Welcoming and Friendly Stockholm, Closer than Ever

Apr 25, 2016 Avatar Hilton Smith Hilton Smith

Savvy travelers are always looking for new opportunities to explore. The March inauguration of the first ever daily non-stop LAX – Stockholm service has added a new air bridge to Europe.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines now operates new comfortable A330-300 jets at very convenient times to Sweden’s capital. Add to this lower introductory fares and the reasons were compelling for me to go.

First I had to navigate LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal which is very busy these days. Even with more room for security, it took me an hour in April to get to the other side. On the day I left, the lines were without the normal priority for Business and First Class. With known staff shortages and a higher summer volume to come, I would recommend earlier arrival for your next flight adventures. Once I navigated security, I was off to the elegant Bradley Star Alliance Lounge to await boarding.
Arriving early means a more relaxed departure whether you have premium lounge access or not. On board I sampled SAS Plus to Stockholm which is their Premium Economy. The seats were comfortable, the service relaxed and the difference in price was reasonable for the benefits.

On the return to LAX, I upgraded to SAS Business with their new 1-2-1 configuration with all aisle access and an exotic menu. The on board entertainment system was adequate and the service attentive. SAS begins a new upgrade bidding system soon and clients will be able to bid for upgrades at their unique price points.These will be for Premium seats not sold close to departure date. Scandianiva offers so much of interest to travelers to Europe, this direct service extends the opportunity to base a trip from here.

Upon arrival I found Stockholm, Sweden very much the same as on previous trips.

The high speed Arlanda Express non-stop train is always my choice for arrival into the city center.

It takes just 20 minutes and 540 SEK(about $65.00 USD) for a round trip ticket. From there you can walk or take a taxi to your hotel. The city is very compact.

My home was the Design Hotel Nobis Hotel right on the famous Norrmalmstorg Square in the heart of town. The old buildings have been stylishly connected and updated with a wide range of room sizes from very small to extra spacious.

Our Signature Hotel & Resorts benefits include a possible upgrade, daily breakfast and a drink at the very happening Gold Bar. A young, responsive staff, a fresh look and premier location make this a winner in Stockholm.

For exploring, no trip to Stockholm is complete without a walk to Gamia Stan (The Old Town) across on the the many bridges of this 14 island city.

Here you will find the Royal Palace, which is still in use. The narrow streets of the Old Town contain many unique shops and restaurants.

The Swedish passion for freshness was aptly demonstrated at a local ice cream shop. A young girl sat at a round table with a top that turned. The six waffle irons were filled with batter in turn from a central bowl. As the waffles finished cooking, the girl would take each hot waffle and twist it into a cone shape. Soon after that it would be holding home made ice cream.

Vegetables, meats and cheeses of all kinds were outstanding. A shrimp salad was overflowing with shrimp. A local pasta with ragu of wild boar was amazing. Spring was in the air and everyone was out Saturday and Sunday. I took a one-hour canal cruise to introduce me to newer areas of the city.

Many Americans have never experienced Scandinavia, which is sad and a big hole in any traveler’s portfolio. Many days military bands perform in the courtyard of The Royal Palace, open to all.

The architecture and Scandinavian design are legendary.

An overnight modern ferry ride can take you to Helsinki, another Northern European Capital.

For most Americans, the possibilities in this unexplored region are endless. River cruises in Europe are so popular, and Sweden has its own along the Gota Canal.

This is a wonderful time to spread your travel wings to unexplored territory with so many new and exciting discoveries. Let us take you there in style, comfort and confidence.