ID:20669 Section: Place

Updated:Monday 13th October 2014

Stockholm Definition

(Wikipedia) - Stockholm For other uses, see Stockholm (disambiguation). "Sthlm" redirects here. For the Swedish TV series, see Sthlm (TV series). Stockholm Country Province County Municipalities First mention Charter Area  • City  • Urban  • Metro Elevation Population (30 January 2014)  • City  • Density  • Urban  • Urban density  • Metro  • Metro density Demonym Time zone  • Summer (DST) Postal code Area code(s) Website
Aerial view of the Old Town, Skeppsbron, Stockholm City Hall, Hötorget buildings, Ericsson Globe and Stockholm Palace.
Coat of arms
Coordinates: 59°19′46″N 18°4′7″E / 59.32944°N 18.06861°E / 59.32944; 18.06861Coordinates: 59°19′46″N 18°4′7″E / 59.32944°N 18.06861°E / 59.32944; 18.06861
Södermanland and Uppland
Stockholm County
  • Stockholm Municipality
  • Huddinge Municipality
  • Järfälla Municipality
  • Solna Municipality
  • Sollentuna Municipality
  • Botkyrka Municipality
  • Haninge Municipality
  • Tyresö Municipality
  • Sundbyberg Municipality
  • Nacka Municipality
  • Danderyd Municipality
13th century
188 km2 (73 sq mi)
381.63 km2 (147.35 sq mi)
6,519 km2 (2,517 sq mi)
0 m (0 ft)
4,800/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
3,597/km2 (9,320/sq mi)
330/km2 (860/sq mi)
100 00-200 00

Stockholm (Swedish pronunciation:  ( pronunciation)) is the capital of Sweden and the most populous city in Scandinavia, with 905,184 people living in the municipality, approximately 1.4 million in the urban area, and a total population close to 2.2 million in the metropolitan area. The city is spread across 14 islands on the coast in the southeast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago and the Baltic sea. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Birger Jarl.

Stockholm is the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden. The region alone accounts for over a third of the country''s GDP, and is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita. It''s an important global city, and the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region. The city is home to some of the Europe''s top ranking universities, such as the Karolinska Institute, and hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. One of the city''s most prized museums, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia. The Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well known for its decoration of the stations; it has been called the longest art gallery in the world. Sweden''s national football arena is located north of the city centre, in Solna. Ericsson Globe, the national indoor arena, is in the southern part of the city. The city was the host of the 1912 Summer Olympics.

Stockholm is the seat of the Government of Sweden and most government agencies, including the highest courts in the Judiciary, and the official residencies of the Swedish monarch and the Prime Minister. The Government has its seat in the Rosenbad building, the Riksdag is seated in the Parliament House, and the Prime Minister''s residence is adjacent at the Sager House. The Stockholm Palace is the official residence and principal workplace of the Swedish monarch, while the Drottningholm Palace, a World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Stockholm, serves as the Royal Family''s private residence.

  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
    • 2.1 Location
    • 2.2 Stockholm Municipality
    • 2.3 Climate
    • 2.4 Daylight hours
  • 3 City governance
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Fibre optic network
  • 6 Education
  • 7 Demographics
  • 8 Culture
    • 8.1 Literature
    • 8.2 Architecture
    • 8.3 Museums
    • 8.4 Art galleries
    • 8.5 Suburbs
    • 8.6 Theatres
    • 8.7 Amusement park
    • 8.8 Media
    • 8.9 Sports
    • 8.10 Cuisine
    • 8.11 Yearly events
  • 9 Environment
    • 9.1 Green city with a national urban park
      • 9.1.1 Role model
  • 10 Transport
    • 10.1 Public transport
      • 10.1.1 The City Line Project, or The Green Tunnel
    • 10.2 Roads
      • 10.2.1 Congestion charges
    • 10.3 Ferries
    • 10.4 City bikes
    • 10.5 Airports
    • 10.6 Inter-city trains
  • 11 International rankings
  • 12 Twin cities and towns
  • 13 Gallery
  • 14 See also
  • 15 References
  • 16 External links

History Main article: History of StockholmPanorama over Stockholm around 1868 as seen from a hot air balloonKungsträdgården in Stockholm around 1890–1900

After the Ice Age, at around 8,000 BC, there had already been vast migrations towards the present-day Stockholm area, but as temperatures dropped, inhabitants moved away towards the South. Thousands of years later, as the ground thawed, the climate became tolerable, and the lands became fertile, some life moved back to the North. At the intersection of the Baltic Sea and lake Mälaren is an archipelago site where the Old Town of Stockholm was first occupied in about 1000 AD by Vikings. Vikings had a positive trade impact on the land because of the trade routes they created.

Stockholms'' location appears in Norse sagas as Agnafit, and in Heimskringla in connection with the legendary king Agne. The earliest written mention of the name Stockholm dates from 1252, by which time the mines in Bergslagen made it an important site in the iron trade. The first part of the name (stock) means log in Swedish, although it may also be connected to an old German word (Stock) meaning fortification. The second part of the name (holm) means islet, and is thought to refer to the islet Helgeandsholmen in central Stockholm. The city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl to protect Sweden from a sea invasion by foreign navies and to stop the pillage of towns such as Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren.

Stockholm''s core of the present Old Town (Gamla Stan) was built on the central island next to Helgeandsholmen from the mid-13th century onward. The city originally rose to prominence as a result of the Baltic trade of the Hanseatic League. Stockholm developed strong economic and cultural linkages with Lübeck, Hamburg, Gdańsk, Visby, Reval, and Riga during this time. Between 1296 and 1478 Stockholm''s City Council was made up of 24 members, half of whom were selected from the town''s German-speaking burghers.

