I almost can't believe this happened, but we took the free IKEA bus to the world's largest IKEA store, south of Stockholm, Sweden. We were on this free IKEA bus (which leaves Stockholm weekdays, on the hour, returning from IKEA every 30 to 45 minutes) because I was so curious to discover if the world's largest IKEA store in Sweden was exactly like IKEA stores in North America.
The verdict is in...
After viewing these beautiful vintage photos in the lobby (were they from the store's 1965 opening?), we browsed all around, and the world's largest IKEA store really did look so similar to what we see in North America, except...
Smart accommodations for those who use wheels (carts, wheelchairs, strollers, bicycles) are everywhere around Stockholm, including inside IKEA. Not only does this seem very thoughtful, but imagine the money and energy saved (and the fun we all get to enjoy together) by bypassing escalators.
Amazingly, electric bicycles were for sale. I assumed they were expensive, so I didn't calculate (convert) the price at that time. Turns out, these electric bicycles were selling for less than $200 each! Had I realized the actual price then, I would have seriously made a purchase—or two.
The most logical bedding on earth was also for sale. A fitted sheet over a single mattress. A "duvet" cover (sheet) enclosing the blanket. This means no bulky mattresses to move, and no heavy blankets to wash—just sheets! Scandinavia and Europe have been handling bedding so wisely for years. It made my heart sing to see this available at IKEA.
I could not believe my eyes!
Raw vegan food at IKEA! And these goodies can be found at any one of the three restaurangs located inside the largest IKEA on earth.
There's just one important TRAVEL TIP: The trip home on the bus is filled with many shoppers and their large purchases, both of which can take up their own seat. So one needs to be one of the first in line to board the return bus home, to ensure a seat. Of course, one also needs to be prepared to give up their seat to elderly and pregnant riders, out of thoughtful respect. (But don't worry, as there's standing room.)