Sweden is as far North as I have ever been. This Nordic country was pretty cool. Everything was lush and green, even in the hottest of summer months. The air was crisp and refreshing with the perfect temperature. The craziest part was the amount of daylight. I'd assume it is similar to what people experience in Alaska. The sun didn't even start to set until after 10 pm and was high in the sky by 4 am. Loosing track of time and having a much different dining schedule is inevitable.
In Sweden, the local language is Swedish, but everyone speaks English as well. You should have no problem communicating. At some restaurants, you may need to ask for the English menu or use your Google Translator App.
Food within the city is very universal. You can really find whatever you are looking for. Pastries, breads and jams, with fresh orange juice shops everywhere. Delicious! Meat varieties and seafood dishes are very common for larger meals. Also, strangely enough, reindeer is a specialty in Sweden. We tried it and it tasted just like venison. I did feel a little bad though, as if I was eating Rudolf.
Sweden also has their own currency. It is called the Swedish Krona. You will need to special request this currency from your bank or exchange at the airport for a fee. If you stay in the city, you will not need to take out much cash. Most places take card, but it's nice to have some cash for tipping purposes and small mom and pop shops. If you intend to leave the city and explore, I would recommend having cash.
As with most countries in Europe, getting around in Sweden is pretty easy. Their train system takes you from the airport to the major cities. Uber, Lyft and Taxis are available as well. You can also choose to rent a car if you want to explore the countryside.
I personally really liked Stockholm as a city. It actually reminds me a lot of Zurich in a way. The city wraps around a harbor and has many different vibes within. It has mainstream streets with luxury shopping and a financial district with high rise buildings and modern architecture. It also has a beautiful historical district with narrow side streets that almost feel like its own mini village.
Summer in Stockholm is very nice. There are tons of outdoor dining locations and cool rooftop bars. The best part are the the barge parties. During the summer, restaurants, bars and clubs are created on docks atop the harbor. It's super fun!
Stockholm also has many heritage sites and museums that are worth a visit. You can explore the Royal Palace, the Swedish History Museum, the Noble Prize Museum and more. Unfortunately, a lot are not open on Sundays, so plan accordingly.
EXPLORE OLD TOWN
You can't spend time in Stockholm without walking through Old Town. Old Town (aka Gamla Stan) really feels like you went back in time. It is filled with brightly colored historic buildings, that line winding cobblestone streets. There are lots of restaurants, cafes and boutique shops within the area. It is also home to the Royal Palace. Similar to London, you may catch a changing of the guards as you stroll by. There are also many beautiful gardens and parks throughout the city. Take some time to pop into those as well. They may have some street vendors and markets within and you can purchase some local trinkets.
EMBRACE THE DIFFERENCES
Stockholm has so many different vibes all in one. Walk all around and discover it all! See both new age and old school areas on either side of the harbor. Again, it is a very walkable city. Just wear good sneakers! That or you can grab an electronic scooter and cruse around wherever you want. You'll stumble upon little charging stations or see them up for grab all over the city. The electronic scooters are actually really fun! If you've never tried it before, you will feel like a slightly grown up kid.
WALK THE HARBOR
Some of the most high end shops, restaurants and posh homes live along the harbor walk on Östermalm. Gorgeous historical buildings with unobstructed views as far as the eye can see. You must take the time to walk along this side of the harbor and embrace its beauty. Also, if you continue pass, you will run into gardens and other small town activities. Some hidden gems are further down the walk. It may seem like you are leaving the main strip, but there is much more coming your way.
As I said, the city has a totally different feeling at dusk. With the sun setting so late, you can walk around and embrace the beauty of the changing sky and street lights. Nightlife really comes alive at this time and continues into the early hours of the morning. But, if you are looking for a quieter experience, it is easy to walk the harbor and enjoy. It really never gets pitch dark like we are used to. There is always a little light left in the sky. The city is also very safe, so no need to worry if you are walking around late at night.
STROLLS AT DUSK
Spending some time doing both! A lot of the barge restaurants and bars are on the Östermalm side of the harbor. You really have to experience it. The more modern styled bars are on the newer side of the city. This is where you will find a lot of the cool rooftop options as well. Some of these bars have walking paths across the sky to neighboring building tops. You'll find both snazzy bars as well as more chill options that are super Euro. Whatever you are in the mood for you can find!
There are lots of islands you can decide to visit for a little day excursion from the Stockholm harbor. Small boats will take you there and back. They run frequently. We went to Fjäderholmarna, which was very close to the city. This island was really nice to just stroll around and relax. There were walking paths through the forest, but also rocky cliffs nooks that you could sit off and enjoy the views. A few shops and restaurants also reside on the island. If you are really bold, you can choose take a dip in the Nordic Sea. It's very very cold... If that isn't your cup of tea, just get some sun on the pebble beaches.