The strategic and economic importance of the city made Stockholm an important factor in relations between the Danish Kings of the Kalmar Union and the national independence movement in the 15th century. The Danish King Christian II was able to enter the city in 1520. On 8 November 1520 a massacre of opposition figures called the Stockholm Bloodbath took place and set off further uprisings that eventually led to the breakup of the Kalmar Union. With the accession of Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the establishment of a royal power, the population of Stockholm began to grow, reaching 10,000 by 1600.

The 17th century saw Sweden grow into a major European power, reflected in the development of the city of Stockholm. From 1610 to 1680 the population multiplied sixfold. In 1634 Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedish empire. Trading rules were also created that gave Stockholm an essential monopoly over trade between foreign merchants and other Swedish and Scandinavian territories.

In 1710, a plague killed about 20,000 (36 percent) of the population. After the end of the Great Northern War the city stagnated. Population growth halted and economic growth slowed. The city was in shock after having lost its place as the capital of a Great Power. However Stockholm maintained its role as the political centre of Sweden and continued to develop culturally under Gustav III.

By the second half of the 19th century, Stockholm had regained its leading economic role. New industries emerged and Stockholm was transformed into an important trade and service centre as well as a key gateway point within Sweden. The population also grew dramatically during this time, mainly through immigration. At the end of the 19th century, less than 40% of the residents were Stockholm-born. Settlement began to expand outside the city limits. The 19th century saw the establishment of a number of scientific institutes, including the Karolinska Institute. The General Art and Industrial Exposition was held in 1897.

Stockholm became a modern, technologically advanced, and ethnically diverse city in the latter half of the 20th century. Many historical buildings were torn down during the modernist era, including substantial parts of the historical district of Klara, and replaced with modern architecture. However, in many other parts of Stockholm (such as in Gamla Stan, Södermalm, Östermalm, Kungsholmen and Vasastan), many "old" buildings, blocks and streets built before the modernism and functionalism movements took off in Sweden (around 1930-1935) survived this era of demolition. Throughout the century, many industries shifted away from work-intensive activities into more high-tech and service industry areas.

Between 1965 and 1974, the city expanded very quickly with the creation of additional suburban districts such as Rinkeby and Tensta as a part of the Million Programme. Many of these areas have been criticized for being "concrete suburbs", dull, grey, low-status areas built mainly out of concrete slabs. The most common complaints are about the high crime rate and the high racial and social segregation in these areas.

Geography Main article: Geography of StockholmA 360 degree panorama of Stockholm inner quarters taken from the City Hall tower. From left to right: Riddarfjärden with Södermalm in the background, Kungsholmen, Klara sjö, Norrmalm with the central station in the foreground, Stockholms ström, Riddarholmen with the Old Town, and again Riddarfjärden with SödermalmLocation

Stockholm is located on Sweden''s south-central east coast, where the freshwater Lake Mälaren - Sweden''s third largest lake - flows out into the Baltic Sea. The central parts of the city consist of fourteen islands that are continuous with the Stockholm archipelago. 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.

The biome Stockholm belongs to is the Temperate Deciduous Forest, which means the climate is very similar to that of the Eastern area of the United States. The average annual temperature is 10 °C (50 °F). The average rainfall is 30 to 60 inches a year. The deciduous forest has four distinct seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter. In the autumn the leaves change color. During the winter months the trees lose their leaves.

For details about the other municipalities in the metropolitan area, see the pertinent articles. North of Stockholm Municipality: Järfälla, Solna, Täby, Sollentuna, Lidingö, Upplands Väsby, Österåker, Sigtuna, Sundbyberg, Danderyd, Vallentuna, Ekerö, Upplands-Bro, Vaxholm, and Norrtälje. South of Stockholm: Huddinge, Nacka, Botkyrka, Haninge, Tyresö, Värmdö, Södertälje, Salem, Nykvarn and Nynäshamn.

Stockholm PalaceStockholm Municipality Main article: Stockholm Municipality

Stockholm Municipality is an administrative unit defined by geographical borders. The semi-officially adopted name for the municipality is City of Stockholm (Stockholms stad in Swedish). As a municipality, the City of Stockholm is subdivided into district councils, which carry responsibility for primary schools, social, leisure and cultural services within their respective areas. The municipality is usually described in terms of its three main parts: Innerstaden (Stockholm City Centre), Söderort (Southern Stockholm) and Västerort (Western Stockholm). The districts of these parts are:

Stockholm City Centre

  • Kungsholmen
  • Norrmalm
  • Södermalm
  • Östermalm


  • Enskede-Årsta-Vantör
  • Farsta
  • Hägersten-Liljeholmen
  • Skarpnäck
  • Skärholmen
  • Älvsjö


  • Bromma
  • Hässelby-Vällingby
  • Rinkeby-Kista
  • Spånga-Tensta

The modern centrum Norrmalm, (concentrated around the town square Sergels torg), is the largest shopping district in Sweden. It is the most central part of Stockholm in business and shopping.


Stockholm, with a February mean of −3.0 °C (26.6 °F), has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb). Due to the city''s high northerly latitude, daylight varies widely from more than 18 hours around midsummer, to only around 6 hours in late December. Despite its northern location, Stockholm has relatively mild weather compared to other locations at similar latitude, or even farther south. With an average of just over 1800 hours of sunshine per year, it is also one of the sunniest cities in Northern Europe, receiving more sunshine than Paris, London and a few other major European cities of a more southerly latitude.

Summers average daytime high temperatures of 20–25 °C (68–77 °F) and lows of around 13 °C (55 °F), but temperatures can reach 30 °C (86 °F) on some days. Days above 30 °C (86 °F) occur on average 1.55 days per year (1992-2011). Days between 25 °C (77 °F) and 30 °C (86 °F) are relatively common especially in July and August. Nighttime lows of above 20 °C (68 °F) are rare, with the hot summer nights roaming around 17 to 18 °C (63 to 64 °F). Winters generally bring cloudy weather with the most precipitation falling in December and January (as rain or as snow). The average winter temperatures ranges from −3 to −1 °C (27 to 30 °F), and occasionally drop below −20 °C (−4 °F). Spring and autumn are generally cool to mild.

