Local traditions and culture in Stockholm

  • Panoramic windows at Fotografiska
    Panoramic windows at Fotografiska
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  • Sergelsminnet.
    Sergelsminnet.
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  • The statue.
    The statue.
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Stockholm

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    Coffee

    by sue_stone Written Aug 28, 2005

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    Swedes love their coffee. Stockholm is covered with cafes and coffee shops filled with friends meeting up for a coffee and some conversation. A Swedish friend has told me that they are more likely to meet up for a coffee than a (alcoholic) drink, and drink coffee all night....how do they get any sleep!!!

    We had a few coffees on the weekend and generally the quality was good, and the prices on par with London (ie. not cheap!).

    There were a large number of 'chain' coffee shops (though didn't see any Starbucks!) and we stopped in at one of them, Wayne's Coffee for a latte and a break from our meandering.

    Alex in need of a coffee

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    Street Entertainers/Magicians

    by sue_stone Written Aug 30, 2005

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    We spent a lot of the time on our weekend in Stockholm wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere. One thing I noticed during our meanderings were the large number of street entertainers/magicians.

    Perhaps the summer brings them all out, but I can't think of the last time I saw someone doing the whole "guess which one the coin is under" game.... which I saw a few times.

    Also there was some good busker talent out there - a particularly entertaining saxophonist.

    Carry some change with you in case you want to donate or take a gamble!

    where is the coin... street chess
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    Door locks

    by HORSCHECK Updated Dec 7, 2013

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    In Scandinavia door locks or keys often have to be turned contrary to how you are used to turning them to open or close a door.

    For example, in Germany a door with a door handle on the right side is usually locked by turning the key clockwise, whereas in Scandinavia you might have to turn it anti-clockwise.

    Scandinavian door handle and lock
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    Changing of the guard

    by HORSCHECK Updated Jan 21, 2012

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    The changing of the guard ceremony takes place every day in the Outer Courtyard of the Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet), on weekdays at 12:15 h and on Sundays at 13:15 h.

    The Royal Palace is situated on the small island of the Old Town "Gamla Stan".

    Guard at the Royal Palace
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    Santa Lucia Day

    by Toshioohsako Updated Apr 20, 2008

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    On December 13th, the Swedish festival of lights brightens up the long winter nights. It is a day to celebrate saint Lucia (Italian Christian) who is a symbol of love and kindness. Girls wear a white dress and a crown of candles. Boys wear a kind of white pyjama and carry candles. The Lucia queen is chosen and she leads the group. In schools people sing Santa Lucia's song.

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  • Ice Cream

    by peach93 Written Nov 21, 2005

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    As it is in all the Scandinavian countries, ice cream is very popular in Sweden. But what makes ice cream in Sweden the best are their waffle cones. In many ice cream shops there will be a person sitting at a large waffle iron making thin waffles and rolling them up into cones. They are usually filled with ice cream while they are still warm. There is nothing like it. The cones that break are put into a basket for kids and other people to take for free. Yum.

    Miss M watches a girl making waffle cones Miss M enjoys an ice cream (not in a cone though!)
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    Stockholm is a clean town

    by vec Updated Jan 22, 2004

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    Stockholm is a really clean town compared to many other cities with a population over one million people.

    Even though this picture show something different, I would say that this is the exception. This picture is taken at the Stadshagen subway station on a Saturday night around 8 PM, and when visiting Stockholm you will notice that you don't find much thrown on the streets or at the platforms in the subway as in this example.

    A lonely cigarette end
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    Typical to spend the weekend at the garden

    by wadekorzan Written Jun 11, 2004

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    As in any city, there are so many buildings, streets, traffic, people....people living in the city also like to have a bit of nature, especially if you can call it your "own piece of nature". When you take one of the boat sightseeing cruises around Stockholm, you'll see on some of the islands these little garden houses. What a nice place to come on a warm sunny day to get away from it all..yet you are still right in the city. People come to tend to their gardens, some grow vegetables, others grow flowers..it's a tiny home away from home, a place to relax, have a picnic, or get together with friends. They're very picturesque seen from the water as here in the photo.

