We couldn't possibly visit Stockholm without having a trip to The Royal Palace as part of our itinerary.
We headed to the palace on a beautiful late August morning, walking through the streets of Old Town as the city was starting to wake up. The streets were filled with vendors dropping off food and goods to the stores that line the cobblestone roads. The architecture and the colors of the city are so beautiful, that I snapped a bunch of pictures on our walk over to the palace. At the risk of sounding like the total Californian that I am, I often felt like I was walking through the Universal Studios Backlot.
Speaking of Universal Studios, when we reached the Palace, the architecture of the building combined with its creamy yellow colored paint, made it looked like a facade. From a distance, it looked flat. The vibrant blue sky punctuated the false feeling.
We took a few pictures of the immediate interiors of the palace. It is a grand and ornate entrance that reminded me of a cathedral. Unfortunately, photography was not permitted beyond the point where tickets were being sold. The areas where we could not take photos, were even more incredible.
We paid our 150 SEK per ticket entrance fee. Since we had missed the English guided tour, we walked around the Palace on our own. I highly recommend waiting for a tour, as there are very few employees to answer questions and there is very little signage. Most of the time, the significance of the room and its contents was lost on us. Always take the tour!
Just as the buildings in Sweden are so colorful, so are the rooms inside the palace. I imagine this is to keep a warm and cheerful vibe during the bleak winters. One room had a sky painted on the ceiling that made me think of the Forum Shops in Las Vegas. As with all of the Palaces/Castles that we visited in the United Kingdom, the decor was ornate. A majority of the Palace was built in the 1700's, after a fire destroyed the original Palace in 1697. We were able to tour several sections of the Royal Apartments, including areas that are still used by the current Royal Family.
There were two rooms that made a big impression, mainly because the reminded me of Disneyland. The first, was a room that was done completely in a modern 1960's theme. It had plastic furniture and looked like it was straight out of Tomorrowland or maybe it could be Don Draper's swanky apartment in Mad Men. The other was a small, very dark sitting room with a giant, low hung chandelier that had creepy cherubs holding the candles. Immediately, Dan and I both thought of Madame Leota and the Haunted Mansion. Her crystal ball should have been on the circular table under the chandelier. Those two rooms were so out of character with everything else in the Palace.
After seeing the interiors of the Palace, we explored the outside courtyard. We arrived in time to see a changing of the guards.
We enjoyed our visit to The Royal Palace of Stockholm. It's a unique palace and a must-do when visiting Stockholm.