Welcome to Kista, a district of Stockholm that we for a long time have called home. This is a part of the City of Stockholm, a suburb to the north of the center. Sometimes referred to as Sweden’s “Silicon Valley”, it is home to several headquarters of Swedish IT companies and the Swedish offices of several international cooperations. The largest company here is probably Ericsson, but you will also find Tele2, IBM, CGI, Atea, Fujitsu, Philips, Huawei, and many more. The area also has a branch of KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm as well as the Swedish Defence Research Agency.
But there is more than offices in Kista. Kista is also a large residential area, with more than 13.000 inhabitants. To the north are the areas of Husby and Akalla, Rinkeby and Spånga are in the west, Helenelund and Sollentuna are in the east, and to the south, you can visit Igelbäcken Nature Reserve and Ursvik. It is a well-connected district with the highways E4 and E18 in its vicinity as well as access to both the metro and the commuter train.
Many of the street names here have been inspired by places in Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland. Neighboring Husby has names inspired by places in Norway and Akalla by places in Finland.
A Short History of Kista
Where the urban area of Kista is today there was previously farmland. The small village Ärvinge with the farm Kista was located here. The farm had received its name from another farm in neighboring Sollentuna that had the same landowner. It was the farm that gave the name to the new district when Stockholm began to expand in this direction.
The farm was still active in the 1950s when it was farming the land that was designated for the military. The plan to urbanize Kista was created in 1969 and the construction of the first residential areas began in 1975. The first stage of construction was finished in 1980, with the new inhabitants moving in already during the second half of the 1970s. An industrial and office area was at the same time established to the east of the residential constructions. The area became known for the many IT companies already in the 1980s.
Things to Do and See
For many, a visit to Kista means shopping or working. The shopping mall is still one of the largest in Stockholm, while the many office complexes create a large influx of people to Kista during the days. But what else is there to see? Highrises, nature, and a few historical buildings can be found here.
Kista Galleria became one of the largest shopping malls in Stockholm when it was renovated in 2002. The mall was opened already in 1977 and is located directly between the residential and the office area. This is also where the metro station is. The mall has many shops and restaurants, even though it has been severely affected by the covid-19 pandemic as well as the competition from the nearby Mall of Scandinavia in Solna.
Kista Science Tower
Kista Science Tower is an office building in the center of Kista, right next to the shopping mall. With its 32 floors and almost 124 meters, it is the second tallest building in Stockholm. The only building that is higher is the 155-meter high Kaknäs tower. The tower was completed in 2003 and is according to some sources the highest office building in the Nordics.
Victoria Tower is at the edge of Kista, right next to the border with Helenelund. It is the third-highest building in Kista with its 117.6 meters, making it the fifth-highest in Stockholm. The tower houses both office areas and a hotel that is run by Scandic. This is according to some sources the highest hotel building in northern Europe. The tower was completed in 2016 and has 35 floors.
Kista Torn is a pair of residential buildings. The smaller of the two towers has 16 floors and reaches a height of 60 meters. The main tower is 120 meters high with its 35 floors. This makes it the fourth highest building in Stockholm today. But it was the highest residential building in the city from its completion in 2016 until the completion of Norra Tornen in 2018.
Kista Convention Center
Kista Convention Center, Kistamässan in Swedish, is right next to Victoria Tower. The 15.000 square meters of space is used for fairs and other events. This was also one of the locations in Stockholm that were used during the vaccinations for Covid-19. The center is managed by Easyfairs Group.
Kista Gård is the former farm and predecessor of today’s Kista. The area around the main building is today a park, with green fields and a smaller playground. The building itself has seen better days and one of the storage houses burned down a few years ago.
Gläntan is the central park area. This is where you can find green fields, spots for barbeques, and activities for kids. After all, this is where the large public playground is located. The playground was renovated in 2021 and is split into three parts – one for the older kids, one for the small ones, and one part with swings.
Skogvaktarkärret is a march next to highway E18, right between Kista and neighboring Rinkeby. A rest area has been constructed, with the possibility to enjoy a picnic overlooking the water of this small waterhole.
Ärvinge Bollplan is the football field located at the edge of the residential area. It uses artificial turf and is in use most of the year. There is a small stand that can take around 250 spectators.
Ärvinge Ängar is the green field right to the south of Kista. These fields are a popular destination during the summers, with many locals out for barbeques, gatherings or just to enjoy some sunshine. This is also the location for a football field with two goals.
Järvabadet is a collection of outdoor swimming pools located right between Kista and Rinkeby at the former farm Eggeby Gård. There are three swimming pools here, in different sizes. There is an entrance fee for visits.
Eggeby Gård & Järva Folkets Park
Eggeby Gård is one of the area’s old farms and was mentioned as early as the 14th century. Many of the buildings here date back to the early parts of the 20th century. The farm is since 1976 used as Järva Folkets Park, a park for the locals used for events and other gatherings.
Igelbäcken Culture Reserve
Seperating Kista, Husby, and Akalla on one side from Rinkeby and Tensta on the other is Igenbäcken Culture Reserve. This is a green area, where both Eggeby Gård and Järvabadet are located. The area includes several hiking paths and space for outdoor activities. There are also floodlit trails for anyone walking or running after sunset. In addition to the farm Eggeby Gård, there are also the farms Granby Gård, Hästa Gård, and Akalla By within the reserve. The huge hill Granholstoppen is also here. Granholstoppen is a former landfill that was created during the construction of the metro but does also include other waste from the Stockholm area. The height is around 37 meters compared to the surrounding land and it is today home to a park for disc golf.
Igelbäcken Nature Reserve
Right to the south of Kista is Igelbäcken Nature Reserve. Its location is mostly within Sundbyberg Municipality, but parts of it belong to neighboring Kista as well as Ursvik, Järvastaden, and Ulriksdal. It was established in 2003 and covers an area of 127 hectares. Here you will find forests and old farmlands. The many paths and rest stops are popular all year round. There are floodlit trails of 2.5 and 5 kilometers and during the winter there are also ski trails through the forest.
How to Get to Kista
Flights: The closest major airport is Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN), 28 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights. There is also Stockholm Bromma Airport (BMA) 9 kilometers away with mostly domestic flights and Stockholm Skavsta Airport (NYO) 115 kilometers away with a few low-cost airlines.
Car: Kista lies along both the highways E4 and E18, just north of Stockholm.
Bus: Local and regional SL buses connect Kista with the surrounding region.
Train: A stop for SL commuter trains by SL is in nearby Helenelund and connects Kista with Stockholm and Uppsala. There is also the blue line of the metro, with trains to central Stockholm.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 14 kilometers (15 min) Gothenburg – 478 kilometers (5 h 12 min) Malmö – 621 kilometers (6 h 41 min) Linköping – 209 kilometers (2 h 19 min) Kiruna – 1223 kilometers (14 h 33 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden