Sounds of the city: audio guides from your new Swedish metropolis


Written by Emma

29 Jun 2020

How do you get your bearings in a new place? In the weeks leading up to a holiday, perhaps you spend your time on TripAdvisor, pinpointing the best spots for local cuisine or exciting art galleries. Maybe when you arrive, you’ll hunt for the local supermarket. You’ll find yourself marvelling at new fruits, veggies and snacks to sample during your time there. The next day, you’ll go on a walking tour led by an enthusiastic guide, getting a sense of the place’s personality, who came and went there across history. Sometimes if you’re lucky, a friend from your past will live there too, and they’ll show you a great night in their local haunts. Perhaps in being tied to this person, having a history with them, you’ll start to feel as if you could get to know this place too.

What does it take for a place to start feeling like home, though? How do you get to know it in a rhythm beyond a weekend, a week, a fortnight? To get a sense of all the ways you can get to know your Swedish city once you move here, I’ve asked some friends for their memories, tips and guidance. Below are small audio clips from previous ambassadors, current ambassadors and even from a tour guide in Stockholm, who all share some of their experiences with you. They range from memories and tips on how they got to know their Swedish city, to little audio trails of places to go, and places to learn more about. Let’s start down the south of Sweden and work our way up.

Malmö, audio guide by Tina

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Sunset over residential houses in Malmö.
The Öresund bridge on a sunny day.
Photo: Tina
A white and red brick residential house in Malmö.
Photo: Tina

Gothenburg, audio guide by Anita

Construction cranes silhouetted against a sunset.
Photo: Anita

Gothenburg, audio guide by Camilo

Sunset over Gothenburg.
Photo: Milo
Orange sunset in Gothenburg.
Photo: Milo

Norrköping, audio guide by Hazal

Person cycling across a cobbled street in Norrköping.
Photo: Hazal
A yellow and green tram.
Photo: Hazal

Stockholm, audio guide by Tiiu

Avid followers will recognise that Tiiu isn’t a past ambassador, nor is she a current one. In fact, when I first meet Tiiu, it’s on a 28-degree day in July 2019, and a group of us are following her around Stockholm’s metro station, the Tunnelbana. This is because she’s leading an Art Tour of the underground. Accompanied by a microphone headset and a little boombox, Tiiu bolts around the stations, showing the group of us the extensive artwork which is built into, showcased in and surrounds Stockholm’s many metro stops. After an intellectually (and physically) invigorating tour, I asked Tiiu if she would be interested in having a small one-on-one session with me, where I could ask her about getting to know Stockholm via the Tunnelbana Art Tours which she and her colleagues provide. Below are a couple of clips of that session we had together in September 2019, where we talk about various stations to explore, how to get to know the city via the metro and the Art Tours of the metro. We had this convo on the commute, so turn up the volume for better hearing quality.

Artwork in the Stockholm metro.
Photo: Emma
Three escalators in the Stockholm metro. The escalator steps are lit up in the colours of the rainbow.
Photo: Emma
Tiiu, our guide in a Stockholm metro station.
Tiiu in Stadion, where we talk about below / Photo: Emma

If you’re interested in taking part in the Art Tours of Stockholm’s subway system as a way of getting to know the city, you can find more info here:

Stockholm, audio guide by me

A large fountain in Stockholm.
Photo: Emma
Emma holds a microphone in a street in Stockholm.
Me on that day in autumn 2018 on Swedenborgsgatan, Mariatorget / Photo: Antoine
A person sits and reads in the Johan och Nyström café.
The café in question, Johan & Nyström / Photo: Emma
Soft serve ice cream in a cone.
A ‘mjukglass’ in Mariatorget square, the day I did the voice recordings / Photo: Emma

And here’s another little audio from me, on how to get to know Stockholm via the water – specifically, paddleboarding.

Emma paddleboards in Stockholm.
Me paddleboarding in Stockholm /Photo: Lea
A person paddleboarding in the sea close to Stockholm city centre.
My friend paddleboarding around Långholmen, Stockholm / Photo: Emma

Uppsala and Stockholm, audio guide by Marina

Marin cycles down a road on a green bicycle. She is holding a mobile phone in her right-hand.
Photo: Marina
Marina stands in the Stockholm metro in cropped, white jeans, white sneakers and a denim jacket.
Photo: Marina

So there you have it! Some different perspectives on ways of getting to know your new Swedish city. What do you think? How are you going to get to know your new city? Are you gonna take a walking tour, an art tour, ride the public transportation for hours, walk until you get lost? Let me know in the comments below!


Written by Emma

29 Jun 2020