Footy travels #7: Stockholm

The Boys In Green’s next destination on our path to Brazil 2014 is the Swedish capital to take on Ibrahimovic & co. However, if this fixture isn’t to your fancy, then Stockholm has a lot more to offer on the domestic front also.

How do I get in?  Both Aer Lingus and SAS fly from Dublin to the city’s main Arlanda Airport, which is a 20 minute train ride to the central station, while Ryanair fly to Skavsta airport which is located 105km south of Stockholm.

What teams can I watch?  The city’s three most popular teams are the popular AIK, their fierce rivals Djurgårdens and Bjorn Borg’s beloved Hammarby IF. Unlike in continental Europe, the football season starts in April and ends in October.

How do I get to the stadiums?  Djurgårdens and AIK will be changing home next year. Djurgårdens moves to the Tele2 Arena in the Johanneshov district and is covered by a number of metro stops (otherwise know as the Tunnelbana or T-Bana). AIK will call the Friends Arena home as of 2013. The stadium is Sweden’s national stadium and is located in Solna. A train from the central station will bring you right out to it. Hammarby’s Söderstadion is located south of the city and is also well covered by the T-Bana and buses. Taxis in Stockholm aren’t cheap. Rail is best way to get around financially.

How do I get tickets?  Ticketmaster in Sweden sell tickets for certain domestic league games. AIK v Djurgårdens is a derby game likely to sell out if you fancy catching that fixture. Hammarby, who play in Sweden’s second tier, usually sell their tickets at the gate.

What else is there to do?  Spend an afternoon at one of the city fine museums, or perhaps taking a boat ride (Stockholm is made up of 14 islands no less), or any of the 1,000 restaurants within the city. Of course a pre-match beer is always in order, but drinking in Stockholm is not cheap and there are strict laws with alcohol in Sweden. Most bars will close around 1 a.m. Remember that Sweden doesn’t use the Euro, so be careful what you spend.