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Stockholm - the best city to live in
Monday, 17 March 2008 02:23

Sweden's capitol Stockholm has the best quality of life among European capitals, according to the European Cities Monitor. Senior executives from 500 European companies were asked which European city offers the best quality of life. Stockholm was only beaten by Barcelona when including all of Europe’s leading business cities. The Swedish capital has developed into one of Europe’s most interesting cities when it comes to restaurants, nightlife and shopping. Whatever you want, Stockholm has it. Last year, the city placed fourth on the International Congress & Convention Association’s list of the most popular congress cities in the world.

The approximately 1600 restaurants in Stockholm offer a wide variety of international cuisine. More than a handfull has star rating in the Michelin Red Guide. Scandinavian design is world famous and the city has 3600 stores of all kind. There are 100 art galleries, 70 museums, 88 movie theaters and a wide range of theaters, operas and concerts. Sweden is the largest exporter of music after the United States and the United Kingdom. Stockholm was ranked the best European city in terms of lack of pollution.

Stockholm is home to 38 parks, which make up one-third of the city’s total area. Water constitutes another third and urbanized areas make up the final third. The city is surrounded with an archipelago of 24,000 islands, islets and skerries. This is a perfect setting for outdoor activities. There are 54 golf courses in the outskirts, which are also ideal for horse riding, fishing, sailing, swimming, hiking, skiing, hunting and ice-skating. And if you prefer to take a walk, go jogging or ride your bike, even the city itself is a great alternative. Practically all Swedes know enough English to carry on a conversation and Stockholm is safe and child-friendly.

The welfare system is very generous to foreign citizens with a residence permit valid for more than one year. Dental care is free up to 18 years of age, universal health care is provided and all education, including university, is free. The city has a number of international schools. Swedes are known to be orderly and honest people. This means things work as you expect them to. Sweden is one of the world’s least corrupt countries. Reports by anti-corruption organization Transparency International rank Sweden sixth out of 146 countries.

Stockholm is the Nordic hub. From here it is easy to reach other economically powerful regions in northern Europe. The city has all the advantages of a metropolis, but also the benefits of a small town. You are never far away from anything and, in terms of internal transport, the city is the fifth best in Europe. Telecommunications are excellent, which is obvious when Sweden ranks as a world leader in the field. Kista Science City, northwest of Stockholm, has the largest concentration of telecom and information technology in Europe.