Stockholm Travel Guide
One of the most visually arresting cities in the world, Stockholm is set upon a series of bays, rivers and waterways of 14 roughly connected islands containing an assortment of architectural and cultural oddities. From the quaint and pristinely preserved Gamla Stan, or Old Town (one of the few areas in Europe untouched by World War II), to the unabashed modernity of the buildings at Hötorget, Stockholm is a sprawling, floating, beautiful visual drama ... continue» Read More
The best time to visit Stockholm is in the summer — albeit the city's priciest season — because the temperatures are warmest and daylight lasts up to 24 hours. Average summertime highs range between 68 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit, with the hottest weather occurring in mid-July. It's important to bring layers, however, as temps can sometimes drop by 10 to 20 degrees at nighttime. The fall and spring seasons are chillier with high 50s and 60s. Winters in Stockholm tend to be extremely cold but are ideal for travelers interested in winter sports or a picturesque Christmastime getaway.Read More Best Times to Visit Stockholm»
Stockholm is located in the southeast of Sweden in northern Europe and is accessible from several international airports. The city center lies on what is known as the Stockholm archipelago, which consists of 14 islands on a winding course of bays and inlets, and it faces the Baltic Sea, with the Gulf of Bothnia to the north. The downtown area sits on the bay of Riddarfjärden, and most of the city's sites can be found in what's known as the innerstaden (inner city), typically divided between north and south.
Inner City North
To the north of the inner city is Norrmalm, the major commercial district. Here you'll find the T-Centralen metro center and the city's main railway station. One of the more popular tourist stops, the Drottninggatan shopping district is a major pedestrian, shop-lined avenue. However, Kungsgatan is Stockholm's main shopping street, with movie theaters, cafés and boutiques.
Also in the Norrmalm district is the Hötorget City, a series of five skyscrapers containing a shopping promenade known as Sergelgatan. Nearby Hötorget is Sergels Torg, Stockholm's main public square, which contains a large pedestrian plaza, Stockholm's iconic obelisk made of glass and steel, and an accompanying fountain. The Vasastaden district, located just north of Norrmalm, offers cheaper hotel rates and several excellent restaurants and theaters.
In the Östermalm district, also in the northern inner city, you'll find the Stureplan Square, an expensive shopping area and affluent residential area. The area surrounding the nearby Karlaplan Square holds many of the city's best museums, including the Historiska Museet, known in English as the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities. To the north, the Humlegården is a popular public park and home to the city's Kungliga Biblioteket (or Royal Library). The southern area of Djurgården holds some of Stockholm's main attractions, including the Skansen open-air museum and the Gröna Lund Tivoli amusement park.
Inner City South
In the south of the inner city, Stockholm's historic town, known as Gamla Stan, contains the Kungliga Slottet or Royal Palace and the Riksdag, the Swedish Parliament building. Also within Gamla Stan is Stortorget Square, a popular meeting point lined with narrow and colorful buildings. The area also contains the city's oldest restaurant, Den Gyldene Freden; since its opening in 1722, professional travel writers report few changes to its interior or its surroundings.
Just south of Gamla Stan, Södermalm, or simply Söder, contains several bohemian restaurants and pubs. It's also home to the popular Medborgarplatsen, or "Citizen's Square," a bustling area brimming with great eateries and nightlife options. The area contains a variety of historic and charming churches, including the Katarina kyrka (Church of Catherine), Maria Magdalena församling (Maria Magdalena Church) and Katolska Domkyrkan (St. Eric's Cathedral)
On the small island of Kungsholmen, just northwest of Södermalm, the grandiose brick Stockholm City Hall sits along the Riddarfjärden bay. You can also find several small restaurants and bars that make for great stops after a long walk. Also within the neighborhood is the expansive Västermalmsgallerian shopping mall.
Stockholm has a reputation for being a very safe city, for locals and visitors alike. Take sensible precautions, as iGuide points out, it's a good idea to "avoid late-night walks through the darkest and most desolate back streets and tunnels, as well as close encounters with rowdy groups of drunk people."
The best way to get around Stockholm is by the excellent public transportation system; several bus lines, the T-Bana metro system and commuter rails cover the city efficiently. You can also cross downtown in about 30 minutes by bicycle, especially as many streets have bicycle lanes. Another option would be the public ferry service and taxis but you're better off using the farther-reaching mass transit. Neighborhoods like Gamla Stan are certainly walkable, but the expansive city is tough to cover solely on foot. Although we don't recommend driving, rental cars are available at the Arlanda Airport (ARN) -- a little more than 25 miles north of the city. But it's easier to take the commuter rail or the Arlanda Express high-speed train instead.Getting Around Stockholm»