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The capital of Sweden, Stockholm is the most populated city of all the Nordic countries. As a result, it has become a significant cultural and economic centre for country and region, with it even sometimes being referred to as "the capital of Scandinavia". There are traces of human activity in the area of the city dating back to the Stone Age, however the Old Town (or Gamla Stan) was not originally occupied by the vikings until around 1,000 A.D. The city was founded properly in the 13th Century, and continued to grow in prominence particularly due to trade with the Hanseatic League. The city has been able to grow and redefine itself time and time again over centuries and today remains an iconic destination for technology, design, culture and history. Stockholm is located in the south-east of Sweden, and is formed out of 14 islands right where the Baltic Sea meets Lake Mälaren. The city is abundant with natural space as 60% of the geographical area of Stockholm is comprised of green areas or water. Its archipelago is the second largest in the Baltic Sea and extends out much further than the city itself.
Stockholm Arlanda Airport is the main international airport serving the capital and is located about 37km north of the city. It is also the largest airport in Sweden as well the most passengers with a total of 22.5 million flying to and from here in 2014, and 17 million of those being international flights. The official opening ceremony took place in 1962, about 40 years later the construction of the third runway had been completed. It forms a major hub for Nextjet, Norwegian Air and Scandinavian Airlines.
Getting from Stockholm Arlanda Airport to the City Centre
By far the easiest way to get to Stockholm Central is by taking the Arlanda Express train service. The journey takes about 20 minutes and costs SEK 260. A journey on the local commuter trains is also possible but takes nearly twice as long. For the cheapest method, visitors can take the bus 583 to Märsta and then to take the commuter rail service from there. There is also the option of taking one of the coaches operated by Flygbussarna, Swebus or SL which do a regular route to and from the airport.
Taxi companies are required to offer a fixed fare when travelling to and from the airport - the price list should be visible on the side window but they can be more expensive than public transport. When driving, European route E4 passes just by the airport and provides a continuous motorway path all the way to the city. Short-stay and long-stay parking facilities are also available at the airport.
Stockholm Skavsta Airport is an international airport located about 100km south-west of Stockholm. It is the third largest airport in Sweden, handling around 2.5 million passengers each year. Skavsta was originally a military airport until 1980. In 1984, the local council took it over and it resumed flying operations with scheduled commercial flights. The airport is served primarily by low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and Wizz Air.
Getting from Stockholm Skavsta Airport to the City Centre
Flygbussarna run hourly coach services to the city centre that take around 90 minutes to complete the journey. The fare for this connection is SEK 149 one-way. Taxis must be booked in advance and take around 80 minutes to complete the journey, with an average price of around SEK 1.400. For drivers, European route E4 is a brief drive away from Skavsta airport. From there the drive is a straightforward one north-east to the city centre.
Stockholm Central is the busiest station in the country, and sees around 200,000 people onto their journeys every day. The station is comprised of 17 platforms and offers domestic and international trains. The major rail providers serving the station are SJ / Storstockholms Lokaltrafik.
Getting from Stockholm Central Station to the City Centre
The station is right in the centre of town. A selection of buses, metro trains and commuter trains are available for onward travel.
Cityterminalen is the largest bus station in the country and sees about 800 buses depart and arrive every day. Connections from here are available to practically all large cities and many smaller towns & villages throughout Sweden, as well as international connections. Major bus providers operating to and from the station include Swebus, Eurolines, Flygbussarna, and Nettbus.
Getting from Cityterminalen to the City Centre
Cityterminalen is located next to the Central Station - putting it right in the centre of the city. Further public transportation connections as well as taxis are available to and from here.
Driving in Sweden is often considered to be more relaxed and less aggressive than in many other European countries. Here cars drive on the right side, and roads across the country are generally well maintained. Traffic jams are common in the larger cities, and if driving into Stockholm it is always best to avoid rush hours when possible. The city is at the junction of 3 major motorways: European routes E4, E18 and E20.
The SL public transport system is extensive and efficient with all different modes of transport covered, including boats. The metro system is often referred to as "the world's longest art gallery" and if you get off at Solna centrum station be sure to check out the moose! The system is very popular among both locals and tourists, and the T-Bana system covers most of the city. For the bits where it doesn't reach, the bus is always an option. Overall, the SL has a zone system from A-C, which also covers the T-Bana network entirely.
