Stockholm, the capital of Sweden is the most populous city in Scandinavia, with over 897,700 people living in the municipality, and about 1,372,565 in the urban area (about 22% of the Swedish population in 2013). Stockholm is an important global city and ranked 27th in the world, 12th in Europe and first in Scandinavia by the Global Cities Index in 2012. In 2013, Stockholm was named the 8th most competitive city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
City Highlights and Observations
I soon realized that Stockholm is located well off the Baltic Sea, farther than I had had imagined as the Eurodam continued westerly through the series of coastal islands and narrow passages (the Archipelago) until it reached our dock, within walking distance of the central city. Again, except for Saint Petersburg, our Ship’s ID gave us swift passage through Customs and we were off to find out next SPB Tours guide for a morning overview of the city. The central parts of the city consist of fourteen islands, the major ones easily accessible by car or regularly scheduled “Hop On Hop Off” boats that make continuous loops serving the downtown. On the map below the blue route is for the Hop on Hop Off water taxi; the green for the buses. Our ship docked at the lower right corner of this map, and walking into town was a mere twenty to thirty minutes (if you didn’t stop at any of the coffee shops or restaurants along the way!).
The geographical city centre is situated on the water, in Riddarfjärden bay. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces. I enjoyed walking around the central part of the city, looking as I always try to do at historic architecture, unique building details, and streetscape elements, some of which are shown here.
During our two days in the city, we were able to visit only a few of the many tourist attractions, described and depicted on the following pages: