Stockholm Sweden is nicknamed the Venice of the North, and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful capitals of the world. Walking around its waterways and parks is a glorious way to pass a summer's day. The city is built on a labyrinth of islands, which are connected by a collection of bridges and a network of subways. Stockholmers are usually shy and reserved, highly educated and orderly. Gender equality is advanced here and rural connections are still strong; a summer cottage is almost socially obligatory. Known as being a world leader in design and architecture, Stockholm is a shopper's paradise. Start your day by breakfasting on a saffron bun (lussekatt) and coffee at Thelins Konditori. Head over to Skansen, which is the world's first open air museum. It features about 150 traditional houses and staff in traditional dress, showcasing how Swedes lived in times gone by. The Skansen market is also a nice area to wander around where you may find some interesting goods to buy. Take a historic tour through Gamla Stan and lose yourself in the maze of winding medieval alleyways, small squares and ancient churches. It can get very crowded, but you can avoid the bus-tour clusters by keeping ducking down side streets. While you ae here, head over to Kungliga Slottet (the Royal Palace) to watch the changing of the guard. The Stadshuset (City Hall) is Stockholm's most prominent landmark. The Blue Hall plays host to some of the world's most esteemed people at its Nobel Prize banquet, held annually. A guided tour of the building takes in the astonishing Golden Hall, in which scenes from Swedish history are depicted on the walls in 18 million mosaic pieces of gold leaf. You can also expect to see a 10'000 piped organ and the Council Chamber, which was designed to resemble the open roof of a Viking longhouse. Cafe culture in Sweden is as rich as the coffee the natives consume by the gallon. Getting a coffee fix, served with something sweet on the side, is now a firmly established Swedish pastime. They call it fika, which loosely translates as 'indulge in coffee and chat at leisure'. Join the caffeine society at Malarpaviljongen for an open-air cafe in a picturesque spot. Fill your boots with a smorgasbord of Northern delights. The Pelikan is a very Swedish beer hall which is steeped in history. Order SOS (smor, ost och sill) - butter, cheese and herring - and pytt i panna, diced and fried meat and potatoes, adorned with a fried egg and pickled beetroot for some traditional Swedish fare. Wash it down with a glass of Staropramen for the full local experience. The Gondolen bar is touristy, but thanks to its killer views, it's still worth visiting. At the top of the historic Katarina lift it is the ideal place to sip a drink while taking in panoramic views of Djurgarden and the Riddarfjarden. Alternatively head to the cocktail bar at the newly opened Och Himlen Dartill, which has staggering views of the city from a vantage point 104m up. The integration of land and sea, of old and new, has made Stockholm a cityscape of exceptional charm.