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Stockholm, Sweden


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Personality Types that Like it Best

Loved most by middle of the curve-Centric-Venturers and Centric-Authentics

Did you know … ?

  • The Stockholm archipelago has more than 24,000 islands, islets and skerries.
  • Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum, dating from 1891.
  • The 1628 Vasa warship sailed a mile, then sank 130 yards off shore in Stockholm’s harbor.
  • Stockholm-born Alfred Nobel left the equivalent of roughly $250 million to endow the Nobel Prizes.
  • Mentioned for the first time in 1252, Stockholm became Sweden’s capital in 1523.

‘Scandinavia’s capital’

Stockholm is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It sits on 14 islands; that translates into endless waterside vistas, and those waterside scenes are gorgeous because Stockholm is full of well-preserved medieval buildings plus other newer and even modern buildings that reflect the well-known Swedish penchant for fine design.

Stockholmers call their city the “natural capital of Scandinavia” because it is centrally located in the region; it is Scandinavia’s largest city, and it has the most multinational companies and the largest stock market. Adding cache, Sweden’s capital is home to the Nobel Prize.

Travelers love Stockholm — a small city — for its beauty, but they also appreciate that the Swedish people are welcoming; the city is clean and safe, and there is lots to see and do.  Located in the land of the Vikings, the greater Stockholm region has a history that — while somewhat romanticized — is fascinating. Given the city’s northerly locale, very short winter days and very long summer evenings offer unique touristic experiences, as well.

It is de rigueur to so some traditional sightseeing here, visiting Gamla Stan (the historic center), historic palaces and key museums. More broadly, sightseeing is a learning experience focused on the city’s past. This aspect may be expanded to trips outside Stockholm to sites with Viking ties.

Then, there are the diversions in Stockholm, focused on its water and islands plus Stockholm’s parks (about 1,000). Options range from steamer sightseeing journeys to kayaking or taking the helm of a sailing vessel. Other activities range from horseback riding or golfing to windsurfing or whitewater kayaking, from cross-country skiing to ice skating and winter swimming.

Finally, in a country noted for consumer goods that feature smart design and functionality, this is a place for shopping. Glassware and crystal top the list of highly regarded Swedish products. Food is another lure. Visitors seek out the staples, including local seafood and the smorgasbord.

Stockholm’s city center is compact, which means visitors can see and do many things on foot. In winter, temperatures range from about 19 F to 36 F, whereas in summer, they generally range from 68 F to 77 F.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Try your skills at painting porcelain at Gustavsberg’s porcelain museum at the site of the eponymous factory, in a town also called Gustavsberg. At the factory shops, choose a few pieces to take home.  Note: Gustavsberg is worth a visit anyway, as one of numerous charming seaside towns in the Stockholm archipelago.
  • Overnight at an inn or hostel on one of Stockholm’s countless islands, and spend at least one day kayaking to and from uninhabited islands, stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. Alternatively, travel among the islands on a sailboat.
  • Go whitewater kayaking on rapids found right in the heart of Stockholm, between the Royal Palace and the Royal Opera.
  • For nightlife, Stockholm offers many choices for cafes, bars and nightclubs, but consider Sodermalm, a large district south of the city center noted for its younger and more bohemian ambience.
  • Test your mettle with a little winter swimming — and enjoy a sauna. Also, in winter, go speed skating in Stockholm’s archipelago.
  • Time your visit for the midsummer holiday festivities, occurring on the weekend closest to June 24. The Skansen open-air museum hosts a celebration with dancing, games and Swedish folk music. Many participants show up in traditional folk costumes and wreaths of flowers in their hair. You could do the same.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Step back in time with a visit to the Vasa Museum, home to the Vasa warship which sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. The mighty ship has about a thousand wooden sculptures, and exhibits give you a good idea of what life would have been like on such a vessel.  Also, stroll through Gamla Stan for a good look at the city’s oldest quarter.
  • Sample the foods Sweden is known for: berries and mushrooms; herring, salmon and other fish, and game.
  • Board a boat to island hop in Stockholm’s archipelago. Charter a turn-of-the-last-century steamship for a major event — such as your wedding.
  • In winter, choose one or more winter activities in the Stockholm area: downhill or cross-country skiing, ice skating, sledding, snowboarding or the slalom.
  • Use a bicycle as your mode of transportation in the city. Many Stockholmers do. The city is filled with bike paths and bike racks.
  • You might want to join the city’s half or full marathon, but consider an unusual alternative: the annual 10 km midnight race. This August event begins at 10 p.m. and involves a fair amount of partying.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Lose yourself in Skansen, Stockholm’s open-air museum, with its collection of old homes and farm buildings, plus wild animals such as bear, lynx and wolf. Skansen has Stockholm’s only zoo.
  • In a city and country noted for classy and forward-leaning design, go shopping. Include SoFo in your rounds. SoFo, which is south of Folkungagatan and east of Gotgatan on Sodermalm, is known as one of the city’s trendiest shopping areas and for an atmosphere described as hip and laid back.
  • Learn about Swedish history at the National Museum of Cultural History. Exhibits tell about traditional customs and practices. The building itself is worth a look. Tour historic royal castles as well, beginning with the Royal Palace in the middle of Stockholm.
  • Take a Sunday brunch cruise — with herring, salmon and all the well-known Swedish specialties — among Stockholm’s island paradise.
  • Attend the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival in the fall. Learn about beer, whisky and cider in seminars and at tastings. Eat at restaurants offering entire menus of foods prepared with beer.
  • Take in fine music at such events as the summertime Baltic Sea Festival and the Music at the Palace concerts.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult Stockholm Visitors Board at