Stockholm is the center of Scandinavian culture and the focal point of innovative design and originality which provides the city with a vibe that’s stimulating and fresh. There’s plenty to maintain your interest, seeing as it’s essentially a town it’s easy to feel comfortable here particularly with the broad variety of accommodation choices available.
If arriving by scheduled flight then the odds are you’ll fly into Stockholm’s main airport, Arlanda, from there take the Arlanda Express train into the city centre which only takes about 20 minutes and is quite expensive but quick and easy. Coming into the country on a budget airline you’ll end up at Skavsta or Vasteras Airport, from here to the centre it’s at least an hour by transfer bus.
The biggest city in Sweden it’s still small enough to take in the main sights and attractions by foot if you want to. It’s not particularly cheap either although there are ways to save the pennies. Some people hire small motorbikes and explore further afield hopping from one island to another by connecting bridges. Cycling is also safe here as car drivers behave responsibly towards cyclists and pedestrians and in most areas there are separate cycle tracks.
If you have a hectic travel schedule or don’t like to walk a lot then the public transport system is efficient, fast and affordable, pick up timetables, information and a transport map in the SL-Center inside T-Centralen. The T-bana is the subway system and accesses most of the downtown areas; it runs late to accommodate people going home after the bars close. There are about 100 stations and three major lines that service the suburbs and most attractions can be reached by tunnelbana.
The bus service is efficient too, although not as fast as the metro, they have special bus tracks on many of the roads and you have the views of the passing city streets then too. The coupon system can be used on both the bus and the metro, a cheap way to get around on vacation if you’re planning on sightseeing all over the city. Buy them on the bus, at metro and railway stations and offices of Storstockholms Lokaltrafik.
Take a tour on the open top double-decker buses as it’s the best way to see the city’s main sights and they have individual headphones so you can choose which language to listen in. The Hop-On-Hop-Off ticket allows you to get on and off at any of the 14 designated points to explore and you simply use the same ticket over a period of 24 hours. All the main city centre sights are included on a circuitous route including Sweden House, Fjaderholm and Djurgarden Boat pier, Vasa Museum, Skansen, Djurgardsbron and lots more.
There’s also a Stockholm Card you can buy whereby you can use SL buses, metros and trains as much as you like over a set number of days, as well as getting free or discounted access to some museums and popular sights.
Boat sightseeing tours are popular and an alternative way to see the Swedish capital, using the same principle as the bus you can hop on and off at any number of the bridges and it’s a really relaxing and romantic way to experience the city.
Rent a car if you prefer to be totally independent as roads are safe and driver’s stick to the rules. Perfect for exploring around the region venture farther out to Uppsala, Goteborg, or even to Oslo, finding a rental vehicle is both easy and economical. Taxis can be costly and you should only catch one if there is no other choice, coming from the airport at an ungodly hour for example, and then ensure it’s a registered cab, otherwise the public transport system is efficient enough to get around.
Antwerpen BE – Antwerpen-Centraal – Anvers-Central 05
Image by Daniel Mennerich
Antwerpen-Centraal (Antwerp Central) is the name of the main railway station in the Belgian city of Antwerp. The station is operated by the national railway company NMBS.
The original station building was constructed between 1895 and 1905 as a replacement for the original terminus of the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp Railway. The stone clad terminus buildings, with a vast dome above the waiting room hall were designed by Louis Delacenserie and the vast (185 metres long and 44 metres high) iron and glass trainshed by Clement van Bogaert. The viaduct into the station is also a notable structure designed by local architect Jan Van Asperen.
The station is now widely regarded as the finest example of railway architecture in Belgium, although the extraordinary eclecticism of the influences on Delacenserie’s design had led to a difficulty in assigning it to a particular architectural style. In W. G. Sebald’s novel Austerlitz an ability to appreciate the full range of the styles that might have influenced Delacensiere is used to demonstrate the brilliance of the fictional architectural historian who is the novel’s protagonist.
In 2009 the American magazine Newsweek judged Antwerpen-Centraal the world’s fourth greatest train station.
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