Stockholm is the first European city that I visited. In fact, I got my first passport, in 1997, to take that trip. I love this city. It’s one of my favorite European capitals. There are quite a few reasons why I love Stockholm, and why I keep going back. I’ve decided to share just a few of them. In no particular order is a list of five of my favorite things that I love about Stockholm. It’s no wonder the reason that brought me to Sweden in the first place is at the top of the list.
- The men are mostly cute and in good physical shape. This is NOT a criterion for me to love a city. I’m a married woman. LOL But, not a dead one, so, having good eye candy to look at while spending time on the Tunnelbana (Metro), grabbing some coffee or while out having drinks is an added bonus. The men also seem to have a better sense of fashion than the women. It’s almost as if they’re peacocks showing their feathers. What else can explain the red pants? (BTW: These guys didn’t know each other)
- They speak English. This is huge. Don’t underestimate its ability to ease you into a place. Some will say that you should always know a few phrases in the local language. And, I agree. However, Stockholm is one of those cities in which I find I get better reception and service when I speak “American” right off the bat. When I do this, I find all my transactions go smoothly. It’s almost as if I’m forgiven for being a foreigner. So, if you want to appear courteous you could ask in English, “Do you speak English?” and you will get the standard reply, “Of Course.”
- The Public Transportation System. Sweden’s transportation system really cannot be beaten. This system winds its way up and down into the most obscure of locations throughout Sweden and conveniently connect to T-Centralen (the main subway/train station in Stockholm). You’re almost always no more than a 5-minute walk from a metro station when in the city center. Your pass for the Tunnelbana works for the buses as well. Unless you’re going into the outlying areas, you will probably never need to get on the bus, and will use the Tunnelbana exclusively.
- Simply Put: It’s Beautiful. Stockholm is set on a series of 14 islands, connected by 57 bridges. A third of its land is dedicated to green spaces and parks. Its proximity to water, beautiful buildings and lots of green space makes Stockholm one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals. The architecture is a mix of 19th-century elegance with simple forms, and 20th-century Functionalism, and it all works together. The colors of the buildings are vibrant and pleasing; such as in this photo of Jakobs Kyrka in Kungsträgården.
- The Candy Stores! There I’ve said it. I love the GodisCenters, and my favorite candy store is in Hötorget Metro station. All over Stockholm there are candy stores. And, they all serve candy packaged and in bulk. You walk through the door, grab a big plastic spoon and a bag. I don’t know what it is. I’ve been in similar “candy” stores in other cities, but the ones in Sweden are the best. My favs are the chewy caramel Rollo’s in the red and gold wrapping, the sweet and sour pacifiers, the chocolate covered raisins, and the chocolate covered marshmallows. I usually team these up with some, “I wonder how these taste?” samples.