One of the reasons I moved to Sweden was to discover the beautiful natural locations it has to offer! One of the best places to do this is in the archipelago, a collection of islands off the coast of Stockholm. You can get to all the places on this list, including routes that go by ferry, with an SL ticket which costs 26 SEK for 75 minutes.
What is Grinda: an island with lots of nature
How to get here: from KTH it is a 40 minute bus ride to Vaxholm (the gateway to the archipelago), followed by a 30 minute ferry journey which costs 60 SEK one way for students .
Grinda is one of the islands in the archipelago with the most nature. From what I could tell from visiting, it has cabins that you can rent out and an area to camp in, as well as an inn known for its Swedish cuisine and kayak rentals. Other than this, it is quite remote and can definitely provide a quiet escape from the city.
What is Björnö: a nature reserve
How to get here: from Slussen you can take a bus for 1 hour to get to the nature reserve.
Björnö makes the list of my top 5 hiking hot spots around Stockholm! It was also one of my first hikes so maybe this was when I fell in love with the archipelago. The routes here were trails that ran through the forest, but you could deviate from them to discover more secluded areas.
When we were here we found other hikers & families that came for mushroom picking. This is an activity Swedes enjoy at the beginning of summer and autumn. ‘Allemansrätten’ or ‘freedom to roam’ allows them to go anywhere and pick whatever mushrooms and berries they like, as long as they respect nature. This rule also applies to hiking, camping and swimming! Unfortunately we did not attempt to hunt for mushrooms as our knowledge on non-toxic mushrooms is quite limited!
What is Lidingö: a nature reserve next to the city
How to get here: You can take the metro to the end of the red line (Ropsten) or bus 6 which stops at Karolinska Institutet, followed by a tram. This should take about 45 minutes.
This is an island right next to Stockholm that offers a multitude of walking trails where you’ll find many locals wandering around. There are many options for long and short distance routes. This was one of the few hikes I’ve done in Stockholm that had an incline, with the highest point reaching 30 metres! Wild! We also managed to find a small cafe halfway through the walk which is perfect for a short fika break.
What is Artipelag: an outdoor art museum
How to get here: starting at Slussen you take 2 buses that take a total of 40 minutes to reach the museum.
Artipelag is the perfect place for those of you who enjoy nature, but are just not quite into hiking. It is an art museum with interactive art exhibitions, classical and modern paintings and art sculptures. There is a nature trail to see their permanent outdoor sculptures for free, but don’t worry, you don’t have to trek too far to see everything! It also has a cafe and restaurant which offers amazing views of the archipelago when you get tired of walking around.
What is Gålö: a nature reserve in the south of Sweden
How to get here: you can take public transport to Södra in Södermalm. From here you then take a train and a bus to get to the nature reserve which should take about 1.5 hours to reach.
Gålö is an area popular for hiking or fishing. This was one of my absolute favourite places to hike so far. The routes along the island are made up of nature paths that run along the waterside so you get a magnificent view of the archipelago the whole time. There are multiple routes that you can choose from, so if you prefer exploring the forest surroundings then that’s an option too!
I went with Alexandra to Gålö, so you can read more about our time there as well as other day trips from Stockholm in her blog post!
What I learned from traveling around Sweden is that the SL card allows you to be extremely flexible with traveling! You can reach places that are quite far out for an affordable price and be completely immersed in nature.
One tip I have for you if you are considering a trip away from the city is to check the public transport routes for the return journey in advance! Buses don’t run regularly and you don’t want to be stuck in a nature reserve with no food, campsites or way back to the city if you can help it!
Hopefully this has given you travel inspiration for the summer in Sweden. As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me in the comments section!
Hi! I’m Lianne from Ireland and England, currently studying a Master’s in Toxicology at Karolinska Institutet (KI). Before coming to Sweden I was living in The Netherlands where I completed my bachelor’s degree. I looked forward to coming to Sweden for the nature and happened to stumble across Karolinska Institutet! It sounded appealing since the university is focused on human health and I’m happy to be studying here now. Learning Swedish is on the top of my list of things to do in Sweden, but I’m also excited to explore the archipelago of Stockholm and go bouldering outdoors.