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Stockholm

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Sergels Torg in the evening
The Royal Guard on parade at the Royal Palace
SwedenStockholmDistrictsmap.png
For other places with the same name, see Stockholm (disambiguation).
Stockholm is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.

Stockholm [1] is the capital of Sweden. The city is made up of 14 islands connected by some 50 bridges on Lake Mälaren, which flows into the Baltic Sea and passes an archipelago with some 24,000 islands and islets.

The city's a very lively, cosmopolitan place with both modern Scandinavian architecture including lots of brass and steel, along with fairytale towers, a captivating Old Town (Gamla Stan) and lots of green space. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces, giving Stockholm perhaps the freshest air and widest lungs of any European capital.

Districts

Most attractions in Stockholm are found in what Stockholmers call "innerstaden", the inner city - historically the zone within the city tolls. The geography of Stockholm, with its islands and bodies of water, makes for a natural division of the inner city into three major zones. Simply put, the mainland north of Gamla Stan (consisting of Norrmalm, Vasastan and Östermalm) can be said to form one district, the small island Gamla Stan and the large Södermalm another, and the island of Kungsholmen a separate district in the west. This division reflects how most Stockholmers perceive the city, although it is in part different from the administrative borough divisions.

Outside the inner city, the city has a typically suburban character. The Municipality of Stockholm extends to the northwest and to the south. To the north the municipality borders the towns of Solna and Danderyd and to the east Nacka and the island of Lidingö; all of them traditionally separate entities.

The northern inner city:

  • Norrmalm is the major commercial district, with plenty of shopping opportunities. The central railway station and the T-Centralen metro hub are located in Southern Norrmalm; known as City, it is regarded as the absolute center of Stockholm. The busy pedestrian shopping street Drottninggatan (a real tourist trap in summertime) runs in a north-south direction through the area, by the square Sergels Torg. For administrative purposes, Vasastan is a part of Norrmalm, but most Stockholmers regard it as a separate neighborhood. It is a rather large, mainly residential area which recently has attracted a younger crowd. The most central part, around the Odenplan square, offers some shopping and nightlife.
  • Östermalm is an affluent commercial and residential area. The part closest to the city center, around the Stureplan square, is the place for upmarket shopping as well as nightclubs and bars for the jet set and those who seek their company. To the north and east, the tree-lined boulevards of Narvavägen and Karlavägen, bordered by decorated stone houses, lead to the Karlaplan square. The area contains many of Stockholm's numerous museums. A protected green area, the Djurgården area of Östermalm makes up a large part of the National City Park [2]. Södra Djurgården (Southern Djurgården) is an island, often referred to simply as Djurgården, with some of Stockholm's major tourist attractions - the Skansen open air museum, the Gröna Lund amusement park and Vasamuseet. Norra Djurgården (Northern Djurgården) has a large green, Gärdet, a small forest, and houses the campuses of Stockholm University and the Royal Institute of Technology.
Kornhamnstorg, a waterfront square in the Old Town

The southern inner city:

  • Gamla Stan— The Old Town, is the historical centre. The northern part is dominated by the Royal Palace and the Riksdag - the Swedish parliament. The rest of the island is a picturesque collection of old buildings and narrow cobblestone streets. The adjacent island Riddarholmen holds an important church and several old administrative buildings.
  • Södermalm, colloquially referred to as Söder, once a working-class district, was mostly gentrified during the late 20th century. The more or less bohemian area south of Folkungagatan has recently been nicknamed SoFo (with obvious inspiration from SoHo). The area has many restaurants and pubs, many of which are convivial and particularly lively when Stockholmers have their paydays. There is at lease one excellent fishmongers as well as other specialist shops and boutiques. Erstagatan, at the eastern edge of Södermalm, has excellent views of Stockholm at the northern end of the street. The hotel with the best views of Stockholm, Djurgarden and out toward the archipelago is the Ersta Hotell. Slussen ("The Lock"), the waterway lock between Södermalm and Gamla Stan, is a mass transit hub covered by road bridges. Today Slussen can appear a little rundown, and not as charming as when it was built in the 1930s but it is a lively crossping point in the city and has its charm. The major north-south street Götgatan, with many bars and shops, starts close to Slussen and passes Medborgarplatsen ("Citizens' square"), a major square surrounded by restaurants and pubs.
  • Kungsholmen is an island that makes up the western part of the inner city. On its eastern tip, the impressive redbrick Stockholm City Hall stands by the water. Further west, a collection of rather relaxed neighbourhood bars and restaurants can be found. West of the Fridhemsplan transport hub and the new Västermalmsgallerian shopping mall, the island becomes more suburban. Lilla Essingen and Stora Essingen are two smaller, mainly residential, islands that belong to the borough of Kungsholmen. Close to the park Rålambshovsparken is a nice natural beach, Smedsuddsbadet that suits children well. The water at Stockholms offical beaches are controlled by Miljöförvaltningen (the municipal authorities) and is sweet or brackish.

Suburbs and bordering towns:

  • Västerort, the north-western suburbs, has both very wealthy and rather poor neighborhoods. Vällingby was constructed in the 1950s as one of the first planned suburbs in Europe. In Kista, a centre of information technology, the 128-metre Kista Science Tower, Sweden's tallest office building, was completed in 2002. Unfortunately, the upper floors are not open to the public.
  • Ekerö, a municipality consisting of several islands to the west of Stockholm, contains two World Heritage sites: the Drottningholm palace and the Viking town of Birka.
  • Solna and Sundbyberg, bordering Stockholm to the north, are two cities with a distinct history of their own. Solna is the home of Råsunda, Stockholm's largest soccer stadium, the vast park of Hagaparken, the Karolinska Institute, a leading institution of medical research, and Solvalla, a horse-race arena.
  • Danderyd, to the northeast, contains some of Sweden's most wealthy residential areas.


  • Söderort or söder om Söder, the southern suburbs, are almost as diverse. The most central part, around Gullmarsplan, contains several arenas: Globen (The Globe Arena), clearly visible from most of Södermalm, host ice hockey games as well as international artist performances, the smaller Hovet and the soccer stadium Söderstadion. Further south, Skogskyrkogården [3] (the Woodland Cemetery) is an UNESCO [4] World Heritage site famous for its architecture. To the southwest of the inner city, the borough Liljeholmen has a pleasant recreational area around lake Trekanten.
  • Vaxholm (archaic spelling Waxholm), further out northeast, is the gateway to much of the Stockholm archipelago and a hub for its passenger ferries. It is a nice town with a great waterfront view and a picturesque small-scale shopping area. It also sports the Vaxholm Castle, today a coastal defense museum.
  • Lidingö is a largely suburban island to the north-east, best known for the Millesgården sculpture museum (see below), Bosön, centre for The Swedish Sports Confederation, where several famous athletes work out, and Lidingöloppet, a cross-country running event each September. Though just a few kilometres from central Stockholm, the island contains many green, quiet waterfronts and even a farm.
In Millesgården
  • Nacka and Värmdö, to the southeast, are residential suburban municipalities that contains large recreational areas and much of the southern part of the Stockholm Archipelago.
  • Huddinge, Haninge and Tyresö to the south are residential suburban municipalities with large recreational areas, including the large Tyresta virgin forest, one of 28 national parks in Sweden, where the oldest pine trees are around 400 years old.
  • Södertälje, bordering Stockholm to the south, is a city with a distinct history where the Baltic sea meets lake Mälaren in Sweden's biggest lock. Södertälje is the home of Tom tits - Stockholm's biggest science center for children, the Torekällberget outdoor museum, and Tvetagården - a well known hostel just by lake Måsnaren.

Understand

Stockholm is not the oldest town in Sweden, but after its establishment in the 1250s it rapidly became a national centre, with its strategic location between lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The city is in almost every respect the most important city in Sweden, even though more peripheral regions feel they survive quite well without the political centralism exerted by the capital.

The city contains buildings from all ages since the 15th century. Like the rest of Sweden it was untouched by the World Wars, but particularly between 1955 and 1975, hundreds of old buildings in Norrmalm were demolished in a large-scale modernization process, encouraged by similar projects in other European cities. Since then, only infills and a few areas have been developed with new architercture in central Stockholm. Good buildingtechnique, good materials for the climate and a tradition of preservation has all contributed to the apprearance of the city. More recent buildings are the Waterfront, Bonniers konsthall and Clarion Sign Hotell.

Sweden's beautiful capital has a picturesque setting that makes the city unique. The difference between seasons is quite large, the summers green with mild nights, and the winters dark, cold, rainy, sometimes snowy, and with millions of Christmas candles in the windows.

Swedes are helpful and speak very good english in general. Most swedes won't approach a tourist if they think that they are lost, in respect that they might not need help. But if you ask for directions or recommendations you will most likely get it.

Climate

Despite its northern location, Stockholm has fairly mild temperatures throughout the year. As a result of its northerly latitude, the city sees a huge seasonal variation in sunlight, from more than 18 hours of daylight around midsummer, to approximately 6 hours of daylight in late December. Stockholm enjoys an average of nearly 2,000 hours of sunshine a year. Average yearly precipitation is 539 mm (21.2"), with July and August slightly the wettest months.

