June 13, 2012

Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace!
My parents are currently visiting me and the other day I decided to take them to one of my favorite places to visit: Drottningholm Palace. Not only is the palace the current residence of the king and queen of Sweden, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site (one of three in Stockholm). The palace was built in the late 1600's and is a great example of European architecture of this period.
Interior of palace. Photo by: Alexis Daflos
While it is open for the public year-round (though not daily), it is during the summer that one really should visit the palace. They have more generous opening hours (daily from May through September) during the summer and it is also the best time to explore the beautiful gardens surrounding the palace. The gardens are massive and contain both French & English influences, as well as fountains, sculptures, waterfalls, hedges and groves. On the grounds you will also find the Chinese Pavillion, built in 1753 by King Adolf Fredrik, and Drottningholm Theatre.
Part of the Chinese Pavillion complex
Another great reason to visit Drottningholm during the summer is the trip to the palace itself. Drottningholm Palace is located on an island in Lake Mälaren on the western outskirts of Stockholm. While you can get there from the city by a combination of subway and bus, the best way is by boat! The sightseeing company Strömma runs boat trips out to the palace all summer long. The boats (historic, turn of the century ships) depart from the pier adjacent to City Hall and the trip takes just under an hour.
Looking back at palace from the gardens
The boat ride takes you through the suburbs and countryside and is very relaxing & enjoyable, especially on a sunny day. On board you will find a restaurant and café. During the high season the boats depart every half hour which gives you the flexibility of spending the full day or just an afternoon at the palace. A round trip ticket costs 175 SEK and one can also purchase a combination ticket which includes entrance to the palace (320 SEK). If you are staying at the Rival Hotel, contact me and I can help you with booking tickets! Pictures taken by me, unless marked otherwise.
Strömma's boat to Drottningholm

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