Unofficial capital of Scandinavia and the most populous city in the Nordic countries, Sweden’s capital Stockholm can be reached in just under 3 hours from Shannon. Situated on the banks of the archipelago where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea, Stockholm spreads across 14 islands on the southeast coast of Sweden.
Arlanda Airport (ARN) is located 40 kilometres north of the capital with trains being the fastest and most popular mode of transport. Stockholm's Central Station can be reached in 20 minutes by the high-speed Arlanda Express or in 38 minutes by commuter train. Information on timetables, fares and alternatives such as taxis and buses (the cheapest option) are available here.
Stockholm and the surrounding region offers abundant accommodation catering for a variety of budgets and tastes. Rooms in hotels, hostels, Inns and B&Bs are readily available along with a growing private rental market. For those looking for something completely different, consider JUMBO Stay Arlanda, a reasonably priced converted jumbo jet or Utter Inn, an underwater hotel, which floats on Lake Mälaren about 100km from Stockholm. For those with extra time on their hands and adventure in their hearts, experience the Northern lights during a stay at ICEHOTEL in northernmost Sweden, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle.
Soon after checking in, you’ll be yearning to head out and explore the many aspects to this modern capital. Why not start with a guided tour to get your bearings with a choice of bicycle, bus, walking and boat tours. If boating really tickles your fancy, take a tour of the
Stockholm archipelago, called the skärgården by locals, by ferry with either the Cinderella or Waxholmsbolaget ferry companies.
Sweden has its own Titanic tale; its enormous warship Vasa sank to the bottom of Saltsjön, along with many of the people on board, minutes after it set off on its maiden voyage in 1628. After 333 years on the sea bed, the warship was salvaged and today Vasa is the world's only preserved 17th century ship and the most visited museum in Scandinavia.
For a whistle stop tour of five centuries of Swedish rural culture and history, visit Skansen the world’s oldest open-air museum. Travel back in time and meet people from the past in the buildings they would have worked in and lived. The Zoo at Skansen is focused on Scandinavian animals with some 75 different species and breeds represented.
Despite being steeped in history, Stockholm has its share of modern icons and attractions. ABBA The Museum invites you to walk in and dance out. Not only does the museum house the members’ costumes, gold records, original items and memorabilia but also wants visitors to experience the feeling of being the 5th ABBA member. Find out what you would look like in one of those legendary stage costumes or get recorded walking out on stage with the band. The museum receives great reviews from visitors of all ages “even if you're not an ABBA fan”.
Swedes love to fika (coffee break), so Stockholm is packed with coffee houses such as Vetekatten and Tössebageriet, two Stockholmer favourites. The best traditional Swedish food known as husmanskost will be found in Stockholm’s food halls such as Östermalmshallen and Hötorgshallen but be careful, they close on Sundays.