The climate table below presents weather data from the years 1961–1990. According to ongoing measurements, the temperature has increased during the years 1991–2009 as compared with the last series. This increase averages about 1.0 °C (1.8 °F) over all months. Warming is most pronounced during the winter months, with an increase of more than 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) in January.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Stockholm was 36 °C (97 °F) on 3 July 1811; the lowest was −32 °C (−26 °F) on 20 January 1814. The temperature has not dropped to below −25.1 °C (−13.2 °F) since 10 January 1987.

Annual precipitation is 539 mm (21.2 in) with around 170 wet days and light to moderate rainfall throughout the year. Snowfall occurs mainly from December through March. Snowfall may occasionally occur in late October as well as in April.

In Stockholm, the Aurora Borealis can occasionally be observed.

Climate data for Stockholm, 1961−1990 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) Average high °C (°F) Daily mean °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Record low °C (°F) Precipitation mm (inches) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) Mean monthly sunshine hours
11.0 (51.8) 12.2 (54) 17.8 (64) 26.1 (79) 29.0 (84.2) 32.2 (90) 36.0 (96.8) 35.4 (95.7) 27.9 (82.2) 20.2 (68.4) 14.0 (57.2) 12.2 (54) 36.0 (96.8)
−0.7 (30.7) −0.6 (30.9) 3.0 (37.4) 8.6 (47.5) 15.7 (60.3) 20.7 (69.3) 21.9 (71.4) 20.4 (68.7) 15.1 (59.2) 9.9 (49.8) 4.5 (40.1) 1.1 (34) 10.0 (50)
−2.8 (27) −3.0 (26.6) 0.1 (32.2) 4.6 (40.3) 10.7 (51.3) 15.6 (60.1) 17.2 (63) 16.2 (61.2) 11.9 (53.4) 7.5 (45.5) 2.6 (36.7) −1.0 (30.2) 6.6 (43.9)
−5 (23) −5.3 (22.5) −2.7 (27.1) 1.1 (34) 6.3 (43.3) 11.3 (52.3) 13.4 (56.1) 12.7 (54.9) 9.0 (48.2) 5.3 (41.5) 0.7 (33.3) −3.2 (26.2) 3.6 (38.5)
−32 (−26) −25.5 (−13.9) −22 (−8) −11.5 (11.3) −4.5 (23.9) 1.0 (33.8) 6.0 (42.8) 4.8 (40.6) −1.5 (29.3) −9.0 (15.8) −17 (1) −21 (−6) −32.0 (−25.6)
39 (1.54) 27 (1.06) 26 (1.02) 30 (1.18) 30 (1.18) 45 (1.77) 72 (2.83) 66 (2.6) 55 (2.17) 50 (1.97) 53 (2.09) 46 (1.81) 539 (21.22)
10 7 7 7 7 7 10 10 10 9 11 10 105
40 72 135 185 276 292 260 221 154 99 54 33 1,821
Source #1: NOAA
Source #2: SMHI
Daylight hours

Stockholm''s location just south of the 60th latitude means that the number of daylight hours is relatively small during winter, while in June and the first half of July, the nights are relatively short. Around the Summer solstice the sun never reaches further below the horizon than 7.3 degrees This gives the sky a bright blue colour in summer, also when looking straight up towards the zenith, with few stars visible. This is not to be confused with the Midnight sun, which occurs north of the Polar circle, around 7 degrees further north.

City governance See also: Stockholm Municipality and Stockholm municipal election, 2010

The Stockholm City Council essentially function as Stockholm''s parliament. Its 101 councillors are appointed following general elections, held at the same time as the elections to the Riksdag and county councils. The Council convene twice every month at Stockholm City Hall, and the meetings are open to the public. The matters on which the councillors decide have generally already been drafted and discussed by various boards and committees. Once decisions are referred for practical implementation, the employees of the City administrations and companies take over.

The elected majority has a Mayor and seven Vice Mayors. The Mayor and each majority Vice Mayor is a head of a department, with responsibility for a particular area of operation, such as City Planning. The opposition also has four Vice Mayors, but they hold no executive power. Together the Mayor and the 11 Vice Mayors form the Council of Mayors, and they prepare matters for the City Executive Board. The Mayor holds a special position among the Vice Mayors, chairing both the Council of Mayors and the City Executive Board.

The City Executive Board is elected by the City Council and can be thought of as the Government. The City Executive Board expresses an opinion in all matters decided by the Council and bears the overall responsibility for follow-up, evaluation and execution of its decisions. The Board is also responsible for financial administration and long-term development. The City Executive Board consists of 13 members, who represent both the majority and the opposition. Its meetings are not open to the public.

Following the 2010 municipal elections, the city is run by a centre-right coalition, and the Mayor of Stockholm is Sten Nordin from the Moderate Party.

EconomyOffices in KistaHeadquarters of Ericsson

The vast majority of Stockholm residents work in the service industry, which accounts for roughly 85% of jobs in Stockholm. The almost total absence of heavy industry (and fossil fuel power plants) makes Stockholm one of the world''s cleanest metropolises. The last decade has seen a significant number of jobs created in high technology companies. Large employers include IBM, Ericsson, and Electrolux. A major IT centre is located in Kista, in northern Stockholm.

Stockholm is Sweden''s financial centre. Major Swedish banks, such as Nordea, Swedbank, Handelsbanken, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, are headquartered in Stockholm, as are the major insurance companies Skandia, Folksam and Trygg-Hansa. Stockholm is also home to Sweden''s foremost stock exchange, the Stockholm Stock Exchange (Stockholmsbörsen). Additionally, about 45% of Swedish companies with more than 200 employees are headquartered in Stockholm. Famous clothes retailer H&M is also headquartered in the city. In recent years, tourism has played an important part in the city''s economy. Stockholm County is ranked as the 10th largest visitor destination in Europe, with over 10 million commercial overnight stays per year. Among 44 European cities Stockholm had the 6th highest growth in number of nights spent in the period 2004-2008.

