How to make the most of Stockholm
Stockholm is grand and stately city, but cross one of its numerous bridges into the less ostentatious neighbourhoods and you’ll see the real Stockholm: a place inhabited by relaxed people who take time to enjoy ‘fika’ - a coffee and pastry with friends, or a walk along the waterside and woods.
Once you’ve seen the sights, you’ll want to take the time to wander the atmospheric cobbled backstreets, explore the city’s independent shops or maybe drop into a local independent bar.
To help you make the most of one of the world’s most attractive cities, we’ve gathered together some information that will help you prepare to see Stockholm at its finest.
What should you pack?
It depends on when you’re going! Don’t forget that Stockholm is way up north and during winter it gets very cold. December, January and February have an average low of below zero, but it can get much colder. Take a down jacket, thermal underwear and warm walking boots (that will also help with the cities cobbled streets). Even in summer temperatures only reach 17C on average, so a light jacket and sweater should always be carried. It will be sure to snow between December and March, but it also can as early as October and as late as April.
For electronic devices, Sweden’s standard voltage is 230V (type F) which is a regular European socket. Take a standard UK > European 220-240V power adapter.
You don’t need a visa if you’re a UK citizen, and will be permitted to stay for up to three months.
You should also get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. This isn’t a substitute for medical insurance, but allows you to state provided medical treatment for emergencies only.
How to get around
Despite being across 14 islands, Stockholm is a surprisingly compact city, and walking is a pleasure. There are 57 bridges connecting the islands and there seems to be a picturesque view from every one of them.
Generally a quiet city, travelling by bicycle is common and a great way to explore, although do be careful cycling in snowy conditions. Like London’s Santander Cycles, Stockholm City Bikes can be borrowed for three hours and returned to any one of the 140 stations around the city. Buy a card online here or at a tourist office. The scheme runs between April and October.
The underground is the best way to make quick trips, plus it’s cheap and simple to navigate. Buy one ticket and you can travel for 75-120 minutes with it. If you’re spending a few days exploring the city, it’s worth getting a 24 or 72 hour card allowing you to use the bus, underground, trams and; best of all, some ferry lines.
Using the boats are a great way to see the city from the water. Single tickets can be bought from the quays before boarding.
Taxis are plentiful, however, there is no price standard so be sure to check the price first with the driver. These taxis are not cheap, so public transport maybe be preferable when possible.
Top four things to do in the city
There’s a lot to do in Scandinavia’s largest city, so we’ve picked a few of our favourite things to do in the city.
The Vasa Museum
This remarkable museum is based around the only preserved 17th century ship in the world that was salvaged in 1961. An amazing 95% of it is original - no wonder it’s the most visited museum in the city.
The Royal Palace
Things to put in one of Europe’s largest palaces? Well five museums for a start – the Armory is our choice with its stately carriages and royal costumes. Don’t miss the changing of the Royal Guard either before taking a wander around the Galma stan, one of the best-preserved medieval city centres in Europe.
Go for Fika
After all that walking it’s time for ‘fika’, a Swedish ritual that consists simply of coffee, pastries and friends – what’s not to like? Some cafés to visit include Bakervet in SoFo and Winterviken in the suburb of Aspudden.
Feast on new Nordic cuisine
You haven’t been to Stockholm unless you’ve eaten wild duck with ingredients foraged from the forest. At Woodstockholm you can – and it’s wonderful. If you’re in the market for seafood, then a delicious and well-stocked menu can be found at Lux Dag For Dag.
To make the most of your time in Stockholm, here are a few useful online travel tools:
- VisitStockholm - an invaluable guide to the city from the latest restaurant openings to the most important sights.
- AccuWeather – the official city tourism site.
- Currency Calculator – for staying on top of exchange rates.
- Airbnb – stay like a local, with these private apartments in handy locations.
- TripAdvisor - reviews of local restaurants and business, written by visitors like you.
- Google Maps – make sense of the city.
One more thing
Start your holiday smoothly and book your Heathrow parking with Good To Go.
With our Meet & Greet parking service all you have to do is drop your car off with us and we’ll do the hard work of parking for you. You can get on with enjoying your trip while we’ll look after your car, and have your keys ready for you when you get back.
All information valid as of May 2016.
Whether you're jetting away on a city break or following the sun to the beach get ready to travel with our expert tips and guides.
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