Drottningholm Palace and garden.

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Drottningholm Slott

Top choice in Around Stockholm

Home to the royal family for part of the year, Drottningholm's Renaissance-inspired main palace was designed by architectural great Nicodemus Tessin the Elder and begun in 1662, about the same time as Versailles. You can roam on your own, but it's worth taking a one-hour guided tour (30kr; in English at 10am, noon, 2pm and 4pm June to August, noon and 2pm other months). Guides are entertaining, and provide insight into the cultural milieu that influenced some of the decorations.

The Lower North Corps de Garde was originally a guard room, but it’s now replete with gilt-leather wall hangings, which used to feature in many palace rooms during the 17th century. The Karl X Gustav Gallery, in baroque style, depicts this monarch’s militaristic exploits, though the ceiling shows classical battle scenes. The highly ornamented State Bedchamber of Hedvig Eleonora is Sweden’s most expensive baroque interior, decorated with paintings that feature the childhood of Karl XI. The painted ceiling shows Karl X and his queen, Hedvig Eleonora.

Although the bulk of Lovisa Ulrika’s collection of 2000 books has been moved to the Royal Library in Stockholm for safekeeping, her library here is still a bright and impressive room, complete with most of its original 18th-century fittings.

The palace's elaborate staircase, with statues and trompe l'oeil embellishments at every turn, was the work of both Nicodemus Tessin the Elder and the Younger. The geometric gardens, angled to impress, are well worth exploring.

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