Thursday, Jul. 09, 2009

City Basics

Arriving. From Arlanda Airport, the Arlanda Express will have you in central Stockholm in 20 minutes. Fares are about $31 or $59 return. Concessions are cheaper. A summer special lets two adults ride one way for about $32. The bus is cheaper again but it takes twice the time.

Getting Around. Stockholm's metro, the Tunnelbana (T-Bana), is excellent. Look for the big blue T that marks station entrances. For a 72-hour stay, a travel card covering all public transportation in greater Stockholm will cost about $23. A Stockholm Card for the same duration, covering transport plus entry to 75 attractions, is $75. See

Tipping. Hotel bills include a gratuity for service charges. At bars and restaurants, leave a small tip by rounding up the bill to the nearest 10 kronor (about $1.30).

Survival Skills. You have to try very hard to get yourself into a serious scrape in Stockholm. The Swedish capital is very ordered and polite, and the Swedes' proficiency in English is, as the Irish comedian Dylan Moran puts it, "bewilderingly excellent." In fact, the only surefire way to infuriate the locals is by boarding the T-Bana without letting them exit first. Antisocial behavior by stag-night revelers (especially Brits) used to be something of a nuisance, but crackdowns in recent years have led to a real improvement in the situation.