The largest companies by number of employees:

  • Ericsson — 8,430
  • Posten AB (national postal service) — 4,710
  • Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) — 4,240
  • Swedbank — 3,610
  • Södersjukhuset (Southern Hospital) — 3,610
  • MTR Stockholm (Stockholm Subway operator) — 3,000
  • Nordea — 2,820
  • Handelsbanken — 2,800
  • IBM Svenska — 2,640
  • Capgemini — 2,500
  • Securitas AB — 2,360
  • Veolia Transport — 2,300
  • ISS Facility Services — 2,000
  • Sveriges Television (public television) — 1,880
  • Nobina Sverige AB — 1,873 (2012)
  • Sodexo — 1,580
Fibre optic network

“During a national fiscal crisis in the early Nineties, the City of Stockholm decided to pursue an unusual model in telecommunications. The city-owned company Stokab started in 1994 to build a fiber-optic network throughout the municipality as a level playing field for all operators” (City of Stockholm, 2011). Streets were destroyed for installation of conduit and fiber. Today, around a decade later, the network has grown to be 1.2 million kilometers long and has over 90 operators and 450 enterprises as customers. 2011 was the final year of a three-year project which brought fiber to 100% of public housing, meaning an extra 95,000 houses were added. (City of Stockholm, 2011) This advanced method of communication is one perfect example of import replacement in Stockholm that allows the city to transmit energy/information through a network of communication that is no longer bought from foreign countries. Six years ago, the city issued a vision of 2030, explaining the features the city targeted to have by that year. According to the blueprint, Stockholm would be a “(…) world-class metropolis offering a rich urban living experience, the center of an internationally competitive innovation region, and a place where citizens enjoyed a broad range of high-quality, cost-effective social services” (City of Stockholm, 2011). All these characteristics of the metropolis have grown into what they are today due to Stockholm’s unusual history and strong motivation.

Education Main article: Education in StockholmStockholm School of Economics

Research and higher education in the sciences started in Stockholm in the 18th century, with education in medicine and various research institutions such as the Stockholm Observatory. The medical education was eventually formalized in 1811 as the Karolinska Institutet. The Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, or KTH) was founded in 1827 and is currently Scandinavia''s largest higher education institute of technology with 13,000 students. Stockholm University, founded in 1878 with university status granted in 1960, has 52,000 students as of 2008. It also incorporates many historical institutions, such as the Observatory, the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and the botanical garden Bergianska trädgården. The Stockholm School of Economics, founded in 1909, is one of the few private institutions of higher education in Sweden.

In the fine arts, educational institutions include the Royal College of Music, which has a history going back to the conservatory founded as part of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1771, the Royal University College of Fine Arts, which has a similar historical association with the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts and a foundation date of 1735, and the Swedish National Academy of Mime and Acting, which is the continuation of the school of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, once attended by Greta Garbo. Other schools include the design school Konstfack, founded in 1844, the University College of Opera (founded in 1968, but with older roots), the University College of Dance, and the Stockholms Musikpedagogiska Institut (the University College of Music Education).

The Södertörn University College was founded in 1995 as a multi-disciplinary institution for southern Metropolitan Stockholm, to balance the many institutions located in the northern part of the region.

Other institutes of higher education are:

  • Military Academy Karlberg, the world''s oldest military academy to remain in its original location, inaugurated in 1792 and housed in Karlberg Palace.
  • Ersta Sköndal University College
  • The Stockholm School of Theology (Teologiska Högskolan, Stockholm)
  • The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, or GIH)

The biggest complaint from students of higher education in Stockholm is the lack of student accommodations, the difficulty in finding other accommodations and the high rent.


The Stockholm region is home to around 22% of Sweden''s total population, and accounts for about 29% of its gross domestic product. The geographical notion of "Stockholm" has changed throughout the times. By the turn of the 19th century, Stockholm basically consisted of the area today known as City Centre, roughly 35 km2 (14 sq mi) or 1/5 of the current municipal area. In the ensuing decades several other areas were incorporated (such as Brännkyrka Municipality in 1913, at which time it had 25,000 inhabitants, and Spånga in 1949). The municipal border was established in 1971; with the exception of Hansta, in 1982 purchased by Stockholm Municipality from Sollentuna Municipality and today a nature reserve.

Nationality Population (2013)
Largest groups of foreign residents
 Finland 17,579
 Iraq 16,374
 Iran 11,429
 Poland 10,612
 Turkey 7,429
 Somalia 7,364
 Chile 5,440
 Germany 4,791

Of the population of 765,044 in 2004, 370,482 were men and 394,562 women. The average age is 39.8 years; 40.5% of the population is between 20 and 44 years. 309,480 people, or 40.4% of the population, over the age 15 were unmarried. 211,115 people, or 27.5% of the population, were married. 85,373, or 11.1% of the population, had been married but divorced. Approximately 27% of Stockholm''s residents are of an immigrant or non-Swedish background. Residents of Stockholm are known as Stockholmers. Some of the suburbs have large populations of immigrants. There are languages spoken in Greater Stockholm outside of Swedish; these languages include Finnish and English. Other languages spoken are Bosnian, Syriac, Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Persian, Dutch, Spanish, Serbian and Croatian.

As of December 2012, there were 201,821 foreign-born persons in Stockholm. The largest group of them are the Finns (17,579), followed by Iraqis (16,374) and Iranian people (11,429).

