Stockholm is the capital and most populous urban area of Sweden as well as in Scandinavia. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago.

ProvinceSödermanland and Uppland
CountyStockholm County
First mention1252
Charter13th century
 • MayorAnna König Jerlmyr (M)
 • Capital city188 km2 (73 sq mi)
 • Urban381.63 km2 (147.35 sq mi)
 • Metro6,519 km2 (2,517 sq mi)
Elevation28 m (92 ft)
Population (31 December 2019)
 • Capital city975,904
 • Density5,200/km2 (13,000/sq mi)
 • Urban1,605,030
 • Urban density4,200/km2 (11,000/sq mi)
 • Metro2,383,269
 • Metro density370/km2 (950/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code100 00-199 99
Area code(s)+46-8
GDP(Nominal)[7]US$170 billion
GDP(Nominal) per capitaUS$75,000

Stockholm is the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden. Ranked as an alpha-global city, it is the largest in Scandinavia and the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region. The city is home to some of Europe’s top ranking universities, such as the Stockholm School of Economics, Karolinska Institute and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. One of the city’s most prized museums, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia. The Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well known for the decor of its stations; it has been called the longest art gallery in the world. Sweden’s national football arena is located north of the city centre, in Solna. Ericsson Globe, the national indoor arena, is in the southern part of the city.


Stockholm is located on Sweden’s east coast, where the freshwater Lake Mälaren — Sweden’s third-largest lake — flows out into the Baltic Sea. The central parts of the city consist of fourteen islands that are continuous with the Stockholm archipelago. The geographical city center is situated on the water, in Riddarfjärden bay. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces.

Stockholm belongs to the Temperate deciduous forest biome, which means the climate is very similar to that of the far northeastern area of the United States and coastal Nova Scotia in Canada.

City governance

The Stockholm Municipal Council (Swedish: Stockholms kommunfullmäktige) is the name of the local assembly. Its 101 councillors are elected concurrently with general elections, held at the same time as the elections to the Riksdag and county councils. The Council convenes twice every month at Stockholm City Hall, and the meetings are open to the public. The matters on which the councillors decide have generally already been drafted and discussed by various boards and committees.

The elected majority has a Mayor and eight Vice Mayors. The Mayor and each majority Vice Mayor is the head of a department, with responsibility for a particular area of operation, such as City Planning. Together the Mayor and the 12 Vice Mayors form the Council of Mayors, and they prepare matters for the City Executive Board. The Mayor holds a special position among the Vice Mayors, chairing both the Council of Mayors and the City Executive Board.


The vast majority of Stockholm residents work in the service industry, which accounts for roughly 85% of jobs in Stockholm. The almost total absence of heavy industry (and fossil fuel power plants) makes Stockholm one of the world’s cleanest metropolises. The last decade has seen a significant number of jobs created in high technology companies. Large employers include IBM, Ericsson, and Electrolux. A major IT centre is located in Kista, in northern Stockholm.

Stockholm is Sweden’s financial centre. Major Swedish banks, such as Swedbank, Handelsbanken, and SEB, are headquartered in Stockholm, as are the major insurance companies Skandia, Folksam and Trygg-Hansa. Stockholm is also home to Sweden’s foremost stock exchange, the Stockholm Stock Exchange (Stockholmsbörsen). Noted clothes retailer H&M is also headquartered in the city.

In recent years, tourism has played an important part in the city’s economy. Stockholm County is ranked as the 10th largest visitor destination in Europe, with over 10 million commercial overnight stays per year.


Research and higher education in the sciences started in Stockholm in the 18th century, with education in medicine and various research institutions such as the Stockholm Observatory. The medical education was eventually formalized in 1811 as Karolinska Institutet.

In the fine arts, educational institutions include the Royal College of Music, which has a history going back to the conservatory founded as part of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1771, the Royal University College of Fine Arts, which has a similar historical association with the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts and a foundation date of 1735, and the Swedish National Academy of Mime and Acting, which is the continuation of the school of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, once attended by Greta Garbo.

Other institutes of higher education are:

Military Academy Karlberg, the world’s oldest military academy to remain in its original location
Ersta Sköndal University College
Stockholm School of Theology (Teologiska Högskolan, Stockholm)
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences
Swedish Defence University


Apart from being Sweden’s capital, Stockholm houses many national cultural institutions. In 1998, Stockholm was named European Capital of Culture.

A 360 degree panorama of Stockholm inner quarters taken from the City Hall tower. From left to right: Riddarfjärden with Södermalm in the background, KungsholmenKlara sjöNorrmalm with the central station in the foreground, Stockholms strömRiddarholmen with the Old Town, and again Riddarfjärden with Södermalm

Authors connected to Stockholm include the poet and songwriter Carl Michael Bellman (1740–1795), novelist and dramatist August Strindberg (1849–1912), and novelist Hjalmar Söderberg (1869–1941), all of whom made Stockholm part of their works.

