- Fresh-air fairytale
- City life
- Nordic cool
A network of 14 islands on the edge of the Baltic, Stockholm is cool, vibrant yet laid-back, and everything works beautifully – in terms of function and aesthetics.
Graffiti is classified as ‘street art’, frumpy or clunky design is a rarity, and the city is as safe and clean as it is hip and cosmopolitan. You’ll come back poorer, but cooler and more chilled – skål!
Suitably StockholmGo for a sauna and massage, or hire a private Turkish bath at the Sturebadet (www.sturebadet.se). Head to the beach. In winter, go skiing in Flottsbro, or skating in Kungsträdgården Park.
- You can hail cabs on the street; taxi's aren't cheap but they do, handily, accept payment by debit and credit card (including AmEx).
- Tipping culture
- Tips are included; for good service, round up the bill.
- Packing tips
- Deck shoes, eye-mask in summer (only three hours of darkness), contemporary-furniture wish list, duty-free booze and smokes.
- Recommended reads
- The Magic Lantern: an Autobiography by Ingmar Bergman; The Messiah of Stockholm by Cynthia Ozick.
- The smörgåsbord, surströmming (fermented Baltic herring), köttbullar (meatballs). Owing to long winters, traditional dishes are heavy and rich, but modern Swedish cuisine is lighter, with more fresh vegetables.
- Swedish kronor; SEK 10 = about €1.
- Dialling codes
- Country code for Sweden: 46. Stockholm: 8.
- Do go/don't go
- In winter, the city gets just five hours of daylight. At weekends in July, it can be very quiet as everybody heads to their summer-island properties.