Stockholm from A to Z

Twenty-six facts, in alphabetical order, about the capital of Sweden.
Take a quick refresher course of your ABCs and get the lowdown on this cool city of nearly 2.3 million people while you’re at it.

Archipelago Islands
Stockholm is built on 14 islands, and if you’re a strong swimmer, there are 24,000 further out.

Bikers
The streets of Stockholm are a roar with Harleys, and there are plenty of biker clubs for wannabe road warriors to join.

Calcium
Swedes make everything with cream and cheese and pour sour milk on their Coco Pops.

Daylight robbery
As well as charging an arm and leg for booze, the Swedes will charge you five Kroner every time you need to pee.

Eighties metal
We’re talking spandex, perms, and leg warmers. For Swedes, it’s like Axl Rose never got fat.

Fishing
Stockholm’s as watery as Sydney and locals make the most of the bays by lounging around with rods, even in the city center.

Grona Lund
This amusement park by the zoo is the oldest in Sweden, but the rides are undies-wettingly modern.

Hot dog stands
“Korvkiosks” sell long sausages in short rolls, served with scoops of mash, spinach, onions and, er, prawns.

Ice bar
The bar by Icehotel is the world’s first permanent bar made of ice and has to be resculpted every six months.

the world’s first permanent bar made of ice has to be resculpted every six months.

Julmarknad
Christmas markets have cute wooden cabins selling handicrafts, reindeer meat and hot mulled wine, or “glogg.”

Kulturhuset
The cultural centre is in Stockholm’s grungy area, Sergels Torg, and hosts exhibitions and shows.

Liquorice
Swedes chew liquorice gum, suck on liquorice sweets and knock back salty liquorice shots. It’s weird.

Moose
They may not stalk the streets of Stockholm anymore, but you’ll see them all over the tourist merch.

Night
In the deepest winter, Stockholm gets dark at two in the afternoon, which makes hibernation seem appealing.

Old town
Officially known as Gamla Stan, this labyrinth of streets surrounds a palace, bang in the middle of the city.

Pickled
Cucumber and eel are favourites, and beware of the surstromming (rotten, fermenting herring) – the smelliest food ever.

Queue
You have to traipse to the state-owned Systembolaget to buy highly taxed booze, and they’re few and far between.

Religion
Most Swedes are Lutheran-Christian, a pretty lax faith, all in all.

Snaps song
Snaps is a shot of an ice cold, base spirit that requires you to burst into the toasting song, or “snapsvisa.” Skal!

T-bana
Stockholm’s metro system is clean and uncrowded, although, like anywhere there are corners that smell of wee.

US
Swedes love glossy American soaps and dramas and their English is so good they don’t even bother with overdubbing.

Vocab
Swedish is a mix of German and English, but if grappling with the extra vowels in the alphabet is too tricky, don’t worry, because everyone speaks English.

Weekender
Rent’s relatively cheap, so most people own a tiny summerhouse, or “kolonistuga”, that’s straight out of a fairy tale.

XXX
Stockholm’s red light district is called Malmskillnadsgatan, and while selling sex is okay, buying it is illegal.

Yellow cross
The Swedish flag is blue with a yellow cross, and most boats in the harbor around Stockholm fly one.

Zebra crossing
In Sweden, everybody waits patiently for their turn, and taking the initiative to cross the road through traffic is frowned upon.

Check out trips that pass through Stockholm and brush up on your ABC’s right here.

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