After 5 weeks exploring Sweden, we’ve got lots of places to share with you here. We spent several days in the Stockholm area, so here are a few ideas in the immediate vicinity of the Swedish capital.
Nature is omnipresent in Sweden, and we found little corners of paradise just a few kilometers from Stockholm. Here’s a list of activities within 1 hour of Stockholm and easily accessible by public transport.
- What to see and do around Stockholm
- Which towns to visit around Stockholm?
- 1. Visit the student city of Uppsala
- 2. Sigtuna: one of Sweden’s oldest towns
- 3. Explore the islands of the Stockholm archipelago
- 4. Drottningholm Castle: residence of the royal family
- 5. Hiking around Stockholm
- 6. Sea kayaking around Stockholm
- 7. Sauna: Sweden’s favorite activity
- 8. Skyview: take to the skies
- 9. Beaches Stockholm
- Where to sleep in Stockholm?
- Where to rent a car?
- Our map of Stockholm and surroundings
What to see and do around Stockholm
We were pleasantly surprised by the number of things to see and do when we were looking for ideas for activities around the Swedish capital. There’s something for everyone, from picturesque towns toUNESCO-listed monuments, water sports to explore theStockholm archipelago and beautiful nature parks. We’ve listed below our Ideas for things to do around Stockholm.
Which towns to visit around Stockholm?
The cities we recommend you visit are Uppsala, the student city, and pleasant Sigtuna to the north of Stockholm, one of Sweden’s oldest towns.
We recommend that you devote a day during your stay in Stockholm to visiting the 2 cities, located 30 km apart. This excursion will also allow you to discover the Swedish countryside.
1. Visit the student city of Uppsala
Uppsala is Sweden’s fourth-largest city and one of its biggest student cities.
We loved wandering around this pretty, tree-lined town, as quiet as ever in Sweden. The cathedral is Scandinavia’s tallest building, with towers reaching 119 meters in height. We recommend a stroll along the Fyrisan River, which runs through the town.
Our itinerary for visiting Uppsala is detailed in an article that you can consult by following this link: visiting Uppsala
2. Sigtuna: one of Sweden’s oldest towns
Sigtuna is considered one of Sweden’s oldest towns. The ruins of ancient churches can be seen throughout the town.
This is the town with the most rune stones in Sweden. These stones often bear inscriptions commemorating the deceased. We loved strolling along the shores of Lake Malaren.
How do I get there? Sigtuna is located 50km north of Stockholm on the E4 freeway and 16km by car from Arlanda airport. Upssala is located 30 km north of Sigtuna, and the main road linking the two towns is a pleasant one. You can come by train or bus from Stockholm. You can also book an organized tour from Stockholm to visit Uppsala and Sigtuna with transport and guide.
3. Explore the islands of the Stockholm archipelago
A visit to the Stockholm archipelago is a must when visiting the Swedish capital. TheStockholm archipelago comprises some 25,000 islands and islets. You can visit the Stockholm archipelago by boat or kayak in summer and winter alike.
There are several options for visiting the Stockholm archipelago by boat, depending on how much time you want to devote to this activity. If you’re in a hurry, you can opt for an organized cruise or a short trip on the multi-stop ferries. Kayak trips around the archipelago are also available.
We detail the different options for visiting the Stockholm archipelago in an article that you can consult by following this link: Stockholm archipelago
We recommend spending at least half a day visiting the archipelago. To reach the more remote islands, you’ll need a full day. Boats depart from central Stockholm.
4. Drottningholm Castle: residence of the royal family
Located on the shores of Lake Malaren, Drottningholm Castle aUNESCO World Heritage site, is the official residence of the Swedish royal family. Like the Royal Palace in Stockholm, part of the residence is open to the public.
The royal residence is located on the island of Lovon in the Lovö nature park. The castle is the starting point for a number of walks, giving us a taste of the archipelago.
How do I get there? Drottningholm Castle is located some ten kilometers from Stockholm. We recommend taking half a day to visit the château and its immense park. You can get there by metro and bus (25 minutes from T-Centralen), car or boat.
5. Hiking around Stockholm
Of course, you can’t explore Stockholm’s surroundings without visiting one of the nature parks that surround the city. We loved the peacefulness of the natural areas in Sweden, and of course the many facilities, picnic tables, cabins, pontoons… all in excellent condition. Occasionally, you can also take advantage of small “Naturm” museums, always free of charge, presenting the park’s flora and fauna in an entertaining way. Museums in Sweden are always superbly well done, as the super interactive Abba Museum perfectly demonstrates.
In Sweden, the right of free access to nature (Allemansrätten) allows everyone, under certain conditions, to enjoy nature and its resources (fruit, flowers…). Swedes are respectful of their environment and take great care of it. In summer, the forests are carpeted with numerous berries, and we had a wonderful time.
Around Stockholm, we recommend Tyresta Park, the largest park in southern Sweden, a primeval forest with pine trees hundreds of years old. 50 km of marked trails allow you to explore the park. A detailed trail map is available at the park entrance.
