Stockholm Travel Tips

by Chris Zeiher (Australia)

Sweden’s super cool capital will be host to the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and see tens of thousands descend upon the stylish city.Here are some of the essential things you’ll need to know about slick Stockholm if you’re attending the contest and some tips on how to save yourself some money in a notoriously expensive pocket of Europe.
Aerial view of Stockholm harbour

Aerial view of Stockholm harbour

Arriving into Stockholm
You’ll probably be arriving into Arlanda Airport which is approximately a 45 minute taxi ride from Central Stockholm. The arrivals hall contains plenty of ATM’s and Cash Exchange booths if you’ve arrived without any local currency (Krona abbreviated to Skr).

Catching a Taxi is the most expensive option from this terminal into the City Centre so you’re better off taking either of the train or the bus:

Arlanda Express: The train service from airport to the Central Station (Centralstationen) takes approximately 20 minutes and runs every 10-15 minutes up until about 9pm. It also has Wi-Fi to ensure you can check in and let everyone know you’re in town.

Flygbuss: The bus service from the airport into the City centre runs every 15 minutes or so. You board the bus from Stop 11 in Terminal 5 and can purchase tickets from self-service kiosks, with multi-language options, throughout the arrivals hall.

Taxi: If a Taxi is your preferred option this will cost approximately Skr550 for the 45 minute journey just follow the signs to just outside the arrivals hall to find them.

Getting Around

Metro
For most of your stay you’ll probably be using the Tunnelbana, which is Stockholm’s Metro system. The Tunnelbana is marked with an M for Metro and covers most of the key destinations across Stockholm.The Globen Arena, host venue for the 2016 contest, is best accessed from the Globen stop on the Metro.

Highly recommend purchasing a refillable SL Travel Card for your stay in Stockholm which can be purchased from most major stations.

Globen Arena, home of Eurovision 2016

Globen Arena, home of Eurovision 2016

Note – if you’re travelling on a Bus, tickets cannot be purchased on board.

Bikes
Like a lot of European Cities Stockholm can easily be accessed by bike. If you want to get your pedal on during your stay you can hire a bike from Stockholm City Bikes. You can make your purchase online with up to 3 day hire options available.

Note – Bikes are not allowed on the Tunnelbana (Metro).

Discount Cards

There are several products you can use to explore Stockholm during your stay in Stockholm in 2016. Read more here about MyStockholmPass –  city card with free entry to 75 attractions, up to 14 free sightseeing tours and a number of other discounts.

The Basics

  • Emergency # – call 112
  • Public Toilets – mostly coin operated but facilities in Museums and Galleries are often free
  • Shops – Open from Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat from 10am to 1pm (in various locations)
  • Bars – tend to close around 1 – 2am
  • Pay Phones – are not coin operated so beware

Language
Even though most Swedes have a great grasp of English (most of the English language television is not dubbed but features Swedish sub-titles) when travelling you should always try to speak the local tongue.

Hello Hej (hey)
Goodbye Hej då (hey daw)
Yes Ja (yaa)
No Nej (ney)
Please Tack (tak)
Thank you Tack (tak)
You’re welcome Varsågod (var-sha-gohd)
Sorry Förlåt (feur-lawt)

Stockholm Dining
Swedish cuisine has come a long way from the basic “fish and potato” options of yesteryear. Stockholm is home to 11 Michelin starred restaurants and part of the wave of new Nordic cuisine. Many Swede’s opt for a major meal at lunch over dinner and you’ll find great food options across all budgets during the middle of the day.

Expect to see options of Cured Salmon (Gravlax), Pickled Herring, Open Shrimp Sandwiches and of course Swedish Meatballs on most menus. You’ll also find several Vegetarian options in most venues. And if you’re only just a bit peckish opt for the national Street Food, the Hot Dog, which can be found in street vendors around the city.

Don’t Miss
For first timers to Stockholm there are a couple of things you really should see/do whilst you’re in town. Here’s my personal top 3.

Gamla stan, the Old Town, is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centers in Europe, and one of the foremost attractions in Stockholm.

Gamla Stan, the Old Town, is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centres in Europe.

Skansen: Skansen is a fabulous open air museum and Nordic zoo which is easily accessed by Tunnelbana or on foot. The Zoo is home to Bear, Buffalo, Wolves and Moose and the open air museum showcases Scandinavian life throughout the ages.Vasamuseet: This massive museum, close to Skansen, contains a replication of the warship Vasa which sank minutes after its maiden voyage. The warship has been completely re-assembled inside the museum and is gob-smacking when you first set eyes on it.

Gamla Stan (The Old Town): Stockholm’s compact old city, once derelict and shunned, is now a beautifully maintained cobblestoned maze of cool shops, excellent bakeries and coffee houses. It’s also the home of the Kungliga Slottet or the Royal Palace. Yes, it’s littered with tourist style shops too but it’s a must see for anyone visiting for the first time.

For those who have visited Stockholm before and are looking for some alternatives to the “main” attractions consider:

Södermalm: Stockholm’s super cool district sprinkled with funky bars and cafes. It’s also the home to the Fotografiska the capitals Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Östermalm: The home to Stockholm’s rich and fabulous – exploring this part of the city with its chic shopping will require some room on the credit card. It’s also home to the Historika Museet or the History Museum where you can get your Viking history on.

Stockholm City Hall, seen from the south, across Riddarfjärden.

Stockholm City Hall, seen from the south, across Riddarfjärden.