The city of Stockholm is the most populated city in Sweden and the designated capital city of the country yet it wasn’t the original capital city and it is not the oldest town.
About 22% of the country’s population resides in Stockholm. Within the 26 municipalities that make up the Stockholm metropolitan area, the population exceeds 2 million inhabitants. About 26% of Stockholmers (residents of Stockholm) are immigrants or of non-Swedish background.
It is an extremely well maintained and clean city. An official "board of beauty"called "Skönhetsrådet"was appointed by the municipality to protect and maintain the beauty of the city. The city has world renowned art buildings, museums and art galleries. About 30% of the city area consists of green spaces and over 30% consists of waterways.
The city is widely reputed for its noteworthy higher education in the sciences, which began in the 18th century. Some of the well-known institutions include Stockholm Observatory, Stockholm University, Royal University of Fine Arts and the Royal College of Music.
Stockholm is also the financial and media center of the country. This city was officially recognized and founded in 1250. The name of the city is derived from the first part ‘stock’ meaning log, or an old German word meaning fortification;and the second part ‘holm’ meaning islet.
The oldest building in this city is the Riddarholmskyrkan. The city's oldest section is ‘Gamla Stan’ which means Old Town, situated along the original small islands of the city's earliest settlements and the medieval street layout still exists with cobblestone streets, Gothic churches and a royal palace.
It is situated on the south-central eastern coastal area of the county. Fourteen islands form the central part of the city, connected by about 50 bridges on Lake Mälaren. This lake joins with the Baltic Sea.
Erickson is the largest employer of people in Stockholm, while 85% of the jobs in Stockholm are in the service industry. Due to negligible presence of fossil power fuel plants, this metropolis is one of the cleanest in the world.
Two UNESCO World Heritage sites are located in Stockholm. They are the Royal Palace Drottningholm and the Skogskyrkogården (The Woodland Cemetery). Some suburbs have a high percentage of second generation immigrants, such as from the Middle East;while other suburbs are mostly inhabited by ethnic Swedes.
Stockholm may have one of the most expensive public transport systems (that is highly extensive) in the world. There is the Stockholm Metro (Tunnelbana), two urban rail systems (Roslagsbanan and Saltsjöbanan), commuter rail (pendeltåg), a few light rail systems (Nockebybanan, Lidingöbanan, and Tvärbanan) a tramway (Spårväg City), numerous bus lines and an inner-city boat line (Djurgårdsfärjan).
Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) operates many of the public transport systems and a person can buy tickets or travel cards from SL, which have dates of validity and until they expire the traveller has unlimited access. These may last from an hour to a year. They can be purchased in cash or pre-paid. All ticket prices are sold at lower rates to anyone under 20 or over 65 years of age.
There are over a 1000 restaurants in the city and from 2009, nine were awarded as Michelin star restaurants.
Daylight hours in summer exceed 18 hours, while in the depth of winter daylight hours are about 6 hours.
Parts of Stockholm include:
Norrmalm which is the central business district known as ‘City’ and providing outlets such as shopping malls, department stores, a central railway station, major theatres, restaurants and hotels.
Östermalm is an affluent borough which contains a hub for upmarket shopping and nightlife known as Stureplan square, a forest, Stockholm University and the Royal Institute of Technology.
Gamla Stan is an island which contains the Swedish Parliament
Kungsholmen is another island, which contains the Stockholm City Hall.
In 2011 the Mercer Livability Survey rated Stockholm as the 6th safest city in the world;relative to other cities crime rates are low here.