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Stockholm guide
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Last updated : Nov 2009
Stockholm Travel Guide
Stockholm Travel Guide and Stockholm Travel Information -
'Beauty on Water'

Spread across 24,000 islets and laced with several waterways on the southeastern coast of Sweden, Stockholm enjoys one of the most beautiful locales of any capital city in the world.

Over 30% of the Stockholm area is made up of waterways, and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces, giving Stockholm perhaps the freshest air of any European capital. This natural oasis is complemented by the dazzling Old Town, which was perfectly preserved by Sweden’s neutrality in World War II. This Old Town (or Gamla Stan) is the epicentre of the city, with numerous restaurants, hotels, bars and shops all prospering, as people in these historical streets have done for centuries.

Away from the charms of the Old Town, the modern city showcases the neat and inventive design standards for which Sweden has become globally renowned for.

A lot of the city's present day wealth comes from the new light industries, such as information technology and computing, with world leading companies often occupying prime real estate in the city centre or filling up the new business parks on the city fringes.

All this is a far cry from Stockholm's humble beginnings, which stretch back to the 13th century and Birger Jarl, generally accepted as the founder of the city, although various settlements previously existed on the site.

The city grew around the Old Town, as it emerged as a key trading centre, with influence all over the Baltic Sea region and further afield. At present, Stockholm is a thriving modern European city that dispels all of the outdated images about dull Scandinavians.

During the seemingly endless days and bright sunshine of the summer months, the Stockholm's chic boutiques and stylish pavement cafés overflow with the ‘beautiful people’, who enjoy the hedonistic culture and lifestyle that has earned the Swedish capital rave reviews from Europe’s style magazines.

The city’s ethnic make up is, perhaps amazingly, very eclectic, with over 15% first generation immigrants and over 100 languages spoken. This increasing diversity has infused Stockholm with a renewed energy, as the various incoming cultures interact with the indigenous Swedes.

A typical Stockholm summer night is spent bathed in warm sunshine, sitting at a restaurant by the water’s edge, savoring fresh seafood plucked straight from the waters. Then it is advised to take advantage of the midnight light and heading out for a night around the Stureplan, in some of Europe’s trendiest bars.

When the long winter does come, it is not all Nordic gloom, the locals head for the sanctuary of the cosy pubs that line the Stockholm. The city has almost as many restaurants per capita as Paris does, as well as 150 or so museums and galleries, so there is always plenty to do if not enjoying the sun.

When the severe winters come by, many of the waterways around the city freeze up, allowing the unforgettable experience of ice skating around one of the world’s most stunning capital cities.
Useful travel links
Stockholm The official visitors guide to Stockholm