802 as a royal home, it has has been used by members of the royal family, housed homeless orphans after World War I, and served as a guest residence for distinguished visitors like Nikita Khrushchev.
Rosendal Palace was built in Djurgården hunting park in 1820 for King Karl XIV Johan, the first Bernadotte, as a summer retreat. It is open to visitors in the summer. Take the tram or bus.
Queen Hedvig Eleanora built added an Orangery and Queen Kristina’s coronation procession was at Ulriksdal Palace on Edviken Lake in Stockhom’s National City Park. The palace and Orangery are open in summer by guided tour and are accessible by train or T-bana (underground).
Farther afield and open in the summer:
It’s a drive or commuter train ride and short walk to the guided tours at Roserberg Palace built in the 1630s It became a royal palace in 1762 when it was given to Karl III, brother of Gustav III, and was the summer residence of King Karl XIV Johan and Queen Desideria.
The yellow baroque Strömholm Palace is on an islet and about an 85 mile drive from Stockholm. It is also accessible by train and then bus.
The popular Tullgarn Palace in Sörmland was a royal palace from 1772 to 1950 and offers guided tours. Built for Duke Fredrik Adolf, younger brother of Gustaf III, in the 1770s, it was used in the summer by King Gustaf V and Queen Victoria, from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. There’s a stable café, Orangery, and picnics by the dams. It’s about an hour’s drive by car or take the commuter train and then bus.
For more on the royal palaces and detailed directions, see The Swedish Royal Court website.