It looks like Summer 2021 is shaping up to be another Swedish staycation for us. We originally planned to visit Norway and Finland but we’ll save that idea until we’ve been vaccinated and travel is more stable all round. Luckily there is plenty to keep us entertained around the Stockholm area instead.
We’ll be going back to some of our favourite spots this Summer as well as exploring a few places that have been on our list for a while. If you are visiting from another area for the first time, there are lots of nice hotels in Stockholm and plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy despite it being a city.
There are still quite a few regional restrictions (alongside national) in place. I recommend checking krisinformation.se if you are visiting from another region — they have a specific information about travelling within Sweden.
Open air transport
The current recommendations are to limit the use of public transport wherever possible. Boats with outdoor space and e-scooters are our favourite way to travel at the moment. Some of the boat routes are covered by public transport (SL) and others are private companies.
Fjäderholmarna and Vaxholm are a couple of nice places to visit in the Stockholm archipelago. Valxholm is more of a small town with nice giftshops and water views. Fjaderholmarna (feather island) is a wilder island with forest paths, gift shops stocked with locally crafted items and a handful of restaurants with outdoor seating and water views.
Tyresta National Park
Stockholm has an abundance of wild places to explore. Tyresta is one of the more obvious choices but it’s too beautiful not to include, just because it’s popular. You can walk along miles of forest trails, swim in lakes and pick wild blueberries in the Summer.
There is a bus but it can get quite crowded, so definitely pack a mask if this is on your list. Tyrsta has some designated grilling areas and we often see Swedes grilling hotdogs while enjoying the views. There is also a cafe and ice cream shop (near where the bus stops) with plenty of outdoor seating.
Rosendals is one of my favourite places for lunch! They have gardens (where some of their food is grown), a garden shop, greenhouse cafe and a small food shop.
They are taking lots of Covid precautions. In the greenhouse cafe, all ready made food is wrapped, a limited number of people can order inside at the same time, hand sanitiser is available and there is lots of outdoor seating including tables in an apple orchard. The number of people allowed in the food and plant shops has also been cut right down.
Stockholm has an abundance of wild swimming areas — something we want to take more advantage of this year. A few great spots include:
- Solviksbadet (Bromma)
- Tanto Strandbad
Each of these places have a main beach area that can get quite busy. If you go early or venture a little further along the water, you can find a quiet spot free from the crowds. We loved Långholmsbadet for an early swim and breakfast picnic on a sandy beach.
Check out the Hitta Badplats page if you need help finding a good location.
Sänkdalens Glass (Gamla Stan), Glassverkstan (Skeppsholmen) and Stikki Nikki (several locations) are some of our favourite ice cream shops.
Glassverkstan has outdoor seating or you can grab an ice cream and sit along the boat yard. We last visited during Winter and sat outside so we plan to go back again and eat ice cream in the warm this time! Skeppsholmen also has some beautiful old buildings and is on an SL boat route… which gives you three reasons to visit!
Skansen is an open air museum of Swedish life. You can walk through old streets, gardens and see Nordic animals; it’s like going back in time.
They’ve only just re-opened to the public and visitor numbers are very limited – you now need to make a reservation to visit. The food facilities aren’t great (aside from the cakes) so I recommend packing a picnic and enjoying it somewhere in the large grounds.
Friluftsliv (for new to Sweden visitors)
Spending lots of time outdoors in fresh air is the Nordic way of life (friluftsliv). As anyone living here will tell you, Sweden is an amazing place to be if you enjoy being in nature. And if you don’t, maybe a Swedish Summer could change that. So if you only do one outdoor activity here… buy some strawberries, pack a blanket and go spend an afternoon by a lake. If that doesn’t change your mind, nothing will 🙂