Take a cheap flight to Stockholm and:
- visit Skansen open air museum for a glimpse at Swedish history
- stock up on some Swedish design
- experience fika – a tradition of catching up with friends over coffee and cake
Flights to Stockholm
airBaltic operates daily direct flights to Stockholm from two Baltic capitals:
- from Riga to Stockholm Arlanda airport;
- from Vilnius to Stockholm Arlanda airport.
Spread out across fourteen islands, interspersed with waterways and criss-crossed with bridges, Stockholm is a city that floats upon the waters of Lake Mälaren, bringing no doubt to its sometimes second name "The Venice of the North". Via the lake and once past the 24,000 island archipelago beyond it, Stockholm has access to the Baltic Sea, placing the city in quite a strategic hotspot. Completely untouched by either of the world wars, the city remains today the seat of the Swedish government and houses both the parliament and the royal quarters of the Swedish monarchy.
While not quite the oldest of Sweden's cities, Stockholm has certainly defined its place as the most important, and is today both the largest city and the capital of the nation with a modest population of over 800,000 in the city center and 1.6 million in the metro region. Stockholm is also incredibly green with almost one third of its total land made up of waterways, while another is designated to parks, making a strong argument alone for the nearly one million tourists who choose to spend their annual city-break here. airBalticflights to Stockholm land at Arlanda Airport, Sweden’s largest, some 42 km from the city.
Hejsan! (Hello!) The main language spoken in Stockholm is Swedish, an offshoot of the Germanic language group which includes both Danish and Norse. You may also encounter a handful of Lapps, a minority group in Sweden, who speak a totally different language called Sami. Travel to Sweden does not necessitate a language course, however, because most locals speak excellent English and are quick to help out a well-meaning tourist. If you are set on learning some basics, a good place to start is Tack sa mycke! (Thanks so much.)
See and Do
Stockholm offers an impressive number of sights for any traveler, especially in the way of its well-preserved architecture. From your hotel, head off to Gamla Stan, or the old city and the beating heart of Stockholm. Here, narrow and twisting streets whisk the traveller back in time into a medieval age complete with the Riddarholmskyrkan, its own classic medieval church. To the east of Gamla Stan where you will find the Royal Palace, open to the public and including access to the Royal Apartments, the Tre Kronor Museum and the Treasury, all for one quite pricey ticket, but still worth the visit in order to see how monarchy really lives. No trip to Stockholm should exclude the Vasa Museum featuring a fully restored 17th century warship which sank immediately after leaving its berth, but is now proudly on display.
Stockholm boasts a large number of museums, others being the National Museum with its extensive collection and the Museum of Modern Art, Moderna Museet, which includes works by Salvadore Dali and Picasso. Should you wish to venture outside the city, do stop by Skansen, the world’s largest and oldest open air museum complete with a zoo featuring mostly animals native to Sweden. And head off into the archipelago to explore the lake’s islands on one of several boat tours or inter-island ferries before saying goodbye to Stockholm.