Definitely one of the most beautifully situated cities in Northern Europe, Stockholm, is the capital of Sweden. It is situated in the south central part of the country on the border between the provinces Uppland and Södermanland (also known as Sörmland), on the East coast, between lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The municipality of Stockholm has approximately 800,000 inhabitants (2011), the greater metropolitan area 2 million (2011). The population of the metro area grows by about 20,000 each year.
Stockholm is not the oldest town in Sweden but after its establishment in the 1250s it rapidly became a national centre, having a very strategic location between a major lake (Mälaren) and the Baltic Sea. The city is in almost every respect the most important city in Sweden, even though more peripheral regions, especially in the south and west, feel they survive quite well without the political centralism exerted by the capital. Stockholm is a mix of old and new. Particularly between 1955 and 1975, hundreds of older buildings were demolished during a great modernization process, encouraged by similar projects in London and other cities damaged during the Second World War. Sweden’s beautiful capital has a very picturesque setting that makes the city unique. The difference between summer and winter is quite large, with long, mild summer nights and lots of greenery, and dark, cold, often snowy winters with millions of Christmas candles in the windows.
Swedish cuisine gathers inspiration and flavours from international sources and combines them with Swedish tradition. This tradition includes a base using Sweden’s high-quality raw ingredients notably sea-food. There is now such an interest in cooking that Sweden now proudly publishes more cookbooks per capita than any other country in the world! Despite the cold winters, it is not uncommon to see Swedes sitting outside cafes and pubs – wrapped in blankets !
The nightlife in Stockholm is fairly well regarded – for a bit of fun have a look at this UK Versus Sweden nightlife comparison. There are new concerts and events constantly, with a good solid mixture of nightclubs playing all types of music. And it can vary in mood by the seasons. In the summer, the late evening sun in Stockholm lasts well into the night and then in the winter the nights create the need for a cosy atmosphere filled with fun. The result is a city committed to its nightlife and includes something for all ages.
Flights to Stockholm
Norwegian flies to Stockholm from Gatwick and Edinburgh.
British airways flies daily from Heathrow as does SAS.
KLM can fly you to Stockholm, via Amsterdam from 15 UK airports.
Attractions in Stockholm
The vasa museum – which houses the royal ship Vasa, the only well preserved 17th century warship in existence.
Gamla Stan (“old town”) – the beautiful and well preserved historic heart of the city.
Skansen – open air museum featuring Nordic animals and a collection of historic buildings from all over Sweden which have been moved there.