In the entire Stockholm metropolitan area, with its 26 municipalities, the population reaches more than 2 million inhabitants. The Stockholm urban area, a purely statistical concept serving no administrative function, had a total population of 1,372,565 in 2010. In the following municipalities some of the districts (but not all), fall within the Stockholm urban area:

Stockholm urban area municipalities Municipality Population
Stockholm 846,928
Botkyrka 54,280
Danderyd 25,830
Haninge 44,877
Huddinge 95,234
Järfälla 66,065
Nacka 32,911
Sollentuna 60,236
Solna 68,144
Sundbyberg 38,633
Tyresö 39,427
Stockholm Municipality population development years 1570–2012
CultureView from the harbour of Skeppsbron

Apart from being Sweden''s capital, Stockholm houses many national cultural institutions. The Stockholm region is home to three of Sweden''s World Heritage Sites – spots judged as invaluable places that belong to all of humanity: The Drottningholm Palace, Skogskyrkogården (The Woodland Cemetery) and Birka. In 1998, Stockholm was named European Capital of Culture.


Authors connected to Stockholm include the poet and songwriter Carl Michael Bellman (1740–1795), novelist and dramatist August Strindberg (1849–1912), and novelist Hjalmar Söderberg (1869–1941), all of whom made Stockholm part of their works.

Other authors with notable heritage in Stockholm were the Nobel Prize laureate Eyvind Johnson (1900–1976) and the popular poet and composer Evert Taube (1890–1976). The novelist Per Anders Fogelström (1917–1998) wrote a popular series of historical novels depicting life in Stockholm from the mid-18th to mid-20th century.

ArchitectureStrandvägen as seen from the island of Djurgården.DjurgårdsbronGamla stanKornhamnstorgMain article: Architecture in Stockholm See also: Historical fires of Stockholm

The city''s oldest section is "Gamla Stan" (Old Town), located on the original small islands of the city''s earliest settlements and still featuring the medieval street layout. Some notable buildings of Gamla Stan are the large German Church (Tyska kyrkan) and several mansions and palaces: the Riddarhuset (the House of Nobility), the Bonde Palace, the Tessin Palace and the Oxenstierna Palace.

The oldest building in Stockholm is the Riddarholmskyrkan from the late 13th century. After a fire in 1697 when the original medieval castle was destroyed, Stockholm Palace was erected in a baroque style. Storkyrkan Cathedral, the episcopal seat of the Bishop of Stockholm, stands next to the castle. It was founded in the 13th century but is clad in a baroque exterior dating to the 18th century.

As early as the 15th century, the city had expanded outside of its original borders. Some pre-industrial, small-scale buildings from this era can still be found in Södermalm. During the 19th century and the age of industrialization Stockholm grew rapidly, with plans and architecture inspired by the large cities of the continent such as Berlin and Vienna. Notable works of this time period include public buildings such as the Royal Swedish Opera and private developments such as the luxury housing developments on Strandvägen.

In the 20th century, a nationalistic push spurred a new architectural style inspired by medieval and renaissance ancestry as well as influences of the Jugend/Art Nouveau style. A key landmark of Stockholm, the Stockholm City Hall, was erected 1911-1923 by architect Ragnar Östberg. Other notable works of these times are the Stockholm Public Library and the World Heritage Site Skogskyrkogården.

Söder Torn, an 86 meter tall building in Södermalm.

In the 1930s modernism characterized the development of the city as it grew. New residential areas sprang up such as the development on Gärdet while industrial development added to the growth, such as the KF manufacturing industries on Kvarnholmen located in the Nacka Municipality. In the 1950s, suburban development entered a new phase with the introduction of the Stockholm metro. The modernist developments of Vällingby and Farsta were internationally praised. In the 1960s this suburban development continued but with the aesthetic of the times, the industrialized and mass-produced blocks of flats received a large amount of criticism.

At the same time that this suburban development was taking place, the most central areas of the inner city were being redesigned, known as Norrmalmsregleringen. Sergels Torg, with its five high-rise office towers was created in the 1960s, followed by the total clearance of large areas to make room for new development projects. The most notable buildings from this period is the ensemble of the House of Culture, City Theatre and National Bank at Sergels Torg, designed by architect Peter Celsing.

In the 1980s, the planning ideas of modernism were starting to be questioned, resulting in suburbs with a denser planning, such as Skarpnäck. In the 1990s this idea was taken further with the development of and old industrial area close to the inner city, resulting in a sort of mix of modernistic and urban planning in the new area of Hammarby Sjöstad.

The municipality has appointed an official "board of beauty" called "Skönhetsrådet" to protect and preserve the beauty of the city.

Stockholm''s architecture (along with Visby, Gotland) provided the inspiration for Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki as he sought to evoke an idealized city untouched by World War. His creation, called Koriko, draws directly from what Miyazaki felt was Stockholm''s sense of well-established architectural unity, vibrancy, independence, and safety.

One of the most unusual pieces of "architecture" in Stockholm is the Jumbohostel, housed in a converted Boeing 747-200 located at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.

Museums Main article: List of museums in StockholmNationalmuseum.

Stockholm is one of the most crowded museum-cities in the world with around 100 museums, visited by millions of people every year. The most renowned national museum is the Nationalmuseum, with Sweden''s largest collection of art: 16,000 paintings and 30,000 objects of art handicraft. The collection dates back to the days of Gustav Vasa in the 16th century, and has since been expanded with works by artists such as Rembrandt, and Antoine Watteau, as well as constituting a main part of Sweden''s art heritage, manifested in the works of Alexander Roslin, Anders Zorn, Johan Tobias Sergel, Carl Larsson, Carl Fredrik Hill and Ernst Josephson.

The Museum of Modern Art, or Moderna Museet, is Sweden''s national museum of modern art. It has works by famous modern artists such as Picasso and Salvador Dalí.

