Stockholm is one of the most progressive cities in the world, and nowhere is this reflected more than in its social policy. Citizens are provided with housing, health care, and educational opportunities, all of which makes for happy, productive people. While taxes may be high, the money they generate is used to create a high quality of life, which makes Stockholm extremely appealing to the many hopeful immigrants that flock there each year. You don't need to move all the way to Sweden to make the most of what Stockholm has to offer; a simple trip will also allow you to experience this utterly unique metropolis.
The weather in Stockholm definitely reflects the seasons, from snowy winters to balmy summers. Spring brings the heaviest flow of tourists to the city, so you might want to wait until summer or fall to visit. Summer, naturally, brings the warmest weather of the year, with temperatures starting at 68 degrees. Fall is considerably cooler, when temperatures range from 41 to 64 degrees. Both of these seasons also include the benefits of fewer people and lower lodging prices, two definite musts for the smart and thrifty traveler.
European travel can be pricey, but in a city known for its fantastic design sense, you don't need to spend a lot of money to stay somewhere stylish. Travel + Leisure Magazine sites Hotel Rival (Mariatorget 3, S-118 91 Stockholm) as one of Stockholm's best hotels. This boutique hotel-owned by former ABBA member Benny Andersson-features 99 beautifully decorated rooms (which start at less than $200 a night for a double), each with 32" plasma screen TVs, CD/DVD players, and wireless internet access. Other amenities include a bar, bistro, caf, and a bakery known for serving up the best bread in the city.
There is much to see and do in Stockholm, including over 100 museums and a wide array of dining and shopping options. One convenient way to experience many of these entertaining possibilities is by purchasing a Stockholm Card online ahead of time. A one-day pass costs about $38 (a two-day pass runs around $59, a three-day pass, $75), and with it you gain admission to 75 of the city's top tourist attractions and unlimited access to its excellent public transportation system, as well as special deals from local shops and restaurants. You can arrange to have your pass mailed to you, or you may pick them up at the Stockholm Tourist Centre (located at Sverigehuset, Hamngatan 27).
Stockholm's many museums target different audiences. There are some specifically geared toward children (such as the International Child Art Museum, located at Vrby All 14 , 143 03 Vrby), while others cater to niche interests, like maritime navigation (such as the Vasa Museum, Galrvarvsvgen 14, 102 52 Stockholm). Keep in mind that museums worldwide are closed on Mondays for maintenance, so make sure to schedule the start date of your Stockholm Card for another day. Each museum includes a permanent collection, as well as special visiting exhibits. There are also many dining choices for tourists, featuring cuisine from all corners of the globe, including Asia, the Middle East, and the rest of Europe. Shopping options are no less diverse, and visitors are sure to find that Swedish design extends to far more than just home dcor (a la IKEA). Make sure to check out Gamla Stan-an older region of Stockholm-for all your handmade gift needs.
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Jim Johnson - About the Author:
If you are planning a vacation to Stockholm you can find luxury hotels in Stockholm at the Search Sweden Hotels website by going to http://www.searchswedenhotels.com/Stockholm-1.shtml You can also find flights to Stockholm, car rentals, last minute deals and Stockholm vacation packages.