One third of Sweden's capital Stockholm is water. The city spans 14 islands and is a beautiful balance between nature and big city flair. Enjoy it!

Shopping time

Stockholm is the ideal shopping paradise for those not so fond of walking. The Drottninggatan offers a vast array of department stores, famous fashion chains, boutiques with Swedish fashion and all sorts of other shops all close to each other. That's where you'll find most shops and you can take a breather from your shopping marathon in one of the many cafés or restaurants.

If you prefer to go shopping in a more hip atmosphere then SOFO in the former working class district is just right for you. SOFO stands for "South of Folkungagatan" and is in the now creative district Södermalm. Many concept stores offering fashion, art and design combined with cool events have settled there. The shops are open until 9 pm every last Thursday of the month. DJs regularly perform and drink prices are reduced.

Local specialities

Swedish cuisine is simple and hearty. A long time ago Sweden was a poor farming nation and people ate simply just to fill up. That is why their diet consisted predominantly of meat and of course fresh fish. Things have changed a little now though. The people of Stockholm like to go out to eat everyday. The city's restaurants are therefore usually full and you should make a reservation in good time. Lunchtime starts at 11:30 pm and the tasty dinner dishes start to make their way to the table between 5 and 6 pm. Be sure to try elk either as a steak or goulash because it is a true Swedish speciality! But of course you will also find the well-known Köttbullar there, meatballs served with cranberries and mashed potato.

Art & culture

Under no circumstances should you pass up the opportunity to see the most visited museum in Scandinavia, the Vasa-Museum. As soon as you go in you will see the impressive battleship Vasa, which sank in 1628 on its maiden voyage and was salvaged and restored 333 years later. The Vasa is made up of 95 percent original parts. It took almost half a century to restore the ship. There is even a film about the Vasa that you can sit back and watch. The best thing is: entry to the Vasa-Museum is free for under 18 year-olds.

For those of you who aren't afraid of heights, Stockholm has two great attractions: Stadshuset, the city hall and landmark of Stockholm, offers fantastic views over the city. The 106 metre tall tower at the city hall was finished in 1923 and is made up of around eight million bricks.
A trip with the SkyView onto the roof of the Ericsson Globe is not for anyone with even the slightest vertigo. The Ericsson Globe is a multi-purpose arena, which hosts the most varied events, from rock concerts to ice hockey matches. A glass gondola transports 16 passengers onto the roof of the world's largest circular building in just 16 minutes.

A few little facts

The Stockholm underground is a true gem. Over 90 of the 110 stations present astounding works of art by approx. 150 different artists. The Solna Centrum (blue line) station for example has a cave-like, illuminated red ceiling that appears to hover above the tracks while the station walls are adorned with over a kilometre of pine forest paintings.

Incidentally: Stockholm was named European Green Capital in 2010 and is a great role model with its dedication to environmental concerns. Climate protection and sustainable city transport are of top priority in Stockholm. The buses run on biogas and ethanol.

Fitness & fun

The trend sport kitewing is very popular in Stockholm. A kitewing is a sail that windsport fans can use wherever the wind blows. It can be used on snow and ice with ice skates, snowboard or skis, on the water with a surfboard or on tarmac with a skateboard or inline skates. On windy winter days you can often see people scooting across the frozen lakes. You can watch or have a go yourself at the Baggensfjärden in the Stockholm archipelago and at the Ältasjön Lake in the south of the city.

In the summer, beaches right in the middle of the city such as the Smedsuddsbadet on Kungsholmen are great for swimming. You will find a flat sandy beach there. A little further out of the city you can find the Flatenbadet in Skarpnäck with a large swimming area, a diving board, minigolf and a café.

You and your family can have bags of fun in Gröna Lund, Stockholm's largest amusement park on the Djurgården pensinsula. From the rollercoaster to the Spökhuset, which is sure to make you jump, everything there is great fun.

Good to know

The clocks seem to tick a little differently in Sweden than in elsewhere. Everything is slower and less hurried. The people are more relaxed and take their time. People, who are in a rush can be considered rude. So just let things take their course and adjust to the Swedish lifestyle. You'll soon realise how relaxing it can be.

Incidentally: you have to take a token in shops, banks and post offices that will tell you when it is your turn.