One of Europe’s most picturesque capitals, Stockholm is also known as the start up capital of Europe. As a vital and progressive hub of information and innovation (it’s the birthplace of Skype and Spotify, just to name two), the Swedish capital has rapidly evolved into one of the global leaders in technology – second only to Silicon Valley. When added to its thriving manufacturing industry (think Ikea, Volvo and Ericsson for a start), Stockholm has become a popular destination for international business travellers.
This Nordic city is among my favourite places to do business and, in the numerous times I’ve visited, I’ve been impressed with the infrastructure and the seemingly effortless way it manages to cater equally well to tourists and corporate travellers.
Getting to Stockholm
A flight from the UK to Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) takes around two hours and 15 minutes, so it’s very manageable in terms of meetings or conventions. With a high volume of direct flights from various airports in the UK, including Gatwick and Heathrow, I’ve always found plenty of options for appropriate flight times with carriers like British Airways, easyJet and Norwegian.
After landing at the airport, if you’re looking for the fastest, most hassle-free way of getting straight to your meeting or accommodation, a Premium or Executive transfer service with Shuttle Direct will have you in the city in less than 30 minutes.
With four terminals and a central hub, SkyCity, Arlanda Airport is like everything else in Sweden – clean, modern and it runs like clockwork (usually).
Wi-Fi: You can get up to three hours free Wi-Fi anywhere throughout the terminals simply by connecting to the Airport Guest Network. If you need any longer than that you can purchase time by the hour.
Facilities: There are plenty of food concessions and cafes both in the terminals and throughout SkyCity. In addition to the business services in the VIP lounges, Bagport offers faxing and printing services if you’re in a hurry. If you’re delayed or have a long wait between connections, you might want to pop into the SATS Fitness Centre in the Radisson Blu, SkyCity, where you can use the facilities casually for a fee.
Business Lounges: There are a number of business and executive lounges and I’ve used the services of the Menzies Executive Lounge in Terminal 5 on a number of occasions by paying at the door. (Although it closes at 6.30pm their Business Lounge remains open until 10.30pm.) Menzies also operates a lounge in Terminal 2 and the Arlanda Lounge in Terminal is accessible at a cost of £22.
My Favourite Stockholm Business Hotel
My top recommendation for business travellers to Stockholm is the contemporary Scandic Victoria Tower. It is smack bang in the middle of Kista Science City, which plays host to myriad corporate events. Its glass exterior might look sleek and hi-tech (which it is), but what I love about this hotel is that when you step inside it’s surprisingly warm and welcoming. It’s the perfect accommodation if, like me, you do business around Kista Science City, but it’s also only about 15 minutes by train from the city centre.
There’s a range of 16 meeting rooms for events of varying sizes and the Cloud Bar, on the 34th floor, is an amazing (if distracting) place for a business lunch or dinner. I’ve also made use of the excellent fitness centre and sauna on the 22nd floor. There are literally views from every angle at this hotel!
A Couple of Others….
Another high recommendation is the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, which you really can’t beat for location as it’s right next to the Congress Centre and Central Station in the heart of the city. Upgrade to a Business Room and you’ll get views, a Nespresso machine and a host of extras that make all the difference.
I’ve stayed at the quirky Freys Hotel on a number of occasions; this family-run boutique hotel welcomes its business guests in true Scandi style. It has excellent business facilities, a great location just a couple of blocks from Central Station and, for those with a lean towards the green, an eco-friendly outlook throughout.
Wining & Dining Your Clients
There’s such a huge selection of good restaurants in the city it’s quite difficult to choose a favourite, but I do have a very soft spot for fresh seafood so Wedholms Fisk gets my top recommendation for an upmarket business lunch or dinner. The elegant décor provides the perfect backdrop for the contemporary/traditional fusion cuisine presented by the artisan chefs, inspired by founder and local legend Bengt Wedholm.
What I particularly like is that the menu changes daily based on what’s freshest and in season and, for a larger business event, the chefs will work with you to create a bespoke menu. Private dining rooms are available for your group, but even in the main dining area the atmosphere is refined, sophisticated and very discreet.
Time to spare….
I highly suggest that if you’ve come to the city for a conference or event that, if your schedule allows, you tack on a couple of days before or after to explore at your leisure.
So much of the Scandinavian experience is tied in to its unique landscape. A ferry tour around the Stockholm Archipelago will take you past some of the 150 islands it comprises, encompassing lush wooded forests, barren rocky outcrops and more than 140km of waterways. Another way to enjoy the natural beauty right in the city centre, is to explore Djurgården, a lovely cultivated green space with wonderful views and tranquil walking paths.
To make the most of the city’s extensive culture, take a wander around the Old Town, Gamla Stan, to encounter the magnificent Storkyran Cathedral, the Nobel Museum and the stunning Kungliga Slottet Royal Palace. Another city experience not to be missed (set aside half a day of possible) is the amazing Vasa Museum, on the harbour.
About Shuttle Direct:
Wherever you need to do business in Europe, Shuttle Direct offers the most reliable and efficient airport transfer services to make sure you get to your meeting, event or accommodation in a timely and convenient manner. Pre-book online from our range of Standard, Executive and Premium services and one of our professional drivers will meet your flight and take you directly to the city centre or beyond without delay.