Boasting endless natural beauty in a clean, compact and convenient city package, it's no surprise that Stockholm is the city of choice for business and leisure travelers alike. In fact, in addition to the more than one million visitors who travel to the city annually, Stockholm holds a steady presence on the International Congress & Convention Association's city rankings for international meetings. Dazzling style, innovative venues, grand palaces and glistening waterways are just a few of the reasons Stockholm ranked number 8 on ICCA's 2008 list.
Situated in the heart of Scandinavia, Stockholm is a natural meeting point for travelers. Easily accessible from points around the globe, Stockholm-Arlanda Airport is just 20 minutes from downtown and offers nearly 500 international direct flights. In addition to air travel, Stockholm has a comprehensive rail network including high-speed trains that travel to all major Swedish cities and beyond. Stockholm is also a popular port of call for cruise ships and car ferries, which make for easy links between the city and major Central European destinations.
Once in Stockholm, visitors can take advantage of the clean, safe and extensive transportation system, just one of the many ways the city helps the environment. At the forefront amongst European cities when it comes to going green, the city's many progressive environmental initiatives both improve the quality of life of its citizens and reduce its negative impact on the global environment. Stockholm is considered to have one of the cleanest environments among the capitals in Europe. In fact, it was awarded the title of first European Green Capital 2010 by the European Commission.
When it comes to hosting a meeting in Stockholm, planners have their pick of more than 400 venues. Topping the list are the Stockholm Globe Arenas. The leading convention destinations in Sweden, the Stockholm Globe Arenas encompass three unique and multifunctional structures capable of hosting any size of event. Included in the trio of structures is the astounding Ericsson Globe. This towering structure is the world's largest spherical building – an unparalleled backdrop for conferences and events of up to 16,000 people.
Beyond the Stockholm Globe Arenas, planners find plenty of space at one the largest conference centers in Europe: the Stockholm Exhibition & Congress Center. Capable of accommodating up to 25,000 delegates, the Stockholm Exhibition & Congress Center is equipped with the latest in cutting edge technology, catering facilities and seven restaurants to meet the needs of the most complex of conferences.
Meeting planners looking beyond the traditional will have no trouble finding a vast array of unique venues dotted throughout the city. Host a meeting beneath the beak head of a 17th century ship at the Vasa Museum. Or, meet in one of the most majestic halls in Sweden at the Nordic Museum. From a feast at a grand palace to a dinner cruise out to the archipelago, Stockholm is brimming with ways to make meetings memorable.
Stockholm is home to one of Europe's most prominent biotech industries and boasts the biggest financial market in Scandinavia. It is also known as one of the most technologically advanced capitals in the world with world-class infrastructure for mobile- and land-based sound, image and data communications. In addition, prestigious colleges and universities such as the Institute of Technology, the Stockholm School of Economics, the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University, IT University at Kista, and the Södertörns högskola University College call the city home.
As Sweden's largest city and its capital, Stockholm spans 377 square kilometers along the shores of the Baltic Sea. Home to the national Swedish government, parliament, and the official residence of the Swedish Monarch, Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with over 800,000 people in the city proper and nearly two million residents in the metropolitan area. Built upon 14 islands on Sweden's southeastern coast, Stockholm has long been the cultural, political and economic hub of the country, even from its early days as a Baltic trading hub.
Visitors can discover Stockholm's rich history around every corner. Along the narrow streets of Gamla Stan, or "Old Town," visitors journey back 750 years. Located on the original small islands of the city's earliest settlements, Gamla Stan boasts the large German Church Tyskakyrkan along with mansions and palaces such as the House of Lords, the Bonde Palace, the Tessin Palace and the Oxenstierna Palace. Here, visitors can also check out the oldest building in Stockholm: the 13th century Riddarholmen Church.
Also in Gamla Stan is one of Europe's largest palaces. Stockholm's Italian Baroque-style Royal Palace is the King's official residence and the setting for most of the monarchy's official receptions. Here, guests can tour the opulent reception rooms, see Queen Kristina's silver throne and more. The palace is also home to the Armory, Royal Stable and museums such as Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities. Also popular is the Royal Changing of the Guard, which has been stationed at the Royal Palace since 1523.
Stockholm's past is also brought to life at the over 75 museums, 100 art galleries and 60 theaters and music stages that fill the streets. Visitors can enjoy Sweden's largest collection of art at the Nationalmuseum, home to 16,000 paintings and 30,000 objects of arts and crafts that date back to the 16th century. Meanwhile, the Moderna Museet features modern art masterpieces by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Not to be missed, Stockholm's famous Vasa Museum takes visitors on board the only remaining intact 17th century vessel in the world.
Stockholm's urbane sophistication can also be found on the streets of the many trendy shopping and entertainment districts scattered throughout the city. Visitors can take a relaxing stroll over to the island known as Södermalm, where they are met by an eclectic array of contemporary boutiques, vintage shops and interior décor. Meanwhile, the area south of Folkungagatan, known as SoFo, leans more toward the unusual and unexpected in bohemian fashions. For high-end goods, exclusive labels and upscale eateries, Östermalm is the place to be with flagship stores such as Armani.