Martin Beck is a fictional Swedish police detective from Stockholm, who is the main character in a series of 10 novels by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, collectively titled The Story of a Crime, and often based in Stockholm.

Other authors with notable heritage in Stockholm were the Nobel Prize laureate Eyvind Johnson (1900–1976) and the popular poet and composer Evert Taube (1890–1976). The novelist Per Anders Fogelström (1917–1998) wrote a popular series of historical novels depicting life in Stockholm from the mid-18th to the mid-20th century.


The city’s oldest section is Gamla stan (Old Town), located on the original small islands of the city’s earliest settlements and still featuring the medieval street layout. Some notable buildings of Gamla Stan are the large German Church (Tyska kyrkan) and several mansions and palaces: the Riddarhuset (the House of Nobility), the Bonde Palace, the Tessin Palace and the Oxenstierna Palace.

A key landmark of Stockholm, the Stockholm City Hall, was erected 1911–1923 by architect Ragnar Östberg. Other notable works of these times are the Stockholm Public Library and the World Heritage Site Skogskyrkogården.


Stockholm is one of the most crowded museum-cities in the world with around 100 museums, visited by millions of people every year.

Vasa Museum

The main hall of the Vasa Museum with a scale model of Vasa as it might have looked on its maiden voyage to the left and the preserved ship itself to the right

The Nationalmuseum houses the largest collection of art in the country: 16,000 paintings and 30,000 objects of art handicraft.

Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) is Sweden’s national museum of modern art. It has works by noted modern artists such as Picasso and Salvador Dalí.

Skansen (in English: the Sconce) is a combined open-air museum and zoo, located on the island of Djurgården. It was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius (1833–1901) to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era.

Other notable museums (in alphabetical order):

ABBA: The Museum, an interactive exhibit about the pop-group ABBA
Fotografiska, museum of photography
Livrustkammaren, the royal armoury, located at Stockholm Palace
Nobel Museum, devoted to the Nobel Prize, Nobel laureates, and the founder of the prize, Alfred Nobel (1833–1896)
Nordic Museum, dedicated to the cultural history and ethnography of Sweden
Royal Coin Cabinet, dedicated to the history of money and economic history in general
Stockholm City Museum
Swedish Museum of Natural History


Royal Dramatic Theatre, one of Stockholm’s many theatres.
Distinguished among Stockholm’s many theatres are the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern), one of Europe’s most renowned theatres, and the Royal Swedish Opera, inaugurated in 1773.

Other notable theatres are the Stockholm City Theatre (Stockholms stadsteater), the Peoples Opera (Folkoperan), the Modern Theatre of Dance (Moderna dansteatern), the China Theatre, the Göta Lejon Theatre, the Mosebacke Theatre, and the Oscar Theatre.

Amusement park
Gröna Lund is an amusement park located on the island of Djurgården. This amusement park has over 30 attractions and many restaurants. It is a popular tourist attraction and visited by thousands of people every day. It is open from the end of April to the middle of September. Gröna Lund also serves as a concert venue.

There are over 1000 restaurants in Stockholm. As of 2019 Stockholm boasts a total of ten Michelin star restaurants, two with two stars and one with three stars.

Yearly events and Festivals
Stockholm Jazz Festival is one of Sweden’s oldest festivals. The festival takes place at Skeppsholmen in July.
Stockholm Early Music Festival, the largest international event for historical music in the Nordic countries. First week in June since 2002.

The Stockholm Culture Festival (Swe: Stockholms kulturfestival) is a free recurring cultural festival in August, which is held by the City of Stockholm. Runs in parallel with We Are Stockholm.

We Are Stockholm is a free youth festival people between 13 and 19 years. Runs in parallel with the Stockholm Culture Festival in August and is held by the City of Stockholm.

Stockholm Pride is the largest Pride event in the Nordic countries and takes place in the last week of July every year.

The Stockholm Marathon takes place on a Saturday in early June each year.

The Nobel Banquet takes place at Stockholm City Hall every year on 10 December.

The Stockholm Water Festival (Swe: Vattenfestivalen) was a popular summer festival held annually in Stockholm between 1991 and 1999.

The Stockholm International Film Festival is an annual film festival held in Stockholm each year since 1990.


The City of Stockholm is organized into district administrations, specialist administrations and municipal companies.

The City Management Office is responsible for city-wide governance and follow-up of the administrations and Stockholms Stadshus AB is the parent company in the city’s group.


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