Stockholm is a large Scandinavian city that sits on fourteen islands along Sweden's eastern coast near the outlet of Lake Mälaren. Bridges connect all the islands of this capital city, which was settled around 1250 AD.
A bike tour is the best way to explore Stockholm. Sightseeing by bike lets you follow the shores of the lake and of the sea and roll on over the many bridges, taking you to the Royal Palace, the Royal Dramatic Theater and the Parliament – you also get to see quaint seventeenth century wooden houses on the back streets.
"Gamla Stan" means "Old Town" and occupies the original settlement islands. Look for the large German Church called Tyska Kyrkan, the House of Nobility named the Riddarhuset, and three of the old Palaces: the Bonde, the Tessin and the Oxenstierna. The oldest building in Stockholm is the Riddarholmskyrkan, the thirteenth century burial church of Swedish kings, near the Royal Palace on the island of Riddarholmen.
Tyresta National Park is all old-growth woods, with clear blue lakes and gorgeous views from dramatic cliffs, all only a half-hour from the city. This wilderness area abounds with wildlife to observe. Be sure to visit the Nyfors waterfall. Further out, paddle a kayak among the thousands of islands of the Stockholm Archipelago, just one hour away from Stockholm.