Stockholm is called the “Venice of the North” by some, but we think Stockholm is unlike any other city in Europe. The city is made up of 14 islands connected by 30 bridges on Lake Mälaren, which flows past an archipelago of 24,000 islands on its way out to the Baltic Sea. Thirty percent of the city is waterways and another thirty percent is dedicated to green space, so this city sparkles with freshness.
Founded in 1250, Stockholm’s unusual location provides a natural division of the city into three major zones, each split into smaller neighborhoods. Norrmalm, also known as City, is the city’s commercial hub, and is considered the true center of Stockholm. Tourists clog the pedestrian shopping street Drottninggaten in the summertime, and a younger crowd flocks to Odenplan Square.
Gamlastan is the historical Old Town of Stockholm, where old buildings, the Royal Palace and the Riksdag dominate cobblestone streets. Södermalm is a former working-class district that has become the bohemian heart of Stockholm. Many of the more than 1,000 restaurants are here, and the many pubs welcome a lively, mixed crowd especially around Citizen’s Square.
Stockholm is definitely not cheap, yet its extensive “Tunnelbana” subway system and bike paths make it easy to save money for the things that matter. Such as the Nobel Museum or the Vasa Museum featuring the only surviving 17th century ship, two of over 100 museums in the city.
The weather might also affect your journey, as days stretch over 18 hours in midsummer, and shrink to as little as six in the winter. Winters are cold and sometimes snowy; summers are warm and often balmy.