At Drottningholm Palace visit the reception halls of a royal palace, watch opera performances and explore manicured gardens. Built in the 1600s by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, the palace became the permanent residence of Sweden’s royal family in 1981. In 1991, the palace and grounds became Sweden’s first internationally recognized World Heritage Site.
Step inside the palace to admire the ornate decorations of its rooms, which include art and furniture from the 17th through 19th centuries. Look for a staircase decorated by Italian artist Giovanni Carove and the former bedroom of Queen Hedvig Eleonora. Don’t miss the Chinese Salon, a room decorated in chinoiserie style by King Gustav III.
Allow time to stroll around the palace’s park and gardens. Stretching in front of the palace is a baroque garden, bordered by lime trees. Check out the Hercules Fountain by Dutch sculptor Adriaen de Vries, built around 1600. There’s also an English garden with walkways, ponds and ornamental bridges. Look for Italian marble statues which King Gustav III bought in the late 1700s.
While here, stop by the royal theater, Slottsteater. Go behind the scenes on a guided tour and then watch a performance of 17th- and 18th-century opera. Visit the theater’s official website for a tour and show schedule. The Chinese Pavilion is another of the palace’s highlights. Inside are paintings that portray the relationship between Europe and Asia in the 1700s. See more art in Evert Lundquist’s Studio, adjacent to the pavilion. It houses oil paintings and charcoal drawings by Lundquist, his wife and his children.
Located on the island Lovön , the Drottningholm Palace is a 20-minute drive from Stockholm’s city center. Free parking is available outside the Slottsteater and public buses stop outside the palace’s main entrance. In the summer you can take a boat from Stadshuskajen (City Hall Quay) to Drottningholm. This one-hour journey travels along Lake Målaren.
Opening times for Drottningholm Palace vary, so check its official website for full details. Admission to the gardens is free. Admission to the palace includes a 45-minute guided tour. Extra charges apply for the Chinese Pavilion and Slottsteater.