Comprised of 14 islands connected by 57 bridges, Stockholm may be best known for its forward-thinking design scene and as home to some of Europe’s most beautiful palaces and castles. However, over the last 15 years, it has also established a strong reputation for fostering startups with global ambitions.
The Scandinavian city can lay claim to harbouring one of the major tech startup hubs in the world. Billion-dollar firms, including Spotify and iZettle, have their headquarters in the city and almost 20% of those living in the capital are employed by the tech industry.
As home to the largest stock exchange in the region, it is not hard to see why Stockholm stands as the leading financial centre of the Nordics. A stable business climate, high number of English speakers and good quality of life make doing business in the largest capital in the Nordics a compelling proposition.
The Winery is a truly unique hotel that offers travellers the perfect mix of business and leisure. As the world’s first combined boutique hotel and urban winery, it is a must-visit for wine buffs, but the many meeting spaces are well-suited for everything from intimate board-level meetings to conferences of 200-plus delegates.
Despite being located around 30 minutes from the city centre via public transport, the first stop of the Arlanda Airport shuttle bus is Järva Krog, a minute’s walk to the The Winery Hotel, with the Friends Arena stadium and massive Mall of Scandinavia just moments away on foot.
Decor is inspired by Brooklyn factory buildings, so expect to find exposed brickwork and lofty, concrete ceilings in public spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows in rooms. A seasonal bar and pool that is open all year round occupy the rooftop terrace, which was ranked as one of the best hotel rooftops in the world by Forbes Magazine.
A short taxi ride from The Winery is the luxury shopper haven Östermalm. Thanks to international brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton sitting alongside local designers like COS and Tiger of Sweden, this central neighbourhood has become well-known for designer shops, diverse art galleries and up-market restaurants.
Restaurant Prinsen, located moments away from these high-end shops, is a great place for business lunches to sample classic Swedish dishes or for after-work drinks in the presence of portraits of famous regulars that adorn the walls.
Set down a quiet side-street just steps away from the upmarket shopping district in Östermalm is Story Hotel Riddargatan. This bohemian 83-room hotel is the definition of shabby chic: modern upgrades, such as replacing room keys with passcodes and adding art prints to the walls in place of wallpaper in many rooms, have transformed this once nondescript apartment building into a popular destination.
Public areas are replete with modern art, industrial touches and lush velvet tones. Breakfast is a real standout and offers everything from freshly made pastries, vegan cookies, a range of milk alternatives and an array of teas. The on-site Ling Long offers modern Asian fusion dishes in a relaxed dining space that is ideal to grab lunch in between meetings or have an informal catch-up with clients.
Innovation inside and out
Stockholm is synonymous with innovative interior decor with countless stores specialising in niche areas of unique design. Lovers of minimalist design can visit Design House Stockholm to peruse contemporary ™ Scandinavian kitchenware, lighting and furniture from independent designers. One-off boutique Coctail is perhaps the polar opposite of Design House, as this is the place to find all things kitsch – think pink flamingos, quirky fragrances and lamps in the shape of mice.
There is no shortage of renowned department stores and boutiques in Stockholm and all budgets and tastes are catered for. From newer hotspots like MOOD which since opening in 2012 has earned a reputation for offering a selection of hand-picked brands that focus on design and fashion, to the 117-year old historic Nordiska Kompaniet shopping landmark. Downtown Camper provides a great base for exploring these areas. The hip property created by Nordic hotel operator Scandic is tailored for the mobile workforce of today with modern work desks and creative spaces for meetings and events, like the Gameroom, that can comfortably fit up to 40 people in a relaxed environment.
If you are only in Stockholm for a short stay and want to explore exciting local areas but don’t have the time to trawl through travel guides, Downtown Camper’s lifestyle concierge is the one-stop-shop for all types of activities, including simple running groups to adventurous outdoor pursuits. Situated in the central Brunkebergstorg neighbourhood, the stylish interior at Downtown Camper blends sustainability and modern living. Rooms feel like a very high-end cabin experience, due to bedside tables in the shape of logs and charming window nooks for book lovers.
Corporate travellers looking to stay in the city for an extended amount of time can select one of the 143 hotel apartments at Sky Hotel Apartments. An on-site gym, wellness room, laundry facilities and meeting rooms make it easy to settle in for a long stay.
Located in the Kungsholmen district and close to two metro stations, all Sky Hotel Apartments have full-size kitchens with a hob, freezer, fridge and microwave, allowing residents to cook for themselves or pop downstairs to The Bistro by Stockholm Food to eat out.
There is a distinct contemporary and light feel to the apartments with four different room types on offer for visitors who can choose between small and intimate or large and perfect for entertaining.
No visit to Stockholm would be complete without seeing The Royal Palace – the official residence of the Swedish monarch is open all year. Guests will find it hard to visit all of the over 600 rooms on 11 floors but the Museum Tre Kronor, which showcases the remnants of the original palace that was destroy in a fire in 1697, is one of the most intriguing museums in the country.
Thanks to Stockholm’s favourable geographic location, the city has positioned itself as the gateway to the Nordics, which has made the Swedish capital a more attractive destination for business travellers. High-quality public transport, innovative dining options and a business-friendly environment make a visit to this charming city an enjoyable and uncomplicated experience.