When it comes to big, beautiful cities, Stockholm earns a top spot on the list. One of the most attractive major cities in the world, Sweden’s capital is a unique blend of old and new, and has been described as both “cosy” and “cosmopolitan”.
Stockholm is the most populous city on the Scandinavian Peninsula, spanning over fourteen separate islands. Located on the southern central east coast of Sweden, Stockholm is home to approximately one-fifth of the country’s population. Known for its fresh, clean air, thirty percent of Stockholm is made up of green space and parks. Stockholm also has a reputation for being a friendly city; residents are always happy to give you a smile and help you on your way. Despite having quite a history, Stockholm is also a modern city, and is known to be one of the hottest museum cities in the world, with around 100 museums that are visited by millions annually.
Stockholm offers a great variety of sights and activities for all to enjoy. One of the most popular attractions is the Vasa Ship Museum, where you can find one of the most complete and best-preserved shipwrecks in the world. The Vasa sunk only a few hundred meters into its journey, and was retrieved from Stockholm’s harbour after more than three centuries. The museum provides visitors with the ship’s fascinating history and a look at incredible remains of the 17th century warship. Younger travelers will enjoy the Skansen Open Air Museum. The world’s first open-air museum, Skansen was founded back in 1891, and is home to fascinating recreations of the Swedish lifestyle through time, an open-air zoo with many animals native to the country, an aquarium, and a delightful bakery. Even the buildings in the museum are impressive.
Tourists like to head over to Gamla Stan, the older part of the city that is a small, maze-like area made up of cobblestone streets. Also known as Stockholm’s Old Town, the area is filled with beautiful architecture and plenty of nice little shops. Stockholm also offers a wide variety of great outdoor opportunities. There are bike lanes to be found throughout the city, and plenty of locations to rent bicycles. If you’re more into water sports, hire a kayak from Stockholm’s Kayak Club and paddle your way down Langholmskanalen Canal. For those who wish to get some hiking in, there are many good hiking trails in and around the city, such as the Sormlandsleden Trail and the Upplandsleden Trail.
With four distinct seasons, Stockholm offers a unique experience for every time of the year. The summer offers long, sunny days (featuring up to 18 hours of daylight), while the winter brings beautiful snow and plenty of fun activities (though it does get dark early-expect to see only 6 or 7 hours of daylight in late December). Stockholm’s main airport is Stockholm Arlanda, about 45km out of the city, and easily reachable by bus and train. You can also reach Stockholm by ferry from Helsinki, or by bus or train. Once you’re in the city, the public bus, metro, and train system will get you to most of your destinations.