The Venice of the NorthConsisting of 14 islands linked by 57 bridges and surrounded by an archipelago and forests, Sweden's capital is known as 'The Venice of the North'; indeed, it has one of Europe's best preserved medieval centres, Gamla Stan, complete with fairytale buildings, narrow cobbled lanes and a 13th century cathedral. The city centre, in contrast, is fiercely modern, and Stockholm is known for its innovation and style; it's a compact city, however, so it's easy to explore both aspects in a day. When it comes to accommodation, prices are high but so is the standard, and all hoteliers will speak excellent English. As Stockholm is a business hub, weekend rates tend to be much lower than during the week, and visiting in the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) also brings savings. Although winter is very cold, intrepid visitors will be rewarded by good deals and the gorgeous traditional Christmas markets. Here, we've listed our pick of the best places to stay - all were chosen by our readers and all offer a great deal of charm and excellent hospitality.