The City Hall (1923), Stockholm's most prominent landmark, stands imposingly on the northern shore of the bay of Riddarfjärden. A massive red-brick building, it was designed by Ragnar Östberg (1866-1945) in the National Romantic style, with two inner courtyards and a 106m (348ft) tower. It's most famous for hosting the 1,300 or so guests who are lucky enough to be invited along to the annual Nobel Prize banquet, an event held in the Blue Hall on 10 December after the prizes have been awarded at Konserthuset. The hall - which is designed to look like an Italian Renaissance piazza - was meant to be painted blue, but Östberg liked the way the sun hit the red bricks and changed his mind. The hall is also the home of an immense organ, with more than 10,000 pipes and 138 stops.
In the astonishing Golden Hall upstairs, scenes from Swedish history are depicted on the walls in 18 million mosaic pieces in gold leaf. The artist, Einar Forseth (1892-1988), covered the northern wall with a mosaic known as the 'Queen of Lake Mälaren', representing Stockholm being honoured from all sides. The beamed ceiling of the Council Chamber, where the city council meets every other Monday, resembles the open roof of a Viking longhouse. The furniture was designed by Carl Malmsten. The opulent Oval Room, which is part of the guided tour, is a popular place for Swedish nuptials. Such is the demand, it's a speedy marriage merry-go-round as couples tie the knot in a no-frills 40-second ceremony. The extended version is three minutes.
You can only visit the interior of the Stadshuset by guided tour, but you can climb the tower independently. Follow a series of winding red-brick slopes then wooden stairs for a fantastic view over Gamla Stan. Three gold crowns - the Tre Kronor, Sweden's heraldic symbol - top the tower. At the edge of the outdoor terrace below the tower, by the waters of Riddarfjärden, are two statues by famous Swedish sculptor Carl Eldh (1873-1954): the female Dansen (Dance) and the male Sången (Song). For refreshments, a cafeteria-style restaurant serves up classic Swedish dishes at lunchtime, while the Stadshuskällaren cellar restaurant offers the previous year's menu from the Nobel banquet.