One of the reasons for coming to Scandinavia is to visit the capital cites, and Stockholm doesn't disappoint. Built on seven islands, there is (mostly navigatable) water everywhere, and boats are squeezed into every nook and cranny. Its compact enough to walk around the main bits, and the marinas are close enough not to need the (very efficient) public transport. If you want real info on Stockholm, get the Rough Guide, these are just a few of our impressions.

For details on the routes into Stockholm, and its Marinas, see our Approaches page.


Much of central Stockholm is a short walk from the Central Station. The main shopping drag is Drottinggatan, which runs for a mile or so and is lined with all the usual shops, although many others spread either side. There is usually a fruit and Veg. market in Hötorget. There is a large Åhlens department store on the main drag, but the best store, NK, is a few streets away in Hamngatan. Opposite NK is a new centre, Gallerian. Gadget freeks will like Clas Ohlson, actually a chain, but with a big shop in Gallerian. It's a sort of cross between Maplins and Robert Dyas.

Drottinggatan runs all the way to Gamla Stan, the old town. Here is the main tourist/restaurant centre in narrow cobbled streets, although there are some interesting workshops if you look closely. Look out for Fartygmagisinet, in Osterlangatan - its a mine of old shippy bits.

A bit further beyond NK is Östermalm which has another bunch of resturants, and the Saluhallen, an indoor food market.

Public Transport

The citys transport system is integrated so you can use the bus, trains and tube with the same tickets. There is also one tram from the Tivoli (near Wasahamnen) to Norrmalmstorg near NK, but its largely for show.

You can buy tickets on demand, or better still (if not doing one of the discount cards) buy a 'strip' for 145Kr. When you get a train or bus, the driver/collector simply stamps the ticket with a date stamp like a librarian uses. Its remarkably effective for such a low-tech solution.

The city is 'zoned' like London, but anything other than the very centre involves more than one zone.

Pretty well all trains, and all tubes, pass through Central Station (T-Centralen for the tube), but some outlying trains and buses from the east stop at Tekniska högskolan (a sort of Stockholm East)

Museums & Sights

Probably the most spectacular visitor attraction is the 16th century warship the Wasa. Housed in a purpose built building right next to Wasahamnen, the ship is something else. The Wasa is celebrated because it capsized on its maiden voyage, before it even got out of the harbour. Built basically too tall and thin, the ship was known to be tender, but all concerned passed the buck in celebrated style and blamed it on the king (who was away at the time). Spookily, no one was found guilty in the subsequent enquiry.... The ship was raised almost intact in the early 1960s and the exhibition, with both information and guided tours in English, is well worth a look. The sheer scale of the thing is breathtaking, and the building makes the most of vantage points to see the ship. The fascinating thing for me was to realise that the helmsman steered from below decks, and presumably couldn't see a damn thing.

Near the Wasa is the other big attraction, the open air museum, Skansen. A sort of look back over Swedish history, created at the turn of the century by another dedicated (mad) Swede, it has many original buildings and a small zoo. its generally refreshingly non-commercial, and the town square often hosts 'themed' days, where you can buy peasant food from people wearing native costume.

Nearby too, is the Tivoli, but this is a pale shadow of its namesake in Copenhagen.