Stockholm Local Custom Tips by Sjalen Top 5 Page for this destination
Stockholm Local Customs: 169 reviews and 166 photos
If wandering around Stockholm museums and sightseeing points, you will probably come across the name Bellman. He was an 18th century poet and trubadour whose songs and melodies are much loved today, Bellman was a poor man who wandered around the inns of Stockholm and described what he saw in lyrics, and drinking culture played a huge part in it all with Bacchus being mentioned in several creations. He was also fantastic at describing 18th century Stockholm not just with its inns but also its harbour life and odd characters. Today, his music is sort of national-romantic in the way it is glorifying all things natural. Bellman is a national icon. If you are into music, why not buy a CD with his music in any record shop. There are countless interpretations.
Do what the locals do and enjoy a cruise. The most popular ones are to Finland, where Helsinki, Turku (Åbo in Swedish) and the Åland Islands are the most popular destinations but Tallinn and now Riga as well as the island of Gotland are other destinations. Åland is popular for three reasons: the islands wanted to be Swedish but that was stopped by the Russians. Nevertheless the inhabitants still speak Swedish. It is closer to Sweden and a cruise takes only a few hours compared to all the way to mainland Finland. Finally, the islands are like the Canaries, exempt from the EU tax regulations and so, ALL ferries to Finland stop there for 15-30 minutes so that you can buy duty free on board :-))) Competition between cruise lines is fierce so prices are often very low even in summer (especially to Åland) if you leave the car in Stockholm and share a cabin with some friends. SEK 60 and similar ridiculous prices to Åland is common. Apart from fun, food and drink on board, you are treated to great scenery as you go for hours through the Stockholm archipelago. Children also love the cruises and are well catered for with special menus and huge play rooms. Silja line, Viking line, Tallink and Birka Cruises are the biggest companies. Viking also often offers special "theme" cruises with "Asian food", "singles", "wine", "spa", "dance band music" or similar.
Other Contact: www.vikingline.se
Stockholm is one of the best places for a student of Swedish, looking for funny place names. Everyone's favourite is "Pungpinan" as shown by this bus stop picture. The word "pung" means scrotum and "pina" means pain :))) But of course that's not how we name things around here. The simple explanation is that "pung" also means satchel as in a satchel of money or "pengapung" and Pungpinan was simply a famous inn on the southern road to Stockholm, which literally fleeced its customers as they knew people needed a rest here...
Other interesting names are for instance Blåsut ("blow out") and Ropsten ("calling stone") where calls for a ferry could be heard before there was a bridge. There are also names you'd expect to find elsewhere such as Inverness!
Slussen cars and trains
If you're stuck for a conversational topic with a Stockholmer, traffic is always popular. Contrary to many other cities, Stockholm lacks a ring-road and instead consists of a maze of roads criss-crossing the centre, even the E4 motorway at one point has to cross the city north-south. There was nevertheless outrage when the social democrats ruled locally and said no to road tolls like in London, only to be outruled by the government where the green party had suddenly ended up with some power. How dared they rule over Stockholm!? Still, whilst hated by many, just as many seem to like the fact that traffic has decreased and today, most people are more annoyed with the practicalities of collecting this "tax", by little metres in your car which doesn't always work when it is cold, bills are difficult to pay and some cars have been taxed even though they've not even BEEN in Stockholm but similar number plates have been photographed...
The trains too are stuck in jams sometimes, as the bridges from the Central station to Söder are crowded with today's great amount of trains both national and regional. There are talks to build a tunnel under Riddarholmen for some of them. You will have seen it if you've come by train from the south and seen Slussen as in this picture.
Many people love strolling along the waterfront here and there are summer pavilion restaurants and cafes along the stroll. You can walk all the way to Rålambshovsparken, a park where people sunbathe and where you can do watersports. This park is also a popular place to celebrate summer sports victories such as the World Championship football (soccer) bronze medal.
Old meets new
The island of Söder, the southern part of the immediate city centre, used to be Stockholm's working class quarters. My father's granddad used to deliver beer by horse and carriage from one of the breweries here. These days it is incredibly gentrified and one of the hardest places in the city to find an apartment in unless you are loaded or prepared to rent in third hand from a cousin's nephew's father's best friend's mother...sort of. Lots of cultural- and media personalities live here and it is easy to see why, with bars open around the clock, great public transport and the hills with the ever present lake or sea below. But this means that the atmosphere has changed. What used to look almost like a Swedish small town with little red wooden houses (with outdoor toilets and no mod cons until late...) is now block after block full of modern housing. But here and there, little pockets of the old remain and is today carefully protected, such as around Mariaberget and Fjällgatan (see sight tip).