How do I get there? The main entrance is 20km south of Stockholm. You can get there by car or public transport (about 40 minutes from T-Central by metro + bus).
6. Sea kayaking around Stockholm
As Sweden is made up of many lakes, each more beautiful than the next, we had the opportunity to go packrafting (inflatable canoeing) in northern Sweden. We loved watching the shores of lakes dotted with little wooden houses with saunas and private docks.
We didn’t have the time to try out this activity around Stockholm, which we were really looking forward to. There are, of course, several options for kayaking around Stockholm. From the island of Vaxholm (1h from Stockholm) you can book a kayak excursion.
If you’d like to go further afield, here’s the information shared by an expatriate friend (thanks, Coline, if you’re passing by) that we’re keeping preciously for our next stay in Stockholm. You can go to the island of Grinda (same company as for Vaxholm), 2 hours from the center of Stockholm, including a 4-hour round trip, to rent kayaks to tour the island.
7. Sauna: Sweden’s favorite activity
The sauna (Bastu in Swedish) is one of Sweden’s favorite year-round activities. In the Swedish countryside, every wooden house comes with a sauna. A small room is heated to between 70 and 100 degrees Celsius, with very low humidity (around 20%). After a short session of around 15 minutes, the Swedes happily jump into the adjoining lake.
Around Stockholm, to enjoy a traditional sauna in beautiful surroundings, we recommend a visit to the Hellasgarden nature park, south-east of Stockholm. This sauna was recommended to us by a friend (of my sister’s, again) who lives in Stockholm. It’s best to reserve your day and time slot here. Approx. 110 SEK (€9) per person for 2 hours. Don’t forget to bring your own towels (or rent them from reception).
How do I get there? ! The sauna is located in the heart of nature, next to a lake and easily accessible by public transport, just 20 minutes away by bus (bus 401 leaves Slussen every 15 minutes)! A final word of advice: get there early on weekends, as it can get crowded.
There are many well-marked hiking trails around the lake.
8. Skyview: take to the skies
If you’ve been following us for any length of time, you’ll know that we love to get up high to better understand the organization of the cities we visit. In Stockholm, we had several options for admiring the city from above, Stockholm’s Solderman district, the rooftops andStockholm City Hall.
If you have more time, we recommend a trip to the Skyview for a glass gondola ride. The best time to buy a ticket is at sunset.
You won’t want to miss this impressive white dome and its gondolas, from which you can soar high for a 360-degree view of Stockholm.
How do I get there? the Skyview is located in the south of Stockholm, and can be reached by metro (green line) at the Globen stop (about 20 minutes from the city center)
9. Beaches Stockholm
In spring and summer, it can still be very hot in Sweden. In May and again in August, we took full advantage of the incredible facilities on offer around the Swedish lakes.
Almost every lake has a small wooden pontoon (super cute), a few picnic tables and a fire pit. Here are two places to swim in or near Stockholm.
- Tanto Beaches: a small sandy beach with a pontoon is located to the south-west of Sodermalm Island. It’s a great place to take a dip during the day or enjoy an aperitif at the end of the day.
- And don’t forget to explore the lakes and beaches around Stockholm: we recommend Tyresta Nature Park.
Where to sleep in Stockholm?
To get the most out of your stay, we recommend the Norrmalm and Östermalm districts. These districts are located right in the center of Stockholm, so you can easily reach the main points of interest without spending too much time outside, in case of very cold weather.
For smaller budgets, the Södermalm district may be a good alternative.
– Coup de coeur ♥ : Hotel Birger Jarl, quartier Noormalm (le meilleur quartir pour dormir selon nous) : la situation géographique de l’hôtel est parfaite pour visiter le centre de Stockholm. Dans un beau bâtiment entièrement rénové, notre logement était spacieux avec un mini frigo et avec une décoration soignée, un excellent rapport qualité prix où vous vous sentirez comme chez vous. Nous y retournerons sans hésitation.
– Bon marché € : City Backpackers Hostel, c’est une auberge de jeunesse joliment décorée certainement le meilleur rapport qualité / prix de Stockholm, 75€ en chambre double dans le quartier branché de Sodermalm (l’un de nos préférés). J’y avais dormi lors de mon premier séjour à Stockholm (Floriane).
Where to rent a car?
If you want to get around Stockholm without having to use public transport, you can rent a car.
Driving in Sweden is very pleasant, speed limits are respected by all drivers (in any case, fines for speeding are very high, so it’s a deterrent) and Swedes are (obviously) respectful of other drivers! We loved driving in Sweden, a country we crossed from north to south.
➡️Pourto compare rental prices, we recommend the RentalCars website. For example, you can pick up your car in central Stockholm and return it to the airport.
Our map of Stockholm and surroundings
We’ve listed all the above locations on a map to help you find your way around.
Feel free to leave us a quick note or 5 stars below, to tell us if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.