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The warship Vasa went on it's maiden voyage from Stockholm in 1628. And, then promptly sank less than a mile out—much to the horror of the crowd who had come to see her off. In 1961, it was salvaged and is the only preserved 17th century ship in the world.
The world's first open-air museum is similar to U.S. historical theme parks but cuter, cooler and nicer because its Swedish. One of my favorite stops on the trip!
Dedicated solely to photography, this museum boasts an amazing rotation of exhibits.
This is where Nobel prize nominees and Justin Bieber stay when visiting Stockholm, so it's a bit too pricey for accommodations. But if you want to indulge in a fancy lunch on the terrace and a classic Swedish massage, this would be the place to live it up.
Hear me out: They are nicer in Stockholm than the U.S. and have an amazing and cheap selection of yummy, Swedish candy.
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To get to the archipelago
Take the M/S Grace ship (it's the newest and nicest) on the Viking Ferry line and reserve the buffet for an amazing array of Nordic specialties. Then gorge on salmon gravlax and Åland-style black bread while enjoying the most amazing view of little, red houses surrounded by lush forests and the breath-taking beauty of the Baltic Sea.
A shop filled with local items like sheepskin blankets, yarn, pottery, candles, tar soap, nautical knots, and all sorts of Swedish and Finnish wares.
Immerse yourself in sailing lore with exhibits dedicated to the now disbanded AICH, an exclusive group for those who had rounded Cape Horn, and the oldest drinkable bottle of champagne.
Try the Åland-style pancake here! Established in the Helsinki Times as "culinary classic," it is unlike conventional pancakes and more akin to baked custard pie. Amazing!
All photos, drawings, and recommendations by Rachel Domm. Thanks girl! We're traveling vicariously.