After an hours drive from Skavsta Airport at Nyköping we arrived to our hostel at Stockholm. As I always like to try something different I chose the Langholmen hostel, which is in fact an ex-prison converted to less sinister use these days. Langholmen was the largest Swedish prison and was in use until 1976. A fact that it had its parking lot was significant as well.

s201Front view of the prison hostel. Besides the rooms/cells, there’s also a restaurant and prison museum on site.

s202After passing the reception we entered the main hall which immediately reminded me of TV series Oz and all those Alcatraz themed movies.

s203The entrance to our cells204And the inside view – despite being a narrow cell, they managed to put in some commodities, even a nice comfy chair, a small TV and even a safe! Sounds funny ain’t it, a safe in the prison cell 😀 You can just barely notice a guillotine shaped mirror on the wall, while the door behind it leads to a small toilet with shower.

s205While we only had a few hours available to explore Stockholm, we decided to ditch visiting the museums and concentrated on the old part of the town – Gamla Stan. As we exited the subway, such view greeted us towards the south from main station.

s206A network of narrow paved roads spreads through the entire island; we were rather surprised that the streets were mostly empty and sometimes we were wondering if we are actually walking through a well maintined ghost town.

s207Swedish parliament lies on its own island connected to other islands with four bridges.

s208Grand Hotel Stockholm and the surrounding buildings make quite a picturesque landmark as seen from the Royal Palace stairway. Weather was playing with us as well and we had to take a few covers for the showers to go by.

s209One of the lion guardians of the royal palace.

s210Front of the Royal palace as seen from the Norrbro bridge.

s211We were quite surprised to see a group of Asians catching fish there.

s212The Association of Swedish Higher Education building with the church tower of Riddarholmskyrkan in the background.

s213An obelisk at Southern entrance to the Royal Palace is considered as a central point of Stockholm. It was erected in 1800 and commissioned by King Gustav III in sign of gratitude to burghers who guarded the city while the King was battling war with Finns against Russians between 1788 an 1790.

s214Fully functional urinarium in one of the corners – effective way of keeping the city clean.

s215Buildings at Stortorget immediately reminded me of Amsterdam. It is the oldest town square around which the city started to develop in medieval times.

s216Remember the classic English phone booths – Swedes elevated them further in design as you can see. To my knowledge there’s only one such booth and as you can imagine it’s quite a popular photography motif.

s217You can also find some interesting street angles in Gamla Stan. I wonder how do you replace window on this building?

s219Popular scene from all around Europe – Saint George (Goran) slaying a dragon at a small square in the Eastern part of the island.

s220Interesting street view that reminds you being surrounded by sea. Walking through the old town makes you forget this fact rather quickly.

s221We also stumbled upon the Viking restaurant. It’s a shame we couldn’t visit due to time limitations. I guess they have frequent Russian guests as they’re inviting them in their own language as well.

s222Just a stone throw away from the Vikings  is this little street offering you culinary delights of the Middle East. Talk about globalisation 😀

s223Stockholm’s town hall by night.

s224Of course such a city is full of souvenir shops and this one was selling viking gods busts (along with troll figures) among other things – from left to right Odin, Loki, Frigg (or Freyja) and Thor.