Liljeholmen's pool which opened 1930, once a year invite all homeless to come swimming and get an opportunity to change clothes. The little 17 metre pool can also be rented for private functions Saturday nights, and there are frequent cultural arrangements. It is in a great setting on a barge in the water on Söder, so first you can go for a swim and then hit the bars and clubs :)
Other Contact: Bergsunds Strand 2
I'm sure similar sights can be found in other northern cities around the world in winter but I still find it quite a sight when lorry after lorry queue up on quays to dump their snowy load in the sea...I'm not sure if they are allowed to do this everywhere, bearing in mind the tarmac and oil residues just dumped in the sea along with the snow...
Stockholm people are often in a hurry, trying to be efficient with their time. This is why you find everyone standing to the right in escalators, leaving the left side to those who want to WALK up. This is taken quite seriously and at rush hour, you may even find yourself being shouted at if you don't respect this rule and stand in the way of people.
View from Skansen on a winters afternoon
Stockholm is a special place to spend New Year. Being a City on Water, fireworks reflect in it everywhere and the city hills are good viewpoints. The most famous way to spend your time is at the Skansen Open Air Museum, where there is a choir singing dramatic songs before a Tennyson poem is read out by a famous actor or actress at midnight. In Swedish, the lines include "Toll bell, toll" and so, nothing can be more moving than when the church bells finally DO so towards the end. A great New Year celebration, this is also shown on national TV. Just make sure you are dressed warm as even by Stockholm standards, it gets chilly on the Skansen hills at midnight in December :))) Oh, and order a taxi in advance if you're not prepared to walk. That rule is for EVERYWHERE, not just Skansen.
More Reviews (152)
- See All St Matteus Church
- See All Whisky and reindeer anyone?
- See All My giraffes
- See All Cruise in style
- See All Shopping spree
- See All Gay Stockholm
Sjalen's Related Pages
Stockholm Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Wonderful Stockholm"
- "My own water baby"
- "Stockholm in 5 days"
- "STOCKHOLM - THE CITY OF BRIDGES!"
- "Stockholm - beauty on water"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Stockholm
- Hotels in Stockholm
- Transportation in Stockholm
- Nightlife in Stockholm
- Restaurants in Stockholm
- Shopping in Stockholm
- Warnings and Dangers in Stockholm
- See All...
Explore the World
- Winterthur Hotels
- Punta Las Marias Hotels
- Abilene Hotels
- Bovington Camp Hotels
Badges & Stats in Stockholm
- 166 Reviews
- 270 Photos
- 992 Forum posts
- 47 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (76)
Have you been to Stockholm?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Stockholm
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Stockholm Intro, 166 reviews, 270 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Copenhagen Intro, 105 reviews, 157 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Göteborg Intro, 80 reviews, 142 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Sweden Intro, 105 reviews, 111 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Malmö Intro, 79 reviews, 132 photos, 5 travelogues
- London Intro, 82 reviews, 116 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Saint Ives Intro, 46 reviews, 107 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Visby Intro, 51 reviews, 90 photos, 4 travelogues
- Brussels Intro, 72 reviews, 63 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Heidelberg Intro, 35 reviews, 84 photos, 4 travelogues
Latest Stockholm hotel reviews
- Grand Hotel Stockholm
- 351 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 2, 2013
- Yasuragi Hasseludden
- 34 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 11, 2013
- Park Inn Solna
- 86 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 8, 2013
- A&B Hotell
- 6 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Aug 26, 2010
- Skeppsholmen Hostel
- 33 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 3, 2013
- Best Western Kom Hotel
- 102 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 10, 2013
- Radisson Blu Strand Hotel
- 213 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 18, 2013
- Rica City Hotel Gamla Stan
- 165 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 14, 2013
- Den Roda Baten (Red Boat)
- 52 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Feb 5, 2013
- Accome Kista Stockholm
- 47 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 8, 2013
- Columbus Hotel
- 90 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 25, 2013
- Hotel J Nacka Strand
- 123 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 14, 2013
- Gustav Af Klint Hotel/Hostel
- 16 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 29, 2013
- Hotel Oden
- 74 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 3, 2013
- Quality Hotel Globe
- 67 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 24, 2013
- Gamla Stan - The Old Town- 175 Reviews, 300 Photos
- Vasa Museum- 124 Reviews, 179 Photos
- Skansen- 103 Reviews, 222 Photos
- Kungliga Slottet - Royal Palace- 101 Reviews, 173 Photos
- Stadshuset - City Hall- 105 Reviews, 184 Photos
- Sightseeing Boat Tours- 27 Reviews, 31 Photos
- Södermalm- 25 Reviews, 43 Photos
- Drottningholm- 35 Reviews, 92 Photos
- Gröna Lund- 27 Reviews, 51 Photos
- Skärgården - Stockholm Archipelago- 16 Reviews, 26 Photos
See All Stockholm Things to Do