We spent two days in Stockholm. Enough to get a sense of the place but not enough to really explore it and soak it all in.
The city is wrapped in water, like Sydney Australia, but maybe more so. Everything seems to be an island. Its visually striking and beautiful. The people are also beautiful, both to look at and to interact with. They are nice, easy to talk to, and show a warm welcome to people from other places. English seems to be a second language for most everyone and when my kids went to see Harry Potter, the movie was shown in english with swedish subtitles. That maybe partially explains why everyone's english is so good.
I met up with a few entrepreneurs and investors while I was in town but missed the opportunity to meet with a bunch more that I wanted to see. It's hard combining work and family vacations. I don't recommend it.
My takeaway is that Stockholm has a thriving tech startup community. It may be smaller than London or Berlin, but they've had real successes and the engineering culture is very strong in Sweden. Plus, as one entrepreneur said to me, the winters allow you to spend long hours in front of computer screens.
Stockholm's a bit out of the way. It's a two hour flight from Paris and maybe only a bit less from London. But I think it's a place that those of us in the tech startup community need to pay close attention to.
We managed to get a lot of sightseeing in over the two days. The Gotham Gal has a few posts with some nice photos. I also posted some photos to my tumblog and my flickr. We did not take a boat trip out to the archipelago. From everyone I talked to, that was something you really should when you come to Stockholm. So it's a reason to come back.
We did take a long walk in the royal park which is an island right near the center of town. In the park is the Vasa Museum which is entirely dedicated to the completely restored ruins of a 1600s era warship. It is enormous and is something special to see closeup. I highly recommend it.
I also highly recommend our hotel, the Lydmar. It's new, wonderfully appointed, and makes a comforting and classy home away from home.
But mostly we just loved walking around town, visiting the different neighborhoods, shopping, eating, and taking the wonderful sights, sounds, and smells of Stockholm. It was a really great couple days. Now we are off to Slovenia by way of Paris.