Other notable museums:

  • Stockholm City Museum
  • Fotografiska, museum of photography
  • Skansen, the archetype of open-air museums, inaugurated 1891
  • Nordic Museum, dedicated to the cultural history and ethnography of Sweden
  • Royal Coin Cabinet, dedicated to the history of money
  • The Vasa Museum, now with the reconstruction of the missing parts of the Vasa Ship
Art galleries

Stockholm has a vibrant art scene with a number of internationally recognized art centres and commercial galleries. Amongst others privately sponsored initiatives such as Bonniers Konsthall, Magasin 3, and state supported institutions such as Tensta Konsthall and Index all show leading international and national artists. In the last few years a gallery district has emerged around Hudiksvallsgatan where leading galleries such as Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Brändström & Stene have located. Other important commercial galleries include Nordenhake, Milliken Gallery and Galleri Magnus Karlsson.


The Stockholm suburbs are places with diverse cultural background. Some areas in the inner suburbs, including those of Skärholmen, Tensta, Jordbro, Fittja, Husby, Brandbergen, Rinkeby, Kista, Hagsätra, Sollentuna, Hässelby, Farsta, Rågsved, Flemingsberg, and the outer suburb of Södertälje, have high percentages of immigrants or second generation immigrants. These mainly come from the Middle East (Assyrians, Syriacs, Turks and Kurds) and former Yugoslavia, but there are also immigrants from Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Other parts of the inner suburbs, such as Täby, Danderyd, Lidingö, Flysta and, as well as some of the suburbs mentioned above, have a majority of ethnic Swedes.

TheatresRoyal Dramatic Theatre, one of Stockholm''s many theatres.

Distinguished among Stockholm''s many theatres are the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern), one of Europe''s most renowned theatres, and the Royal Swedish Opera, inaugurated in 1773.

Other notable theatres are the Stockholm City Theatre (Stockholms stadsteater), the Peoples Opera (Folkoperan), the Modern Theatre of Dance (Moderna dansteatern), the China Theatre, the Göta Lejon Theatre, the Mosebacke Theatre, and the Oscar Theatre.

Amusement park

Gröna Lund is an amusement park located on the island of Djurgården. The Amusement park has over 30 attractions and many restaurants. It is a popular tourist attraction and visited by thousands of people every day. It is open from end of April to middle of September. Gröna Lund also serves as a concert venue.

MediaBookpublisher, Norstedt Building, seen from Vasabron, in Riddarholmen.

Stockholm is the media centre of Sweden. It has four nation-wide daily newspapers and is also the central location of the publicly funded radio (SR) and television (SVT). In addition, all other major television channels have their base in Stockholm, such as: TV3, TV4 and TV6. All major magazines are also located to Stockholm, as are the largest literature publisher, the Bonnier group. The hit PC game Minecraft was created in Stockholm by Markus ''Notch'' Persson in 2009.

SportsFriends Arena, the largest retractable roof multi-purpose stadium in Europe, with a capacity of 50,000 spectators.

The most popular spectator sports are football and ice hockey. The three most popular football teams in Stockholm are AIK, Djurgårdens IF and Hammarby IF. (All three also have ice hockey teams, though Hammarby''s is relatively minor.) All of these clubs have large amounts of fans and play at fairly large stadiums.

AIK play at Sweden''s the national football arena, Friends Arena in Solna, with a capacity of 54,329. Djurgårdens IF and Hammarby play at Tele2 Arena in Johanneshov.

Historically, the city was the host of the 1912 Summer Olympics. From those days stem the Stockholms Olympiastadion which has since hosted numerous sports events, notably football and athletics. Other major sport arenas are Friends Arena the new national football stadium, Stockholm Globe Arena, a multi-sport arena and one of the largest spherical buildings in the world and the nearby indoor arena Hovet.

Beside the 1912 Summer Olympics, Stockholm hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics Equestrian Games. The city was also second runner up in the 2004 Summer Olympics bids.

Stockholm also hosted all but one of the Nordic Games, a winter multi-sport event that predated the Winter Olympics.


There are over 1000 restaurants in Stockholm. Due to immigration, the city has plenty of restaurants with all kinds of food from all over the world such as American fast food, Asian, Italian, Turkish, French, Greek, Scandinavian, Spanish, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Cafeterias and bars are easy to find everywhere in the city.

As of 2013 Stockholm boasts a total of eight Michelin star restaurants, two of which have two stars.

Stockholm Marathon, on Djurgårdsbron, 2008Yearly events
  • Stockholm Jazz Festival is one of Sweden''s oldest festivals. The festival takes place at Skeppsholmen in July.
  • Stockholm Pride is the largest Pride event in the Nordic countries and takes place in the last week of July every year. The Stockholm Pride festival always ends with a parade and in 2007, 50,000 people marched with the parade and about 500,000 watched.
  • The Stockholm Marathon takes place on a Saturday in early June each year.
  • The Nobel Banquet takes place at Stockholm City Hall every year on December 10.
  • The Stockholm Culture Festival (Swe: Stockholms kulturfestival) is a summer festival held annually around the middle of August.
  • The Stockholm Water Festival (Swe: Vattenfestivalen) was a popular summer festival held annually in Stockholm between 1991 and 1999.
  • Manifestation a yearly ecumenical Christian festival with up to 25,000 participants.
EnvironmentPark on the island of Djurgården in central Stockholm.Green city with a national urban park

Stockholm is one of the cleanest capitals in the world. The city was granted the 2010 European Green Capital Award by the EU Commission; this was Europe’s first "green capital". Applicant cities were evaluated in several ways: climate change, local transport, public green areas, air quality, noise, waste, water consumption, waste water treatment, sustainable utilisation of land, biodiversity and environmental management. Out of 35 participant cities, eight finalists were chosen: Stockholm, Amsterdam, Bristol, Copenhagen, Freiburg, Hamburg, Münster, and Oslo. Some of the reasons why Stockholm won the 2010 European Green Capital Award were: its integrated administrative system, which ensures that environmental aspects are considered in budgets, operational planning, reporting, and monitoring; its cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per capita in ten years; and its decision towards being fossil fuel free by 2050. Stockholm has long demonstrated concern for the environment. The city’s current environmental program is the fifth since the first one was established in mid-1970s. In 2011, Stockholm passed the title of European Green Capital to Hamburg, Germany.