Throughout the summer, the average daily high temperatures reach 20-25°C (68-77°F), with lows of 12-15°C (54-59°F). However, summer heat waves are frequent and temperatures above 25°C+ (77°F+) are not uncommon. Autumn tends to be rather cool and often rainy; in October, average daily highs dip to approximately 10°C (50°F). In the winter months, from December through early March, average daily temperatures fall between -3 and 3°C (26-38°F). Milder periods occur, but so do cold spells with temperatures around -10°C (14°F). Snowfall can occur from late November to early April, but the amount of snowfall varies greatly from year to year and through the winter season. However, longer periods of deep snow cover are rather uncommon. But the last two years have had exceptional amounts of snow that dosn't melt, creating a beautiful white winterland. Spring is the driest season, with average daily temperature reaching highs of 9°C (48°F) in April and 16°C (61°F) in May.

Tourist information

  • Stockholm Tourist Center, Vasagatan 14 (T T-Centralen), [5]. Open M-F 9AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 10AM-4PM. The official tourist centre has a lot of information in English and helpful staff. They also sell tickets to museums and sightseeing tours.

Get in

By plane

  • Arlanda Airport [6] (IATA: ARN; ICAO: ESSA) is the main international airport (served by SAS [7], BA [8] and many others) and is situated 40 km (25 mi) north of the city.
    There are several methods for travelling between Stockholm and Arlanda.
    • By dedicated rail: The Arlanda Express Train [9], which leaves from the lower level (basement) of each terminal (Arlanda South/Södra and Arlanda North/Norra), costs 240SEK one-way (children, youth up to the age of 25, and ISIC card holders 120SEK, two adults 250SEK during weekends and holidays), but gets you to the Central Station in 20 minutes and departs every 15 minutes during the day. Tickets can be bought from kiosks at the platform and online (50SEK extra is charged when buying a ticket on board.
    • By regular rail: Regular trains serve the airport through a third station, Arlanda Central, located under Sky City between terminal 4 and 5. Services include the Uppsala commuter rail (Upptåget) which goes northwards to Uppsala and Tierp and sometimes Gävle, but also Upplands Väsby, which is a connection point to Stockholm suburban trains to central Stockholm. This option takes 35 minutes and local transport tickets can be used and bought at the entrance to the station, though you have to pay a station access fee of 60 SEK (or 40 SEK for people under the age of 20). There are also regional trains on the Linköping - Stockholm - Gävle route, which costs 95 SEK (2nd class) to central Stockholm and takes 20 minutes, like the Arlanda Express. This service operates only once every other hour, but frankly, if you are on time there is no reason whatsoever to take Arlanda Express, as the regional train is much cheaper, though not as cheap as local transport. Finally, long-distance trains from Stockholm operate to points in central Sweden, like Sundsvall, mora or Östersund. It is not, however, permitted to use these trains to travel from the airport to central Stockholm. See [10] for local transport tickets and for regional/intercity rail tickets [11].
    • Airport coaches (Flygbussarna) [12] run frequently to and from the City Terminal, just next to the Central Station (approx. 40 minutes) and cost 119SEK (89SEK for people under 25). You can't buy tickets with cash on board, but credit cards are accepted, and it is SEK20 cheaper for advance purchase on their website. They make a few stops in the northern suburbs, as well as Vasastaden, along the way.
    • Swebus [13] runs to and from the City Terminal, 1-4 times/hour Mon-Fri, 1-2 times/hour on Sat-Sun (the journey takes approx. 35-45 minutes). A single adult ticket costs 89SEK, a return ticket 178SEK. A single ticket for students and seniors costs 72SEK (60 SEK for youth under 20), a return ticket 144SEK (120 for youth under 20). There are also discounts for those between the ages of 0-26 years. Four children up to age 16 travel free with full paying adult. You can't buy tickets with cash on board, but credit cards are accepted. There are multiple outlets at the airport to buy your ticket electronically. You can also buy your ticket e.g. on the Swebus site on the internet, by phone (0771-218 218), at 7-eleven, Pressbyrån and Swebus ticket offices.
    • SL [14]: Storstockolms Lokaltrafik (the public transportation of greater Stockholm) serves Arlanda vis the 583 bus line to Märsta from where suburban trains conect tot he city centre in a total of 65 min. The fare is 60 SEK, though it is generally worth taking the Upptåget (see regular rail section) which is much faster.
    • By taxi: Major taxi companies operate on a fixed price basis between Arlanda and central Stockholm. Prices at the taxi stands currently range from 450SEK (Transfer Taxi) to 520SEK. Generally, you can freely choose among the waiting taxis or ask the operator for a specific company. A taxi ride to central Stockholm takes approximately 40 minutes. With some companies, you can get a lower price if you pre-book your ride. With Airport Cab (+46 8 25 25 23 [15]) the cost is 430SEK from Arlanda to Stockholm, 390SEK from Stockholm to Arlanda. With Taxi Solna (+46 8 280 280 [16]) the cost is 445SEK from Arlanda to Stockholm, 350SEK from Stockholm to Arlanda. See the Taxi section below for some general advice on taxi travel in Stockholm.
    • The company airportshuttle.se [17] runs a minibus shuttle service to selected hotels in central Stockholm. The price is 190SEK when pre-booking at least 12 hours before departure. Ticket can also be bought at the Arlanda information desks.
  • Bromma Airport (IATA: BMA; ICAO: ESSB) is a smaller airport, located inside the city about 10 km (6 mi) west of the center, mainly used for domestic flights, but also Århus in Denmark, Skien in Norway and Brussels in Belgium.
    • Airport coaches [18] offer an extremely expensive connection to the City Terminal at 79SEK.
    • A cheaper option (26SEK, 18 SEK for people under 20) is to take local bus 152 to Sundbyberg station, and from there a suburban train to Stockholm Central.
  • Skavsta Airport (IATA: NYO; ICAO: ESKN) mostly used by Ryanair and Wizzair. Located 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Stockholm, near the town Nyköping.
    • The easiest option is to take Airport coaches [19] go to/from the City Terminal in Stockholm. Adults 119 SEK online or 138 SEK at the bus terminal one way; 238 SEK online, 249 SEK at the bus terminal round trip. The travel time is about 80 minutes.
    • A cheaper option is to take take local bus 515 or 715 (timetable [20], M-F = Mo-Fri, L = Sat, SoH = Sun + holidays) to Nyköping rail station (alight at Nyköping Centralstation), from where SJ regional trains (timetable [21], direct services run to stations marked in white) on the Linköping - Stockholm - (Gävle) route connect to Stockholm (Gävle trains also serve Arlanda, thus providing a direct rail connection to Arlanda airport). The fare is 23 + 49 SEK (11 + 49 SEK for youth under 20) and tickets can be bought the following two ways:
      • 1. Buy a combined ticket from Skavsta to Stockholm at SJ:s website[22] which is both valid on the local bus and the regional train.
      • 2. Pay for the local bus onboard with your VISA or Mastercard (cash is NOT accepted) and buy the train ticket at Nyköping station.
Travel time from Skavsta is 80 min to Stockholm and 100 min to Arlanda airport.
  • Västerås Airport (IATA: VST; ICAO: ESOW) is situated 100 km (62 mi) west of Stockholm near the town Västerås. Serves Ryanair flights to/from London (Stansted). Like Skavsta, Västerås can be reached in two ways:
    • Airport coaches [23] go to/from the City Terminal in Stockholm. 139SEK one way, 249SEK round trip, takes about 80 minutes.
    • A public taxi shuttle (order can be made here [24])runs between the airport and Västerås rail station in 6-7 minutes, departing from outside the terminal 20 minutes after each flight arrival and costing 50 SEK one way. From there regional trains on the Stockholm - Västerås - Örebro - Hallsberg - Göteborg route (timetable [25], M-F = Mon-Fri, L = Sat, SoH = Sun + holidays) connect to Stockholm in 53 min at a price of 59 SEK, resulting in a total fare of 109 SEK. Total travel time Västerås Airport - Stockholm is 65 min, but this option is as much as 25 minutes faster since the airport coach departs 10 minutes later from the airport and arrives there 10 minutes earlier.

By train

The main station, Stockholms Central, serves both commuter and long-distance routes. It is located in the city centre, with an underground connection to T-Centralen, the central hub for the subway system. The major national rail company, SJ, has a travel planner and ticket booking service on its web page [26]. Internationally, there are daily services to Copenhagen (Denmark) (5 hours), Oslo (Norway) (6 hours), Narvik (Norway) (14 hours), and Trondheim (Norway) (requires a change in Östersund).

By bus

The City Terminal (Cityterminalen [27]) is the main bus terminal, centrally located and directly connected to the main train station, Stockholms Central and the T Centralen metro station. There are multiple daily departures to most other cities in Sweden, as well as a few international routes. Swebus Express [28] operates routes to Copenhagen and Oslo with several daily departures, and a twice-weekly service to Berlin. Eurolines [29] has some departures to Copenhagen. Smaller operators offer connections with Prague, Budapest, Zagreb, Banja Luka[30] among other cities.

By boat

Cruise-ferries link Stockholm to Helsinki, Mariehamn and Turku in Finland, Riga in Latvia and Tallinn in Estonia every day. Stockholm is the main Swedish terminal for the Baltic Sea cruises - over 12 million passengers pass through the city's port each year, making the boats one of the main ways to get into the city. They are by far the cheapest way to get to and from these cities from Stockholm. If you intend to use the boats to travel to- or from- Stockholm, it is almost always cheaper to book a cruise (kryssning), or even two head-to-head cruises and discard the returns, rather than buy one-way tickets. Tickets can be had for as low as 80 SEK for a full 4-person cabin (making it practically the cheapest accommodation one can find virtually anywhere in the world - at 10 SEK/night/person) for a two-night Stockholm-Helsinki return cruise (provided you book early and/or last minute during the weekdays), and should almost never (even for a weekend cruise in high season) exceed 400 SEK for the cheapest type of 4-bed cabin. A one-way ticket, for a shared berth, in comparison, will almost always exceed 1000 SEK.

