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Basic information

  • Area: 188 km² (72.6 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +468
  • Currency: Swedish krona (SEK)
  • Population (EST): 829,417
  • Official language: Swedish
  • Time Zone: CET (UTC+1)

Stockholm – Overview

Stockholm is the capital of the Scandinavian country Sweden. It is located in the central south-eastern area of the country and is Sweden’s largest city, housing over 20% of the country’s population (around 2 million in Stockholm’s greater metropolitan area). Although it is not the oldest city in Sweden it is its most important, being the home of the Swedish national government and the monarchy. Stockholm produces almost 30% of the nations economic output and is its financial centre, home of the Swedish stock exchange. A bustling modern city, Stockholm is a great place to visit and offers something for everyone.

The city covers an area of nearly 190km2 over 14 islands created where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. The waterways dividing these islands make up over 30% of the city. Viewing the city by boat is a great way to take in the sights, and there are a number of companies that offer boat excursions both within the city and out on the archipelago, which is made up of over 24,000 islands. For those who like to keep their feet on dry land, there are 50 bridges connecting the islands and all they have to offer.

Divided into three main districts, there are excellent shopping opportunities in all three. The main tourist trap of Drottninggatan, south of Sergels Torg Square is located in the northern district, here you will find an abundance of shops selling keepsakes and souvenirs. Gamla Stan, the city’s oldest district is located in the southern inner city and is home to the artisans of Stockholm, for authentic handcrafted goods and artwork this is the place to go. More upmarket shopping can be found in Östermalm in the northern inner city near the Stureplan square. Here shops such as Armani and Gucci compete for the high end market.

With almost no heavy industry in the city the air is extremely fresh, and with 30% of the city made up of green area there is no excuse for not exploring the parks and gardens. And one of the best places to do that is on the island of Djurgården which is also home to some of Stockholm’s most famous attractions including the Vasa Museum, which houses the only intact 17th century warship in the world along with the magical storybook land of Junibaken, a favourite with children. A walk around the island will take a couple of hours and is a great way to see the sights.

The multicultural tendency of the city is reflected in its many eateries and restaurants. With something for every budget the areas of Södermalm and Gamla Stan are a good place to start although restaurants in Stockholm usually stop service at around 10pm so dining early is a good idea. After dinner take the tunnelbana to T Östermalmstorg for the trendiest bars and clubs, although expect to pay high entrance fees. A cheaper more relaxed alternative are the bars in and around Kungsholmen.