• Sweden's news in English

Six reasons to stay in Stockholm this summer

Emma Löfgren · 15 Jul 2015, 11:53

Published: 15 Jul 2015 07:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jul 2015 11:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

1. Some of Sweden's best beaches are right here 

We've already given you our top-five list of tropical-like seaside spots you would hardly believe are in Sweden, with a few right in the centre of the capital. 

Stockholm boasts some 30 official bathing spots in total (and then of course there are the unofficial ones – for more information consult your nearest Swede) and each is as unbelievable as the next. Beaches aren't just for daytime adventures either, they present the perfect opportunity to make the most of Sweden's long summer nights. Where else can you go for a sunset-lit swim in the city centre of a European capital at 11pm?

READ ALSO: Five beaches you won't believe are in Sweden

Tanto Beach on the Södermalm island in central Stockholm. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

2. There's actually space to walk on the pavements

As soon as the Nordic summer knocks on the door, you'll spot your Swedish work colleagues shooting out of the office before you even have time to finish the sentence “let's meet up for a fika at some poi...”. Most of them will be swiftly on their way to their summer cottages ('sommarstuga') in the countryside where they will spend up to four weeks or longer. Yes you read that right, four weeks.

But hey, who needs them anyway? With fewer people around you can finally find a place to sit at the city's outdoor bars, relax on Tanto Beach without feeling the breath of the stranger on the towel next to you, and walk down Götgatan without bumping into the unfortunate date you filed under 'seemed like a good idea at the time'. Just remember to stay away from the packed tourist areas around Gamla Stan.

Cyclist on the island of Djurgården in summer. Photo: Werner Nystrand/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se

3. Stockholmers (and Swedes) are friendlier in summer

As much as we love both Stockholmers and Swedes in general, ask anyone not from the capital city and they will tell you (usually backing it up with self-experienced stories only loosely based on real events) that its residents have a reputation for being a bit standoffish and snobby. Be this true or not – the stereotype certainly falls down in summer.

The transformation is almost magical - when the sun comes out the few Stockholmers left in the city really change. People say hello at shops and bus stations! Strangers smile at each other! Neighbours hold doors open! And best of all: any worries shy Swedes usually have about mixing different friendship circles fade away as they mingle in the sunshine at all those barbecues, picnics and swimming sessions.

READ ALSO: Ten Swedish phrases you only hear in summer

Don't they look extra friendly? Photo: Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se

4. You never knew public transport could be this good

Stockholm is known for its gorgeous archipelago with almost 30,000 islands, rocks and islets within a day trip of the capital. So as we mentioned earlier, you don't even have to leave the city to be able to enjoy Sweden's summer greenery or the deep blue water of Mälaren. And ssshhh, here's a secret known only to the locals: it won't even have to put too much of a strain on your wallet.

The trick is to make sure you avoid the tourist boats leaving from Strömkajen in central Stockholm and instead hop on the commuter ferries, which will take you to exactly the same places but for far fewer kronor. Keep an eye out for signs for Waxholmsbolaget, which runs all commuter traffic in the archipelago - you can even use your Stockholm public transport card (SL kort) to pay for some ferry tickets.

One of the ferries in central Stockholm. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

5. You can enjoy a more relaxed working culture

Since so many Swedes tend to claim their holidays in four-week blocks, this means most workplaces pretty much empty out as Swedish colleagues head for the hills (by which we mean their 'sommarstugor', see number two in this list). If you're the only foreigner in your office reading this right now, we suspect you failed to catch on to this before it was too late and found yourself left behind to answer the phones.

But this also brings you an opportunity to do a little happy dance around your office (while nobody is watching). Why? No boss around keeping a hawkish eye on your work over your shoulder, no more arguments over who gets the last cinnamon roll at 'fika' break, longer-than-usual lunches and complete ownership of the communal music player. Result!

Unfortunately, because there's no one else in the office, you may also be stuck on kitchen duty all summer. However, since it's just you and a few other expats left in the office, is there really any need for all those dirty cups to go in the dishwasher? Or are your talents better utilized leaving work early to go for a drink? It's the latter, of course.

Story continues below…

READ ALSO: Ten phrases you only hear at a Swedish workplace

Many Swedish offices clear out in summer. Photo: Melker Dahlstrand/imagebank.sweden.se

6. Stockholm's got the coolest outdoor hangouts

Did somebody mention leaving work early to go for a drink? Sweden's capital undergoes a rapid transformation every year when the sun comes out. Outdoor bars areas spring open, giving the city's residents a boost of energy after the harsh Nordic winter. There's something for everyone, from buzzing hipster watering holes to elegant upmarket wine bars.

READ ALSO: Ten unmissable outdoor bars in the capital

So, while your Swedish colleagues desperately try to while away the hours clearing out the basements of their summer houses, killing slugs in the garden, having long conversations about where to find the best strawberries, and arguing over the rules of card games with relatives they don't like – you're looking cool sipping a cocktail at one of Stockholm's hottest outdoor bars.

One of Stockholm's hip outdoor bars. Photo: Conny Fridh/imagebank.sweden.se

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Löfgren (emma.lofgren@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available