Arriving: Stockholm's Arlanda International Airport is about 25 miles from the city center. Taxi and express bus service to the city is available.

Taxi prices are not regulated in Swedenm and many unwary travelers have found themselves paying fares of more than $100. Most large cab companies offer fixed fares from the airport of about $50. The airport maintains separate stands for fixed-fare cabs that are clearly marked in English.The express bus service, called Flygbussarna, costs $8 and runs to the central bus terminal. A combined ticket for bus service to the station and cab to one's final destination costs $18 and $8 for each additional person up to a party of four.

Getting around: Stockholm's system of buses, subway lines and commuter trains (collectively known as SL) is well-organized and extensive, stretching far out of town into areas where bears have been seen. One-day cards good for unlimited rides cost $8; three-day cards $16. Cards and maps are available at SL kiosks at the Hotorget and T-Centralen stations in downtown.

Boats to the Stockholm archipelago leave from quays near the National Museum and the Royal Dramatic Theater. Boats for Lake Malaren trips depart from the quay near the City Hall.

Weather: In summer, temperatures rarely rise above 75. Evenings are coolish, around 60. Rain is to be expected, usually in short showers. At the height of summer, the sun's up nearly 20 hours a day, which light sleepers can find unsettling.

General information: The main tourist information office is at Sverigehuset, adjacent to the popular central Stockholm park Kungstraedgaarden. The office provides free copies of the comprehensive guide "Stockholm This Week," and books tickets for many events and excursions. The information center for Cultural Capital of Europe is at Kulturhuset on Sergels Torg, three blocks west.

Language: Swedes are proud of their lingusitic abilities, and English is very widely spoken.