Stockholm is …
- The capital of Sweden
- One of the five fastest-growing regions in Europe
- Home to around 900,000 people, while approximately 2,260,000 live in Stockholm county
Where it is
Stockholm is in the east of Sweden, surrounded by water. Lake Mälaren lies to the west of the city, with the Baltic Sea to the east. Much of Stockholm is made up of islands in either of these two bodies of water.
- Named after an anti-bullying campaign and successor to the nearby Råsunda as the national stadium.
- Zlatan Ibrahimović scored all four goals as Sweden marked the 2012 opening of the stadium with a 4-2 friendly win against England.
- The venue also hosts the Swedish Cup final, the Swedish Bandy Championship, the Scandinavian FIM Speedway Grand Prix and Sweden's Eurovision qualifier.
- Solna is the only town to have staged the men's and women's FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship finals.
- The venue has a retractable roof and a capacity of 50,000.
By air: Arlanda Airport is connected with most major cities worldwide. The city centre is 40km to the south and easily reached by train, bus and road (the bus costs around €10 while a taxi should be no more than €50). Several budget flights arrive at Skavsta Airport, 120km south-west of Stockholm.
By road: Stockholm can be reached from the north and south of Sweden via the E4 motorway and from the west of Sweden and Norway via the E18. There are buses into Stockholm from all major cities in Sweden, as well as from Oslo and Copenhagen.
By rail: Gothenburg is 3.5 hours away by rail. Malmo, Copenhagen and Oslo are around five hours from Stockholm.
By sea: There are ferry services to Stockholm from Helsinki and Turku in Finland, as well as to Saint Petersburg in Russia and the Estonian capital Tallinn.
Where to stay
Stockholm offers accommodation for all tastes, including a number of options in the heart of the city. Right next to Friends Arena lies the Quality Hotel Friends.
Walk: Stockholm city centre is easy to get around on foot. Those wanting to take in districts such as Sodermalm to the south, Kungsholmen to the west or Djurgarden to the east, might want to do so by bike or public transport.
Bus: There is an extensive bus network throughout the city.
Metro: Stockholm's underground system – The Tunnelbana – links all corners of the city and the suburbs.
Train: Commuter train is the best option for getting from the city centre to Friends Arena. The ride from Stockholm Central to Solna is less than ten minutes.
Taxi: There are many taxi ranks in the city, and cabs can also be flagged down.
Bike: Most streets and roads have a separate lane for bicycles. The Citybike system allows you to pick up and drop off bikes at hundreds of points all over town.
What to see
For culture: In the city centre, the Royal Palace, the Stockholm Opera and City Hall are all within easy reach of one another. Among the many musuems, perhaps the most famous is the Vasa Museum, which exhibits the warship by the same name that sank in Stockholm harbour in 1628 before being salvaged in its entirety in 1961.
For atmosphere: The Old Town – Gamla Stan – is the site of the original medieval Stockholm, founded in the mid-13th century. There are plenty of shopping and dining options, especially on Västerlånggatan, and you can visit the Royal Palace.
For fresh air: A favourite for joggers and cylists, leafy Djurgarden island – just east of central Stockholm – is a great place for a lazy weekend lunch, with the city's amusement park, Gröna Lund, and the Vasa Museum (featuring the rescued warship of the same name) nearby. The spectacular Vasa sank in Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage in 1628 and remained under water until 1961. Also on Djurgarden, the open-air Skansen Museum has been popular since 1891, with the ABBA Musuem a popular recent arrival.
Eating and drinking
Cosmopolitan Stockholm offers food from all corners of the world, while at a traditional 'korvkiosk' you can still find various sausages (korv) with mashed potatoes. The Hötorgshallen food market in the city centre is a great place to sample such specialities.
Football in the city
Football outstrips ice hockey as Stockholm's most popular sport, with AIK, Djurgården and Hammarby the three big top-division sides in the capital. Djurgården and Hammarby share a stadium in Johanneshov, in the south of the city, while AIK play at Friends Arena, which is also home to the Swedish national team.
Stockholm is also home to Brommapojkarna, a lower-league club with a reputation for discovering great players. The current Sweden senior side features three notable Brommapojkarna graduates, Stockholmers Albin Ekdal, John Guidetti and Ludwig Augustinsson.
Get out of the city
Thousands of islands and islets can be reached by boat on the Baltic side of the city. Vaxholm is the main town in the archipelago, and lies 40 minutes from central Stockholm. For the active visitor, kayaks and other water vessels can be rented on many of the islands. A boat ride in the opposite direction, into Lake Mälaren, will take you to Drottningholm Palace. Modelled on Versailles, it is where the King and Queen of Sweden live.
Your Swedish phrasebook
Most Swedes speak English, but if you want to impress the locals, here are some useful phrases:
Hello – Hej
How are you? – Hur mår du?
Thank you – Tack
Goodbye – Hejdå
Where is the stadium – Var ligger stadion?
Who do you think is going to win? – Vilka tror du kommer vinna?
Where is Nytorget? – Var ligger Nytorget?
A pint, please – En stor stark tack
Who is in today's team? – Hur ser dagens laguppställning ut?
Do it in 24 hours
Breakfast: Cafes are plentiful, not least in the St Eriksplan area, particularly around Rörstrandsgatan. A local breakfast favourite all over the city is dark rye bread with slices of boiled egg and 'kaviar' – a fish roe dish that is nowhere near as expensive as the name might suggest.
Up to lunch: No matter which part of the city you are in, you are never far from water. The Royal Palace sits in Gamla Stan, in the very heart of the city. Follow the quayside from here to Fotografiska, the Museum of Photography. Have a bite to eat there while watching the ships, or stroll back to the city centre and stop for a herring sandwich at Slussen.
Afternoon: The downtown area around Sergels Torg is the big shopping destination, with department stores, shopping malls and boutiques.
Evening: Stureplan is the the most buzzing place for late-night entertainment, with plenty of pubs and clubs. For something a bit more indie, try the bars around Nytorget Square in Sodermalm.
Midnight snack: Wherever you find yourself late at night, you can be sure to find street traders with carts full of sausage. Burgers, kebabs and falafel are also easy to find all over town.
Visit Stockholm: https://www.visitstockholm.com/
Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/sweden/stockholm
Arlanda airport: https://www.swedavia.se/arlanda/
Swedish Football Association (SvFF): http://svenskfotboll.se/