Michael 84


Stockholm – Mini FAQ

Tuesday, 4th September, 2012

Thanks for your questions and emails, so I will answer a couple of questions for you. Bear in mind I have only been to Stockholm once so I am hardly an expert, just writing what I found 🙂

It is expensive?

I should say so! Being in the UK we always hear of Scandinavian countries being expensive, I always thought it would be, but did not expect it to be that expensive. I have been to London and Amsterdam, I found Amsterdam to be really expensive, and Stockholm is more than that! Hotels are average for a capital city, but the general living expenses are high;

Eating out, drinking, and so on. Taxi to the airport was around £40. My general rule was that most things were around twice the price than the UK (check the beer/alcohol below). Even buying the usual souvenirs I ended up spending around £30 which was a lot considering I only got a few small items.

What about bars, are they expensive?

Yep! A bottle of beer was just over £5, everywhere I went including the hotel bar in Stureplan.

If you want anything extravagant then expect to pay a lot more; For example vodka and Redbull was anywhere from £10-15, cocktails anything around the £12 and upwards mark. This was around the Södermalm area in a few different places.

Strange rules?

You can only buy alcohol from designated places and only at certain times! For example these are closed on Sundays, so you cannot buy alcohol at all! (unless you go to a bar/club/restaurant). The places which sell alcohol are called Systembolaget.

Other places might sell it but it’s weak like 2% ABV or something. So if you plan on buying alcohol for a party or for your hotel don’t leave it until Sunday or you will be disappointed.

I HAD to take my jacket off in one bar. This was weird. It’s like a cloakroom but mandatory, you have no choice. I am not sure if this was just that particular bars rule or not, I guess it was. And you have to pay for the privilege too. This is actually much better, because everyone has to do the same, so people seemed more chilled and danced much more without big coats and jackets on 😀

How do you get from the airport to Stockholm centre/back

There is a bus, a taxi too, but I got the Arlanda Express, a train which goes from the airport terminal straight to Stockholm Central Station. This costs around £26 and is the quickest way to get to the centre of Stockholm, taking around 20 minutes.

I got a Taxi back from my hotel to the airport which was a lot slower, that cost £40.

How do you get around Stockholm? Is it big?

I don’t think it is too big. If you like to walk then you can walk around a lot to different places and they are not too far. I got the Stockholm Metro aka tunnelbana from Stureplan to Gamla Stan, but walked back.

The Tunnelbana is probably the best and easiest way of getting around, depending on where you want to go, much like the Tube in London. There are also buses and trams, but boats are also used a lot since there are many islands.

What is the airport like?

I flew to and from Arlanda, the biggest (and “main”) airport for Stockholm. It’s pretty decent size, not huge and not tiny. Arrivals you are sort of upstairs and have to go down to baggage claim and through passport control then you are out to the terminal and there are a few shops.

Departures there is a very large departure style shop with all the usual things in it, and places to eat etc. I did notice it was really really clean.

What is the money like?

Strange at first. The current exchange rate is around 10kr/£1 so if you have 100kr (which you will have a lot of) that is around £10. It is just odd when you buy stuff and it costs x-hundred kr and you are thinking it’s a huge amount for just a drink.

On the plus side it is easy once you get over that, because you just knock the ‘0’ off. They only seem to have 500kr and 100kr notes and nothing in the middle (there are 20 and 50 notes too), which is not good. They need a 200kr note, like our £20 note (I think they are getting this in the future?)

Snacks and drinks – Are there places to get these?

Yeah, Stockholm has 7Eleven’s everywhere! This was sort of a novelty for me since I am from the UK and we don’t have them here, and they are so popular and famous in America it was cool to go to one. Like everything else they are quite expensive in comparison to the UK counterparts. McDonalds is also not too cheap, over £2 for large fries 😛

What culture of people are around?

In terms of tourists I found that I heard so many Americans, they seemed to be everywhere! I did not hear much British English being spoken, maybe only by two or three people over the whole weekend. There were some German speaking people, maybe some other Scandinavian too, but mostly Swedish people enjoying Stockholm 🙂

Do many people speak English?

I spoke to a few people in stores, restaurants, bars, random Swedish people and everyone speaks English, and pretty good too. Most of the time their English is so good you’d forget you were talking to someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language 😀

Stockholm 2012 – At Arlanda Airport

Monday, 27th August, 2012

So I was at Arlanda airport last week flying out of Stockholm, ahhh the memories. I was at terminal 5 of Arlanda, which deals with the international flights. The airport is actually quite small, not as small as Newcastle, but not huge, quite a nice size actually.

I was in departures and went to duty free to pick up some things, I got my Chanel Allure and I picked up some vodka. The vodka was Smirnoff Espresso, I had never seen it before so I was excited to get it; Apparently you can only get it from duty free if the label on the shelf is to be believed.

