Photo: Jesper Yu
Here, green options abound (think IKEA on a large scale). Although a cosmopolitan city, Stockholm and its locales are definitely inspired by the simplicity of the Swedish countryside and are committed to keeping their environment healthy. Buildings are green, public transportation is efficient, and there is a general sense of well-being hanging in the air.
From Arlanda International Airport you can get to downtown Stockholm by train, bus or taxi. Arlanda Express is a 20 minute train into downtown, but if you’re on a budget, opt for the bus shuttle Arlanda Flygbuss. Traveling to and from other Swedish cities is easy with Sweden’s national train system SJ. Buses are also a good form of cross-country Swedish travel and the big names in the business are Swebus and Nettbuss express; tickets can easily be purchased from the bus kiosks at Central Station.
Once in downtown Stockholm you will find that many of the city’s attractions are easily accessible by foot. If you want to explore a little farther outside of the downtown area, the Tunnelbana is Stockholm’s underground metro, and the city also has an extensive network of buses, both of which are run by Storstockholms Lokaltrafik.
Keep in mind that in Sweden, “youth” is defined as anyone who is 26 or younger, allowing those of you in your mid-twenties to take advantage of reduced prices on tickets among other things.
To get yourself oriented, download the helpful Stockholm Green Map before you go. The map is full of everything green, including parks, stores, and restaurants.
Getting around Stockholm is easy and green with the City Bikes. From April to October, you can take advantage of the great program which allows you to pick up and park one of the official bikes at 100 different bicycle parking stations placed around town. A three-day bike card costs 165 SEK (a little under $23). For those spending an extended time in the Swedish capital, consider a season pass.
During the summer, Stockholm locals spend a lot of time at their picturesque summer houses scattered around Stockholm’s Archipelago, or Skärgården in Swedish. Exploring the archipelago makes a great day trip, or even a multi-day excursion, and quickly gets you into Swedish nature. On the more than 24,000 islands, islets, and rocks you can find everything from wildlife reserves to youth hostels. During the summer, the Stockholm Tourist Center offers a five day archipelago pass for a very reasonable price, which allows you unlimited boat travel throughout the islands.
If you want to stick closer to the city but still want the ferry experience, take a trip to Djurgården, which is home to the Skansen, an open air museum with lots of animals and living history, and the Gröna Lund Amusement Park.
While cruising the Stockholm streets, you may notice how trendy everyone looks. The locals are known for their hip clothes and cutting edge hair styles. Not to worry, you can get your own chic eco-friendly haircut at Friekosör.
Any season merits a visit to Kungsträdgården, central Stockholm’s main public place, which can be described as a park, town square, and a botanical garden all-in-one. The City of Stockholm sponsors various events throughout the year, such as concerts, art exhibitions, festivals, and an ice skating rink in the winter, making it a great space to congregate with the locals and enjoy a little respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Arts & Culture
Stockholm has a large concentration of museums located within the central downtown area, making them easy accessible by foot or public transportation. On Skeppsholmen Island in central Stockholm lies the Moderna Museet, which houses a wide selection of contemporary Scandinavian and international art. For classical works, visit the Museum of Fine Arts.
Another popular choice is the Ethnographic Museum. After a tour through world cultures, you can take an organic coffee break at the museum’s café.
Kulturhuset, centrally located at Sergels Torg, is one of Stockholm’s main cultural centers, offering everything from foreign film screenings to an International Writer’s Stage, and boasting a roof covered in solar panels. The house café serves organic coffee and a daily organic special.
The Rosendal Garden is a large garden committed to sharing organic growing methods with the general public. One of the greenhouses is home to the Garden Café, open from February to November, which uses only local, seasonal, and organic products. Connected with the Café is also a bakery, where you can try out a variety of well-known Swedish pastries all made with biodynamic flour and baked in a stone oven.
Chutney is a vegetarian restaurant in the hip neighborhood of Södermalm. Chutney offers organic wines, and even champagne. The atmosphere is relaxed with world music in the background and ever-changing art shows. Just as good for a coffee break as for a full lunch.
Called Saluhallar or hallar in Swedish, Stockholm’s indoor markets are sometimes the best places to shop for fresh local food or drop in at a lively café. The big ones are Östermalms Saluhall , Söderhallarna, and Hötrogshallen.
Staying in a hostel is also a great option for traveling green while on a budget, and Stockholm has some of the funkiest. Red Boat Mälaren offers accommodation in just that: two boats (one red, one white). Another boat option is the historic HI Hostel Chapman Boat and House, which was built in 1888 and turned into a hostel in 1949.
During the summer months, camping is also a popular option, allowing you to get a little taste of the Swedish outdoors life while staying close to city attractions.
This article was originally published on February 5th, 2008.