Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden and with a total of approximately 2.2 million people living in the metropolitan area – it’s the most populous city in Scandinavia. It is comprised of 14 islands connected by close to 50 bridges on Lake Malaren. Sweden is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with its stunning displays of classical and modern architecture against a vividly blue sky background; its charming Old Town, Gamla Stan; and a beautiful landscape of waterways, green spaces, and snow on winter. Stockholm is also the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden. It is regarded as a significant global city. Sweden is the home to some of Europe's top ranking universities and is the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region. It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. Vasa Museum, the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia, and the Stockholm metro, with its decorated stations, is dubbed the longest art gallery in the world.
Explore Sweden’s top tourist attractions, which boast stunning architecture, natural sceneries, and historic value. One is Kungliga Slottet, built on the ruins of the original Tre Kronor royal castle, and was designed by court architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger after the castle, save for the north wing, burned in 1697. It is the largest royal castle in the world that serves its original purpose. Visit the historic Nobelmuseet, which presents the Nobel Prize history as well as its recipients. Meanwhile, the world’s first museum, Skansen, offers an insight to visitors on how Swedes lived in earlier centuries. The Vasamuseet, a custom-build home of Vasa, a colossal warship, can be rather intimidating and interesting at the same time. There is a model of the ship on the entrance level, with the other levels featuring artefacts salvaged from the warship. Millesgården, the beautiful home and studio of Carl Milles, a respected sculptor, is frequented by visitors for its fascinating water sprites and sculptures, not to mention Milles’ Pompeiian house, outdoor sculpture garden, and a modern gallery featuring contemporary art. Moderna Museet, on the other hand, is a modern-art museum, which houses different art media, including several masterpieces from Picasso, Dalí, and many others.
How to get around within Stockholm
A cost-effective way to navigate around the city is to purchase the Stockholm Card, which not only allows free public transport, but also free admission to 80 museums and sights in the city, as well as free sightseeing by boat and other free offers. Storstockholms Lokaltrafik, SL, is the public transport system that runs an extensive subway, commuter train, and bus system, and also some light rail and ferry services using an integrated ticket system called "SL Access.” Tunnelbana/T-bana, the city’s metro system, has 100 stations which covers major parts of the city, including almost the entire downtown area and several inner suburbs. Pendeltåg, the city’s suburban commuter rail network, has 53 stations, while the Roslagsbanan has a narrow-gauge rail network in the northeast and Saltsjöbanan reaches the suburbs in the southeast part of the city. You can also navigate around Stockholm via light rail, trams, buses, and ferry. Buses cover populated areas that the rail does not reach; the light rail, trams, and ferries cover city areas and suburbs; and there are two hop-on/hop-off boat tours that run loops between different sites in the city. You can also get around the city by renting a bicycle or a car, or just flag down a taxi, although the latter is quite expensive.
How to get there
There are several airports that serve Stockholm. One is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, or Arlanda, which is the city’s main international airport, located 40km north of Stockholm. From the airport, you can take an express bus, the Arlanda Express Train, a regular train, a local bus, or a taxi. There’s the Bromma Airport, a small airport inside Sweden, about 8km west of the centre, and which is primarily used for domestic flights, as well as a couple of international flights to and from a number of cities in Europe. You can take an airport coach or the local bus 152 to go to the city centre. If you arrive at Skavsta Airport, which is located 100km (62 mi) southwest of Stockholm, the best option to go to the city centre is via Airport coaches. Or you can also take local bus 515 or 715. Västerås Airport, which is located 100km west of Stockholm, is also served by the airport coaches and local bus 3. Other ways of getting in is by train (via Stockholms Central), bus (via Swebus Express), or by boat (there are several port areas that comprise the port of Stockholm itself – served by both international and local cruise liners and ferries).