Country: Sweden
Currency: Krona (Kron)
Peak Season: December-January
Shoulder Season: May-September
Median Temperature: 44.00 C / 111.2 F
Main Languages: Swedish, Finnish, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, metro, tram, taxi, ferry
Recommended Duration of Stay: 0 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $130.00/day
Tourist Passes: Stockholm Card
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Stockholm accounts for much for Sweden’s financial success and media popularity. Having a relatively modest population density, getting around the city won’t be accompanied by the usual hustle and bustle seen in most European dwellings. This Scandinavian city has done away way with industrial labor and insensate architecture; now having clung to the modern landscape, taking modern architectural concepts seriously and embracing technology with accompanying efficacy. The city is host to many museums, all serving a different magnitude of artistic, historical, religious and social overtones: Nobel Museum, Vasa Museum, Skansen Open-Air Museum, Judiska Museet, Stockholm City Hall, and Stockholm City Museum to name a few.

Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town, located on the island of Stadsholmen. It currently has the highest concentration of restaurants, souvenir shops, art studios and museums in the city. The medieval preservation is complemented the Royal Castle, the Church of St. Nicholas, and the German Church. Tours aboard horse-drawn carriages further the medieval spirit, but then again, why not walk on the narrow cobblestone streets instead and drop by a restaurant once exhaustion sets in. Don’t forget to buy glassware, Scandinavian mythos and Viking figurines, and let’s not forget Swedish books.

The city is comprised of 14 main islands, exuding their individual charms and idiosyncrasies: Beckholmen, Blasieholmen, Djurgården, Gamla Stan, Helgeandsholmen, Kastellholmen, Kungsholmen, Långholmen, Norrmalm, Riddarholmen, Skeppsholmen, Södermalm, Östermalm.

Packing List

  • Duffel bags and extra trolleys if shopping for designer clothing from boutiques or flea markets; despite the price, you can be assured that Swedish traditional handicraft and dolls are 100% handmade
  • Stylish, layered clothing, cardigans/hoodies, a good pair of walking shoes and a scarf; winters are chilly, while summers are pleasant, so try to get hold of the weekly weather forecast before departing
  • Hiking equipment for the Alps, which basically include: a compass, a scaled map, a GPS device, a hiking cane, and first aid kits; ski/snowboarding equipment can be rented from many shops on ski ranges
  • Essential medication and toiletries, which include those for the common cold and arthritis; you won’t be able to use your prescription form from your home country—you’ll have to get re-diagnosed here
  • A decent camera, plenty of film and batteries—bring a tripod and zoom lenses if doing some scenic photography in the Alps; some portable books and electronics if staying indoors due to harsh weather

Things to Do

  • Visiting the Vasa Museum, which solely displays a massive 17th century Swedish warship salvaged in 1961; the museum is now a decade old and is one of the most visited attractions in Stockholm
  • Exploring the narrow alleys and 17th century buildings of Gamla Stan, the old town; the entire district is untainted by restorations, making it retain its original luster—it is also host to many religious structures
  • Enjoying the festivities and café culture at King’s Garden, conveniently located at the city center; its key structures include the Fountain of Molin, the Fountain of Wolodarski and the Statue of Charles XIII
  • Catching the aptly astounding Changing of the Royal Guard at 12:15 pm on weekdays and 1:15pm on weekends in front of the royal residence; weekdays spell accompaniment by the Military Band
  • Taking family and friends to Scandinavian-themed Grona Lund Amusement Park, one of the oldest and most popular theme parks in the world; along with the cheap admission are the long queues, though

DON'T

  • Be timid, because the Swedes (even young people) won’t reciprocate silence with clamor—you should call the shots; good conversation topics entail travel and taxes—avoid discussing personal matters
  • Be late for anything—be it a business meeting or just a coffeehouse conversation—unless you don’t want to see that person again; also, don’t make promises you can’t keep, it’s a serious breach of trust
  • Be obnoxious and loud, and don’t force your beliefs (especially religion) on other people; the term “Swedish neutrality” also applies to the locals, as they stalwartly disengage in any hostility and bias
  • Be too casual in public spaces, and be tactful inside restaurants and commercial buildings; if you’re applying for a job, remember that people skills actually matter more than aptitude and experience
  • Be too casual in public spaces, and be tactful inside restaurants and commercial buildings; if you’re applying for a job, remember that people skills actually matter more than aptitude and experience