As of June 2011 the international websites of both Tallink-Silja and Viking Line do at last have on-line booking. Check for "Red tickets" or "Last minute offers" for cruises reaching Stockholm. Note that both Viking and Tallink Silja may have a problem with accepting international credit cards. That is not a problem in practice, as you can make a booking and pay it in the port with only a token extra charge (3-5 euro).


  • Tallink [31] ferries to Mariehamn and Tallinn in Estonia depart from Värtahamnen port, and ferries to Riga in Latvia from Frihamnen port. For Värtahamnen, take the red underground line to Gärdet, exit at the front, and walk 400 metres to the terminal (the route is signposted). For Frihamnen, take the red underground line to Karlaplan, exit at the front, take bus 72 from the avenue to Filmhuset, and then bus 76 to Magasin 3, which is outside the terminal.
  • Silja Line [32], owned by Tallink, has ferries to Mariehamn, Helsinki and Turku departing from Värtahamnen port. See directions above.
  • Viking Line [33] ferries to Mariehamn, Helsinki and Turku depart from the eastern part of Stadsgårdsterminalen in northeastern Södermalm. To get there from the city centre, take the green or red underground lines to Slussen, and take the exit for Slussenterminalen. This bus terminal is the starting point of numerous suburban buses to the eastern suburbs. Take the 401 - 422, 442 - 449 or 471 bus one single stop to Londonviadukten and the port will be on your left. Alternatively normal town buses 53 and 71 link Slussen and the Viking Line terminal, albeit via the backstreets. If you are driving to the boat, follow the signs to Slussen, then Stadsgårdsterminalen (note that Slussen is confusing for even locals, so don't feel embarrassed if you end up spinning in the intersection a few times) and then Finland/Viking Line
  • Birka Cruises [34] ferries to Mariehamn in Åland depart from Western Stadsgårdsterminalen, about 700 meters from Slussen (right in front of Viking's terminal). See above for instructions.
  • Holland America Cruises also use Stadsgårdsterminalen in eastern Södermalm. See above for instruction.

A lot of European cruises have day long stops in Stockholm.

Get around

Public transport

Stockholms Lokaltrafik, SL (Stockholm Public Transport) [35] runs an extensive subway, commuter train and bus system as well as some tram, light rail and ferry services, all using an integrated ticket system based on coupons. The minimum amount of coupons needed is 2, and the maximum 4, depending on how many zones the trip goes through. Single tickets are cheaper when bought in advance (22SEK, 14SEK for children/seniors) rather than when bought from the clerk, and mean making one trip in one zone costs at least 44SEK for adults. There are strips of 16 coupons (förköpsremsa) for 200SEK (120SEK for children/seniors). Strips can be shared as long as you go to the same destination. All these tickets are valid for one hour, during which you can make unlimited changes. Note that children under 12 travelling with adults travel free from mid-day Friday to midnight Sunday. There are also passes available for 24 hours (115SEK, 70SEK for for children/seniors), 72 hours (230SEK, 140SEK for for children/seniors), or 7 days (300SEK, 180 SEK for for children/seniors). Do the maths and see which ticket fits best with your plans! When you purchase the 72-hour pass, you also receive free admission to Gröna Lund (see "See" below). If you are going to be in Stockholm for a while, go ahead and purchase a 30-day card, which allows unrestricted access to all of the buses, trams, subways, and commuter trains, as well as the Djurgården ferry, for 790SEK.

The Stockholm Card [36] allows free public transport as well as free admission to 80 museums and sights in Stockholm, free sightseeing by boat and other bonus offers. Adult 24 hours 425SEK, 48 hours 550SEK, 72 hours 650SEK, 120 hours 895SEK. Children (7-17 years of age) 24 hours 195SEK, 48 hours 225SEK, 72 hours 245SEK, 120 hours 285SEK.

The SL website is very good and has detailed ticket and price information, and a journey planner. It is always updated.

The standard of quality among the public transportation services is very high but there are still are a few older trains running during rush hour.

Subway

Stockholm subway, Odenplan station

There is an efficient metro system called the Tunnelbana (sometimes abbreviated T-Bana or just T on signs). With exactly 100 stations, it is extensive for a city of this size and will get you around almost all the downtown places as well as many inner suburbs. Trains run from 5AM to 1AM on weekdays and all night on weekends. Nightbusses replaces the trains on weekdays.

Suburban rail

Tram in Stockholm

Stockholm also has a suburban rail network (Pendeltåg) reaching into inner and outer suburbs of the Stockholm metropolitan area as well as Bålsta and Gnesta in Uppsala and Södermanland counties respectively. There are currently 50 stations on two main lines and a branch line:

35: (Bålsta) - Kungsängen - Stockholm C - Västerhaninge - (Nynäshamn) 36: Märsta - Stockholm C - Södertälje C 37: Södertälje C - Gnesta (connects with line 36 at Södertälje hamn)

Typical off-peak service is 4 tph (trains per hour) on lines 35 and 36 (2 tph in the bracketed sections), and 1 tph on line 37. Additional services run during peak hours, giving the core section Karlberg - Älvsjö a peak frequency of 16 tph.

Unlike in the United States and many other countries, commuter trains use the same tickets and passes as the subways and public buses.

Bus, light rail and ferry

Stockholm has an extensive bus system which reaches areas the Tunnelbana does not. Four inner city main lines numbered from 1 to 4 are operated by large blue buses (weekdays every 3-10 minutes), the other, generally less frequent lines (weekdays 7-20 minutes), by red buses. Tvärbanan is a semi-circular light rail line running from the west to the southeast part of the city. A few other light rail lines connect various suburbs to the metro system. There are also ferries going to Djurgården and Skeppsholmen. Bus and light rail is included in any SL ticket or pass, and travel with the Djurgården ferry is included with any 24- or 72-hour pass, 7-day pass as well as the monthly pass. Suburban ferries, airport buses, the Arlanda Express and regional trains are not part of the SL network and thus not included in any of these tickets.

Bike

Cycling is an attractive option and there are many bikepaths. On a bike, a journey across central Stockholm' will take no longer than 30 minutes and can be faster than travelling by subway or car. There are cycle paths along most major streets and drivers are generally considerate towards cyclists. In winter, when paths can be covered by ice, extra care should be taken. Bikepaths have a bicycle painted on the ground and/or round blue signs with a white bike. Make sure you bike on the right hand side of the street, just as the cars.


  • Stockholm City Bikes [37]. In the summer months, you can use the city-operated bike loan service by purchasing a key-card. Bike stands throughout the city allows you to pick up a bike in one stand and leave it in another. A three-day (minimum period) key-card costs 165SEK and a season pass costs 300SEK. You may not use a bike for more than three hours at a time, but it is possible to switch to a new bike when returning a used one. Key-cards can be bought at an SL Center. [38]. Major hotel in the city will have three-day key-card available for guests at the front desk. Note if you want to register for a key card, you will need proof of ID, for example a passport or driving licence. You will also need to provide a proof of phone number (!) so bring a copy of your mobile phone bill.


  • Bikeguide-Stockhom ([39]) Bikeguide-Stockholm offers a variety of high quality bikes in the center of the city. From mountainbikes to childrens bikes and city bikes. Child carriers and child seats are available. Helmets are included in the rental price. The bikes have at least 7 gears and are maximum of two seasons old. 3 hours 200SEK. Full day from 250SEK. Narvavägen 13-17. Open 10AM-6PM April-October. Call to rent bikes off season +46(0)733- 09 56 26
  • Cykel- & Mopeduthyrningen, Strandvägen, Kajplats 24 (T Östermalmtorg or T Karlaplan). Only open in the summer months.
  • Djurgårdsbrons Sjöcafé, Galärvarvsvägen 2 (on Djurgården, just to the right as you cross Djurgårdsbron) [40]. Only open in the summer months. Rents bikes for 250SEK per day. Also rents roller blades and kayaks.
  • Gamla Stans Cykel, Stora Nygatan 20 (T Gamla Stan) [41]. Open all year. Rents three speed city bikes for 190SEK per day or 500SEK for 3 days.
  • Servicedepån - Cykelstallet, Scheelegatan 15 (T Rådhuset) [42]. Open all year. Rents 3 speed city bikes, 21 speed mountain/hybrids (200SEK/day), and racers. They have metal-stud snow tyres for winter ice use, but you will have to ask in advance. Helmets are free with the bike, other accessories like panniers can also be rented. Rental period is from 10AM-6PM, full 24 hours, or several days.

Taxi

Vasagatan street in the city center

Taxis are on the expensive side. The Stockholm taxi market was deregulated several years ago which made it considerably easier to find a taxi, but since the market is free some small operators charge outrageous prices. The antidote for visitors is to check for the black and yellow price sticker which all taxis has to display. It's usually on a rear side window, clearly visible from the outside. The price shown is for a 10 km, 15 minute journey and reputable companies charge around 300 SEK for this. If the sticker shows a much higher price, stay away or be ripped off.

