Discover Stockholm with a mobile guide
11 September 2009
Stockholm is the first tourist city in the world that can offer tourists their own audio guide on a memory card for mobile phones. The memory card which was recently launched includes audio guides at 56 of the best sights in Stockholm.
When the card is inserted, the guide automatically shows in the phone’s music player. Each language version is shown as a separate album and each site as a separate track within the album. When you reach the location you have chosen all you need to do is to play the track and listen to the guide.
Stories worth hearing about sights worth seeing
The 56 sights are spread out over Gamla Stan, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm City, Söder, Djurgårdenand Drottningholm Palace. For those who are visiting Skansen the guide includes six stories which have been put together in collaboration with Skansen. All stories are packed with historical facts and sprinkled with anecdotes to ensure an interesting experience at each location.
The guides have been written by Harald Norbelie, Hjalmar Olsson and Lars Hagermark who all have firsthand knowledge of Stockholm and all facts have been verified by the Stockholm City Museum.
Six languages and a map of Stockholm
Each audio guide is approximately 3 minutes long and is available in six languages including Swedish, English, German, French, Spanish and Russian. The recordings have been done by professional narrators in their first language. All sites are clearly marked on the map included with the memory card, and the map also includes a list of all sites.
Benefits for tourists using Talk of the Town
Tourists can enjoy the hotel breakfast in peace and quiet and can choose themselves when they would like to go sightseeing and which sights they wish to visit. They do not have to keep to specific time to have a guided tour in their own language and they could even head out late during the long summer nights if they want to.
The guide is available during off-seasons when there are no other alternatives for tourists wanting to do a guided tour around Stockholm. This is very useful for instance in January which is a popular time for Russian tourists to visit Stockholm.
Another benefit with using the audio guide is that tourists will not have to stand in crowded groups trying to hear what the guide is saying and they can stay for as long as they want to at each site without missing the beginning of the talk at the next sight. There is no problem to take a break from sightseeing to have a coffee or do some shopping and as long as they carry their mobile with them, they can leave the bulky guidebook at the hotel.
Price worthy guide without having to pay for calls
Because the guide uses the phone’s music player, tourists coming from abroad will not have to pay expensive so called roaming charges. The memory card costs approximately 125 SEK per day to rent and gives access to more than two hours of sound tracks.
Rent a bike with a guide
The Talk of the Town memory card is available at a number of bicycle rentals in Stockholm. Both the bike and the audio guide are hired by the hour or by the day.
“Tourists that rent bikes here don’t just do it to get exercise; they also do it because they want to experience Stockholm. A bike ride with a guide in the phone is a great and environmentally friendly way to do sightseeing”, says Martin Fredberg at Gamla Stans Cykel.
Stay at hostels or hotels and rent the guide
At a number of hostels and hotels in Stockholm the memory card is already available for guests to rent per day so that they can go out with their phones to do sightseeing.
“I wish I was the one who came up with the idea to have audio guides on mobile phone memory cards. We want to offer our guests a smart and easy way of doing sightseeing in Stockholm”, says Per Kumrén, partner at Skanstulls Vandrarhem.
“We have had plans to offer our guests some form of audio guide as an extra service. Our guests are often young and very price sensitive and Talk of the Town is a new and price worthy way for our guests to experience more of Stockholm”, says Joakim Melchert MD of City Backpackers.
The guide as ‘audio book’
Residents of Stockholm can also use the guide to do a city walk to refresh their knowledge of their hometown. This can be useful to do before family and friends come to visit this summer. Talk of the Town is also available as an ‘audio book’ in the form of MP3-files which are downloaded either to your phone or your MP3-player at most Swedish internet book shops. The map is included as a PDF that can be printed off. Talk of the Town can be downloaded at guidetome.se.
More information is available at talkofthetown.se