"Venice of the North"

Stockholm, strikingly beautiful and politically progressive, is a not-to-be-missed destination
Stockholm is Scandinavia’s most regal, elegant, and intriguing city. Although the city was founded more than seven centuries ago, it did not become Sweden’s official capital until the mid-17th century.

Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden. It is the site of the national Swedish government, the parliament, and the official residence of the Swedish monarch. As of 2008, the Stockholm metropolitan area is home to around 21% of Sweden’s population and contributes 35% of Sweden’s gross domestic product. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden with a population of 814,418 in the city, 1.3 million in the urban area and around 2 million in the metropolitan area.

Because of Sweden’s supposed neutrality, it was saved from aerial bombardment during World War II, so much of what you see today is truly antique, especially the historical heart, Gamla Stan (the Old Town). Yet Sweden is one of the world’s leading exponents of modern architecture, funkis (functionalism), so some of the world’s most innovative building appears on the city’s fringes. Stockholm also enjoys the most dramatic setting of any of Europe’s small capital cities; it was built on 14 islands in Lake Mälaren, which marks the beginning of an archipelago of 24,000 islands stretching all the way to the Baltic Sea. A city of bridges and islands, towers and steeples, cobblestone squares and broad boulevards, Renaissance splendor and steel-and-glass skyscrapers, Stockholm also offers travelers access to nature just a short distance away.

Stockholm has been the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden since the 13th century. Its strategic location on fourteen islands on the southcentral east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, has been historically important. Since the city is built on islands and known for its beauty, tourists often call the city “Venice of the North." The city is known for its beauty, its historical buildings & architecture, its water and its many parks. According to Euromonitor, Stockholm is the second most visited city of the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), with around 1 million international tourists every year. Stockholm has one of the largest shopping districts in Scandinavia.

The vast majority of Stockholmians work in the service industry, which accounts for roughly 85% of jobs in Stockholm. The almost total absence of heavy industry 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 are headquartered in Stockholm, as are the major insurance companies. Stockholm is also home to Sweden’s foremost stock exchange, the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Finally, about 45% of Swedish companies with more than 200 employees are headquartered in Stockholm. Famous clothes retailer H&M is also headquartered in the city. In recent years, tourism has played an important part in the city’s economy.

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