Try to stick with the major companies (Taxi Stockholm, +46 8 15 00 00; TopCab, +46 8 33 33 33; Taxi Kurir, +46 8 30 00 00; and Taxi 020, 020 20 20 20 - free number, national calls only) to avoid the risk of being ripped off. (Note that many minor companies use "Stockholm" in their names to mimic their competitor, so look for the phone number 15 00 00 which appears below the logo on all Taxi Stockholm cars.)

Authorized taxis have yellow license plates. Late at night in the city centre, you may be offered a ride with an unauthorized taxi, svarttaxi (literally "black taxi"), usually by discrete whispering of "taxi". Most of the time this will get you home for roughly the same cost as ordinary taxis, just don't ask for a receipt. Rumours say that these cabs are usually controlled by organized crime, and some unpleasant episodes have been known to happen to passengers, so try this at your own risk, and preferably not alone.

It's often possible to negotiate a price with a licensed taxi driver before entering the cab. In this case, it's implied that you won't receive a receipt, and the driver won't be paying any taxes or his employer. The money (paid in cash) will go straight into the driver's pocket, which means that you can often get a cheaper ride. However, if you don't know the area well enough to estimate the regular metered price you might get ripped off. Negotiating the price also undermines the swedish system of taxes and employment security which will be considered very rude by many (not all) swedes.

Most taxi firms operate a fixed price regime from central Stockholm to Arlanda airport, mirroring the rates for the journey into town of around 450-500SEK. It is a good idea to check with the driver that you will get the fixed price before you set off - the meter price for the same ride may cost twice as much.

Car

Congestion fee sign

Cars driving into or out of central Stockholm between 6:30AM and 6:29PM are charged a congestion tax [43] of 10 to 20SEK. Some car rental companies charge their customers separately for the cost of toll passages, while others don't. Foreign-registered cars are exempt from the tax. Driving in Stockholm is easy compared to many larger capitals in the world. Just make sure to use your flashers when changing lanes.

Boat

There are two hop-on/hop-off boat tours that run loops between various sites in Stockholm. Both cost approximately 10 Euro for a day long pass and have approximately 8 stops, including the cruise terminal, Gamla Stan, the Vasa Museum, Skansen, and Skeppsholmen.

See

Stockholm has a number of spectacular tourist attractions, ranging from the interesting architecture of the City Hall to the stunning natural beauty of the archipelago. In the Royal Palace and the royal family residence Drottningholm Palace, visitors can get in close contact with traditions of the Swedish monarchy. Among the wide range of museums, the Vasa museum with its 17th century warship and the Skansen open air museum are unique experiences. Gamla stan, the picturesque old town, is a major attraction in itself, with narrow streets and houses dating back to medieval times.

Note: Directions in Stockholm are often accompanied by the name of the closest subway stop, using "T" as an abbreviation for "Tunnelbana", e.g. "T Gamla Stan". This practice is followed below when appropriate.

  • Stockholm's Old Town (Gamla Stan), is the beautifully preserved historical heart of Stockholm. T Gamla Stan station is on the west side of the compact quarter, which is best covered on foot. Riddarholmskyrkan is a beautifully preserved medieval church.
Stockholm's Old Town with the Tyska Kyrkan (German church)
  • The Stockholm archipelago (skärgården) is one of the world's most spectacular. Stretching 80 kilometres east of the city centre, the archipelago comprises 24,000 islands, islets and rocks. Regular ferries are operated by Waxholmsbolaget [44] and from April through September also by Cinderellabåtarna [45].

From April through September numerous services operate directly from the city centre to various destiantions, with Waxholmsbolaget departing from Strömkajen right downhill T Kungsträdgården and Cinderellabåtarna departing from Nybrokajen, 400 m from T Östermalmstorg or T Kungsträdgården. Other (and basically the only ones during winter) routes operate from suburban mainland jetties connected to the city centre by suburban rail and bus. Vaxholm, reached by bus 670 from T Tekniska högskolan, and Stavsnäs, reached by bus 433 or 434 from T Slussen are examples of this. Also note that even during the summer, when countless services operate from the city centre it is still, generally, a lot faster to travel via a suburban jetty, not to mention a lot cheaper. This is because even though the archipelago is within the metropolitan area, local transport tickets are NOT valid and tickets are paid on a distance basis. However, if you're doing multiple trips, it is also possible to buy a 5 or 30 day card (420 SEK and 750 SEK respectively), which belong to Waxholmsbolaget but are also valid on Cinderellabåtarna.

Destinations in the archipelago include (but are far from limited to) Grinda, Svartsö, Finnhamn, Möja, Sandhamn, Ingmarsö, Runmarö, Nämdö and Utö. From April through september most of these can be reached either from the city centre or via suburban jetties. The islands offer a wide variety of nature, from the lush green of the inner archipelago to the bare cliffs of the more distant outposts. Some islands have restaurants, youth hostels and country stores, while others are entirely deserted islands.

A good destination for a day trip is Sandhamn, which is reached either by taking a direct ferry from the city centre (this takes 5 h) or by taking the 433 or 434 bus from the centrally located T Slussen to Stavsnäs and from there a connecting ferry bound for Sandhamn or Hagede (from T Slussen this takes 90-95 min during summer and 110-115 min during winter). Both Waxholmsbolaget and Cinderellabåtarna serve both routes, but again, Cinderellabåtarna service is shut down during winter.

Utö makes another good trip and is accessible from the city centre (takes 3.5 h) or by taking suburban train from Stockholm central station to Västerhaninge, then bus 846 to Årsta brygga and then a connecting ferry (from Stockholm C this takes 90 min during summer and 1 h 45 min during winter). Both routes are served solely by Waxholmsbolaget.

Buildings and structures

Religious buildings

Stockholm has a large number of interesting churches, some of them dating back to medieval times. Most of them are in active use by the Lutheran Church of Sweden. There is also a synagouge and a mosque in the city center. The Skogskyrkogården cemetery, in the southern suburbs, is one of the very few UNESCO World Heritage sites from the 20th century.

Other buildings

The Stadsbiblioteket (The main city library) by architect Gunnar Asplund is a beautiful building in the short gap between the styles of classisism and modernism, close to T Odenplan or T Rådmanshuset.

The Globen arena is a white sphere which holds many of the biggest concerts and sports events. Sometimes at night it is lit with colored light creating a beautiful scenery.

Viewpoints

Museums

Stockholm has more than 70 museums [46], ranging from those large in size and scope to the very specialized, including the Butterfly Museum, the Army Museum, and the Dance Museum, to name but a few. Among the most popular and spectacular are the Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet), with its magnificent and well-preserved 17th century warship, the rather unique open air museum and zoo Skansen and the Museum of History (Historiska museet) featuring an extensive and beautifully presented Viking exhibition. The National Museum (Nationalmuseet) and the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna museet) both hold interesting collections of Swedish and international art.

Art

Beyond the art museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum and Prince Eugen's Waldemarsudde (see Museums above), Stockholm has a vivid art scene and offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy contemporary art in galleries, exhibition halls and public places. The Stockholm official visitors guide has a list of galleries [47]. The newly opened museum of photography is also well worth a visit with its great selection. And don't forget to look at the art in the Stockholm subway stations!

Art galleries

Exhibition spaces

Art colleges

  • The two major art university colleges in Stockholm hold regular exhibitions where the Swedish artists of tomorrow show off their talent. Information about upcoming events are available in English on their web sites:

Public art

  • The Stockholm subway has plenty of artistic decoration in its stations, and promotes itself as "the world’s longest art exhibition". Some of the most interesting features include the moody dark blue cave of Kungsträdgården with details from the former palace Makalös, the giant black and white "drawings" by Siri Derkert at Östermalmstorg and the celebration of science and technology at Tekniska Högskolan. In the suburbs, Rissne has a fascinating timeline of human history on its walls. A free guide in English to the art in the Stockholm Metro can be downloaded from the SL website [48].

Do

Restaurant Gondolen at Katarinahissen

Walking

Stockholm is a city easily enjoyed by foot, with very few steep streets. Walk around, and be sure to enjoy the beautiful panoramas, either from the viewpoints listed in the See section, or from one of the bars and restaurants with good views: Gondolen, Herman's or the penthouse lounge of Sjöfartshotellet on Södermalm, or the SAS Radisson Hotel Skybar on Norrmalm. You will get the best view of Stockholm from the Skybar and restaurant called "Och himlen därtill" located in the Skrapan building on Södermalm.

Guided tours

There is a wide selection of guided tours available, by boat, by bus and on foot.

By boat

Stockholm Sightseeing [49] (part of the Strömma group) has several different guided boat tours.

  • Under the bridges of Stockholm [50] is one of the most popular. Departing from Strömkajen by Grand Hôtel and opposite the Royal Castle (T Kungsträdgården), this tour on both the sea and on lake Mälaren passes under 15 bridges and through two locks. Several departures every day, depending on the time of year. 1 hour 50 min, SEK 200.
  • Royal Canal Tour [51] departs from Strömkajen and takes you around the eastern parts of the city, passing through the lush Djurgården canal. 50 min, SEK 150.
  • Historical Canal Tour [52] departs from Stadshusbron next to the City Hall (T T-Centralen), and passes Kungsholmen and other western islands of the city. 50 min, SEK 150.
  • Stockholm Grand Tour [53] combines a boat and a bus tour. 3 hours 30 min, SEK 400.

