Insider's guide to... Stockholm


What's the weather like?

What's the weather like?

Currently hovering around -5C. We are now in the freezing middle of winter when temperatures are consistently below zero, sometimes down as far as -20C. Rivers and lakes freeze over to become ice rinks, footpaths and skating routes for the hardy Swedes. This is also the darkest time of the year when the pale winter sun never really makes it beyond the horizon.

What are locals complaining about?

Taxes and the current socialist government. People are sick of the endless controls and the very high cost of living, although you wouldn't guess it from the younger generation's extravagance when it comes to sartorial statements. The population lives from month to month, happy when it's pay day and sad when it's not. They haven't figured out the elementary rules of personal economics yet - but they do look good.

Who's the talk of the town?

Thomas DiLeva, a cross-dressing singer who sings in falsetto and wears skirts around Södermalm, where he hangs out. He has cut some big CDs and is on the cover of several magazines, but no one will admit to liking him. Another is Thomas Brolin, the Swedish international footballer who failed to make an impact at Leeds United. He quit football, and subsequently made a large impact on his waistline; he has just opened a clothing store selling a range of BIG clothes.

What's the cool drink to order?

Something totally unpronounceable made by squashing five limes into a glass of crushed ice and adding a drop or two of vodka. Sucks the cheeks on to the teeth so hard that strangers can count your fillings. Still cool are Vodka RedBulls, which come in two models, VR4 or VR6 (4cl or 6cl). Generally speaking the Swedes love their shots, especially sweet-flavoured vodka, such as Blue Fish & Turkish Pepper.

What are people eating?

Traditional Swedish foods such as meatballs, pancakes and ärtsoppa (pea and ham soup)are basic but popular. Anyone with sense will avoid the rotting fish which is a supposed delicacy. As for international cuisine, Stockholm is surprisingly well served with a wide variety, most of which has been influenced to some extent by Swedish taste - ie, there'll be cranberries on the side. For some reason the Swedes are big on McDonald's, and there seems to be an endless supply of kebab shops, which has even resulted in a kebab price war in Södermalm, which can only be good news for the consumer.

What's the latest outrageous stuff on TV?

Swedes would probably say Friends, but new shows with names such as Y-Front and Silicon take some beating. In Silicon, blindfolded men fondle the breasts of women to determine which one has implants. In truth, though, nothing really outrages the Swedes on television as they're used to a staple diet of hard porn, which is broadcast every evening on some Swedish channels.

Where won't the locals dream of going?

ÿmål, a dead-end town where there is apparently nothing to do. (It inspired the film Fucking ÿmål, reputed to be a Swedish cinema classic.) The same is probably true of many small Swedish towns.

Where are locals going that tourists don't know about?

The Stockholm lakes (Mälaren), and the archipelago of thousands and thousands of islands in the sea right outside Stockholm. Beautiful, largely uninhabited and peaceful.

Where are the chic doing their shopping?

Stockholm is a chic shoppers' paradise, with oodles of choice. The place to be seen shopping or at least carrying the designer bags is still Biblioteksgatan in Stureplan.

Edmund Watts lives in Stockholm.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project