Stockholm, Sweden

Rail Guide to Stockholm

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CurrencySwedish Krona
Local languageSwedish
Country Sweden


Lying on the eastern coast of Sweden, Stockholm (and Sweden as a whole) enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world. Around half of country’s surface is still covered with forest and lakes (that’s an area larger than the entire British Isles!) whilst its economy and social structure has flourished over recent years.

Stockholm itself is said to be almost schizophrenic in nature. Battling between an image centered around its status as Sweden’s commercial and political center and the other being one of a provisional heartland of open spaces and expanses of water. The combination, however, makes it a fascinating place to visit.

Things to do

The first place to wander through is probably Gamla Stan, the old town dating back to the thirteenth century. This is a warren of trendy modern shops, cafes and restaurants within its medieval setting on three separate islands; Riddarholmen, Staden and Helgeandsholmen. Also located in this part of Stockholm is the Royal Palace built in the eighteenth century and on the east side, the Modern Art Gallery and National Museum. The Swedish parliament building, the Riksdagshuset was completely restored in the nineteen seventies something which the guides offer in-depth information about on a twice daily basis! Just in front of the Riksdagshuset is also the Medeltidsmuseum detailing Stockholm’s medieval history.

To the north of Gamla Stan lies the commercial heart of Sweden, Norrmalm densely populated with restaurants, cinemas, bars and clubs. The sedate, tree-lined ‘boulevardland’ of ?stermalm lies in the east as does the residential area of Kungsholmen.

When you’ve tired of pounding the city streets, Djurgården, former royal hunting grounds, have now been ‘regrouped’ to form the National City Park to offer tranquility and an expanse of greenery. Lying to the east of the city, Djurgården houses museums, the Vasanyseet seventeenth century warship and a lake popular with swimmers cooling off in the summer months.

Local transport

Useful to know is that it takes about half an hour to cross central Stockholm on foot, particularly given the prices charged on the public transport network. The underground and buses are very efficient, offering a reliable and comprehensive service across the city and beyond, however do make sure you investigate all the various passes and discount opportunities at the tourist office before buying! With an array of day cards, family cards and weekend cards, it’s easy to become confused and to pay over the odds. Some tickets such as the Stockholmskortet allow for discounted entry into some museums and sightseeing opportunities too. For public transport information ask at the tourist office or ring 08 600 1000.

Day Trips

The choice of destinations even for day-trippers is vast. Popular and worthwhile choices include the fantastic royal palace of Drottningholm located on the idyllic shores of the Lovön Island just fifteen minutes away from Stockholm by boat. Equally it is possible to arrive by T-bana, which is included in the tourist transport card or Stockholm Card but not half as exciting as the boat trip!

For unrivalled beauty and tranquility try the Stockholm Archipelago consisting of hundreds of tiny islands densely populated by the tall pine trees that Sweden is so famous for. Boats leave for the islands on a regular basis and are very reasonably priced. Most leave from the Strömkajen (in front of the National Museum).