Movies, books, and songs to capture the essence of Stockholm and get you in the mood for travel


Mannen På Taket (1976)
A sniper picks off people from a rooftop in Vasastan. Bo Widerberg’s controversial filming of the Sjöwall/Wahlöö book includes a spectacular (for its time) helicopter crash at Odenplan and more violence than Swedes had ever seen.

Sommaren Med Monika (1953)
Ingmar Bergman directed the filming of Per Anders Fogelström’s novel mostly in the gorgeous Stockholm archipelago. Harriet Andersson titilated, helping pave the way for Bergman’s rise to stardom.

Barnens Ö (1980)
Young Reine tells his mother he’s going to camp but really stays in town to discover Stockholm. Directed by Kay Pollack. Based on the novel by P.C. Jersild.

The Prize (1963)
Not the most memorable Paul Newman movie, but the only one set in Stockholm. He comes to town to pick up the Nobel Prize for Literature when strange things start happening.

Sökarna (1993)
“The Seekers” are disillusioned youngsters who roam Stockholm knee-deep in drugs, crime, violence, and death. A modern dystopic classic.


The Bomber, by Liza Marklund (1998)
A female reporter hero investigates Olympic venue bombing while balancing family life and office squabbles in present-day Stockholm.

The Red Chamber, by August Strindberg (1879)
The title of this classic refers to a room at the Berns Hotel, which served as a literary hangout in the late 19th century.

The Laughing Policeman, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (1967)
1973 film starring Walter Matthau was set in San Francisco, but the original book features some great scenes from 1960s Stockholm.

Karlsson-on-the-Roof, by Astrid Lindgren (1955)
Since he has a propeller on his back that allows him to fly, Karlsson gives better aerial views of Stockholm than anybody. For kids and grownups alike.

Jack, by Ulf Lundell (1976)
Sweden’s artist/poet/author bad boy debuted with this half-party, half-melancholy trip in early-1970s Stockholm.

Snabba Cash, by Jens Lapidus (2006)
The dark underbelly of the city, centered on dingy suburbs and the entertainment district around Stureplan, is exposed by lawyer-author Jens Lapidus. Swedish only.



... Och Stora Havet, by Jakob Hellman (1989)
Jakob Hellman’s debut was famously voted Sweden’s “best album ever” in 2003. Achingly beautiful “Vintern dör” and the lyrics of “Hon har ett sätt” and “Tårarna” have made the album a modern classic.

Arrival, by Abba (1976)
Swedish pop sensation Abba was never better than in 1976. Remember “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Money, Money, Money,” and ”When I Kissed the Teacher”? They’re all here.

Downtown, by Ulf Lundell (1982)
“Öppna landskap,” Ulf Lundell’s ode to nature, was seriously proposed as Sweden’s new national anthem when it hit radios in 1982. It made him a local superstar. Also noteworthy for title track and ”När jag kysser havet.”

Välkommen till Förorten, by The Latin Kings (1994)
The Latin Kings brought dirty suburban hip-hop to Sweden big-time with their debut album “Welcome to the Projects” from 1994. Yes, the lyrics are somewhat vulgar, but not by U.S. standards.

Flygande Holländaren, by various artists (1987)
An homage to Dutchman Cornelis Vreeswijk who became the unlikely darling and bad boy of Swedish folklore. The elite of Swedish music life came out for this massive personal tribute after he passed away in 1987.

Gyllene Tider, by Gyllene Tider (1980)
Per Gessle of Roxette is more loved in Sweden as the frontman of GT. This debut album from contains gems like “Flickorna på TV2” and “Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly.”

The Final Countdown, by Europe (1986)
The lead track from Europe’s third album became a worldwide hit from these guys from Upplands Väsby north of Stockholm. The group gave the poodle perm a manly face in Sweden.

Vila Vid Denna Källa, by Fred Åkerström (1977)
Carl Michael Bellman is by far the most beloved of Swedish singer/songwriters. Most Swedes know at least something from him by heart, but nobody—except maybe Vreeswijk—sings his tunes like Fred Åkerströmon.

Främling, by Carola Häggkvist (1983)
Carola Häggkvist has been a star since she won the Swedish Eurovision Contest in 1983, at the tender age of 16. This debut album remains the top-seller in Swedish-music history.

Kingwood, by Millencolin (2005)
Skate punk from Örebro by the furious members of Millencolin, one of Sweden’s least known music exports. Enough energy to blow your socks off. Lyrics are in English.

Classic Songs:

1.“Stockholm i mitt hjärta” by Lasse Berghagen
2.“Från Djursholm till Danvikstull” by Orup
3.“Fjäriln vingad syns på Haga” by Carl Michael Bellman
4.“Stockholm” by Pugh Rogefeldt
5.“Sakta vi gå genom stan” by Monica Zetterlund
6.“Tjockhult” by Dag Vag
7.“S.Ö.D.E.R.” by Petter
8.“Hem till Stockholm” by Ratata
9.“Stockholmsmelodi” by Evert Taube
10.“Asfaltsbarn” by Magnus Uggla


About Stockholm and Sweden

  • <p>Photo: Ferryboat, Stockholm</p>


    Get travel tips, see photos, take a quiz and more with National Geographic's Ultimate Guide to Stockholm.

  • <p>Photo: The Strandvagen in Stockholm</p>


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