Guide to Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm’s good looks and fashion sense could almost be intimidating. But this city is an accessible beauty, as easy to explore as it is to love. Without a shadow of a doubt, Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Built on no fewer than fourteen islands, where the fresh water of Lake Malaren meets the brackish Baltic Sea, clean air and open space are in plentiful supply here. One-third of the area within the city limits is made up of water, while another third comprises parks and woodlands. Surrounded by pristine forests and a vast archipelago. What’s not to love? As a result, the capital is one of Europe’s saner cities and a delightful place in which to spend time.
=How to Get There=
Stockholm Arlanda Airport is the main International Airport and is in the Sigtuna municipality. From here you can take the expresses buses, Flygbussarna and Swebus to the City Terminal. The journey is about 40 minutes and cost 99 SEK. Alternatively you can also take the Arlanda Express Train to Stockholm Central Station in 20 minutes, costing 280 SEK one way and 530 for return ticket.
Arriving from other parts of Europe using Ryanair and Wizzair, you will be landing at Skavasta Airport. The best option here is to take airport coaches to the Central Terminal in Stockholm at 140 SEK.
For public transport, Storstockholms Lokaltrafik SL run an extensive subway, commuter train and bus system using the SL Access. You can purchase the travel cards for 24 hours (120 SEK), 72 hours (230 SEK), 7 days (300 SEK), and a 30 day access (800 SEK).
Another popular way of travel around Stockholm is by cycling during the warmer season, as there are many bike paths. You can rent a bike from Stockholm City Bikes that uses city-operated bike loan service by purchasing a key card. It can be bought from any SL Center. Most major hotels will also have 3-day key card available to guests at the front desk. A 3-day key card costs 165 SEK.
There are also ferries going to Djurgården and Skeppsholmen. Bus and light rail is included in any SL ticket or pass, and travel with the Djurgården ferry is included with any 24- or 72-hour pass, 7-day pass as well as the monthly pass.
=What to See=
The world’s first open-air museum, Skansen was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius to give visitors an insight into how Swedes lived once upon a time. You could easily spend a day here and still not see it all (note that prices and hours vary seasonally). Around 150 traditional houses and other exhibits from across the country dot the hilltop – it’s meant to be ‘Sweden in miniature’, complete with villages, nature, commerce and industry.
Address: Galarvarvsvagen 14
A good-humored glorification of some dodgy calculations, Vasamuseet is the custom-built home of the massive warship Vasa . The ship, a whopping 69m long and 48.8m tall, was the pride of the Swedish crown when it set off on its maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. Within minutes, the top-heavy vessel tipped and sank to the bottom of Saltsjön, along with many of the people on board. Guided tours are in English every 30 minutes in summer. An entrance fee of 130 SEK includes the guided tour.
Kungliga Slottet was built on the ruins of Tre Kronor castle, which burned down in 1697. The north wing survived and was incorporated into the new building. Designed by court architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, it took 57 years to complete. The apartments are occasionally closed for royal business; closures are noted on the website. With 608 rooms, this is the world’s largest royal castle still used for its original purpose. Guided tours (150 SEK, including entrance fee) emphasize that the palace is not a museum, with rooms preserved in amber, but rather a working government building. The Palace is open to the public and offers no less than five museums. The Royal Palace also contains the Armory, with royal costumes and armor, as well as coronation carriages and magnificent coaches from the Royal Stable. Be sure not to miss The Royal Guard (part of the Swedish Armed Forces), consisting of around 30,000 guards. Watching this 40-minute event of the changing of the guard in front of the King of Sweden’s residence is a very interesting and great experience.
Address: Djurgardsvagen 6-16
The epic Nordiska Museet is Sweden’s largest cultural-history museum and one of its largest indoor spaces. The building itself (from 1907) is an eclectic, Renaissance-style castle designed by Isak Gustav Clason, who also drew up Östermalms Saluhall. Inside you’ll find a sprawling collection of all things Swedish, from sacred Sami objects to fashion, shoes, home interiors and even table settings. The entrance fee is 100 SEK.
Address: Modulvägen 1 kungens kurva, 141 75 Stockholm, Sweden.
A phenomenon that has changed the entire world’s view of home furnishing. Kungens Kurva in Skärholmen, south of Stockholm, is the home of the largest IKEA store in the world, which opened in 1965. The area is also home to numerous other mega stores and shopping centers with affordable shopping.
