There is so much to experience in and around Stockholm that you should book at least 4 to 5 days for your first city trip to the Swedish capital. Even if you have been there before, the list of ‘things to do’ is inexhaustible. I also try to make one or more day trips each time I visit Stockholm.
Day trips in Stockholm
A number of attractions in Stockholm have so much to offer that you can easily stay there for at least half a day.
Skansen is one of Stockholm’s most popular attractions and the place to visit to learn more about how the Swedes lived, learn about Swedish history, about Swedish traditions and to get acquainted with animals from the north. Those who would like to attend a recording of Allsång på Skansen should plan their visit during the summer holidays on a Tuesday. There is also a lot to do in Skansen around midsummer, Christmas,…
You can see the amusement park of Stockholm, Gröna Lund, from all over the city. In summer, performances by popular artists are an extra reason to come.
Viking town Birka
Birka was the first city in Sweden. The city originated somewhere around 750 and is located on the current island Björkö. The island was an important trading center during the time of the Vikings. Björkö is an island in Lake Mälaren, about 30 kilometers from Stockholm. Since 1993 it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Visit a castle or manor
In the center of Stockholm, on Gamla Stan – the old city, you can visit the Royal Palace. However, this is no longer the place where the royal couple lives. They mainly use Kungliga Slottet for official occasions. But you can also visit their home, Drottningholm Slott. This castle is located just outside the city, on the island of Lovön in Lake Mälaren, and can be reached both by land and by boat. Prince Carl-Philip and his Sofia also live here with their children.
Skoklosters Slott is the largest private castle ever built in Sweden and overlooks Lake Mälaren. It is a 17th century castle with rich decorations and is exceptionally well preserved, even though it has barely been inhabited for a long time.
Julita is a bit further away from Stockholm. The largest open-air museum in Sweden can be found on the edge of the Öljaren lake, in the heart of Sörmland, close to Katrineholm and Eskilstuna. Julita gård is part of Nordiska Museet in Stockholm. In the Middle Ages it was a monastery, later it was a country house where Swedish nobility lived and now it is an open-air museum.
The Stockholm archipelago
There are about 30,000 islands off the coast of Stockholm. Some are no bigger than a rock, other islands have a few hundred inhabitants. You can visit most of these islands as a day trip. Below you will find some islands I already visited. I am aware that this list is far from complete. Reason enough to go to Stockholm again and again; -)
The southernmost island of that archipelago is Landsort . I stayed 2 days but it is also fine to do as a day trip. Only a handful of people live there. Most homes are summer houses. A visit to the lighthouse over here is a must. Further on, you can bathe and mainly enjoy the quietness. Good food is available at Svedtiljas.
The island group Fjäderholmarna is the closest to Stockholm. You can even see it from Djurgården. It is barely 20 minutes sailing. Fjäderholmarna is part of National City Parks. The archipelago is a popular destination for both Stockholmers and tourists. A large part of the visitors comes to the island especially for a visit to Fjäderholmarnas Krog .
Skogskyrkogården can literally be translated as a ‘forest cemetery’. That is actually what it is: a graveyard in a forest. Or rather: forest and cemetery are seamlessly merged. A unique place in a suburb of Stockholm!
Hellasgården is a popular place in the Nacka nature reserve, just outside of Stockholm where all year round around a lot can be experienced. I went to Hellasgården in the winter, to go ice skating and have a sauna. After the sauna I jumped into a hole in the ice to cool down. You can also go cross-country skiing.
If there is no snow or ice, you come here to enjoy nature, take long walks and perhaps even a swim in the lake.
Blå Lagunen in Ekerö
A beach with the name ‘the blue lagoon’ on an island just outside Stockholm, it makes one dreamy. The place is actually called Husbygropen and is an artificial lake. It is located on the island of Ekerö, more specifically at Munsö, near Lake Mälaren. If you walk around the lagoon, you will also see Lake Mälaren. The quarry is popular with local divers. For fans of Måns Zelmerlöw, it is here that his video clip for ‘Glorious’ was recorded.
What is your favorite day trip from Stockholm?