Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. Besides this, it is also the largest city of the country having a population of almost 800,000. The larger metro area is the home of around two million people.
The climate of the city is humid continental. Because of its position, the climate of the city is very diverse. The four distinguishable seasons are present. The length of a day varies radically throughout a year: while during summer it can last up to 18 hours, in winter it is generally three times less. During January the average temperature is below zero, while in July it is just under 20 °C. Generally, for about two weeks in summer the temperature can reach even 27-28 °C.
Stockholm’s economy made it very popular among tourists. The lack of heavy industry helped the city become one of the cleanest one in the world. Over three quarters of the citizens work in the service industry. Because of this the tourism, retail, banking and leisure industry is well developed, making the city even more attracting for visitors.
Several high technology companies considered Stockholm and the surrounding area a perfect place to create new plants. Today both IBM and Ericsson have factories in this area just to name a few from the world’s leading electronics companies.
One of the fastest developing industries in the city is tourism. Since the early 1990s, a significant growth was obvious in the case of overnight stays. The number of these has doubled reaching nearly 8 million in 2007.
The city has numerous tourist attractions and also has the advantage of having beautiful architectural monuments. Two sites are also featured in the World Heritage Site list crated by UNESCO. These two are the Drottningholm Palace, the private residence of the Swedish Royal family, and the Skogskyrkogården, which is a cemetery in the southern part of the city.
The Drottningholm Palace was built in the 16th century on the island of Lovön. The palace itself as well as its grounds received much attention in the 20th century. Electricity, heating, sewage and water lines were put in the first decade of the century. The roof of the castle was also replaced. In 2002 the cleaning and renovation of the walls was finalized. Today the whole building is renovated and it is very popular among tourists. This palace has its own church and theater. The Royal Swedish Opera occasionally performs in the theater. Like any larger palace, the Drottningholm has a beautiful garden. In fact, there are two different gardens each with a different style. Despite being neglected many years in the mid 20th century, the Baroque garden was restored and today the many statues attract large number of tourists. The English garden is situated to the north of the Baroque garden. Antique marble Italian statues can be found throughout the garden. The two pounds also present here are connected by canals. The bridges, avenues and groups of trees create a magnificent ambiance. A Chinese Pavilion and fountain complete this beautiful site.
The second outstanding site of the city is the Skogskyrkogården, which can be translated as The Woodland Cemetery. In this cemetery, the national romantic style meets the functionalism creating a unique harmony. The best-known landmarks of the cemetery are the Resurrection Statue and the Resurrection Chapel. The first one can be found in the Holy Cross Chapels, one of the four major chapels of the cemetery. This is also the resting place of the famous actress Greta Garbo.
Gamla Stan is the oldest district of the city. Because the major part of the district lies on the Stadsholmen island, it was called The Town between the Bridges until the 1980s. Several popular tourist attractions are located in this area, such as the German Church, House of Nobles and the Riddarholmskyrkan, which is also the oldest building in the city. Three castles are also situated inside the district borders. These are the Bonde Palace, the Tessin Palace and the Oxenstierna Palace.
Because the large number of museums, Stockholm is one of the most crowded museum-cities in the world. An incredible 70 museums are operating in the city, attracting a couple of million visitors annually. The best-known one is the National Museum. A whopping 16,000 paintings are exhibited here, and the number of various handcrafted objects is double. Modern arts are represented by the Moderna Museet, which has works by artists like Salvador Dali and Picasso.
You can also find museums with themed exhibits. The Nordic Museum has a large collection of Swedish historical and ethnographical objects. There is also a maritime museum, the Vasa Museum, where you can find the reconstructed Vasa Ship.
The city also hosts several yearly festivals. The oldest of these is the Stockholm Jazz Festival held in July. The bands performing here include well-known Swedish ones as well as several international giants, like BB King.
The Swedish capital is also home to the largest Nordic pride festival, the Stockholm Pride. In 2007, 50,000 people were marching and around half a million were watching. This is one of the largest pride festivals in Europe.
A notable sporting event also takes place in the city. This is the Stockholm Marathon, which is held in June every year since 1979. Almost 20,000 people participate in this event yearly.
The nightlife scene of the city is among the bests in Europe. The large number of bars and clubs offer something for the lovers of every music genre. Beside the different music genres, different themes are also present in the clubs. For example, the East is an Asian themed nightclub, while Aladdin has several bars, each with different music. If you usually get hungry while partying, than Sophie’s Bar is the perfect place for you. The Spy Bar and the Blue Moon are also very popular clubs in Stockholm.
Because of the beautiful architectural landmarks, Stockholm is a perfect holiday destination for everyone who would like to admire historical buildings. At the same time the vibrant nightlife of the city also makes it a perfect holiday spot for those who would like to spend their nights partying at trendy bars and clubs.