The Lowdown: Obama’s itinerary in Stockholm

US President Barack Obama's preliminary schedule has been released just days ahead of his touch down on Swedish soil, with highlights including royal meetings, dinners with Nordic prime ministers, and a trip to a Stockholm memorial.

The Lowdown: Obama's itinerary in Stockholm

Keen to know what the the President of the United States, sometimes referred to by the acronym POTUS, gets up to when swinging through Scandinavia for a few days? Or just interested in knowing what parts of Stockholm to avoid due to the heightened security?

The Local has put together a rundown of the wheres, whens, and whats of Obama’s barnstorming visit to the Swedish capital.

Wednesday September 4th

The president’s private plane, Air Force One, is scheduled to land at Arlanda airport in the morning in what will be the first bilateral visit for a US president in Sweden. From there, Obama will be driven in to Sweden’s government offices, Rosenbad, where he will meet with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

The pair will discuss bilateral relations, regional and global political and economic developments, trade relations, climate and energy policies as well as various foreign policy areas, likely to include Syria. A joint press conference will be held after the meeting at the Rosenbad Conference Centre.

IN PICTURES: See where Obama will spend his time while in Stockholm

After the meeting, the Reinfeldt and Obama are set to head over to the Great Synagogue of Stockholm to honour Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust.

Next, the two leaders will motor over to the Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, KTH) for a half hour look at the university’s energy innovation research. The programme will focus on Swedish innovations within the Chemical Science division, with specific attention paid to fuel cells and solar cells.

SEE ALSO: Stockholm braces for Obama traffic circus

“This is a positive signal about KTH’s international status, and that we conduct research at the cutting edge, which we are very proud of,” KTH President Peter Gudmundson said in a statement.

It makes for a tight schedule, but Obama and Reinfeldt will then head for dinner, where they will be joined by the prime ministers of Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway.

It is believed that the president will later turn in at Stockholm’s Grand Hotel for his one night stay in the city.

Thursday, September 5th

After what will hopefully be a solid night’s sleep in Stockholm’s top luxury hotel, Obama is expected to make the short trip to the Royal Palace for a lunch meeting with the king and queen.

After dining with Sweden’s royal’s Obama and his motorcade will head north to make their way back to Arlanda airport, much to the dismay of Stockholm drivers who normally frequent the E4 motorway, which will be closed as the president and his entourage zip out of Stockholm proper.

From there, Obama will clamour up the stairs and into a waiting Air Force One for “wheels up” before jetting off to Russia.

SEE ALSO: Five things Obama needs to know about Sweden

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Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).