Discounted Ticket Types: There is a general discount for children 6-19 years old called reduced price. For tourists, the Stockholm Card allows free public transport as well as free admission to 80 museums and sights in Stockholm, free sightseeing by boat and other bonus offers. An adult 24 hour pass costs 495 SEK, and a 48 hour pass costs 650 SEK.
Availability of Public Transport at Night: The SL system offers night transport on Fridays and Saturdays, and night buses are available during the week.
Stockholm is a great city to cycle around and explore - especially in the summer. While the local population still only uses bicycles for 10% of their trips, there are bike lanes covering the entirety of the city. In general these lanes are well signposted and the system is efficient, with different categories of lane.
Taxis are fairly common in Stockholm, with a number of different taxi companies available. Approved taxis always have a yellow number plate, however prices are unregulated but can be seen in the side window of the taxi before you get in.
It is possible to drive right into the city centre of Stockholm, although a congestion charge does apply. Often there are one way systems and narrow streets, so it isn't especially conducive to drive in certain areas like the Old Town. Parking can be difficult and cost of up to SEK 50 per hour.
Stockholm is a very pedestrian friendly city. Areas like the Old Town are probably best suited to be seen on foot, however other parts of town also place great emphasis on safe road crossing.
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The capital of Sweden, Stockholm is the most populated city of all the Nordic countries. As a result, it has become a significant cultural and economic centre for country and region, with it even sometimes being referred to as "the capital of Scandinavia". Stockholm is located in the south-east of Sweden, and is formed out of 14 islands right where the Baltic Sea meets Lake Mälaren. The city is abundant with natural space as 60% of the geographical area of Stockholm is comprised of green areas or water. Its archipelago is the second largest in the Baltic Sea and extends out much further than the city itself.
Must Know: The public transport system is efficient and vast, making it easy for visitors to get around.
Must See: Visit the Vasa Museum to see the only almost fully intact 17th century ship ever to be uncovered.
Must Do: Wander around the Old Town and see the 13th Century Cathedral.
Did You Know: The city’s subway is know as the world’s longest art gallery.
Stockholm has four distinct seasons and each season provides a different reason to visit this unique city. The best time to visit Stockholm for most people is in the summer months. July is the hottest month of the year with temperatures in the high 70s every day. Just don't forget to bring a light jacket, as it can get cool in the evenings and early mornings. In the summer months, the sun rises at about 3:40 a.m. and only sets around 10 p.m. allowing for a long day of sightseeing. Foodies will love the Taste of Stockholm festival in the summer that features the best of the local cuisine. The Midsummer Festival takes place on the 21st of June, which is the longest day of the year and is a day filled with music, local food, and interesting drinks. In the winter months, the temperatures hover in the low 20s and the sun only rises for a few hours each day. However, the city is a winter wonderland of deep snow and stunning light displays. Head to the city center to explore the Skansen markets and taste some glögg wine.
Known as the Venice of the North, Stockholm is a special place. It is a gorgeous city that has a rich cultural heritage and an intricate island layout. Being a small city, you can easily explore Stockholm on foot. A walking tour allows you to view Stockholm's essential landmarks, stunning attractions, cultural venues, ancient palaces, local restaurants, and also visit elegant city neighborhoods. The old town of Gamla Stan is the ideal place to kick off your walking tour. This ancient town is home to the Royal Palace, the Storkyrkan cathedral, and colorful 17th-century buildings. Make your way through Stockholm's narrowest street, the Marten Trotzigs Grand, then head off to the German Church. Besides its distinct spire, this iconic Church carries a lot of Stockholm's history. As you make your way out of Gamla Stan, savor some Swedish delicacies in the nearby restaurants. Another beautiful place to visit is the tranquil island Djurgaden. Here, you can make a stop at either the Skansen open-air museum or the Vasa Museum and learn some Swedish history. Once you get tired of walking, hop onto a boat to see the city from a whole new angle. Sightseeing by boat is a fun way to explore Stockholm's 14 magnificent islands.