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What to do around Stockholm our 10 must-do activities in the immediate vicinity

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. We’ll show you all the activities that are less than 1 hour from Stockholm and easily accessible by public transport. Find all points of interest on our interactive map.

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.

In a previous article, we detailed our 10 must-do things to do in Stockholm in 3 days. We also recommend exploring the Swedish capital in winter.

Our map of the most beautiful places in and around Stockholm

We’ve listed all the locations below on an interactive map to help you find your way around.

Which towns to visit around Stockholm?

Uppsala, the student city, and pleasant Sigtuna, one of Sweden’s oldest towns, are the 2 cities to visit north of Stockholm.

We recommend that you take a day during your stay in Stockholm to visit 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 theStockholm archipelago is a must when visiting the Swedish capital. It is made up of some 25,000 islands and islets. You can visit the 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.

Favourite ❤️

Guided tour of the Stockholm archipelago, departing from Stockholm, we boarded a boat for 2.5 hours to discover the verdant archipelago. At the same time, the guide shared with us useful information about the Swedish capital and its beautiful archipelago.

It’s a great option if you want to explore this little corner of paradise.

➡️ A word of advice: don’t forget to book your tickets online in advance (around €30 per person), especially during the tourist season, as this tour is very popular and places are limited.

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. Go on safari to meet wild animals

Stockholm is surrounded by numerous national parks. We recommend exploring the flora and fauna typical of northern countries with the help of a guide (departing from Stockholm).

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see deer, reindeer… and even elk in their natural habitat.

We were also very lucky during our trip to Scandinavia, as we were able to get up close and personal with a moose and numerous reindeer in the wild (here are a few photos). Of course, this is one of our fondest travel memories.

5. 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.

6. 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 the small “Naturum” museums, always free of charge and 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).

7. Sea kayaking around Stockholm

As Sweden is made up of many lakes, each more beautiful than the last, 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 theisland 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 central Stockholm, including a 4-hour round trip, to rent kayaks and tour the island.

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8. 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.

9. 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). Site to book your tickets online in advance.

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10. 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. In a previous article, we detailed Stockholm’s most beautiful beaches (or sometimes just pebbles or a pontoon) for swimming.

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. We advise you to book in advance, as accommodation quickly fills up in high season.

Coup de coeur ♥

Hotel Birger Jarl: Noormalm district (the best area to sleep in, in our opinion): the hotel’s location is perfect for visiting central Stockholm on foot. In a beautiful, completely renovated building, our accommodation was spacious with a mini fridge and carefully decorated, excellent value for money where you’ll feel right at home. We would definitely go back. (with breakfast)

Renovated apartment

Biz Apartment Hammarby Sjöstad: in the Södermalm district (one of our favorites), we hesitated for a long time before choosing this well-located accommodation. It’s an apartment, so it’s easier to cook than in a hotel. The building has been completely renovated.

Low cost € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € € €

City Backpackers Hostel: a nicely decorated hostel, certainly the best value in Stockholm, €75 for a double room in the trendy Södermalm district (one of our favorites). I stayed there on my first visit to 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.

We spent 5 weeks in Sweden, so if you’re looking for ideas of things to see in Sweden, we’ve put together an article with around 20 must-see places in Sweden, some of which are completely unusual. Our map will help you find your way around.

We hope you enjoy your trip to Stockholm – don’t miss the Skansen open-air museum (a small concentrate of Sweden) and the Vasa ship museum!

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.

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Picture of Floriane
My name is Floriane, and I've been an adventurer and travel enthusiast since I was very young. More than anything, I love sharing our travel stories and tips with you. We love short getaways as well as long trips. This blog was born after our backpacking trip around the world. We also went on a family tour of Europe.
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