- The capital and largest city of Sweden, with a population of ~870,000.
- Founded in the early 13th century, it is the political, economic, and cultural hub of Sweden. The Stockholm metro area contains almost 25% of the country’ population.
- Known for its beautiful architecture, waterfront cityscapes, and green spaces.
- Nicknames: The Oak, Venice of the North
- Currency: Swedish Krona (SEK)
- Spoken languages: Swedish. English is also widely spoken.
- Best time to visit: from May to September (warmest time of year).
- Arriving via airport: Express buses to downtown are 89 SEK, while express rail is 260 SEK. Taxis are also available, and fare to downtown is around 450 SEK.
WHERE TO STAY
While hotels can be found all over Stockholm, most visitors tend to stay in either Arlanda or the Old Town waterfront. Higher end hotels will run around 900-1200 SEK. Cheaper accommodation can be very hard to find in Sweden – try to book as far in advance as possible.
- Public transport in Stockholm is a combination of subway, commuter train, ferries, and bus networks. Tickets can be purchased at any station, and the cost is determined by how many zones you plan on travelling through. The network is fairly extensive and easy to use – pick up a network map.
- Bicycle rentals are very popular in Stockholm – with express bike routes throughout the city, you can easily get from one end of the city center to the other in 30 minutes. A full day rental costs about 190 SEK.
- Taxis are widely available, but are not cheap. Note: There have also been issues with tourists being charged outrageous taxi fares. Always make sure your taxi has a rate card in it, and refer to it when discussing prices with the driver.
- Drinking age is 18 (bring government-issued ID, as bars/clubs are required to check).
- The upmarket club scene is in Stureplan, where you can expect to pay up to 200 SEK just to get in the door. Sodermalm also has many nightclubs, and attracts a more artsy and alternative crowd.
- The major bar areas (with lower prices) can be found in Gotgatan and Bondegatan.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- A large white spherical building, the Ericsson Globe is a unique sight.
- While there are many royal palaces spread around the city, consider checking out the one in Gamla Stan (the Old City) for some great photo opportunities.
- Visit the Nobel Museum, where you can see a history of the Nobel Prize and its winners.
- The Stockholm Archipelago stretches 80 km east of the city and contains over 24,000 islands and rock formations. Buy a ticket (or tour) on a ferry and check out this unique geological landmark.
- Make sure you check out the Hammarbybacken, an artificial ski slope that is walkable year-round (a much more comfortable hike in the summer).
- Take a walk around the Gamla Stan (Old City) area, and stop by the various museums.
- Explore the city’s public displays in the metro system. Sometimes nicknamed as the “world’s longest art exhibition.”
- A popular activity for locals and tourists is to picnic on the island of Djurgarden. This royal estate is open to the public, is only a short walk from downtown, and offers beautiful views of the city.
- Take part in the local cafe culture – relaxing at a cafe is a local pastime. It’s also a good chance to spend an afternoon watching Stockholm walk by. Another favorite activity is drinking “on the water” – many bars have set up shop on boats or pontoons around the city.
- Where to find good cheap eats: while Stockholm is an expensive city, there are ways to eat on a budget. On weekdays, look for Dagen (lunch) prices in restaurants – these are midday meals with set prices, usually between 30 and 120 krona. Alternatively, pick up some fresh produce from a market (go to Östermalms Saluhall) and make your own meal! If you’re out of ideas, or if everything seems closed, you can always pick up a delicious sausage/wurst from a food stand on the street.
- Dangerous areas: none – Stockholm is one of the safest cities in the world. It is still a major city, though, so keep an eye out for pickpockets and bicycle thieves.
RECOMMENDED STOCKHOLM GUIDE BOOKS
- Lonely Planet Pocket Stockholm
- Rick Steves Snapshot Stockholm
- Stockholm Travel Guide: The Top 10 Highlights in Stockholm
- DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Stockholm
Recommended trip duration: 3-4 days