Kalmar is one of the oldest cities in Sweden and contains Sweden's best-preserved Renaissance castle. Although nowadays it is a thriving commercial center, Kalmar still retains many 17th-century buildings and sea captains' houses. Traces of the past are found in architecture and cultural artefacts. Kalmar Castle, the Old Town and Kvarnholmen are the main tourist attractions. The town has a vibrant night-life with musical events, theatre, pubs, dancing and in the summer, outdoor venues and sidewalk cafés where you can relax after the day's activities. Kalmar is also famous for glassworks such as Orrefors and Kosta Boda. Within an easy reach, the island of Oland offers you the opportunity to see ruin stones from Viking times and archeological excavations at the reconstructed Iron Age village of Eketorp.
Built on 14 islands around one of Europe's largest and best-preserved medieval city centers, the Swedish capital is superbly positioned, with stunning and extremely varied scenery in every direction. To the west, Lake Mälaren branches out among lush, idyllic landscapes. To the east the magnificent Stockholm archipelago stretches seaward, an enchanting maritime world of more than 24,000 islands and islets. The Old Town is particularly spectacular, and walking around the city's waterways and parks is a glorious way to spend a weeklong stretch of European summer.
The "gateway to northern Europe," Gothenburg is the country's chief port and second-largest city with everything a modern city can offer. The Gothenburg Botanical Garden has been named The Most Beautiful Garden in Sweden and the third most beautiful in the World. Here you can enjoy 13,000 different species of plants, stroll around in the Wood Anemone Valley gully. Next to the botanical garden is Gothenburg's largest park, Slottsskogen, where the Natural History Museum is located. The park is also home to the city's oldest observatory. One of Gothenburg's most popular tourist attractions is the archipelago (Southern Gothenburg Archipelago), which can be reached by boat. Alvsborg Fortress, Vinga and Styrso islands are popular places to visit. The amusement park Liseberg, the largest of its kind in Scandinavia, is situated in the centre of the city.
Dating back from the 13th century, Sweden's third-largest city, Malmo is a historic city with a rich cultural heritage. Its oldest building, dating from the early 14th century, St Peter's Church peeks out from behind the City Hall. The church was built in "Baltic Brick Gothic" style. Malmohus Castle is the oldest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia dating from 1436. The most charming square and one of the most popular meeting places in the city, Lilla Torg was built in 1592 as a market square featuring several interesting buildings. In the heart of the city, west of the Lilla Torg square, is the picturesque Gamla Vaster area hosting colourful street buildings and grand stone and brick establishments. Don't miss architect Santiago Calatrava's spectacular apartment building in the Western Harbour. At 190 metres, Turning Torso is the tallest building in Sweden.
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