Thursday, October 4, 2012

10 things about Stockholm

Was in Stockholm on work for 2 days. But in just these 2 days in the city I formed such a positive image of this beautiful place.

Ten things that stuck in my mind.

1) Swedes are obviously very proud of their culture and heritage. You realise this as soon as you arrive at Arlanda airport in Stockholm, you will find pictures of famous Swedes like tennis relic Bjorn Borg hanging in the corridors of the arrival hall produly welcoming us to their beautiful country.

2) Wondering about transportation? You want to get to the center of Stockholm from the airport then hop on to the Arlanda Express and you have a high speed train that takes you to the city center in a matter of 20 minutes

3) In case somebody back at work is crying to have an updated version of a powerpoint and you need to send it out, don't worry there is free high speed wifi access on the trains. Wow this was so cool!! Even Deutsche Bahn offers their Internet connection for free only for first class passengers...hmmm..I also used the wifi to update my Facebook status declaring my arrival in the city...big big plus :-)

4) It is clean everywhere in Stockholm - normally big cities are not really clean - Though I observed this immediately I only learnt later that Stockholm has long had the reputation of being one of the cleanest capitals in the world! The city was granted the 2010 European Green Capital Award by the EU Commission, becoming Europe’s first "green capital".

5) I found the Swedish peoople to be super friendly and they all speak excellent English too. Everytime I tried to eavesdrop into a Swedish conversation on the next table I did not understand anything and I was again thankful that everybody spoke English

6) Hotel rooms are small and very expensive - only realised that when I checked out on day 2 and was happy that I did not have to foot the bill ;-)

7) The famous Pippi Langstrumpf or Pippi Longstocking the fictional character from the children's book series by Astrid Lindgren is from Sweden. Now reading out her stories to the kids will have a special meaning for sure.

8) Beautiful, beautiful buildings surround the city. If you only have very less time to check out the city make sure that you atleast visit Gamla Stan the old town of Stockholm dating back to the 13th century. Here you will find alleys which are less than a meter wide and also restaurants, cafes, bars and places to shop. Don't forget to visit the Nobel museum devoted to circulate information on the Nobel prize and I learnt that the Nobel Prize awarded each year since 1901 happens in Stockholm.

9) Want to have a food Nirvana in Stockholm then you are in the right place. If you have time visit the Östermalms Saluhall which is the world's 7th best food hall. Unfortunately the place was already closed by the time I reached there after work :-( And if you like to drink coffee, Swedish coffee seems to be good in just about any place.

10) Last but not least I did not have the need to convert my Euros to Swedish Kronor. Every little place accepted credit cards. Even the tiniest shop in Gamla Stan from where I got home couple of my refrigerator magnets accepted credit cards.

So have I inspired you enough to visit Stockholm? Trust me, you will not be dissapointed :-)