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city that dispels all of the outdated images about dull
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
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
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