Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden, with nearly 2 million inhabitants within its vicinities.The inner city is made up of 14 islands connected by some 50 bridges on Lake Mälaren, which flows in to the brackish Baltic Sea, and passes the Stockholm archipelago with some 24,000 islands and islets.Stockholm is really a cosmopolitan place with both classical and modern architecture, and a captivating Old Town, Gamla Stan. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways, and another 30% is made up of green spaces. Quality of air is fourth best of the European capitals – behind Zurich, Copenhagen and Vienna.Despite its northern location, Stockholm has fairly mild temperatures through the year. As a result of its northerly latitude, the city sees a dramatic seasonal variation in sunlight, from significantly more than 18 hours of daylight around midsummer, to around 6 hours of daylight in late December.A bonding ritual and coping mechanism in the long winters, the sauna is an important section of Nordic culture – so a must-do activity while you’re here. Sweat out your stress at Hellasgården, a recreation area inside Nacka nature reserve, a short bus ride from Stockholm’s Slussen station. Be prepared to strip off completely inside their gender-separated saunas and find locals braving a dip in the icy lake, even once the temperatures are well in to the minuses.In a classic waterfront red-brick building that when belonged to the customs department, you’ll find a photography gallery with wall upon wall of striking images. Fotografiska has late-opening hours all week and broad rotating exhibitions on everything from feminism to global politics. Additionally you will find one of the sleekest bars and best cafés in the city here, with panoramic waterside views across Stockholm’s central islands.Stockholmers are enthusiastic about nature – and especially Djurgården’s calm waterside and woodland trails. If you’re into your art and history, this island also boasts many of the capital’s most popular museums.Stockholm is usually described as the “Venice of the north” on account of its setting. Where Venice is claustrophic and crumbling within an achingly romantic way, Stockholm is really a city that enables you to breathe; its finest buildings stand proud on open boulevards or teeter on high ridges overlooking the water. There is a gothic element to much of the architecture; more Prague than Paris.There is an acquarium, worth the visit alone for the spectacular waterside views from its café, which can be alongside the bustling amusement park, Gröna Lund, where you could defy grafity on tummy-flipping rollercoasters.