If you’re planning on visiting the Swedish capital this year, you’re not alone. The city’s hotels recorded a record 14 million overnight stays from overseas visitors in 2017 (the last year that data was available), a number that is predicted to keep on rising in the years ahead. While Stockholm is a notoriously easy city to visit, stay, and get around in, it helps to know a few things before you go. From what you need to bring to how you can get yourself hyped up for the trip of a lifetime, here is everything you can do before you go to ensure that your first trip to Stockholm goes off without a hitch.
1. Which Apps to Download
Stockholm is one of the most tech-friendly cities in the world, which means that, for pretty much everything you could possibly want to do here, there’s most likely an app for it. In order to take full advantage of Stockholm’s sprawling public transport network, you should download the SL app, which will tell you exactly how to get around town and even allows you to purchase tickets via your phone. You should also download the official Triposo app for one of the most comprehensive and regularly-updated travel guides on the city available, as well as the Swedish Royal Palaces app if you want free audio guides and maps for all of Sweden’s royal attractions.
2. What to Pack
Once your phone is ready to go, it’s time to pay attention to your suitcase. It is absolutely crucial to make sure that you are appropriately packed for the weather, as the climate can be extreme, depending on what time of year you visit. Anyone arriving between October and April should be prepared for heavy winter temperatures, so make sure to pack a proper coat and some boots with ice grips. In the summer months, temperatures are mild but heavy rainfall is common. Therefore, travelers are advised to pack a thin waterproof jacket and an umbrella. Fortunately, you won’t need to pack much cash when you arrive, since Stockholm is one of the biggest cashless cities in the world. Your credit or debit card should serve you well for just about any activity you can think of.
3. Absorb Some Swedish Culture Before You Go
There is no better way to get pumped up for your trip to Stockholm than by absorbing the best of Swedish culture. For movies, you should make sure to watch the 2017 film The Square, which parodies Stockholm’s art scene and features some beautiful shots of the city. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and any film by Swedish legend Ingmar Bergman are also a must. If you’re more of a gamer, then there are plenty of options for you too. Driving and racing games such as Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Dirt 4 both feature levels set in the city. If you’d rather absorb some classical Swedish Viking culture, then Swedish online slot games are a solid option. Swedish online casino sites such as Nano Casino offer classic Viking slots such as Viking Runecraft, Vikings Go Bezerk, and the official Vikings video slot for any gamer looking to absorb some historical Swedish cultural staples.
4. Getting There and Getting Around
While Stockholm’s infrastructure is easily traversed, it is worth knowing how to navigate it before you go. If you’re arriving at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport like most travelers, make sure to take the Arlanda Express from the airport straight to the city center. Tickets can be purchased on the SL app for around 250 SEK and will get you a comfortable train ride that takes less than 20 minutes. Taxis can be extortionately expensive if you are not used to Swedish prices, whilst the bus network will take up to two hours to get you where you want to go. Therefore, the Arlanda Express is always your best bet.
5. Local Etiquette
Stockholm has its own unique set of etiquette and social mores that any first-time traveler would benefit from knowing. First off, you should know that Swedes are generally quiet and reserved, at least when you first meet them. Making direct eye contact with a stranger is considered a big no-no, as is striking up conversations with randomers, at least in the day time. Queueing is also a national pastime here, so make sure to line up and wait your turn if you don’t want to receive some pretty stern looks from the locals. Also, remember that you’re in the land of strict gender equality, in a city where holding the door open to a lady or referring to them by a pet name will not win you any favors. Also, while much of the population is almost fluent in English, major brownie points are reserved for any tourist who can remember to muster up a “Hej!” or a “tack!” in one of Stockholm’s many acclaimed restaurants.
With these simple tips, you’ll be ready for an effortless trip to Stockholm. See you there!