Marked by waterfront rows of Renaissance buildings with palatial rooftops and ornamentation, Östermalm is a quietly regal residential section of central Stockholm. History and money are steeped into the very bricks and mortar of its elegant streets, which are lined with museums, fine shopping, and exclusive restaurants. On Strandvägen (the Beach Way), the boulevard that follows the harbor's edge from the busy downtown area to the staid diplomatic quarter, you can choose one of three routes. The waterside walk, with its splendid views of the city harbor, bustles with tour boats and sailboats. Parallel to the walk (away from the water) is a tree-shaded walking and bike path. Walk, rollerblade, or ride a bike down the middle, and you just might meet the occasional horseback rider, properly attired in helmet, jacket, and high polished boots. Take the route farthest from the water, and you will walk past upscale shops and expensive restaurants.
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