While Scandinavian rivalries exist mostly in jest these days, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland still relish in a slight superiority complex over one another. However, little debate persists when naming the crown jewel of all Scandinavia—the magnificent city of Stockholm. Stockholm is by far the most pristine and most stunning of all Scandinavian cities, with endless candy-coated streets and an omnipresent royal atmosphere.
The epicenter of the Scandinavia’s bustling gay life, this hyper-liberal metropolis courts same-sex couples from abroad to indulge in the deep-rooted ethos of true equality. Gay weddings are an every day occurrence at the hotels, churches, and historic buildings that line the gingerbread streets of Gamla Stan (Stockholm’s Old Town) and the regal reception halls within the greater archipelago. A bastion of tolerance, sexual preference ceased to be an issue here decades ago; and hotels such as the celebrated Grand Hotel have taken pride in welcoming sophisticated same-sex couples for decades, long before it was legally mandated or globally popular.
Visitors are spoiled for choice in discovering the city’s fairy-tale backdrops and riveting architecture. Charming boats transport passengers along the Baltic Sea to countless scenic islands. Pedestrian friendly cobblestone streets lead to the majestic Kungliga Slottet (the Royal Palace), while farther afield the impressive Vasamuseet (Royal Warship Vasa), the culturally enticing open-air Skansen museum, the renowned National Museum of Art, and the edgy, provocative Millesgarden, reveal the country’s fascinating history and cultural evolution. From May to September, the rise of the perpetual sun equates to long, contemplative ambles through the “European Green Capital” at all hours of the day and night and a city-wide fervor to make up for lost daylight hours of winter. Nevertheless, in any season at any hour, Stockholm exudes romance and exclusivity, five-star appeal and world-class liberalism.