Cities in SWEDEN
Stockholm is one of the most impressive cities in Scandinavia and is also known as "the great city of the North". There are many sights to visit in the Swedish capital, but you can also enjoy the delicious Swedish cuisine and the hospitality of Scandinavia, go shopping in the stylish shopping streets or go out in the trendy nightlife that the city has to offer.
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Stockholm is widely regarded as one of the most livable cities in the world. Crime is low, the streets are clean and the amenities in the city are of a high standard. Partly for these reasons, Stockholm is growing very quickly, because more and more people are settling in this European city.
Stockholm is located on fourteen islands in southeastern Sweden. The city is regularly mentioned in the same breath with other cities in the world with a particularly beautiful location such as Cape Town and San Francisco. Stockholm's fourteen islands are connected by bridges. Stockholm is therefore also called "The Venice of the North". Lake Märlaren and the Baltic Sea meet where the city is located. Stockholm is located near the Archipelago (Tjust Archipel). This is a special area where many islands can be found.
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Stockholm belongs to the province of Stockholms län. The city has an area of almost 216 square kilometers, of which no less than 21 square kilometers consists of water. Stockholm currently lives around 830,000 people.
Stockholm is located in an area with a moderate maritime climate. The Baltic Sea has a major influence on the weather in Stockholm. Winters in Stockholm are bleak and cold. The average temperatures are around 0 degrees Celsius in the winter months.
Springs and summers are very pleasant in the Swedish capital. Temperatures of around 30 degrees are no exception in summer. In Stockholm there is little trouble from wind and rain (between 300 and 400 millimeters on an annual basis) and the humidity is also low in the city compared to the rest of Sweden.
In summer the days are very long in Stockholm. The sun then shines until midnight. It is a very special experience to be in the city around this time. In winter there are the northern lights. This means that beautiful colors can be seen in the sky on clear nights. This is caused by sunspots that eject electrical particles towards Earth. The northern lights crown can also be seen from time to time; there are luminous, colored arches hanging above the pole.
According to the books, the city of Stockholm has existed since 1252, or at least the city is mentioned for the first time around that year. The oldest island on which the city began to emerge, Gamla Stan, gives the city its name. Stock means "block of wood" in Swedish and holm means "island". It is believed that Birger Jarl, a well-known Swedish statesman, founded Stockholm as a fortified town due to its strategic waterfront location.
Partly because of this location, Stockholm grew rapidly and quickly became the largest city in Sweden, culminating in the 17th century when the city grew into a European superpower under the leadership of Queen Christina. However, in 1713 the plague broke out in Stockholm, severely depleting the population and the economic downturn for the city. It was not until the mid-19th century that Stockholm was a little above Jan again and reached its important trading position of before.
During the two World Wars, Sweden managed to stay neutral, allowing Stockholm to continue trading with other neutral countries in the world. After the war, Sweden became a member of the UN and the EU.
1986 saw a great low point in the history of the Swedish capital. The then Prime Minister Olof Palme, who fought against dictatorships around the world, was killed in Stockholm that year.
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A must-see when visiting Stockholm is the city's Royal Palace in the old Gamla Stan district. The Royal family of Sweden still lives here. The palace dates back to the 13th century, making it the oldest castle in the world still in use. The changing of the guards is a special spectacle. In addition, there is a military museum in the basement of the imposing building.
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Skansen is an open-air museum that has existed since 1893 on the island of Djugården dedicated to Swedish architecture. In the museum you can see some 400 old buildings, which were removed from elsewhere in the city and rebuilt in the museum. There is also a zoo in Skansen.
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The Engelbrekt Church (Engelbrektskyrkan) dates back to the early 20th century and offers a subtle blend of Byzantine and Jugendstil-influenced architecture. The church is located high above Stockholm, the tower of the church can be seen from miles away.
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Construction of Stockholm's eye-catching public library began in 1924, and four years later the library opened its doors for the very first time. The building was designed by a prominent local Swedish architect. The City Library has always been destined to become a much-loved local landmark. The central circular elevation and bright orange exterior are the main features, while stylish reading rooms and books in all languages can be found inside.
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The Vasa is the only surviving 17th century ship in the world. More than 95 percent of the ship has been preserved and the ship is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures. The Vasa is a unique art treasure and one of Stockholm's main tourist attractions. The ship can be viewed in a specially built museum, which also houses nine related exhibitions. A film about the Vasa is available in sixteen languages.
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The Nationalmuseum is Sweden's largest museum of art and design. The collections consist of paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphics and applied art and design. The collections of paintings and sculptures consist of approximately 16,000 works. Artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya, Renoir, Degas and Gauguin are represented, as well as Swedish artists Carl Larsson, Ernst Josephson, CF Hill and Anders Zorn. The collection consists of art from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century, with an emphasis on Swedish 18th and 19th century painting. Dutch paintings from the 17th century are also well represented and the French 18th century collection is considered one of the best in the world. The museum's collection of applied art, design and industrial design spans a long period, from the 14th century to the present day. It consists of about 30,000 objects, one third of which are ceramics and, in order of numbers, textiles, glass, precious and non-precious metals, furniture and books.
The Museum of Modern Art has one of Europe's finest collections of modern and contemporary art. It includes important works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Dorothea Tanning, Andy Warhol and Niki de Saint Phalle. The museum has also been heavily influenced by Marcel Duchamp's legacy. The backbone of the collection is formed by numerous iconic works such as Monogram by Robert Rauschenberg, Ma governess by Meret Oppenheim and Salvador Dalí's The Enigma by Wilhelm Tell. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, installations, films, videos, drawings and prints by Swedish and international artists from the 20th and 21st centuries and photography from the 1840s to the present day. Western art tradition dominates, but the presentation of the collection now also highlights alternative stories and works that are gradually gaining importance.
A good tip if you want to visit Stockholm as a tourist is to purchase the Stockholm Card. Admission prices for sights in the city are fairly high. With this discount card you can save yourself a lot of money. You pay a one-off amount for the card and after that you no longer have to pay an entrance fee for the attractions and transport (hop on & off boat) is also free.
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Take a boat trip in Stockholm. For example, you can choose to take a mini cruise around the city; a special experience in which you will get a different view of Stockholm. Also nice is a trip on Lake Mälaren. That is the third largest lake in Sweden and it is located on the western side of Stockholm. This freshwater lake is connected to the Baltic Sea and is between 64 and 210 meters deep. During the cruise you can enjoy a leisurely cruise around the lake and the archipelago's coastline. The boats leave from the Strömkajen pier.
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The ABBA museum is more than just a museum. Of course you can see the members of the band, the costumes, gold records, memorabilia and much more. But this museum is all about the experience! You have to experience the feeling of being the 5th ABBA member. You find out what you would look like in their legendary stage costumes. You sing along in the Polar Studio and experience exciting hologram illusions to go on stage together with the band.
Last updated December 2020
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