Role model

In the beginning of 2010, Stockholm launched the program Professional Study Visits in order to share the city’s green best practices. The program provides visitors with the opportunity to learn how to address issues such as waste management, urban planning, carbon dioxide emissions, and sustainable and efficient transportation system, among others.

According to the European Cities Monitor 2010, Stockholm is the best city in terms of freedom from pollution. Surrounded by 219 nature reserves, Stockholm has around 1,000 green spaces, which corresponds to 30% of the city’s area. Founded in 1995, the Royal National City Park is the world’s first legally protected "national urban park". For a description of the formation process, value assets and implementation of the legal protection of The Royal National Urban Park, see Schantz 2006 The water in Stockholm is so clean that people can dive and fish in the centre of the city. As for carbon dioxide emissions, the government goal is to have only clean vehicles in the city by 2011.

Transport Public transport Main article: Public transport in StockholmGreater Stockholm''s commuter train

Stockholm has an extensive public transport system, one that, by at least one measure, is the most expensive in the world. It consists of the Stockholm Metro (Tunnelbana); two urban rail systems, Roslagsbanan and Saltsjöbanan; and a suburban rail system: the Stockholm commuter rail (pendeltåg), three light rail systems: Nockebybanan, Lidingöbanan, and Tvärbanan; a tramway: Spårväg City; a large number of bus lines, and the inner-city boat line Djurgårdsfärjan. All the land-based public transport in Stockholm County, except the airport buses/trains, is organized by Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL), with the operation and maintenance of the public transport services delegated to several contractors, such as MTR who operate the metro and Veolia Transport who operate the suburban railways except for the commuter rail. The archipelago boat traffic is handled by Waxholmsbolaget.

Near-geographically accurate map of the Stockholm Metro. It has 100 stations and a total system length of 105.7 km (66 mi) which makes it one of the longest metro networks in Europe.

SL has a common ticket system in the entire Stockholm County, which allows for easy travel between different modes of transport. The tickets are of two main types, single ticket and travel cards, both allowing for unlimited travel with SL in the entire Stockholm County for the duration of the ticket validity. Starting April 1, 2007, a new zone system (A, B, C) and price system applies for single tickets. Single tickets are now available in forms of cash ticket, individual unit pre-paid tickets, pre-paid ticket slips of 8, sms-ticket and machine ticket. Cash tickets bought at the point of travel are the most expensive and pre-paid tickets slips of 8 are the cheapest. A single ticket is valid for one hour. The duration of the travel card validity depends on the exact type; they are available from 24 hours up to a year. A 30-day card costs 790 SEK (83 EUR; 130 USD). Tickets of all these types are available with reduced prices for persons under 20 and over 65 years of age

The City Line Project, or The Green Tunnel Main article: Stockholm City Line

With an estimated cost of SEK 16.8 billion (January 2007 price level), which equals 2.44 billion US dollars, the City Line, an environmentally certified project, comprises a 6 km (3.7 mi)-long commuter train tunnel (in rock and water) beneath Stockholm, with two new stations (Stockholm City and Stockholm Odenplan), and a 1.4 km (0.87 mi)-long railway bridge at Årsta. The City Line is being built by the Swedish Transport Administration in co-operation with the City of Stockholm, Stockholm County Council, and Stockholm Transport, SL. As Stockholm Central Station is overloaded, the purpose of this project is to double the city’s track capacity and improve service efficiency. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2017.

Between Riddarholmen and Söder Mälarstrand, the City Line will run through a submerged concrete tunnel. As a green project, the City Line includes the purification of waste water; noise reduction through sound-attenuating tracks; the use of synthetic diesel, which provides users with clean air; and the recycling of excavated rocks.


Stockholm is at the junction of the European routes E4, E18 and E20. A half-completed motorway ring road exists on the south and west sides of the City Centre. A north section of the ring road will open for traffic in 2015 while the final subsea eastern section is being discussed as a future project. A bypass motorway for traffic between Northern and Southern Sweden will be built west of Stockholm 2013-2023. The many islands and waterways make extensions of the road system both complicated and expensive, and new motorways are often built as systems of tunnels and bridges.

Congestion charges Main article: Stockholm congestion tax

Stockholm has a congestion pricing system, Stockholm congestion tax, in use on a permanent basis since August 1, 2007, after having had a seven-month trial period in the first half of 2006. The City Centre is within the congestion tax zone. All the entrances and exits of this area have unmanned control points operating with automatic number plate recognition. All vehicles entering or exiting the congestion tax affected area, with a few exceptions, have to pay 10–20 SEK (1.09–2.18 EUR, 1.49–2.98 USD) depending on the time of day between 06:30 and 18:29. The maximum tax amount per vehicle per day is 60 SEK (6.53 EUR, ). Payment is done by various means within 14 days after one has passed one of the control points; one cannot pay at the control points.

After the trial period was over, consultative referendums were held in Stockholm Municipality and several other municipalities in Stockholm County. The then-reigning government (cabinet Persson) stated that they would only take into consideration the results of the referendum in Stockholm Municipality. The opposition parties (Alliance for Sweden) stated that they were to form a cabinet after the general election—which was held the same day as the congestion tax referendums—they would take into consideration the referendums held in several of the other municipalities as well. The results of the referendums were that the Stockholm Municipality voted for the congestion tax, but all the other municipalities voted against it. The opposition parties won the general election and a few days before they formed government (cabinet Reinfeldt) they announced that the congestion tax would be reintroduced in Stockholm, but that the revenue would go entirely to road construction in and around Stockholm. During the trial period and according to the agenda of the previous government the revenue went entirely to public transport.


