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Stockholm’s warm welcome for the Cruise Europe Conference 2024

City sight seeing tour including the hidden gems of the metro system at Kungsträdgården station (bottom picture)
Stockholm may be well known for being Sweden’s capital, for ABBA The Museum, its waterfront cityscape and picturesque archipelago of 30,000 islands, skerries and rocks that ships navigate to reach the cruise berths but it also has plentiful hidden attractions.

Cruise line executives from over a dozen brands and media attending the 2024 Cruise Europe conference were treated to a Hidden Gems Tour Tuesday laid on by European Cruise Service.

If anyone had said it would be shorts and t-shirt weather in Stockholm in mid-May visitors might have ventured with caution but with temperatures soaring to 23degrees C it felt the whole city was outside enjoying the sunshine.

A first photo stop was at Monteliusvägen, running along the northeast edge of Södermalm island, and a great viewpoint to see Lake Malaren and the inner city, offering a vista over Kungsholmen, City Hall, City/Norrmalm, Riddarholmen, Old Town/Gamla Stan, and Slussen. All places that were later visited by foot.

Recreation and entertainment

A popular area on such a glorious day was the Royal National City Park and Djurgården island designated place for recreation and entertainment for centuries. Many of Stockholm's most popular attractions and museums are located in this area.

Both residential and commercial, Gamla Stan is Stockholm's oldest district. With old and modern shops interspersed with cafes, restaurants and museums.

Old Town

The Old Town dates from the 13th century but most buildings are from the 1600s and 1700s. It is a labyrinth of cobbled streets, alleyways, faded yellow and rust-coloured townhouses and meeting squares.

A walk in this area takes in Stortorget the main square and many attractions lead off it, including the baroque style Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) and The Royal Chapel (Storkyrkan) around the corner.

But talking of hidden gems, venturing below ground level and into Stockholm's metro system reveals decorated platforms and ticket halls and while most stations in the system feature some kind of art, the color scheme of Kungsträdgården's subway station mirrors the grand mansion Makalös', located in Kungsträdgården Park between the 1650s and 1825.

Makalös was destroyed in a fire, but remnants of the palace's interior were rediscovered during the subway station's construction and the statues in the station are replicas of Makalös Palace’s exterior art.


Another unique feature of Kungsträdgården is a cave dwelling spider that lives there and the only place in Northern Europe where it can be found. The story goes the species hitched a ride on equipment and machines traveling from Southern Europe when the station was being built.