Travel Tuesday: Stockholm

Travel Tuesday: StockholmStockholm is firmly on the ascent, establishing itself as a city with impeccable green credentials and a thriving cultural scene. In the past six months alone, it has been named one of the top three ‘Cities of Opportunity’ in Europe and ranked first for high-tech employment in the EU, in addition to the accolades it has already won from institutions like UNESCO. Unsurprisingly, it also happens to be a highly desirable place to live and work, with a relaxed atmosphere and a healthy focus on spending plenty of time outside.

Stockholm is spread over 14 islands, surrounded by Lake Mälaren’s clear waters. It’s easy to explore by car and public transport, but the city is best enjoyed on foot or on bicycle, with many locals choosing to walk or cycle their commute. For a more scenic journey around the islands, take a ferry from Slussen on the south side of the city centre to the smaller island of Skeppsholmen, travelling leisurely along the picturesque waterfront.

Östermalm is one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Stockholm, located a 20 minute walk from the city centre with luxury shopping, fashionable nightlife and the Swedish Museum of Natural History all in close proximity. The National City Park takes up a considerable portion of the district, making it particularly suited to families with children, while Östermalms Food Hall sells the finest Swedish and international cuisine in a magnificent red brick building with a vaulted iron and glass ceiling. Stop by to savour some ‘inlagd sill’, a traditional pickled herring dish. Also situated near the centre of the city, the district of Vasastan is popular with young professionals thanks to its charming boutiques and the spacious park. It’s also home to the City Library and several privately owned art galleries. The medieval city centre, or Gamla Stan, is an immaculately preserved Old Town that dates back to the 13th century, where narrow cobbled streets wind between tall, crooked buildings painted in rich shades of yellow and gold.

Although Stockholm’s seasons follow the Scandinavian pattern of long summer days and dark winter nights, the city is adept at charming its way through each change in the weather. Winter is a magical time, with the walkways blanketed in snow and real ice rinks set up in the parks. Residents and tourists alike congregate at the City Hall in December to celebrate the prestigious Nobel Prize Ceremony. At Midsummer, children make flower crowns and dance around maypoles, and families traditionally come together for an indulgent meal of grilled fish and new potatoes, with fresh strawberries for dessert.

Stockholm is internationally renowned for its innovative environmental policies, and was awarded the title of first ever European Green Capital. The city has even set the goal of becoming fossil-fuel free by 2050. The many waterways that flow through the city are extraordinarily clean, so you can indulge in an afternoon swim at one of the many beaches in the city centre.

With excellent transport links to Europe, a high quality of life, and free Swedish lessons for newcomers from the government, it’s easy to understand the appeal of owning a property in Stockholm. To learn more about Stockholm real estate, visit the official E&V website or stop by Engel & Völkers’ regional branch in Hammarby Allé, South East Stockholm.