Alternatively, and cheaply, there is the eight-stop "Hop On-Hop Off" boat service of Stockholm Sightseeing (but NOT promoted as one of the STROMMA carriers) -- as near as we can tell (August, 2010), this is the only boat service that honors the Stockholm Card for full fares. Two of the most frequented stops are at the Palace, and at the Gamla Stan, right across the canal from the Slussen T-bana stop. The recordings on this loop service are reasonably informative.

The competing Aphrodite boat service offers a similar hop on-hop off service for a modest fee for 24 hours. (In other sections of this article, a price of 10 SEK is quoted, but this is lower than any prices we heard quoted by a factor of 10 or more.)

By bus

City Tours and Open Top Tours (also divisions of the Strömma group) offers bus tours:

  • Stockholm Panorama [54] is a tour of some major tourist sights that departs from Gustaf Adolf Torg (T T-Centralen). 1 hour 30 min, SEK 240.
  • The Hop-on Hop-off Bus [55] is a tour with open top double decker buses that allows you to get on and off the bus as often as you want at bus stops along the route. The tour passes some major sights, but only in the central and eastern part of the city. 24 hour travel pass 220 SEK.

Stockholm Excursions [56] has a few specialized bus tours:

  • The Nobel Tour [57] visits several sights connected to Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize. 3 hours, SEK 400.
  • The Royal Tour [58] takes you out of the city center to Ulriksdals Palace and Drottningholm Palace. 4 hours, SEK 500.

By taxi

Taxi Stockholm, +46 8 15 00 00, offers a personal guide service [59], allowing up to 4 persons to travel in their own taxi. 1 hour 30 min M-F 9AM-3PM SEK 825, other hours SEK 900. 2 hours M-F 9AM-3PM SEK 1100, other hours SEK 1200.

On foot

Talk of the town offers self-guided walking tours in six languages all year round.

  • Talk of the town [60] download your own audioguide to your mobile phone or mp3-player. Audioguide at 56 of the best sights in all Stockholm. The 56 sights ar spread over the old town Gamla Stan, City, Södermalm, the island of Djurgården, at Skansen open-air museum and the Drottningholm Palace. More than 2 hour listening time, SEK 100-150.

City Tours offers a walking tour in the summer months:

  • Old Town Walkabout [61] takes you through the Old Town. 1 hour, SEK 100.

For sightseeing on a higher level, Upplev mer has a special tour:

  • The Rooftop Tour [62] lets you look at Stockholm from the roofs of Riddarholmen island. An exciting experience if you're not afraid of heights. April-September. 1 hour 30 min, SEK 350.

Gallivant Productions offers year round walking tours including the Viking Tour: Sweden: From the Ice Age to IKEA [63], which is a performance walk, and runs on weekends throughout the year and daily between May and September. SEK 135. New this year is and 'Stockholm Syndrome: The City Tour' which runs on Saturday mornings SEK 200 (3 hour tour).

There are several other agencies that offer occasional guided walking tours in English during the summer months. Check with the Stockholm Tourist Centre for information.

By Bike

Talk of the town offers self-guided bike tours in six languages.

  • Talk of the town [64] memory card for your mobile phone can be rented at several bike rentals in Stockholm. Load your mobile phone with audioguides at 56 of the best sights in Stockholm. Rent by hour, SEK 30 or day SEK 125.
  • BikeSweden, Narvavägen 13-17, +46(0)8-667 57 02, [65]. 10-18 April-October. BikeSweden offers several guided cycling tours and a variety of high quality bikes in the centre of the city. Daily guided drop-in biketours form may-september). BikeSweden offers mountainbikes, childrensbikes, racebikes, trailers, childseats and citybikes.

Swimming

You are never far from water in Stockholm. There are several beaches in the inner city. They might be crowded when Swedish people have time off, but you will surely find some place. The water in central Stockholm is so clean you can drink it, even though it looks dark. The quality of the water is controlled by Miljöförvaltningen (the municipal authorities) and the reports for all the beaches in the city is available online. Would there be a problem with the water, signs would be posted at the beach.

If the water in Lake Mälaren is too cold for your tastes, you can opt for one of the outdoor swimming pools:

Stockholm also has several indoor swimming pools and spas in very special settings: Centralbadet Sturebadet Yasuragi spa

Watching sports

Stockholm is home to several elite sports teams, and if you're a sports fan you might want to watch a game. The most popular spectator sports are football (soccer) and ice hockey. Also, bandy has something of a cult following. Tickets for all games can be bought online from Ticnet [66]. Speedway is another big spectator sport in Sweden, and it can be experienced only 16 minutes from the Central station by subway, station "Gubbängen" [67].

Football (soccer)

The Swedish top football league, Allsvenskan, is considerably weaker than most of its Western European sister leagues, and Swedish teams generally struggle in the European cups. The fans don't seem to mind that much, and the games can still be an exciting experience. Unlike in continental Europe, the football season starts in April and ends in October. There are currently two teams from Stockholm in Allsvenskan (AIK and Djurgården):

Ice hockey

The Swedish top ice hockey league, Elitserien, is one of the top leagues in the world, after North-American NHL and the Russian KHL. The season starts at the end of September and ends with finals in April. Stockholm currently has two teams in Elitserien: AIK and Djurgården. Both playing their home games at Hovet.

Bandy

Bandy is a sport popular mainly in Sweden, Finland and Russia, and slowly gaining popularity in Northern America, played outdoors on ice with sticks and a small ball. The field is roughly as large as a soccer field, and the rules show some similarities. If you visit Stockholm sometime from November to February, and want an exotic experience, this is for you. Remember to dress warm, the game is played in two 45-minute halves. Stockholm currently has only one team in the top men's bandy league: Hammarby.

Sporting events

There are several big sporting events taking place in Stockholm.

Running races
  • One of the most visible sporting events is the Stockholm Marathon [68], held annually on a Saturday in late May or early June, when some 18,000 participants run two laps around the inner city, while the Stockholmers gather on the sidewalks to cheer.
    • Stockholm Marathon 2012, June 2. (Deadline for entries: Feb 15, 2012).
Spectator sporting events

Doing sports

There are many opportunities to do sports in the Stockholm area.

Skiing

The Stockholm area contains several semi-artificial ski slopes. The height is modest, but the view is usually great, well worth a hike anytime during the year. Tracks for cross country skiing is available throughout Stockholm.

Riding

There are few stables close to the city where you can ride ponies and horses. Both available for adults and children with various riding-experience.

Outdoor Games

There are many open green areas in Stockholm. Gärdet (T Karlaplan or T Gärdet) is a good one for outdoor sports. Just bring a ball of your choice. In the green season you can see big groups play a swedish version of baseball called Brännboll here.

Cinemas

There are many cinemas in Stockholm. With the exception of children's movies, films aren't dubbed but subtitled, so if your English is good enough this is a good leisure activity. Many cinemas are THX certified. A ticket is around 100SEK.

Many of Stockholm's most charming classic cinemas have been closed in recent years, victims of the competition from modern multiplex screens. The elegant Röda Kvarn on Biblioteksgatan was recently transformed into an Urban Outfitters store, and Astoria Nybrogatan was closed in 2007. A few splendid venues are especially worth a visit: Park, Rigoletto,Grand Sveavägen, Saga, Victoria...


Stockholm International Film Festival

In November, Stockholm hosts an annual international film festival [69] that draws large crowds.

  • 21st Stockholm International Film Festival, November 17-28, 2010.

The Stockholm International Film Festival also hosts an open air cinema in the Tantolunden park during one week in August [70].


Gröna Lund seen from the water

Amusement park and children's activities

Gambling

  • Casino Cosmopol [71] on Kungsgatan 65, at the Central Station.

LGBT events

Attitudes towards homosexuality are generally tolerant. In the summer (generally late July/early August), there is an annual LGBT pride festival, Stockholm Pride [72], which is the largest in Scandinavia. The national LGBT organization, RFSL [73], can provide information on other events and venues.

  • Stockholm Pride 2011, August 1-7.

Learn

With about 80,000 university students at more than twenty universities and university colleges, Stockholm is the largest university city in the Nordic countries. The largest institutions of higher education are Stockholm University (Stockholms universitet), the Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga tekniska högskolan), and Södertörn University College (Södertörns högskola). Karolinska institutet is a world-class medical university. There are also several fine arts university colleges. Study in Stockholm [74] has information about university studies in Stockholm.

Buy

Sweden is internationally well-known for its design, and Stockholm has many stores where you can find Swedish-designed clothes, textiles and interior decoration items. Hand-made and hand-painted glassware is also a famous Swedish speciality.

Popular Swedish clothing brands that you can find in several major stores include Acne Jeans, WESC, Cheap Monday, J Lindeberg, Whyred, Tiger and Filippa K. Recent years have seen an explosion of young designers starting their own small labels. Many of these can be found in the small shops in the SoFo area (see below). Examples are Nakkna, Jenny Hellström, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair and The Stray Boys.

Shopping areas

Selected stores

Department stores

Shopping centers

Suburban shopping centers and malls

There are a number of shopping centers and malls in the major suburban centers surrounding the inner city. While different in size, they all have a similar profile, with cheap restaurants, supermarkets and major fashion, electronics and interior design chain stores, as well as some smaller shops. There is no obvious reason to venture outside the city centre, except perhaps for the possibility of Sunday evening shopping at Kista Galleria when inner-city shops all have closed.