I went to pay and the guy tells me “We cannot sell alcohol if you are travelling within the EU, it’s the law”. WTF!?!? I could not believe it. Sweden is so strict with their alcohol laws, it won’t even let me take it out the country! :mrgreen: Apparently it is true, at least according to their website, they do not sell alcohol if you are flying within the EU.

I like Arlanda airport though, it’s nice, friendly people, and very clean. When I arrived one of the first things I noticed about it was how clean it was!

Stockholm 2012 – A Few Presents For Myself

Friday, 24th August, 2012

I brought home a few presents from Stockholm, you know, the typical tourist souvenirs which you can pick up on holiday to remind you that you were there. I brought home a few things for people, and I got myself a couple of things too. A picture calendar, some boxers, a badge and wristband and a shot glass.

I also went to the Hard Rock Cafe and picked up a t-shirt to add to my little Hard Rock t-shirt collection. I now have: Edinburgh, Dublin, Sharm El Sheik, Amsterdam and Stockholm. I like to try and get different style and designs, so this is the one I got from Stockholm…


At Arlanda airport I bought myself a fragrence, why not I have not for a long time 😉 I tried the Chanel Allure homme sport Extreme and it was really nice so I picked up a bottle. Nice bottle, really nice smell, quite a strong kind of smell but is really nice.


Stockholm 2012 – Shops And Shopping etc.

Thursday, 23rd August, 2012

I was so busy sight-seeing and walking around Stockholm that I actually did no real shopping at all! I went to a little shop in Gamla Stan to buy a couple of souvenirs, but other than that I did not buy anything such as high end fashion, although Stockholm does have a lot to offer.

It was both strange and cool to be within a 10 minute walk from my place to Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Mulberry and others.

I was right next to Sture gallerian which is home to many cool places, but I did not have any time to go in. I did however take a couple of pics.

Something which Stockholm has a LOT of which we do not have in the UK are 7Elevens. They are everywhere, and I did go to a couple to pick up a few things like snacks and drinks.

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Stockholm 2012 – Day 3 – Gamla Stan & Surroundings

Thursday, 23rd August, 2012

So day 3 was Sunday, my last real day in Stockholm and it was probably the most “tourist” of days I had. Despite only having around 3 hours sleep, I went out and did the tourist thing once again 😀 I went to Gamla Stan (The Old Town) and saw a lot…

I was walking around for so long and walked so far, going around Gamla Stan, Slussen and ended up around the Central Station before heading for something to eat back in Stureplan. My feet and legs were already hurting, by the end of the day I was dead!

Gamla Stan is so cool, there are just endless tiny streets to walk up and down, it really is a maze of an old town.

Enough of the text, here come the pictures, and there are a lot…

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Stockholm 2012 – Day 2 – Djurgården & Surroundings

Thursday, 23rd August, 2012

The second part of my Stockholm Saturday I spent in and around Djurgården. It is a nice green area with plenty of water and things to see. There are a lot of museums and attractions such as the Vasamuseet, Aqueria, Gröna Lund, the Nordic Museum and more. I was considering going into the Vasamseet but the queue was absolutely huge! I went back after an hour or so and the queue was exactly the same!

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Stockholm 2012 – Day 2 – Stureplan & Surroundings

Wednesday, 22nd August, 2012

Saturday was my first full day in Stockholm, since I arrived on the Friday in the late afternoon. I got up early and went to explore my surroundings, which was Stureplan and the area around it. Later I went to Djurgården which I will post in the following blogpost.

I went to the Hard Rock Cafe to get myself a T-shirt and bought some presents, and then just went around the area to get used to where I was. It seemed to work because I never felt lost 😀

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Stockholm 2012 – Day 1 – Arriving, Hotel & Room

Wednesday, 22nd August, 2012


So I arrived in Stockholm, and got to my lovely hotel. I got a hotel in Stureplan, which is pretty central to stuff and is the “posh end” of Stockholm. There are many cool areas in Stockholm but I chose this and this hotel because it had good reviews on Trip Advisor, and was ranked 11th higher than big names like the Hilton. These days I like this style of hotel, a boutique hotel, they are small but not tiny, and usually their attention to detail is better, as was this one.

They have a cool American style old lift with a cage, it looks pretty good. The room I booked was a Superior room which was great, 4m high ceilings, nice big bed, good size LCD TV on the wall, complementary WIFI in my room, and the bathroom which I loved. The only bad part was the view; The superior rooms have either a view to the street (a good view) or a view of the back which is pretty much no view, and that is the view I had. I wanted a street view, but I was not in my room much to enjoy a view anyway. I also had a nice little mini bar, and chandelier above my bed.

