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Stockholm's Sparkling Surroundings

6 Day Trips Beyond the City

Photo by Nikola Johnny Mirkovic/Unsplash

Stockholm, the "Beauty on Water," enthrals with its Gamla Stan charm and archipelago majesty. But for those seeking to venture beyond the city's embrace, a tapestry of captivating day trips awaits. From Viking voyages to royal retreats and artistic enclaves, prepare to be surprised by the rich tapestry woven just outside Stockholm's city limits.





Sigtuna: The Viking Legacy

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Journey: A quick 35-minute train ride north whisks you to Sigtuna, Sweden's oldest town, steeped in Viking history.


Must-Sees: Immerse yourself in Viking lore at Sigtuna Museum, where artefacts whisper tales of a bygone era. Explore the ruins of St. Lars Church, Sweden's oldest stone church, and imagine the town bustling during Viking trade fairs.


Hidden Gem: Wander the cobblestone streets with ochre-coloured houses and charming shops. Duck into Sigtuna Stadshotell, a historic inn from the 17th century, for a fika (coffee break) with a slice of traditional Swedish cardamom cake.






Uppsala: A Regal Escape with a Student Spirit

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Journey: A 40-minute train ride northwest brings you to Uppsala, Sweden's fourth-largest city, boasting a rich academic and royal past.


Must-Sees: Scale the soaring heights of Uppsala Cathedral, Scandinavia's tallest Gothic cathedral—Marvel at its intricate stained glass windows and the magnificent silver shrine of Saint Erik. History buffs can delve into the fascinating collections at Uppsala Castle, a former royal residence showcasing Swedish monarchs' opulent lives.


Hidden Gem: Uppsala boasts a vibrant student life. Stroll through the historic university grounds, peek into student nations' colourful houses, and grab a bite at a lively student pub to taste Uppsala's youthful energy.








Drottningholm Palace: A Royal Escape on an Island

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Journey: Embark on a regal adventure! A 30-minute boat trip from central Stockholm deposits you on the island of Lovö, home to Drottningholm Palace, the private residence of the Swedish royal family.


Must-Sees: Step back in time as you explore the magnificent Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour the lavish state apartments adorned with opulent furnishings and paintings. Don't miss the Chinese Pavilion, a whimsical rococo folly offering a glimpse into 18th-century royal leisure pursuits.


Hidden Gem: After your palace tour, wander through the palace gardens, a haven of manicured lawns, sculptures, and tranquil ponds. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy a leisurely lunch amidst this picturesque setting.





Vaxholm: A Fortress Adventure in the Stockholm Archipelago

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Photo by Anna Hållams/imagebank.sweden.se

Journey: Escape to the Stockholm Archipelago! A one-hour ferry ride from Stockholm's Strömkajen pier in central Stockholm takes you to Vaxholm, a charming island town guarded by a majestic 16th-century fortress.


Must-Sees: Explore the imposing Vaxholm Fortress, a key component of Stockholm's historical defence system. Climb the ramparts for panoramic archipelago views and explore exhibits showcasing Sweden's fascinating maritime history.


Hidden Gem: After exploring the fortress, rent a bike and explore the island's scenic byways. Stop by a quaint harbourside restaurant and savour a plate of freshly caught seafood while soaking in the idyllic island atmosphere.


Skokloster Castle: A Glimpse into Swedish Aristocratic Life

Journey: A one-hour train ride west brings you to Mälaren Lake, where the magnificent Skokloster Castle, a Renaissance masterpiece, awaits.


Must-Sees: Step into a bygone era as you tour Skokloster Castle, one of Sweden's grandest private homes. Explore its opulent rooms filled with tapestries, period furniture, and an impressive collection of armoury. Imagine elaborate aristocratic gatherings held within these grand halls.


Hidden Gem: Stroll through the castle's formal gardens, a delightful blend of Renaissance symmetry and English landscape design. Take a moment to relax by the fountain and soak in the peaceful ambience.







Artipelag: A Modern Art Oasis Amidst the Archipelago

Photo by Artipelag

Journey: Combine art and nature on a trip to Artipelag, a modern art museum on the beautiful Värmdö island. Take a 20-minute ferry ride from Stockholm or a scenic bus ride to reach this unique cultural haven.


Must-Sees: Artipelag's striking glass and wood architecture blends seamlessly with the surrounding archipelago landscape. Explore its ever-changing exhibitions showcasing contemporary art from Sweden and worldwide from established artists and rising stars. Don't miss the opportunity to wander through the sculpture park, where art installations interact with the archipelago's natural beauty.


Hidden Gem: Grab a table on Artipelag's restaurant terrace after your art fix. Savour a delicious meal prepared with local, seasonal ingredients while enjoying breathtaking panoramic views of the Stockholm archipelago.





Birka: A Viking Voyage Through Time

Photo by Jann Lipka/imagebank.sweden.se
Photo by Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Journey: Embark on a historical adventure! A two-hour ferry ride from Stockholm takes you to Björkö island, home to the fascinating Viking settlement of Birka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Must-Sees: Unearth the secrets of the Vikings at Birka, a former trading centre dating back to the 8th century. Explore the reconstructed Viking houses, workshops, and harbour, and imagine the bustling marketplace that once thrived here. Visit the Birka Museum to learn about Viking life, culture, and fascinating archaeological finds.


Hidden Gem: Walking through the beautiful surrounding forests after exploring the Viking settlement. Look for wildflowers and various bird species that call Björkö island home.








So, there you have it! These seven day trips offer a glimpse of the diverse experiences waiting just beyond Stockholm's city limits. From historical adventures to artistic escapes and regal retreats, Stockholm's surroundings promise a day trip to remember. Pack your sense of adventure and get ready to discover the hidden gems that lie within easy reach of the "Beauty on Water."


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