It’s worth making an effort to find cheap flights to Stockholm and not just because it’s one of Europe’s more expensive cities. The capital of Sweden is stunning. It lies across 14 islands and has one of the best-preserved medieval city centres in Europe (made up of two islands – Gamla Stan and Riddarholmen). To the west of the city is Lake Malaren and the Baltic Sea is to the east, but despite this proximity to icy waters, and its latitude (same as southern Alaska) the Gulf Stream keeps Stockholm at a decent temperature – 18 degrees in July.
Stockholm has three Unesco World Heritage sites: Royal Palace Drottningholm, Birka and Hovgården Viking-Age trading sites and the Skogskyrkogården (woodland cemetery).
From Gamla Stan, take the ferry to Djurgården, which houses the Skansen, an open-air museum, and ooh and ahh at the rescued-from-the-mud warship Vasa, which sunk just 20 minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628.
Perhaps the best thing about Stockholm however is the light. The skies are big and bright: blue during the day, amber in the afternoon, illuminating the copper and burnt-orange coloured buildings, and purple at dusk. In the streets after sundown, candles illuminate the streets and squares.
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Shielded from the Atlantic Ocean, Stockholm has a surprisingly moderate climate. Winter temperatures range from -9 or so to zero (Celsius). Summer temperatures are usually warm, ranging from 20 to the mid-20s. In the weeks before and after midsummer, Stockholm has almost 24 hours of daylight throughout June. Snow falls from January to March, and the June and July have the most rain.
Mid-May through mid-September is the peak tourist season in Sweden. Visitors from around the world step off Stockholm flights to enjoy the warm weather, long sunny days, and, especially the Midsummer Day celebrations. Besides the museums and historic sights, the season is filled with events including the Stockholm Marathon, Pride Festival, Volvo Baltic Race, and jazz and folk music festivals. Accommodation rates are at their highest, but many of the attractions take advantage of the extended daylight and stay open later.
The winters are dark (one hour of sunlight in January and three in February) and cold, but thoroughly enjoyed by snow and winter-sport enthusiasts. You can also find lower lodging rates during this season.
When your Stockholm flight arrives at Stockholm-Arlanda, it’s easy to get downtown on the bus or train. You have an abundance of options when you get into the city. Stockholm has widespread, efficient public transport system consisting of commuter trains, metro, bus lines and a suburban rail. You can easily sightsee on foot, since most of the attractions are located in the centre of town.