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Stockholm on the Move: Buses and Boats

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Stockholm, Sweden
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Stockholm is one of the tourist-friendliest cities with an awesome transport infrastructure that will take you any place you wish on the archipelago. Here are the typical three tourists’ check-ins for Stockholm transport.

Red Sightseeing: Bus

Red bus at Stromma

Red bus at Stromma

Almost all capitals run the sightseeing buses services. Stockholm has at least two systems, offered by Red Hop-on Hop-Off buses and by Stromma buses.
Hop-on Hop-Off experience has about 25 stops around the city, summer route is longer, in winter the bus does not go too far into Djurgården. The duration is about 100 min. The route starts off the Strömgatan/The Royal Opera, it is near Gustav Adolfs Torg (the Red Bus stop is on the embankment, and the Stromma stop is behind the monument, near the booth so check out what bus you want to get on, it would be a pity see a bus taillights just because you are standing at the wrong stop). It goes then to Central Terminal (T-Centralen), makes a loop and goes past the Royal Palace, Nybroplan, Nordiska, the Vasa Museum, Skeppsholmen (Stromma bus), Stadsgårdskajen, Gröna Lund, the City Hall, Skansen, Fjällgatan and much more. The tour offers commentaries in 10 languages, you can use your own headphones or get a new pair the first time you use the ticket.
 
NB: check out the schedule, as it varies according to the season. Here is the Red Bus for 2017.
First stop: Strömgatan/The Royal Opera 
The first tour of the day: 10.00. 
1 January – 28 April: Every 30–60 min. Last tour of the day: From The Royal Opera at 16.00. 
29 April – 2 June: Every 20–40 min. Last tour of the day: From The Royal Opera at 16.00. 
3 June – 30 June: Every 20–30 min. Last tour of the day: From The Royal Opera at 17.00. 
1 July – 27 August: Every 15–20 min. Last tour of the day: From The Royal Opera at 19.00.
28 August – 24 September: Every 20–40 min. Last tour of the day: From The Royal Opera at 16.00. 
1 September – 31 December: Every 30–60 min. Last tour of the day: From The Royal Opera at 16.00. Please note:  Hop On Hop Off buses cannot go out to Skeppsholmen.

Admission price: Adult SEK 400

Boat trips

Off the pier, even in winter the sun is blinding

Off the pier, even in winter the sun is blinding

Summertime is a paradise offering you a wide variety of tours, starting from ‘Bridges & Canals’ covering 17 bridges of Stockholm (1h.45min.) and going as far as the Baltic Sea or Lake Mälaren. In summer, there are so many boats of all shapes and sizes. Many city-dwellers own summerhouses on the islands of the skärgården (archipelago) and spend, if not the entire summer there, but most weekends. It all makes for a Friday evening commute like no other. Bearing all this in mind, to experience Stockholm from the water is surely a must-do for any visitor. There are also hop-on, hop-off options with a valid ticket lasting 24 hours.
Winter has somewhat more limited services. I went on a ‘Winter Tour Experience’ with that started at Strömkajen, just 2 minutes away from Kungsträdgården Tube station. The tour guide was bubbling with enthusiasm. By the way, the comments are usually delivered in English unless asked otherwise (yes, everything for the tourist’s pleasure). The 90-minute ride went past the Old Town, Slussen, through the beautiful Djurgården canal, by Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde and to the islands of Fjäderholmarna – "the gateway to the archipelago".
Despite the wind, the trip is an awesome experience; just make sure you have some warm clothes on.
The boat I went by, it seemed to fly over the water surface. Just imagine it was built in the 1930s or so.

The boat I went by, it seemed to fly over the water surface. Just imagine it was built in the 1930s or so.

The boats are vantage: either M/S Östanå I built in 1906, or S/S Stockholm, built in 1931. Both serve Swedish Glögg, a traditional hot mulled wine, some other hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, salads and pies, you can also pre-book the chef’s lunch special (if you take a 13.30 trip).
 
If you are going with Stockholm Pass make sure you pick up your free ticket at the Strömma ticket booth. In summer, it is better to visit the ticket booth in the morning to collect your sightseeing ticket, or you may end up waiting in queue for the next boat.
Östermalm

Östermalm

You will be passing not only historic places on your boat ride but Stockholm designer chic quarters as well. Östermalm is the most exclusive district in the city. Exclusive international labels rub shoulders with high-class Scandinavian design. When you disembark the boat, go to Biblioteksgatan, there's an abundance of flagship shops and designer boutiques, while the neighborhood around Stureplan offers plenty of posh shops - some with sky-high price tags. Lovers of art and interior design will enjoy Svenskt Tenn and Malmstenbutiken, at the beginning of Strandvägen near Nybroviken. Many of Sweden's top antique dealers lie around the Kommendörsgatan neighborhood. Be sure to drop by Östermalmshallen for the absolute best in Swedish fresh food and produce.
 
Admission price: Adult SEK 260

Strömkajen

http://www.stromma.se/stockholm/
T-bana: Kungsträdgården

SkyView

SkyView from afar seems not very big, but just come closer and your opinion will change.

SkyView from afar seems not very big, but just come closer and your opinion will change.

If you want to cast a long glance over the plane of Stockholm, go to the Ericsson Globe and see the city from 130 meters above the sea level. The attraction might be considered overrated, because it is located on Stockholm's southern fringe and quite far from the city centre, but still worthy having that 20-minute ride. There are two gondolas that depart every 10 minutes. You get a 360-degree panorama at the top of the Globe.
The Ericsson Globe is the world’s largest spherical building; its apex is 130 meters (425 feet) above sea level. The Globe has a capacity of 16,000 people, it hosts many musical concerts, public events and gigs.
With strong winds you feel the capsule vibrate a bit

With strong winds you feel the capsule vibrate a bit

NB: Free rides with Stockholm Pass are only between 10am – 12pm. After 12 pm, there is an extra fee of SEK 30. Rides on SkyView are weather dependent and may not run in bad conditions. I went on a rather windy day and the sensations were a bit scary when I heard the wind howling in the central plastic windpipe.
Admission price: Adult SEK 150

Globentorget 2

www.globearenas.se
T-bana: Globen

A sweet treat at last

it is so hard to choose

it is so hard to choose

When you are done with riding around Stockholm, treat yourself to something sweet. The Swedes even came up with a special verb for having a coffee and a cake – ‘Fika’. To "fika" is to drink coffee, eat something small (and usually sweet), and chat. Be sure to indulge as the cakes and pastries are delicious. Only one little recommendation: the Swedes like salty sweets which might appear too strange for an untrained palate, so should you wish to try those, buy a little bit. Or buy a big one to present to your foe.

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