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Capital of Scandinavia

Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden
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Stockholm likes to boast that it is the capital of Scandinavia, which seems like a bit of an insult towards its neighbors. It is about four times bigger, though, historically more dominant, and (as a brochure pointed out) in the middle geographically. There have been an overwhelming amount of tourists here. At City Hall they gave crowded tours in six different languages at the same time. To just work at City Hall it seems you need to speak at least three languages.I've been to a lot of expensive cities before, but there are always budget options, like street food. Here, even that costs a lot!
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Culture and experiences

Skansen
A huge open air museum, regional zoo, and all-around cultural center that's very highly attended by locals, particularly for summer singalongs. These are allotment houses, little country shacks built on land distributed in food shortages for small-scale farming.
Hötorgshallen
An underground market hall, mostly Middle Eastern (the go-to low-cost food) and seafood

Hotels

STF Vandrarhem af Chapman & Skeppsholmen
STF Vandrarhem af Chapman & Skeppsholmen
How often is your hostel a sailing ship over 100 years old??

Points of interest

Vasa Museum
Highly touted ship-of-the-line that was supposed to elevate Sweden as a naval power but became a bit of an embarassment when it sank less than a mile into its maiden voyage in 1628. It was discovered extremely well-preserved in the mud in the harbor in the 1950s and then painstakingly lifted and turned into a museum.
The Royal Palace
The royal family doesn't usually live here, but it's their official residence and they still use it for dinners and occasional royal discos (this is the land of Abba, after all). We learned that the constitutional monarchy here makes the British crown look downright powerful by comparison. The last two kings haven't even been coronated, since the ceremony feels too religious in a secular country. So they never wear their crowns, but rather sit them on pedestals for official functions.

On The Map

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