Palaces and castles always fascinated me and tickled my imagination. Therefore it will come as no surprise that on our last day in Stockholm I dragged my husband to see Drottningholm Palace. The reputation preceded this place for being listed as a heritage site by UNESCO and I usually trust these guys. The entrance fee to the palace was also included in the Stockholm Card, so there was nothing to stop me from visiting it.
Drottningholm Palace is situated outside the city and can be reached either by boat or by a combination of subway + bus. As it is the permanent residence of the Swedish royal family no photos are allowed inside, which is a pity, because the rooms opened to the public look pretty good.
Built in the 17th century, Drottningholm Palace follows the prototype of the French ones, which is good and bad at the same time. It is good because French architecture never disappoints. It is bad because if you, like us, have previously seen a certain number of European palaces, many of them influenced by the French ones, well, you might have gone immune and not go all 'oh' and 'ah', especially when the guide explains that what looks like marble it's actually painted wood because when the palace was built Sweden was a poor country and therefore they had to compromise on quality. Actually the guide did such a good job at pointing out all the fakes that deceived our eyes that we left the palace wondering why on earth it this a UNESCO site?
|Poor old baby. The woman selling trinkets on the palace's grounds said she needed to take him with her to work every day as she couldn't leave him home alone because of his poor medical condition - diabetes.|
The palace grounds are free to visit and host a number of buildings accessible with the Stockholm Card as well. First there is a theater, which is not much to see per se, but worth going in because of the guided tour which is entertaining and the ladies holding it are dressed in beautiful traditional Swedish costumes.
A 10-minute walk through the gardens and the Chinese Pavilion raised in front of us. This is advertised as the largest Chinese pavilion in Europe and when we visited there were a few music bands around entertaining the guests. However, this poorly decorated pavilion reminded us of the one in Brighton we visited years ago, which happens to be the most outstanding pavilion we've ever seen. The Brighton Pavilion is huge comparing, but it is decorated in a mixture of Chinese and Indian styles, and therefore it cannot be the largest Chinese pavilion. Maybe we shouldn't have made these comparison, but we just couldn't help it. I think we just got to the saturation point for the time being and we needed an aesthetics change. A couple of months later we landed in Tokyo.
|The Chinese Pavilion|
How to get around Europe:
One of the best ways to see Europe is by train. And the most budget-friendly way to travel by train in Europe is with an Interrail Global Pass if you are a European resident or a Eurail Global Pass if you are a non-European resident. These passes can be used in up to 30 countries and add great flexibility to any journey.
You can also see our month long Interrail itinerary. Have you used an Interrail pass before or are you planning an Interrail trip in the near future?