So the bathroom, the coolest part; I loved the massive shower head and really large shower, the sink with the coolest tap in the world, and large long mirror.

I got into my room at around 19:00 and since I had been up since 03:30 I had a quiet night. I had a little look around the hotel, went to the hotel bar and had a couple of beers. The hotel bar was nice, and faced on to the street, so you could look out at Stureplan and watch the world go by.

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Stockholm 2012 – Day 1 – The Journey

Wednesday, 22nd August, 2012

So I finally had a little break last weekend, and went to lovely Stockholm 🙂 I was there for 3 nights, which was plenty to see a lot of the sights and the cool city which is Stockholm. I will write a different post for each day, so this is how it began, Day 1….

You cannot fly to Stockholm from Newcastle, so I had to fly from somewhere else and chose London; There are probably closer places which do flights, but I picked London because even though it is the biggest and busiest place I have been a few times and know it better than somewhere like Manchester for example; However the airport, Heathrow, I had never been to. It also means I could do some sightseeing in London on the return 🙂

So I had to get the train at around 04:45, which meant getting up at around 03:30 and then spend around 3 hours on the train so I would be in London in plenty of time. It was strange getting the train so early in the morning, there were people still on their night out trying to get home, girls walking around with their shoes in their hands in their skirts, while I was starting my journey :mrgreen:

So I got on the train, and I was the only one in my coach for a really long time; I was in the quiet coach but it was really quiet, since I was the only one in it :mrgreen: I got to Kings Cross, then headed for Heathrow Terminal 5 via the Tube.



I got to Heathrow T5 and I thought it was quite quiet; I imagined that it would be hectic and chaotic but actually it was not too bad, slightly busy, but just like any airport. There are a few shops and things before security, but it is after security where most of the shops and restaurants are.

I saw the Gordon Ramsey restaurant, “Plane food” which looks quite cool, but I did not go in. I was too busy browsing in Harrods and other shops 😉 I found the vodka which I have wanted for a long time, Smirnoff Gold (with the gold flakes) and bought a bottle. Terminal 5 is pretty big, but it is quite open, so it’s easy to find your way around, there is 2 floors of shops restaurants and bars.




I was flying with B.A. and there always seems to be people complaining about them and they are rubbish etc. I have to say I was quite impressed.

I got myself the app for my phone and had my boarding pass on my phone, and did online check-in too. I was a bit apprehensive about it because I had never done that before so was worried something would go wrong; Nothing did, it was all good, and in fact it is much easier to check-in online and have a boarding pass on your phone.

So the plane; It was the biggest plane I have been on; 2 aisles and 3 rows of seats, and I was near the front which I prefer, I think it is better it seems to be more smooth for take off and landing…or maybe I am just paranoid haha 😛 The leg room is pretty good, I just got a standard ticket and I cannot complain about the leg room. When I got on the plane to go to my seat they said the words everyone wants to hear… “turn left please” 😉

On board you get a sandwich and choice of drink, diet Coke for me obviously 🙂 and you can use iPads and electronics on the plane when you are in the air so I was happy. The flight was good, nice and smooth, a little turbulence but it felt fine.

I got to Arlanda airport Terminal 5 and did the usual going through security/passport control to the baggage claim. I got my bag and was checking it when a little old woman came up to me and said “That is my bag!” she was right, it was 😀 It was the exact same bag as mine; Same brand, colour and size, luckily she had tied ribbon on the handle which I then noticed. Around 15 minutes later I finally got my bag.

On the way out I was happily walking and then was stopped by customs, I freaked a little bit 😀 He started talking in Swedish and I told him I was English, it was the most serious looking guy ever :mrgreen: He asked me a couple of questions and then as simple as that said “OK thanks” and that was that :O It was a little weird haha. I don’t think walking through with the 1L bottle of vodka in a clear bag was a good idea 😉

So then it was time to get out the airport. I thought about getting a Taxi, but I really wanted to see a bit of the city and do the whole local thing instead of being a boring tourist so I got the train to Stockholm Central Station, the Arlanda Express. It is actually faster than a taxi, and only takes 20 minutes to get to the centre of Stockholm.

I got to Stockholm Central Station and it was around 5 or 6pm, so basically rush hour on a Friday 😀 I wanted to use the subway and planned on using that for the time I was there so got an Access card for the weekend, which is similar to an Oyster card. I had to wait ages in the queue but finally got it then experienced my first ride on the Stockholm subway and got it to Östermalmstorg which was the closest station to my hotel.

Walked around for a little bit in the right direction to my hotel, and then walked down the wrong street, oh well, it’s part of the experience :mrgreen: After realising I got back on the right track and was at my hotel in around 10 minutes.

Checked in, unpacked and relaxed for a little while. Stockholm, I have arrived 😉