I first went to Sweden in 1985. I stayed at a youth hostel known as af Chapman, an iconic full-rigged steel ship built in 1888, moored in the harbor near the city center. What an adventure for a 19-year-old! Born in England, she did time in the Swedish navy during World War I, then was converted to Stockholm’s first hostel in 1949. (The af Chapman is still there, still a youth hostel (with 285 beds!), but currently undergoing renovation through December 2023.)

af Chapman, Stockholm – Photo by Chris Linnett on Unsplash

Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, is situated on 14 islands and is the largest urban area in Scandinavia. Must-sees here include the Royal Palace, as well as the Vasa Museum, the ABBA Museum and Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, all located on the island of Djurgården. We visited in 2011 on a cruise but are definitely overdue for a longer stay.