Just Back: Mario Buatta from Sweden
Drottningholm was the summer residence of the Swedish royal family. The palace, which was completed in 1686, is a wonderful thing in itself. But the Chinese Pavilion, shown in this photo, is my favorite part. You go through the formal gardens and into the woods, and then you come upon this enchanting set of chinoiserie buildings -- very fashionable in the 18th century. They're little gems.
How to get there: If the weather's nice, take the hour-long ferry ride from Stockholm on Lake Mälaren. Along the way, a guide points out all the sights, and you can have lunch on board.
Where to stay: Stockholm's Grand Hôtel. It's near the major museums and right across from the Old Town -- which is touristy, but the architecture is incredible, medieval at its best, and there are great shops.
Best souvenir: Whenever you fly business class on KLM you're given a miniature Dutch house in delftware. There are 79 in all -- a whole village -- and I have about 30. Maybe by the time I'm 100 I'll have the whole collection.