Fashion

Brand stores of Swedish fashion labels:

  • Store Stockholm [75] - at Tjärhovsgatan 3 (Metro: Medborgarplatsen) specializes in small Swedish fashion designers. In the store you can find brand such as Noir&Blank, Odeur, Diana Orving, Nakkna and Göran Kling.

Some great second hand stores:

Books

Music and media

Food and drink

  • Systembolaget [76]. Generally open M-W 10AM-6PM, Th-F 10AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-3PM, all stores closed Su. If you want to buy alcoholic beverages in Sweden (with the exception of low-alcohol "folköl" beer and restaurants), you literally have no other choice than Systembolaget, the state-operated monopoly chain. The stores have a wide assortment and very helpful, knowledgeable staff. Swedish alcohol taxation makes beer and hard liquor expensive. Surprisingly, more exclusive wines can be a bargain. Ask the staff for advice. A Swedish specialty is kryddat brännvin, herb-flavoured aquavit (served icecold in small glasses often accompanied by songs). Note that Systembolaget is not allowed to sell items chilled. You need to be able to prove that you are over 20 years old, so be sure to bring photo ID. For more information, see the section on Systembolaget in the Sweden article. Central locations include:
    • Lilla Nygatan 18 (T Gamla Stan).
    • Klarabergsgatan 62 (T T-Centralen). Extra late hours: Closes 8PM all weekdays.
    • Regeringsgatan 44 (T T-Centralen). The largest Systembolaget store in Stockholm, with a special selection of exclusive wines.
    • Vasagatan 25 (T T-Centralen)
    • Nybrogatan 47 (T Östermalmstorg)
    • Folkungagatan 56 (T Medborgarplatsen),

Glassware

  • The large department stores Åhléns, NK and PUB (see above) all have a wide selection of glassware.
  • Duka, several locations: Västerlånggatan 78, +46 8 22 88 07, Sveavägen 24-26, +46 8 10 45 30, Konserthuset, Kungsgatan 41, +46 8 20 60 41. Duka is a Swedish chain selling both cheaper household items and a limited selection of glassware in several stores in central Stockholm.
  • Nordiska Kristall, several locations: Kungsgatan 9 (T Östermalmstorg), +46 8 10 43 72, Österlånggatan 1 (T Gamla Stan), +46 8 10 77 18, also in Strand Hotel, Grand Hotel and City Hotel [77]. Nordiska Kristall is an exclusive shop for crystal design glass. The Kungsgatan store has an art-glass gallery.

Furniture and design

  • DesignTorget, several locations, including: Kulturhuset/Sergels Torg, +46 8 21 91 50, and Götgatan 31 (T Slussen), +46 8 462 35 20 [78]. Open M-F 10AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 12AM-6PM. A design store specialising in smaller items, ranging from the beautiful to the useful to the downright eccentric.

Asplund furniture store, is an upscale store with world-class design. T Östermalmstorg.

Room is another great furniture and design store locaded in the Pub mall, T Hötorget.

Many antiquties shops are located close to T Odenplan. Good place to stroll around.

If second hand is an option many Stadsmissionen and Myrorna (christian charity) have fun and unique products that also contributes to a good cause. Especially Stadsmissionen Stortorget (T Gamla stan) has handpicked design and classical furiture.

Miscellaneous

Eat

Stockholm features a large variety of restaurants. However, dining in Stockholm can be rather expensive, if you aim for something a bit more memorable than the run-of-the-mill English-style pubs and Westernized Asian restaurants that dominate the budget bracket. Be prepared to pay around 175-250SEK, or more, for most main courses at quality restaurants. If you are on a tight budget, self-catering is probably the best option.

Most restaurants have "dagens rätt" - a lunch offer, normally including non-alcoholic beverages, bread, butter, salad and coffee M-F, usually 11AM-2PM. Expect to pay between 60-80SEK. Many Asian, Indian, Mexican and fast food restaurants offer rather cheap "all you can eat" lunch buffets.

The vast majority of restaurants' kitchens close at 10PM, even on weekends so it is a good idea to be seated and ready to order early in the evening.

Alcohol in restaurants is expensive. A bottle of house wine can cost around 450 SEK.

Sweden has enforced non-smoking in all bars, pubs and restaurants. Smoking is usually permitted outdoors, or in designated smoking rooms/outdoor seating.

Note that many Stockholm restaurants are closed for vacation for a few weeks in July and/or early August. In December, many restaurants offer an (often rather expensive) "julbord" ("Christmas buffet"), a variation of the classic Swedish smörgåsbord with traditional seasonal dishes such as ham, pickled herring, "lutfisk" (stockfish from cod or ling, prepared with lye) and much more.

Cafés

Taking a break for coffee and a cookie is a Swedish tradition, commonly called fika in Swedish, and there are many coffee-bars around the city. Traditional Swedish filter coffee is relatively strong when compared to American, but a far cry from the Italian espresso. In recent years, espresso, caffe latte, cappuccino and other varieties of Italian coffee have generally become available. If you prefer tea, note that many cafés only offer a few flavours, but gererally some black, red and green teas.

Although you won't find the largest international franchises such as Starbucks and Costa among Stockholm's coffee shops, there are several Swedish counterparts - Wayne's Coffee, Robert's Coffee and Espresso House are the most common names here - that are strikingly similar in design. Just as everywhere else, the small local cafés offer a more personal experience, and often better coffee. Expect to pay anything from 20SEK and upwards for a cup of regular black coffee.

Don't hesitate to ask for a refill at self-service cafeterias, as it is often free.

Södermalm & Gamla stan

  • Cafe Chutney, Katarina Bangala street, offers a choice of vegan dishes for 88 SKK. Self-service salad, water, fruit tea and chutneys are free. Often quite packed but it's normal to share a table with strangers here.

Norrmalm & Östermalm

Kungsholmen

Budget

Norrmalm & Östermalm

  • Sandys, several locations throughout the city: Sergelarkaden 6 (T T-Centralen), Klarabergsgatan 31 (T T-Centralen), Stureplan 2 (T Östermalmstorg) and Götgatan 28 (T Slussen), [79]. A large Stockholm-based fast food chain focusing on submarine sandwiches, wraps and salads, Sandys offer a wide selection, reliable quality and acceptable prices, although not by any means a bargain. Sandwiches 49SEK (excluding drinks), XL sandwiches 59SEK, salads 65SEK.

Södermalm & Gamla Stan

At Medborgarplatsen on Södermalm there are several food wagons featuring street food from Greek to Polish. One can get fried calimari pita bread for 35 crowns with a drink. Kabbas, Falafa, brattworst, polish sausage are all under 50 crowns, walking south on Skaraborgs gatan towards Globen are several more budget priced kabba places. The shopping center by Skanstull Station has a food court, but it's a bit of a stretch to call it budget dinning.

Mid-range

Norrmalm & Östermalm

Södermalm & Gamla Stan

Kungsholmen

Splurge

Norrmalm & Östermalm

Södermalm & Gamla Stan

The Saluhallen market hall on Östermalmstorg has a lot of beautifully arranged market stalls with an excellent spread of epicurean delights, both savory and sweet. Very expensive, but has a lively atmosphere with such epicurean delights as, reindeer pate and sausages, cloudberry preserves, and large varieties of knäckebröd.

Kungsholmen

Suburbs and bordering towns

Drink

Drinking out in Stockholm is a rather expensive affair. Expect to pay at least 40 SEK in the cheapest pub (55-75 SEK in a trendier club or pub) for a beer or cider, and at least 95-150 kr for a long-drink or cocktail in a club. Bars usually have no cover charge, but may have an arbitrarily set (and arbitrarily enforced) minimum age limit (usually 21 or 23, sometimes as low as 18, other times as high as 27), while clubs usually charge 50-150 SEK at the door (or more at special performances). Long, and very slow moving lines tend to form outside most popular clubs - expect having to wait as much as 1 hour or more if going to a trendy place after midnight, even if raining or snowing. Don't forget to bring an ID with you, as bouncers will (almost) always ask for identification at the door in both pubs and clubs.

The most famous nightlife district is Stureplan, at the crossing of Birger Jarlsgatan, Kungsgatan and Sturegatan, (T Östermalmstorg). The mushroom-shaped rain shelter is a common meeting point. High entrance fees (200SEK or more) and long lines.

Major bar streets are Götgatan (where most places are rather cheap pubs) and Bondegatan (with a younger and more trendy crowd), both on Södermalm, Rörstrandsgatan in western Vasastan (also rather trendy, but drawing a slightly older crowd) and the area around the Rådhuset subway station on Kungsholmen (with many small and relaxed places).

Most restaurants and bars close at 1 AM. Larger clubs usually close at 3 AM. There are an exclusive few open till 5 AM.

It is common that the more trendy clubs have a long queue from midnight till closing time. Get out early (at least before midnight), well-dressed (most clubs have an informal dress code, vårdad klädsel, while some upscale places even have and enforce a formal dress codes), and not too drunk, and you will be welcome at most clubs.

If you can read Swedish, you can get more information about Stockholm's nightlife in the free monthly magazine Nöjesguiden, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Thursdays, and the free Metro and Stockholm City on Fridays.

Budget

Södermalm

If you are looking for good value for your money, you should try to find a place in Stockholm's Södermalm district. A good starting point would be the subway station Medborgarplatsen.

