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Exploring Stockholm: 5 Fascinating Facts About the ‘Venice of the North’

Did you know that the Swedish language wasn’t made the official language of Sweden until 2009? Or that ‘Stockholm’ means ‘log island’ in Swedish? Well, hold on to your hats, because I’ve got more interesting tidbits about Stockholm coming your way! As a student at KTH, you’re not just choosing an academic institution; you’re also embarking on an adventure in a vibrant and historic city. So, let’s dive into the top 5 facts about Stockholm that will make you even more excited about your life as a student at KTH.

1. A Glimpse into Stockholm’s Rich History

Stockholm’s history is as captivating as the city itself. Founded in 1252 by Sweden’s then ruler, Birger Jarl, this city’s location by the sea made it a pivotal centre of trade. In no time, it grew to become the country’s largest city. Initially, the name “Stockholm” referred to Gamla Stan only, but as the city expanded, it came to encompass several suburban areas, all part of the vibrant metropolitan region.

A person standing and posing for a photo in front of the picturesque, centuries-old buildings of Gamla Stan, which are of vibrant colours
Gamla Stan is one of the best-preserved medieval city centers in Europe.

2. Island-Hopping in the City

Imagine studying in a city spread across 14 islands, at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, surrounded by the stunning Stockholm archipelago and the Baltic Sea. This unique geography offers an endless array of picturesque waterfront views and beautiful green spaces. It’s not just a city; it’s a series of interconnected islands waiting for you to explore. (Bonus fact: Sweden boasts a staggering 267,570 islands, making it the country with the largest number of islands 😲)

An urban landscape featuring a serene water body, framed by architectural structures in the background, while a sleek metro train gracefully traverses the water's edge.
One of my favourite clicks, capturing the essence of the city

3. Museums Galore

Stockholm is a heaven for museum enthusiasts. With over 70 museums, the city boasts an impressive cultural heritage, and here’s the best part: many of them offer free entry on specific days of the week or during designated hours. This means you can immerse yourself in art, history, science, and more without breaking the bank. For a full list of free museums in Stockholm, check out this link.

an image of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, a grand structure with classical architectural elements
The majestic royal palace

4. Nobel Prizes: A Prestigious Connection

Stockholm is home to the Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and literature. If you choose KTH as your academic home, you’ll enjoy a special perk: your graduation ceremony will be held at the Stockholm City Hall, the very same place where the Nobel Banquet takes place. The Nobel Banquet is an iconic event where laureates and distinguished guests come together to celebrate scientific and literary excellence. Plus, KTH organises a warm welcome ceremony for new students at this remarkable venue, giving you a taste of this prestigious tradition.

A photograph capturing the KTH welcome ceremony, where students, dressed in formal attire are holding flags
A glimpse of KTH welcome ceremony at Stockholm city hall

5. Subway Art: A Commute with a Creative Twist

Stockholm’s subway system isn’t just a means of transportation; it’s also the world’s longest art gallery. The majority of its stations are adorned with stunning paintings, sculptures, and installations, making your daily commute an artistic journey. Whether you’re studying at KTH or just exploring the city, each subway ride is an opportunity to engage with diverse forms of art.

A Stockholm subway station adorned with captivating artwork. The station walls are adorned with vibrant paintings.
Interesting art at a subway station in Stockholm

Stockholm isn’t just a place; it’s an experience waiting to be had. As you consider your academic future at KTH, don’t forget to take into account the incredible city that will be your backdrop. From its rich history and island-dotted landscape to its world-class museums and prestigious Nobel connections, Stockholm is a city that promises an unforgettable adventure.

Have you had a chance to check out the fantastic contributions from my fellow bloggers, Lorenzo and Samantha? Lorenzo delves into his favourite aspects of KTH webinars, while Samantha provides valuable insights from a Canadian perspective, sharing her reasons for selecting KTH.

2 thoughts on “Exploring Stockholm: 5 Fascinating Facts About the ‘Venice of the North’”

  1. Sai, your blogs keep getting better with each new post. I genuinely appreciate the valuable information and engaging facts you consistently share. I eagerly look forward to your weekly blog updates. Please continue the great work.

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