Those wanting a break from the city will find that Stockholm has plenty of sanctuaries for urban escapees. One third water, one third green belt and one third city, Stockholm is a colorful tapestry of natural wonders spread among over 1,000 parks. Take a short stroll over to the island of Djurgården to relax in the world's first National Park. Or, go island hopping amidst the scenic beauty of Stockholm's famous archipelago, made up of more than 24,000 islands, islets and skerries.
When the sun sets over Stockholm, the city transforms. With more than 700 restaurants to choose from, Stockholm dishes out something for everyone. From traditional items such as Swedish meatballs with lingonberries at Den Gyldene Freden restaurant to innovative barbecue at Grill, the dining options in Stockholm truly span all styles. The city is also home to nine Michelin star restaurants, including Lux Stockholm, F12 and Frantzén/Lindeberg. Just like the city itself, Stockholm's restaurants serve up the perfect blend of flavors to please all tastes.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Stockholm has a humid continental climate with wide variation between seasons. Summers are pleasant and warm with average temperatures of 21°C, while winters are frigid and cold with averages temperatures ranging from -5°C to 1°C. Due to the influence of the Gulf Stream, Stockholm has a much milder climate throughout the year than other locations with similar latitudes.
Annual precipitation is 539 millimeters with an average of 164 rainy days annually. Snowfall mainly occurs from December to March. Both June and July experience almost 19 hours of daylight, while daylight in December and January decrease to as few as six or seven hours.
Every season in Stockholm has its particular charms. However, the very best time to go is during the summer months of July and August when visitors can get out and enjoy long sun-drenched days, cruises and swimming in the waters off the coast.
Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN)
Approximate taxi fare: 460 SEK
Visitors flying into Sweden are welcomed at beautiful Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, the largest airport in Sweden and the 3rd largest in Scandinavia. Stockholm-Arlanda offers service to 179 destinations throughout the world. It is home to 85 carriers and is the hub for Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS).
For travel, the airport is made up of 64 gates spread among four passenger terminals. For travelers' comfort, Stockholm-Arlanda boasts a wealth of dining, shopping and service options. The airport has 49 shops and 35 restaurants such as Alfredos Restaurant and Bistro, featuring traditional Swedish home cooking. Last-minute gifts can be purchased at outlets such as Motiv Stockholm, offering gorgeous black and white photographs of Stockholm and the Swedish countryside, or Koffert, a specialty store focusing on all things medieval.
Business travelers needing to stay in contact with their home of operations will be delighted at the services found at Stockholm-Arlanda. The airport offers wireless Internet connectivity throughout, as well as stations with fax and phone service, a number of banks and even a health club and hair salon.
Both short- and long-term parking are available at the airport. Shuttle buses depart regularly from the long-term lots to the terminal.
Airline carriers serving Stockholm-Arlanda Airport
Public transportation in the city is offered by Storstockholms Lokaltrafik, referred to as Stockholm SL. The transport group includes bus, metro subway and rail lines. The SL also operates a number of boat lines traveling within the archipelago.
Travelers must purchase an SL card for travel on any of the networks. The lines operate on a zone system; prices depend on the number of zones through which a traveler is moving. The metro subway system is located entirely within one zone.
SL also offers unlimited travel cards for a specified period of travel. Cards for one, three, seven, and 30 days of travel can be purchased at station vending machines and local retailers. The one-day pass is SEK 100; three-day pass, SEK 200; seven-day pass, SEK 260; and the 30-day pass, SEK 690.
The Stockholm bus system includes hundreds of lines spreading out from the city center. The buses are organized by type and include the inner-city, or blue bus, lines, the suburban lines and service buses for the disabled and elderly. There are 17 lines operating in the central part of the city.
Riders can board at any number of marked stops. However, riders can also signal a bus to stop at any point on the route, similar to hailing a taxi.
Stockholm Metro Subway
Stockholm's metro subway system consists of three color-coded lines spreading out across the city. Each of the three colored lines includes branches where the lines split to different destinations. The lines converge at the T-Centralen station, which serves as the main transfer point within the system.
Travelers can identify the route of departing trains by the final destination indicated on the front and sides of the rail cars. The Stockholm metro is convenient, safe and easy to navigate, making it the preferred method of transportation within the city for locals and visitors alike.
Stockholm SL offers suburban and commuter rail service for outlying areas. The network is organized in three systems and includes eight lines total. There are 114 stops, and most lines converge at T-Centralen. The suburban rail lines offer service to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport every half hour, originating at T-Centralen.
Four rental car companies operate out of Stockholm-Arlanda Airport: Avis, Europcar, Hertz and MABI Hyrbilar. The counters for these companies can be found in the airport's designated car rental area.
Taxi service is plentiful in Stockholm; however, fares are not regulated and vary from company to company. Visitors are advised to utilize one of the four main taxi companies in Stockholm in order to avoid unpredictable fares: Taxi 020, Taxi Kurir, Taxi Stockholm and Transfer Taxi. These companies' cars can be easily identified by prominent markings.
There is abundant taxi service from Stockholm-Arlanda Airport. Fares from the airport are fixed, and travel into the center of the city costs between SEK 450 and SEK 500.
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