My companion and I just completed a seven day trip to Stockholm and I wanted to provide some observations which might help those who are planning on visiting this wonderful city.
(1) While there are numerous options to get to and from the Airport, the best option is Flygbussarna--the Airport bus which lruns every 5 to 15 minutes (depending on time of day). It is quite reasonable ($19.00) and takes only 40 minutes. You can take to Central Station or St. Eriksplan--convenient to many hotels. You can only pay by credit card on board the bus.
(2) The STockholm Card can be a real money saver if you are an energetic tourist. We purchased the 120 hour (five day) card for $145.00. The admission costs of all the sites we visited equalled $270.00. Add five days of transportation on bus, subway, and tram and you can see the enormous possible savings. The Card becomes even more of a bargain in high season when certain Palaces, boat trips, etc. are open and running.
(3) Among the many sites we visited, a few were disappointing and I suggest you seriously consider whether your time could be better spent elsewhere. These sites include: the Maritime Museum (endless ship models but little else); Moderna Museet (a disappointing collection in comparison to other modern art venues); the Biological Museum (very amatuerish panoramas of stuffed animals); Aquaria Vattenmuseum (a very disappointing venue with little to see and pales in compaison to the Skansen Aquarium/zoo).
(4) Beyond the obvious must sees (Vasa Museum, Nordic Museum, Historical Museum, Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, Stockholm City Hall (guided tour and tower), and Drottningholm Palace), I would urge you to visit: Stockholm Medeival Museum (free and an incredibly well done museum of explaining life in Medieval times); Nobel Museum (but take the guided tour--free); the Army Museum (poignant and introspective look at the causes of war); and the National Museum (an excellent collection of classics with a fine audioguide).
(5) Be prepared for sticker shock when eating dinners in Stockholm. My companion and I chose restaurants designated as mid range and spent some $100 to $125 for dinner (for two). This did NOT include wine or beer, both of which are very expensive. However, we thought it was money well spent as the quality and quantity of the food was outsnading and the service impeccable.
(6) A couple of suggested restaurants: Hernans (a vegetarian buffet of outsnading quality and very good price) with one of the best views in Stockholm); Restaurant Pelikan (traditional Swedisah food with truly exceptional Swedish meatballs); Grand Hotel Veranda (the best smorgasbord in Sweden and a price to match but well worth it); and Marie Leveaus (a Creole/Cajun restaurant with the best chili I have ever tasted).
(7) Public transportation is absolutely wonderful--ENglish signage, spotlessly clean, very safe, and full coverage of the city. If you are going to use public transportation more than once or twice, purchase some form of SL pass or Stockholm Card as the individual trip fares are prohibitively expensive. Tram 7 is a favorite as it takes you to Vasa Museum, Nordic Museum, and Skansen.
(8) Our favorite site was Skansen and I urge you to devote at least half a day to it. The 150 buildings from around teh country are great but so, too, are the incredible animals that are in the park. The Aquarium (separate admission) is also quite good and worth the visit.
(9) We took the Royal Canal Boat Trip and found it very informative and enjoyable. When high season begins, there will be other boat tours as well. We didn't want to spend the time taking the boat to Drottningholm Palace but we were told by many that it was a good trip.
(10) During our entire trip, we found one person (elderly owner of a Greek-Cypriot restaurant) who did not speak English. Thus, you will have absolutely no language propblems if you speak English--and you will find the people enormously helpful and willing to go out of their way to provide directions, etc. Indeed, the people of STockholm were kind, helpful, and outgoing. We never saw anyone approaching rudeness except when someone tried to break into a queue for a bus, etc.
(11) While there are literally hundreds of hotels to chose from, we stayed at the Hotel Hellsten and found it to be truly exceptional. While the rooms were small (as in all of Europe), the lroloms and bathrooms were well equipped, spotless, with very comfortable beds, and very quiet. The service and breakfast were top rate and the location outstandingg (one and one half blocks to subway).
(12) You will need very little cash as just about every establishment in STockholm accepts credit cards (although a number do not take American Express).
Finally, because I love planning a trip almost as much as taking a trip, I produced a very detailed six day itinerray (complete descriptions and directions).of some 100 pages in length. If anyone would like a copy, just send me your email address and I will be pleased to send it (its too long to post on here).
I hope that you will find Stockholm and Sweden to be as wonderful as we did. It is a beautiful, well run city with enormous numbers of sites and the friendliest peoplke tyou can imagine. Have fun!