Stockholm Pictures Guide
European cities | Stockholm
Pictures Guide Sweden
Weather Main Attractions Short Trips Out
This is Scandinavia's most handsome, sophisticated
and liveliest city, and also incidentally, the cleanest city in
Because of its unique location on fourteen islands surrounded by
water and with parks and gardens all around, Stockholm has super-fresh
air and a delightfully pure atmosphere.
This 700 year-old 'Northern Venice' offers wide, calm streets lined
with stunning buildings both modern and medieval, more than 70 museums,
and a good selection of pricey cafes and restaurants.
Everything in the city is within easy walking distance, most people
speak perfect English and the summer's midnight sun makes Stockholm
city a great destination for short tourist breaks.
• Stockholm can be chilly even in summer time and wet in August.
• The traffic system is a nightmare if you're driving as signs are in Swedish, roads are a tangled web and parking restrictions
may be invisible. e.g. you must not park within 10m of a pedestrian crossing, tho'
there are no warning signs to that effect.
Stockholm's Royal Palace
Best: May- August, with lots of sunshine, not too much rain or heat. Mid summer temperatures average highs of 22C (72F) and lows of 11C (52F).
Worst: Winter, quite cold with averages running from zero to -5C (23F), with short, dark days (about 6 hours of daylight each day) and plenty of precipitation, though much of it snow.
Current Stockholm temperature and time.
capital city is a cool, smart, clean and well
preserved, whether it's royal buildings...
little old town centre of Gamla Stan.
Gamla Stan is a charming maze-like triplet of islands, with pastel-coloured Renaissance buildings and narrow medieval alleys - one of Sweden's few tourist choke points.
The old town is a charming
maze-like triplet of islands, with pastel-coloured Renaissance buildings
and narrow medieval alleys making one of Sweden's few tourist choke points.
Stan's main sights are:
***Stortorget, the main plaza with
17-18th century houses.
**Storkyrkan (The Great Church),
a glorious 14th century cathedral where the Swedish kings and queens
are married and crowned (check out organ recitals).
**Kungliga Slottet (the Royal Palace),
the world's largest royal residence, which is still in use. Not
so imposing from the outside but it has a marvelously elaborate
interior. The Royal Treasury, apartments and Changing of the Guard
Djurgarden encloses a beautiful green space and a couple of
stunning museums, Vasa Museum and Skansen are not be missed. See Museums & Galleries section below.
On Lidingo island this is an awesome outdoor sculpture garden.
Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Drottningholm, 'the Versailles of Sweden', is a magnificent 17th
century royal residence in a superb lakeside location. It's not only where the royal family still live but also a tourist attraction. Travel there
by ferry in 50 minutes, or by bicycle on dedicated path, or by car.
The Royal Palace Guard, photo A.Trepte
Some visitors watch the Changing of the Guard in front of Kungliga Slottet, the drab Royal Palace but it's lacking in the colour and drama of London's display, though the interior of the palace which is used mainly for administrative purposes these days is apparently lavish).
The Vasa Museum.
Photo by G. Dembowski.
***The Vasa Museum, a fascinating exhibition of the sunken
17th century warship - the Swedish version of Titanic.
***Skansen, a vast open-air museum (the oldest
in Europe) of Swedish life over the centuries, with historic buildings,
working farms, a zoo and aquarium.
Nordiska Museet also offers an interesting look at Swedish
cultures through the ages.
Djurgarden canal. Photo by Arild Vagen
- Walking and picnics in Stockholm's many parks. One of the best
is Haga Park.
- Kayaking, canoeing or varied boating around the many islands.
The water is clean enough to swim or fish too.
- Cycling is a delightful way to wander around the tranquil streets
and parks, rentals are easy to find. Try to get a cycle map from
the tourist office.
