GETTING THERE: In summer, expect to pay premium air rates. The best I could find for the next few weeks was $868 round trip on Icelandair. In September, KLM has a fare of $735 round trip, via Amsterdam. SAS and United are offering similar deals.

STAYING THERE: The price and quality of lodging ranges widely. Budget travelers should consider an apartment or B&B. I booked a room in a centrally located B&B for $85 a night, including a nice breakfast, through the booking agency Accommodation Stockholm (011-46-8-65-15-224, www.acco.nu).

Pensionat Oden City (Kammakargatan 62, 011-46-8-796-96-00, www.pensionat.nu) is a friendly, medium-size, centrally located hotel. The rooms are small but clean and well-decorated, and the front desk staff is helpful. Double rooms run $90 a night, including a buffet breakfast.

The Berns Hotel (Nackstromsgatan 8, 011-46-8-566-322-00, www.berns.se) is a great option for those who want to splurge. The decor is modern chic and the service first-rate. Weekend rates start at around $264 double, including a fabulous breakfast and access to the health club in the nearby Grand Hotel.

WHERE TO EAT: Budget tip: Eat your main meal at midday, when many restaurants offer reasonably priced specials. Timmermannen (Timmermansgatan 38) is a good place for grilled fish, sausages and other Swedish specialties. A dinner of fresh fish and roast potatoes with a couple of beers runs around $70 for two. Sodermalm, the surrounding neighborhood, is also a good place to look for reasonably priced ethnic dining options.

Budget travelers should also try the Ostermalm market at lunchtime; a number of its stalls offer special midday meals for $12 to $15.

For a treat, consider Pontus in the Greenhouse (Osterlanggatan 17). The chef, much talked about these days, serves up his own twist on traditional Swedish food. The canapes of foie gras, fish and other specialties are wonderful. Dinner for two runs around $100, with wine.

WHAT TO DO: Stockholm Sightseeing boat tours (011-46-8-587-140-20, www.stockholmsightseeing.com) offer a good overview of the city's history and beauty. The "Under the Bridges of Stockholm" cruise makes several departures daily and costs $21 for the two-hour trip.

Among the 50 or so museums in the city, the two top must-sees are the Vasa Museum (011-46-8-519-548-00, www.vasamuseet.se; admission $9) and Skansen (011-46-8-442-8000, www.skansen.se/eng; $4-$10.50), both in Djurgarden, an island of museums. The Nobel Museum (Borshuset, Stortorget, in Gamla Stan, 011-46-8-534-818-00, www.nobel.se/nobel/nobelmuseum; $6.50) is also an excellent option. A Stockholm Card, which includes museum admissions and rides on all city transport systems at a reduced price, is available at the tourism office in the central railway station or online through the city tourism office (see below). A three-day card costs about $70.

INFORMATION: Swedish Travel & Tourism, 212-885-9700, www.visit-sweden.com. Stockholm Official Visitors Guide, 011-46-8-789-2400, www.stockholmtown.com.

-- Gary Lee