Built on several islands where the lake Mälaren flows out into the Baltic sea, Stockholm has geographically marked regions that are easy to recognize. Please consider in this case the city centre (Innerstaden), South Stockholm, North-West Stockholm, North-East Stockholm and the archipelago.

The Stockholm City Centre (known locally as Innerstaden) is where visitors spend a large portion of their time, engaging in shopping activities and other attractions.  The City Centre is divided into seven main parts (Södermalm, Kungsholmen, Norrmalm, Vasastaden, Östermalm, Gamla Stan and Djurgården) with their respective style and characteristics.

The one borough visitors will want to note in the City Centre is Gamla stan (Old Town).   This is considered to be a historic area in Stockholm and is enjoyed by visitors who want to get a feel for the old way of life in the area.   The main square in Gamla stan, Stortorget, is an excellent place for shopping and dining, and so is the windling adjacent pedestrian street Västerlånggatan.   The top quality restaurants are to be found on Österlånggatan, Lilla Nygatan and Stora Nygatan, however. Visitors interested in obtaining more information about this area should visit http://www.iagora.com/itravel/icities... . Gamla Stan is built on an island, and the islands around, such as Riddarholmen and Skeppsholmen, are also worth a visit for their old buildings and museums.

 Another important place for visitors is Djurgården, a large park area between the city centre and the sea, crossed by a tiny channel (Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen) that divides the area into a southern and a northern part. At South Djurgården, there are several museums (the most well-known being the outdoor museum/theme park Skansen) and the grand tivoli Gröna Lund. South Djurgården can be reached by bus or by passenger ferry departing from Gamla Stan or by tramway departing from Norrmalmstorg.

The other districts of Innerstaden are mainly residential and commercial districts, with their respective stereotypical characteristics. According to the talk in the town, Östermalm is the home of the rich and famous, while Vasastaden and Norrmalm are the homes of the upper-middle class. At Kungsholmen, the young, striving academians are to be found, and Södermalm is for the cultural elite. All of these areas were mainly built 1850 and onwards, within the old system of city tolls (tullar). Consequently, the inhabitants of Stockholm still refers to the City Centre as "innanför tullarna" (inside the tolls).

South of the City Centre, a large number of high-density middle-class suburbs spread out along the metro system together with some of Stockholms oldest garden citys, Enskede, Örby, Älvsjö and Mälarhöjden. Here you'll also find the three main highways leading towards Värmdö, Nynäshamn and Södertälje. Closest to the City Centre is Hammarby, Gröndal and Midsommarkransen, all built originally for working-class families today turning into vibrant and young communities. Those interested in modern architechture should not miss Hammarby Sjöstad, an ultra-modern large residential district built in an old harbour area.

Northwest Stockholm consists of both expensive districts such as Bromma and of high-rise suburbs such as Rinkeby, Tensta and Akalla. Here one can also find the high-tech area Kista, home of the Swedish telecom and ICT industry. Some other major districts close to the City Centre are Solna and Sundbyberg.

Northeast Stockholm consists mainly of calm and affluent suburbs along the highways towards Norrtälje and Uppsala. Here one can find Djursholm, the home of Swedish billionares, and neighboorhods such as Sollentuna, Täby, Åkersberga and Österåker.

East of Stockholm the vast archipelago stretches out in all directions. Located in the middle of the archipelago is the large island Värmdö that can be reached by highway, and thousands of surrounding islands, of which several are permanently inhabited. Many of these islands can be reached by passenger ferries departing from Nybroplan or the Grand Hotel in the city centre, or from seaside towns out east such as Vaxholm, Stavsnäs and Dalarö. The archipelago is a very popular place to have a weekend/vacation house, so the population multiplies each summer.

(more to come...)