Kungsholmen

Another good starting point for a late night out is in the Kungsholmen district. Located around the Fridhemsplan subway station of Fridhemsplan, you can find quite a few cheap places.

Student bars

Mid-range

Södermalm & Gamla stan

  • Debaser, Karl Johans Torg 1 and Medborgarplatsen 8 (T Slussen and T Medborgarplatsen) [80]. Stockholm's premier rock club. The name of the place was taken from an old song by The Pixies, and many of the bands that play there know the Pixies discography by heart, but they also have other types of music there than alternative rock.

Trädgården is an open air nightclub that is well worth a visit in Södermalm.

Norrmalm & Östermalm

  • Bishop's Arms. There is one English-style pub in the Bishop's arms chain close to the Central station and one in Vasastan.
    • Vasagatan 7 (T T-Centralen)
    • S:t Eriksgatan 115 (T Odenplan)

Kungsholmen

Splurge

If the price does not matter to you and you prefer well-made drinks instead of cheap beer, you should head towards Östermalm. A good starting point would be Stureplan. A large selection of nightclubs (discos) and bars are within walking distance from Stureplan.

Berns Salonger

  • Berns Salonger, Berzelii Park) [81]. One of the more popular places to eat and drink in Sturreplan. It is highly advised that you eat a late dinner here to avoid the high entrance fee. Otherwise, make sure to show up early (before 23:00) in order to get in with minimal hassle. 300 SEK entrance and mixed drinks costing as much as 150 SEK. Can be overcrowded late at night.

Sleep

Budget

  • Etienne Budget Hostel, near City Centre, , is a nice and comfortably hostel. The owner of the hostel is a very good looking fellow, always keeping an eye out for his customers. Every room is fitted with a hot air blowdryer and a comb for the necessary hair adjustments. Strong liquor can be provided. Usually it is pretty clean although some long hairs can be found in the hallways. There might be a lot of Germans around since this is a popular place for them. Usually they play nice. Every room is also fitted with a television and double beds. Mirrors seem to be pretty important to the owner since they are everywhere. Standard room rates apply.
  • Hotel Micro, near the City Centre. Small rooms in the basement of Tegner Hotel. They do not have windows and the bathrooms are shared, but they are very clean and new.
  • Angby Camping. Rents out cabins, has caravan/camper van lots, and space for free camping (with plenty of shade). Spotless toilets and showers (the latter cost 10 SEK). Laundry facilities, cooking facilities, internet café, mini-market which bakes its own bread and cakes every morning, small children's area. Very friendly staff who are prepared to go the extra mile to help out. A stone's throw from the campsite is Lake Malaren with beach, bar/restaurant, crazy golf, and the campsite's own water slide. T-bana: Angbyplan (come out of the station, turn left, keep walking). If you miss the last T-bana take night bus 198 from Sergels Torg/T-Centralen, direction Backlura, stop Angbyplan (right next to the T-bana). Cost - e.g. one adult, one child, one tent, 225SEK per night.

Mid-range

Hotels located far from city center are cheaper. If possible try to find one close to the subway or commuter trains.

Splurge

Grand hotell is great. Also Wellington Hotell, a smaller hotell in Östermalm.

Contact

There are a number of places where you can access the Internet in central Stockholm.

An alternative for any visitor to Sweden is to buy a pre-paid USB 3G modem. These can be had cheaply (down to 150 SEK) and the 3G coverage in Stockholm is excellent. Expect to pay around 100 SEK/week or 300 SEK/month to use the 3G modem. Data limits are typically high (20 GB/Month but up to 100 GB or more is also available)

WiFi

If you have your own laptop, many cafés, hotells, libraries offer free wi fi access.

  • Skype offers wi fi access in some areas called Skype Zones [82]. This service used to be offered for free as a test, but now seems to be subject to a fee.
  • Telia HomeRun [83] is a commercial wi fi service that covers many points in central Stockholm with wi fi.

Internet terminals

  • The company Sidewalk Express operates internet terminals in a number of convenience stores (most 7 Eleven and many Pressbyrån stores) and some other shops and public locations, including the main hall in the Stockholm Central railway station. Check their website [84] for a full list of locations. Most terminals are however quite uncomfortable to use (metallic keyboards, stand-up only access etc.) and fairly expensive. Unused time from one Sidewalk Express location can be reused at any other terminal in Sweden within 5 days.
  • You can often use the internet for free at the public libraries (but you may have to ask first). Big libraries can be found at Medborgarplatsen (T Medborgarplatsen) and Sveavägen 73 (T Odenplan).
  • The Central Station has Stockholmspanelen, information terminals with keyboards and web browsers that have full internet access but no address bar to type in the URL of the site you want to visit. But if you are clever there's a way to get to Google, you can then type in the URL you want to visit and hit "Search".
  • There are also a number of more gaming-oriented internet points. These are often open late nights.
    • Matrix — The underground hall in the Kungsgatan exit of the metro station Hötorget. Open Su-Th 10AM-12PM, F-Sa 10AM-3AM. A centrally located 80-terminal gamer den with generous opening hours.

Stay safe

Risks in Stockholm

Crime/violence: Low
Drunk people on weekend nights, bouncers in clubs, pickpockets, street gambling
Authorities/corruption: Low
Security guards and nightclub bouncers might be rude and/or violent
Transportation: Low
Occasional delays in rail traffic
Health: Low
Infectious tick bites in the archipelago
Nature: Low

Stockholm is a safe city by international standards and there is no need to avoid certain areas or forms of transport. Like everywhere else, low crime rates do not mean no crime and therefore you should keep your wits about you. As in most cities, you might want to avoid late-night walks through the darkest and most desolate back streets and tunnels, as well as close encounters with rowdy groups of drunk people. The T-Centralen subway entrance to Sergels Torg (plattan) is a well-known hangout for drug-dealers, but there is no need for the passer-by to feel threatened.

As in most countries, being overly intoxicated is not accepted in most bars and clubs and could lead to the security staff forcibly ejecting the intoxicated person in question.

Most crimes against tourists are crimes of opportunity, such as pick-pocketing, bicycle theft, auto theft, and auto vandalism. As always, do not leave valuable items in your car or in a cloakroom, and watch your bag in crowded places. Most shops and all major taxi companies accept credit and debit cards, so there is no need to carry a lot of cash.

Try to use one of the more well-established cab companies to avoid getting ripped off. Going by taxi in Stockholm is an extremely safe way to travel, but the fares differ between cab companies. Among recommended companies are Taxi Stockholm, Taxi Kurir and Taxi 020. Watch out for taxi signs designed to look like these three.

During summer, a few street gamblers try to swindle their audience on Drottninggatan and in other crowded areas. They use a variety of tricks one of them being planting a few of their own in the crowd. Don't play, you will lose. But these gambles are very unusual, you will have to look hard to find one.

Homeless people can occasionally be seen begging downtown, though in much lesser extent than other parts of the world. A responsible way to adress their situation is to buy their magazine, Situation Stockholm, for 40 SEK. People handing out laminated begging cards in or on the subway might belong to organized gangs, and should be ignored. Bying food or water for someone begging is also a good way of helping without risking that your money goes in the wrong hands. The wellfair system in sweden is highly developed and B/c of the govermental programs the number of swedish citisens that are homeless are few compared to other countries.

Respect

  • When using escalators, people in Stockholm usually reserve the right side of the moving staircase for standing and the left side for people walking up the stairs. Standing still on the left side will certainly make people irritated and flag you as a tourist or a fool. (This only goes for the major cities, in small cities people don't walk in the escalators) It would also be wise to use common sense while entering the subway, don't block people when the subway door opens. Take one step back and let people get off first and you won't irritate other people.
  • Avoid walking in the cycle lane. Dedicated cycle paths are clearly marked, but sometimes run directly next to the sidewalk. Stockholm cyclists are subject to a comparatively hilly landscape and are unwilling to slow down and lose momentum. Usually, however, they are careful, signal clearly and use their bells, meaning that straying tourists most often are just sworn at. (note that even the swearing word in sweden are mild, the worst thing is calling someone a skitstövel (dirty boot) or djävel (devil))
  • When waiting in lines, be paitent and polite. Swedes never cross queues but make sure you actually stand in the line. If insecure, ask.
  • Swedes usually don't address people that are doing things (in their opinion) wrong. They will just look at your foolish behaviour and swear silently to themselves. You might embarrass yourself but addressing it will make even a bigger scene.

Cope

Some things to pack:

See also Sweden#Bring.
  • Comfortable shoes. Stockholm is best experienced on foot.
  • An umbrella or a raincoat for wet weather.
  • Warm clothes in good materials(Long johns/stockings under your pants/ skirt will keep you warm without looking like you wear your ski-outfit).

Getting cash

This writer was surprised at the difficulty of getting Swedish cash. I tried my Canadian bank card in four ATMs (Bankomats) and it was rejected by every one of them, even though my card uses the Plus network and all these Bankomats had the Plus logo. It took two or three attempts before I had luck using my Visa credit card in a Bankomat, only trying machines with the Visa logo on them. Many Bankomats don't have any network logos on them. Before I had that luck, I tried going into a bank to ask a teller for a cash advance on my credit card, but he said they don't do that. I have used my bank card and my credit card at many Bankomats in two other countries in Europe and rejections were rare. There is a chain of currency exchanges called Forex with many conspicuous exchanges around Stockholm, but they charge a whopping 45 SEK (7$) commission on top of their buy-sell spread. But because they accept nearly everywhere credit cards even for very small amounts there is nearly no need for having swedish money with you and paying for purchases by credit card worked better - three transactions with no difficulties.

