VIDEO: Stockholm celebrates its first year as ‘The Open City’

When planning a trip to a new city there are usually a few questions you ask: Are there plenty of things to do? Is there a good food and drink scene? Will I feel welcome?

VIDEO: Stockholm celebrates its first year as 'The Open City'
Photo Credit: MyNewsDesk - Team Tony

If you've visited Stockholm before, you may have your own answer to these questions. For those who know the city well, it's probably a resounding ‘yes'; for those who have visited and were underwhelmed, it's just as likely to be ‘no'. Some of you may be undecided while others aren't sure whether to visit at all.

It’s been just over a year since Stockholm first took a stand for openness by releasing an open letter inviting people from far and wide to the city. 

The open letter, which was published on YouTube, has since engaged five million viewers. It has established Stockholm's position as a 'value-based destination', an image the city likes to communicate and continuously works to demonstrate and improve.

“It’s in our DNA to create a community where all people feel welcome,” says Caroline Strand, CEO of Visit Stockholm.

Strand explains that inclusivity is a cornerstone of Stockholm’s values, that Stockholmers are modern and progressive, and that the city works hard to ensure it is open and accessible to all people. It's Visit Stockholm's wish that the people who do come will feel these values for themselves as well as leaving behind some of their own so that the city can continue to innovate and progress.

The reaction to the open letter, Strand says, has been incredibly positive and engaging from both people around the globe and locals proud to see their city portrayed in a way that they recognise.

Find out more about Stockholm, The Open City.

She welcomes all people to visit Stockholm and experience its openness for themselves. 

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Visit Sweden and Visit Stockholm.

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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).