- Beaches. Near the city centre are two popular beaches, Langholmsbadet and Smedsuddsbadet, both with good facilities including food and recreational areas. Busy in the summer of course. Ask your hotel reception how to get there. Swedish beaches
Ferries around Stockholm are one of the pleasures of travel in Sweden,
either short trips upriver or out into the 24,000 islands of the Archipelago where there are more sights, spectacular structures,
amusements and even beaches.
Mariefred, for example, a peaceful town with wooden houses and narrow lanes is
renowned for its spectacular 16th century Gripsholm Castle.
It's about an hour by boat or 75kms (47 miles) by road from the city.
activities in Stockholm city apart from wandering the maze of ancient structures and parks on various islands...
...include Swedish massage, though it's not
as erotic as one might imagine...
...some kind of show at the The Royal Dramatic Theatre that does not involve a lot of Swedish language.
Stockholm is Scandinavia's most
active city for cultural events. There's no shortage of entertainment
from theatre to live music and more at clubs and cafes.
Get 'Stockholm This Week' for what's-on-when listings.
No need to go to Ikea for souvenirs. In Norrmalm (the centre of
Stockholm's new town) there are modern department stores, interior
design showrooms and boutiques, by Swedish designers as well as
big fashion names.
For local crafts - Swedish materials such as soft furnishing fabrics
(e.g. table cloths) and antiques - try small shops in Gamla Stan.
Trips Out of Town
Ferries around Stockholm are one of the pleasures of this city,
either short trips upriver out into the Archipelago. Try to get
a boat pass.
***Take a ferry out to a few of Stockholm's 24,000 nearby islands
known as The Archipelago; varied sights, fine buildings, castles,
amusements and beaches.
**Visit Vaxholm, an idyllic little town with a castle, 1 hour from
*Sandhamn (Sandon), popular among summer sailors, one and a half
hours from Vaxholm.
***Mariefred, a peaceful town with wooden houses and narrow lanes,
famous for its spectacular 16th century Gripsholm Castle.
1 hour by boat, 75km/47m by road from the city.
**Sigtuna, this small, tranquil town dating from AD 970 is the oldest
town in Sweden. 46km/29m from the city.
**Uppsala, a quiet, ancient university town with the largest cathedral
in Scandinavia and a few good museums. Forty minutes from the capital
Please check festival dates, some are not confirmed.
April 30: Walpurgis Night, celebrating the winter's end, fires and
Midsummer, June 21: the country's biggest event with lots of dancing,
Late May-August, Summer Music Festival at the Drottningholm Court
18 August: Midnight Race, 10 kms (6 miles) starting in Stockholm's
fashionable Södermalm district.
September: Stockholm Yoga Festival, Liljeholmshallen.
some precise dates or more information see: European
Festivals or Arts
Sweden has a good youth hostel and campsite
network and there are plenty of budget hotels, but booking
ahead is essential in summer particularly at two of the best hostels,
Al Chapman (ship cabins) and Langholmen (former prison cells!).
If tourists wish to stay in regular hotels, summertime is actually
cheaper than the rest of the year due to lack of business guests.
Local currency is the krona/kronor and easy to acquire from ATMs
which are commonplace, do not charge for the service and get a fair
Tips are included in service charges though a 5-10% gift is not
uncommon for good service.
Stockholm dining is not particularly subtle generally but good and
filling, such as potatoes with meat or seafood.
There is no shortage of modern waterfront cafes or charming bistros,
but forget about eating cheaply in Sweden with the exception of
good-value set menus for lunch, and Chinese food or pizzas for dinner.
Traditional food is wild berries, reindeer, elk and most famously,
A wide range of reasonably priced beers is available, but wines
are imported and pricey.
Two lively areas for eating and drinking for both locals and tourists
are Sodermalm and Kungsholmen island.
Many tourists arrive in Stockholm from Russia, Germany and elsewhere on a car ferry like this. Photo by H. Ellgaard.
Another more tranquil section of Stockholm's port.
230v, 2 round pin plugs, such as in Norway, Finland, Germany, Netherlands
(or twin flat pin Schuko plugs).
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