Restrooms

Many department stores and fast-food restaurants have clean restrooms, often for the charge of 5SEK. That is also the cost of public toilet booths found in most city squares (though these might be messy) so be sure to carry some 5SEK coins. Restaurants' toilets are often reserved for customers and might be messy depending on the establishment. Some good, clean toilets are found in Max (at Norrmalmstorg and Stockholm Central) and in the bar Sturehof (at Stureplan - the establishment is too big for crew to keep track of people borrowing the toilet). Urinating in town is illegal, but urinals are often free even if you have to pay for a WC. The libraries, museums, and govermental buildings often have free, clean toilets.

Laundry

Since all Swedish apartments either have a washing machine or access to a communal laundry room, there are virtually no self-service laundries to be found in Stockholm, with one exception:

  • Tvättomaten, Västmannagatan 61 (T Odenplan), + 46 8 34 64 80, [85]. Open M-F 8:30AM-6:30PM, Sa 9:30 AM-3PM (closed Sa from end of June to mid-August, closed one week at the end of July). Self service price: 50SEK without drying, 84SEK with drying (per machine, up to 5 kg).

Most youth hostels have washing machines. Some dry cleaners offer to wash shirts and bed linen as well, but this tends to be quite expensive.

Health

Swedish healthcare is generally of very high quality, although you may have to face a long wait in emergency rooms. How fast you get to see the doctor is dependant on how ill you are and if others are sicker. If you have a small wound that need stiches you will wait if there are victimes of a car-accident. But if you are in a bad car-accident you know you will get help first. Money, name or title won't help pass the que.

EU/EES citizens with a European Health Insurance card pay the same (rather low) fee for emergency and necessary care as a local citizen. Others must pay the whole health care cost (which can be between 1,700 and 2,200SEK for a doctor’s visit at an emergency care unit at a hospital). More information on hospital fees can be found on the Stockholm County information site [86].

In an emergency, always call 112 for SOS Alarm, for ambulance, police, fire service, air and sea rescue, mountain patrol, or priest on call. English-speaking operators are available.

There are two hospitals with 24-hour emergency care units in the inner city:

  • St Görans Sjukhus, S:t Göransplan 1 (T Fridhemsplan or T Stadshagen), +46 8 58 70 10 00, [87].
  • Södersjukhuset, Sjukhusbacken 10 (Bus 3, 74 or 164 from T Skanstull, bus 74 from T Mariatorget or commuter train to Stockholm Södra), +46 8 616 10 00, [88].

For less serious illnesses and ailments, getting in touch with a local clinic, vårdcentral, is a much better option than the hospital emergency rooms. The Stockholm County healthcare hotline Vårdguiden (+46 8 320 100, [89]) can give medical advice and help you find a doctor. While information is officially given in Swedish only, the doctors can often speak some English, especially ethnic Swedish ones.

Pharmacies

The pharmacy market has recently been de-regulated, giving some competition to the state-operated monopoly chain Apoteket. Certified pharmacies have a green cross sign. You can buy over-the-counter medicine (such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, throat and cough relief tablets or nose-sprays) in almost any supermarket.

  • Apoteket C W Scheele, Klarabergsgatan 64 (T T-Centralen), +46 8 454 81 30. This pharmacy is centrally located and open 24 hours, all days of the week, including holidays. Service is limited late at night, and can be slow, but they have a very large inventory of specialized drugs.
  • Apotek Hjärtat, Krukmakargatan 13 (T Mariatorget). Located on Södermalm, with extra long operating hours: 8AM-10PM all days of the week.

Tap water

The tap water in Stockholm is of very high quality. There is no reason for buying bottled water. It is also completely accepted to ask for tap water in restaurants. Many places have a tap and glasses for self-service.

Embassies

  • As-flag.png Australia, Klarabergsviadukten 63, 8th Floor, Stockholm - Sweden, (46) (0)8 613 2900 (fax: (46) (8) 248505), [90].
  • Br-flag.png Brazil, Odengatan 3,114 24 Stockholm - Sweden, (46)(8)545 163 20 (fax: (46) (8) 545 163 15), [91].
  • Ca-flag.png Canada, Klarabergsgatan 23, 6th Floor PO Box 16129 S-103 23 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 453 30 00 (, fax: +46 (0)8 453 30 16), [92]. M-Th: 08:30 - 12:25 and 13:00 - 17:00 F: 08:30-12:25 and 13:00-15:00.
  • Ch-flag.png China, Lidovägen 8,115 25 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 579 364 29 (, fax: +46 (0)8 579 364 52), [93].
  • Eg-flag.png Egypt, Strandvägen 35, 114 56 STOCKHOLM, +46 (0)8 459 9860.
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, Kommendorsgatan 16, 11448 Stockholm, +468 5456 6010, Emergencies: +467 6580 0952 (, fax: +468 6605470), [94]. M-F: 09:00 - 16:00.
  • In-flag.png India, Kyrkogata 12, Bov 1340, 111 83 Stockholm - Sweden, (46)(8) 107008, 4113212, 4113213 (fax: (46) (8) 248505), [95].
  • Rp-flag.png Philippines, Skeppsbron 20, 1tr 111 30 Stockholm, +(46) (8) 235 665 (fax: +(46) (8) 140 714), [97].
  • Sp-flag.png Spain, Djurgårdsvägen, 21 SE-115 21 Stockholm, Sweden, (+46) 8 52 280 800 (, fax: (468) 660 3034).
  • Tr-flag.png Turkey, Dag Hammarskjölds Vag 20 115 27 Stockholm - Sweden, (46) (8) 23 08 40-45 (fax: (46) (8) 663 55 14), [98].
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom, Skarpögatan 6-8 Box 27819 115 93 Stockholm, (46) (8) 671 3000 (fax: (46) (8) 662 9989), [99].
  • Us-flag.png United States, Dag Hammarskjölds Väg 31 SE-115 89 Stockholm, Sweden, (+46) 8 783 5300 (fax: +46 (8) 660 58 79), [100].

Get out

  • Drottningholm— Although the Royal Palace is situated in the center of the city, the Royal family actually lives at Drottningholm Palace on the Lovö island in Lake Mälaren, 30 minutes from the city centre by public transport. The 18th century palace is beautiful, and much of it is open to the public. The surroundings are well worth a walk as well. Take the green line of the underground (T-bana) to Brommaplan, change to bus 176 or 177 or (mostly during peak hours) 301-336, to Drottningholm. In the summertime, there is also regular boat service from Stadshuskajen (the City Hall Quay) to Drottningholm operated by Strömma Kanalbolaget [101] (130SEK for a return ticket). Consider the combination return ferry ticket (210SEK, includes the palace and the Chinese Pavilion). But, if you are a student with an ISIC card, don't buy the combo ticket because you won't get the discounts offered by the Palace and Chinese Pavilion. Sadly, there are no interpretative signs in the Palace or in the Chinese Pavilion. So, catch a (free) guided tour, offered nearly every half hour in Swedish and English, and you'll get a lot more out of it. Or, buy a guide book (50SEK). If you use Talk of the town [102] the mobile audioguide for Stockholm. You can listen at six sights spread over Drottningholm Royal domain in six languages.
  • Birka— For the real Viking buff, there's Birka [103], the site of a former Viking city of about 1,000 inhabitants situated on Björkö, an island in Lake Mälaren. Today, however, traces of the settlement are hard to spot and the small museum (+46 8 56051445, closed during winter) is really only worth the ride if you are genuinely interested in the subject. Boats to Björkö are operated by Strömma Kanalbolaget [104]. Birka can also be reached by driving to Ekerö (Ekerövägen/road 261), taking a car ferry to Adelsö, and finally taking a short ferry to Björkö. The car ferry to Adelsö is free and takes approximately 10 minutes. Immediately after driving of the Adelsö ferry, you should turn to the left. Drive until you see a church, Adelsö Church, and park in the parking lot located across the street from the church. Walk across the road (that you just arrived on) and follow the country road that is paralell to the church (i.e., walk towards the lake). After a five-minute walk, you will see a gate on the left. Open it and let yourself in to the field, but do not forget to close it behind yourself. The rocks and rune stone on the field are remains from a royal residence. Continue along the path until you reach a jetty. The Björkö ferry leaves Adelsö jetty at 11:30 (during the summer), and the crossing to Björkö takes approximately 15 minutes. There is a pleasant cafe across the street from Adelsö Church.
  • Uppsala— A lively and very old university city located 45 minutes north of Stockholm (trains every hour for 62-72 SEK one way). There you can see the biggest cathedral in Scandinavia, Linnaeus' botanical gardens as well as Viking royal burial mounds and temple remains from the time when Uppsala was Sweden's capital. Currently fourth largest city in Sweden, but still doable as a day trip.
  • Sigtuna [105]— Oldest medieval town in Sweden. Streets are small here and dotted with low built wooden houses. Lies north of Stockholm and makes an excellent daytrip.
  • Bornsjön— For a real wild animal safari close to Stockholm, Bornsjön is the best spot. It is a nature reserve 30 minutes drive south of Stockholm. The natural environment is perfect here for watching mammals like moose, roe deer and wild boar. Stockholm Outback offers tours down to the reserve every evening during the summer. For further information call +46 73-6578708 or visit their homepage [106].

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