• The Royal Treasury
Address: 107 70 Stockholm, Sweden
The Swedish state regalia are used for royal weddings, christenings and funerals. Among the priceless treasures are King Gustav Vasa’s sword of state, King Erik XIV’s crown, orb and sceptre, as well as a galaxy of princely crowns.
• The Nobelmuseet
Address: Stortorget 2, 103 16 Stockholm, Sweden
Be inspired by ideas that changed the world. The Nobel Museum contains all essential information about the most prestigious prize in the world, Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Laureates. Guided tours, films, and diverse objects take you from idea to the Nobel Banquet. Exhibitions are bountiful being home to the Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, medicine, physiology and literature.
=What to Do=
• Cross Country Skiing
Stockholm offers great opportunity for cross country skiing. There are lots of skiing tracks that are well taken care off. Most of them are made of natural snow, but some tracks are prepared throughout the winter (if the temperature allows it) with artificial snow. Cross country skiing is usually possible during the later days of December, January, February and the early days of March.
• Mountain Biking
Stockholm has become a very popular destination for mountain biking. There are a lot of tracks in forests and nature reserves where mountain biking is allowed. The routes are usually marked by color by mountain bikers them selves. But since there is no company or employees involved in keeping track of the trails, the quality of the marking can be from poor to quite good.
• Kite surfing
Kite surfing is one of the biggest growing sports in Stockholm and in the world right now. In Stockholm with its many coastlines and beaches there are plenty of spots to practice and watch kite surfing during Spring, Summer & Fall. Some of the popular places to practice and watch are Torö, Askfatshamnen, Dalarö & Sandarna, Ingarö.
Camping in nature is allowed in many places in Sweden because of the ‘every man’s right’. Although in nature reserves this is only allowed at certain places such as Judarskogen Nature Preserve or Hellasgarden.
=What to Buy=
Sweden is internationally known for its designed clothes, textiles and interior decoration items. Hand-made and hand-painted glassware is also a famous Swedish specialty. Popular Swedish clothing brands that you can find in several major stores
include Acne Jeans, WESC, Cheap Monday, J Lindeberg, Whyred, Tiger and Filippa K. Recent years have seen an explosion of young designers starting their own small labels. Many of these can be found in the small shops in the SoFo area. Drottninggatan in Norrmalm is dominated by major brands down at the Sergels Torg end before giving way to smaller and more specialized shops further north.
=What to Eat=
The most famous Swedish cuisine is smorgasbord and julbord at Christmas. Other well known dishes are gravlax and meatballs. Artsoppa is served at every restaurant, a yellow pea soup served with pancakes. Below are some of the dishes that you must try in Stockholm:
Blabarspalt – dumplings with blueberries
Blodpudding – also known as blood pudding, it is made out of pig’s blood, sweetened and spiced, to be eaten with lingonberry jam and bacon.
Bruna bonor – pork with stewed brown beans
Inlagd sill – herring pickled by the use of Acetic acid, water, sugar, ground allspice, red onion, carrot and salt
Below are some recommended restaurants:
Address: Lilla Nygatan 21, Stockholm 11128, Sweden
Address: Vastmannag 69, Stockholm 113 26, Sweden
Address: Dalagatan 42, Stockholm, Sweden
The Hairy Pig Deli
Address: Osterlanggatan 9, Gamla Stan, Stockholm 11130, Sweden
=Where to Stay=
Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Stockholm
Address: Nils Ericsons Plan 4, 11164 Stockholm, Sweden
Mornington Hotel Stockholm
Address: Nybrogatan 53, Östermalm, 11440 Stockholm, Sweden
Sheraton Stockholm Hotel
Address: Tegelbacken 6, 10123 Stockholm, Sweden
Elite Eden Park Hotel
Address: Sturegatan 22, Östermalm, 114 36 Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm is build on 14 islands connected by 57 bridges.
The Royal National City Park in Stockholm was the world’s first national park.
Largest spherical building
The Ericsson Globe is the world’s largest spherical building. Being at the top, you will be able to enjoy a panoramic view of Stockholm.
Hours of Sunlight
On Stockholm’s shortest day, the capital sees only 6 hours of sunlight, and on the longest day, it sees up to 21 hours of sunlight.
Stockholm is home to the Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry, medicine and literature among others.