Stockholm has regular ferry lines to Helsinki and Turku in Finland (commonly called "Finlandsfärjan"); Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia, Åland islands and to Saint Petersburg. The large Stockholm archipelago is served by the Waxholmsbolaget archipelago boats.

City bikes

Between April and October, during the warmer months, it is possible to rent Stockholm City Bikes by purchasing a bike card online or through retailers. Cards allow users to rent bikes from any Stockholm City Bikes stand spread across the city and return them in any stand. There are two types of cards: the Season Card (valid from April 1 to October 31) and the 3-day card. When their validity runs out they can be reactivated and are therefore reusable. Bikes can be used for up to three hours per loan and can be rented from Monday to Sunday from 6 am to 10 pm.

AirportsARNBMANYOVSTMap showing the locations of airports around Stockholm
  • International and domestic:
    • Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport (IATA: ARN, ICAO: ESSA) is the largest and busiest airport in Sweden with 19 million passengers in 2007. It is located about 40 km (25 mi) north of Stockholm and serves as a hub for Scandinavian Airlines.
    • Stockholm-Bromma Airport (IATA: BMA, ICAO: ESSB) is located about 8 km (5.0 mi) west of Stockholm.
  • Only international:
    • Stockholm-Skavsta Airport (IATA: NYO, ICAO: ESKN) is located 100 km (62 mi) south of Stockholm. It is located 5 km (3 mi) away from Södermanland County capital Nyköping.
    • Stockholm-Västerås Airport (IATA: VST, ICAO: ESOW) is located 110 km (68 mi) west of Stockholm, in the city of Västerås.

Arlanda Express airport rail link runs between Arlanda Airport and central Stockholm. With a journey of 20 minutes, the train ride is the fastest way of traveling to the city center. Additionally, there are also bus lines, Flygbussarna, that run between central Stockholm and all the airports.

As of 2010 there are no airports specifically for general aviation in the Stockholm area.

Inter-city trainsStockholm Central Station

Stockholm Central Station has train connections to many Swedish cities as well as to Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark. The popular SJ 2000 service to Gothenburg takes three hours. Most of the trains are run by SJ AB.

International rankings

Stockholm often performs well in international rankings, some of which are mentioned below:

  • In the book The Ultimate Guide to International Marathons (1997), written by Dennis Craythorn and Rich Hanna, Stockholm Marathon is ranked as the best marathon in the world.
  • In the 2006 European Innovation Scoreboard, prepared by the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) and the Joint Research Centre''s Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen of the European Commission, Stockholm was ranked as the most innovative city in Europe.
  • In the 2008 World Knowledge Competitiveness Index, published by the Centre for International Competitiveness, Stockholm was ranked as the sixth most competitive region in the world and the most competitive region outside the United States.
  • In the 2006 European Regional Growth Index (E-REGI), published by Jones Lang LaSalle, Stockholm was ranked fifth on the list of European cities with the strongest GDP growth forecast. Stockholm was ranked first in Scandinavia and second outside Central and Eastern Europe.
  • In the 2007 European Cities Monitor, published by Cushman & Wakefield, Stockholm was ranked as the best Nordic city to locate a business. In the same report, Stockholm was ranked first in Europe in terms of freedom from pollution.
  • In a 2007 survey performed by the environmental economist Matthew Kahn for the Reader''s Digest magazine, Stockholm was ranked first on its list of the "greenest" and most "livable" cites in the world.
  • In a 2008 survey published by the Reader''s Digest magazine, Stockholm was ranked fourth in the world and first in Europe on its list of the "world''s top ten honest cities".
  • In a 2008 survey published by the National Geographic Traveler magazine, Gamla stan (the old town) in Stockholm was ranked sixth on its list of rated historic places.
  • In a 2008 survey published by the Foreign Policy magazine, Stockholm was ranked twenty-fourth on its list of the world''s most global cities.
  • In 2009 Stockholm was awarded the title as European Green Capital 2010, as the first Green capital ever in the European Green Capital Award scheme.
  • In 2013, Stockholm was named the 8th most competitive city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Twin cities and towns
  •  Amsterdam, Netherlands
  •  Tirana, Albania
  •  La Paz, Bolivia
  •  Cali, Colombia
  •  Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  •  Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
  •  Helsinki, Finland
  •  Nuuk, Greenland
  •  Reykjavík, Iceland
  •  Bassano del Grappa, Italy
  • Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
  •  Riga, Latvia
  •  Vilnius, Lithuania
  •  Mexico City, Mexico
  •  Oslo, Norway
  • Old Town seen from Skeppsholmen

  • Skyline of Old Town

  • Ship af Chapman at Skeppsholmen in Stockholm City

  • Grand Hôtel

  • Front view of Scaniabanken

  • Nordiska Kompaniet''s department store

  • View of the two Kungstornen buildings

  • Stockholm City Museum, in Slussen

  • Northern Södermalm and the bridge to Riddarholmen

  • Southern Södermalm and Johanneshov

  • Shopping street, Drottninggatan

  • Public square, Stureplan

  • Nordic Museum, in Djurgården

  • Stockholm Public Library, in Vasastaden

  • Sergels Torg, commercial square in central Stockholm

  • Stockholm City Hall, venue of the Nobel Prize banquet

  • View of Riksbron, showing Rosenbad, Sagerska palatset and Stockholm Opera

  • Aerial view of central Stockholm

  • Skyline of Stockholm Palace

  • Entrance of the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, built in 1912

  • Solgränd, common view of several taverns in the old districts of Stockholm

  • Gamla Stan, listed in Guinness World Records as one of the oldest streets with an unaltered interior

  • Hotel Bellevue in Stockholm Archipelago, built in 1886

  • Utö Chuch

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