    Garden homes

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    The Culture House and ruined quarters

    by Sjalen Written Aug 12, 2004

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    This is Kulturhuset - the Culture House. It today houses a nice cafe, a childrens workshop, adults' workshops and exhibitions and much more, and can be quite a fun place to spend a few hours. The City Theatre is also based here since a couple of decades back. The reason I put it here is that it is a sort of symbol for the destruction of this part of Stockholm. The Klara quarters (named after the church nearby) is not the quarters they were when my dad grew up, that's for sure. Concrete and offices dominate and the newspapers and other interesting industries have moved out to the suburbs.

    Outside Kulturhuset you find the much discussed "Plattan" (see warnings) where you don't really want to be alone in the late evening unless a) you want to purchase mind altering substances or b) Sweden has won the hockey World Championship and everyone swims in the fountain nearby...It's perfectly safe by day though, when you often instead come across buskers or demonstrating immigrants.

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    Homeless' day at the pool

    by Sjalen Updated May 30, 2006

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    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 :)

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    Don't get a parking ticket

    by vec Updated Jan 18, 2004

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    It can be expensive to get a parking ticket in Stockholm, the meter maids (lapplisor) are quite good on finding cars parked on the wrong place.

    If a sign say something Parkering Förbjuden or Tillstånd Erfordras it means that you are not supposed to park your car there.

    But the car on this picture, I wonder how many parking tickets it have got? :)

    A parking violation
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    Changing of the Guard

    by travelfrosch Updated Nov 6, 2007

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    The Changing of the Guard ceremony is quite a spectacle to take in. Settle in along the parade route, or line up in the Royal Palace courtyard to await the next shift's arrival. There's an impressive military ceremony, followed by a performance by a military marching band. The units and bands rotate in from all around Sweden, so every ceremony will be slightly different.

    Full ceremonies are held from May to September; off-season guard changes are lower-key affairs. The parade starts from across the Norrbro Bridge around 11:45, and arrives at the Palace between 12:15 and 12:20. The ceremony starts an hour later on Sunday. Does that mean the poor Saturday guards have to work 25 hours?

    The concert begins Hmm... why's the base drum in English?
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    Sweden's Royal Family

    by Arial_27 Updated Jun 20, 2005

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    Karl XVI Gustav (King of Sweden) married Silvia Sommerlath (the Queen) on June 19th 1976. They have three children: Princess Victoria (who will oneday become Queen) Princess Madeleine, and Prince Carl Philip.
    This is a picture of Princess Victoria (I obviously didn't take it myself.) She is turning 28 years olf this year, and is HIGHLY respected and well-liked among the Swedish people. When I was in Sweden over the summer, they had a huge celebration for her 26th birthday that was broadcasted on television, and was considered a major event. There were several triathalons, races and fundraisers to raise money for her wanting to help disabled children. She seems like a down-to-Earth person. My grandparents once met the King and Queen of Sweden when they traveled to Canada and apparenltly they were very nice!
    If you go to Stockholm, you will be able to visit the palace they live in, and be prepared to see a LOT of souvenirs and postcards of them because they are very popular and loved.

    Victoria, soon to be Queen of Sweden!
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    Trees wearing sweaters

    by Rupanworld Written Oct 20, 2008

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    I don't know whether I should really put this up in the customs tips as I don't know whether this is a custom or not. Atleast it seemed so to me, and so will I continue to think until I get to know something in the contrary from my readers. I came across a park in Sodermalm where I saw some nice sculptures (please see my Things to do Tips) and in the park, many of the trees were wrapped in woolen materials like this. Seems that the trees had cold, or were feeling cold. Must be, it was early February.

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  • dejavu2gb's Profile Photo

    Midsummer

    by dejavu2gb Written Mar 2, 2005

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    Midsummer is a important part of Swedish Culture, and based on their traditions.
    The midsummer celebrations usually occur on the Friday closest to 24 June.
    A midsummer pole which is decorated in flowers, leaves, flags and magic symbols, is raised and the Swedes sing and dance around the pole.

    Please note that during this time many of the city people go to the countryside, and many places in the city will remain closed during this period.

    Souvenir of the Midsommer Celebration
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