16 fun, easy day trips from Stockholm

There are enough centrally located sights and activities in Stockholm to keep you occupied for a week or more. Sometimes, however, you just want to leave the big city behind and get a quick taste of the ‘real’ Sweden.

These day trips from Stockholm are all easily achievable with public transport – leave early in the morning and you’ll be back downtown in time for dinner.

Organised day trips from Stockholm

All the places we recommend here can be reached by public transport, but sometimes it’s easier quicker and more fun to go on a guided tour – especially if you’re a solo traveller.

So, here are some of our favourite organised day trips from Stockholm.

We love this tour of Viking culture history and sites round Stockholm, which takes in a Viking and iron age grave field, a Viking bridge and Sigtuna (see below), Sweden’s oldest city, founded in Viking times.

One of the best way to explore Drottingholm is on a guided tour with a knowledgeable guide who can give you all the inside gem on the palace and its royal residents.

This tour includes the boat trip, admission fees with skip-the-line entry, lunch and a Blue Badge guide.

And if you want to escape the city, we suggest this tranquil day hike in the woods and pine forests around Stockholm. You’ll hike to the top of rocky plateau to admire the views and cook lunch on a campfire. 

Since Stockholm is all about the water, this kayaking trip through the archipelago is our top choice.

You’ll paddle round the pretty islands and waterways, stop at a beach to cook an organic lunch on a campfire, maybe even brave a quick dip in the Baltic, then have a fika stop on the way home.

1 Uppsala

One of the oldest cities in Sweden and with a university that’s been around for more than 530 years, Uppsala is just 40 minutes from Stockholm by train.

Uppsala is easy to visit on a day trip from Stockholm

On a day trip from the capital you’ll have time to check out Domkyrkan – the biggest cathedral in all of Scandinavia – and the university’s splendid Carolina Rediviva Library, which is stacked wall to wall with books.

Another reason for visiting Uppsala is to take a peek around its castle, which played a crucial role in Swedish history and is now home to three museums.

Getting there

Regional trains depart from Stockholm’s central station, taking around 40 minutes to reach Uppsala (the station is in the centre of town). See our main Stockholm guide for more information on taking the train.

Or an easier option is this day-trip from Stockholm that includes a guided walking tour of Uppsala.

2 Skogskyrkogården

Okay, so this one isn’t exactly far from Stockholm’s city centre, but it still makes an excellent half-day trip.

Skogskyrkogården is one of the possible day trips from Stockholm

Skogskyrkogården (the woodland cemetery) is a World Heritage Site – impressive considering that, having been founded in the early 1900s, it’s far younger than most other places recognised by Unesco.

Why should you go? To walk among the huge pine trees, interspersed with row after row of low headstones, and to see the architectural beauty of a place that was designed to help mourners at a difficult time of their lives (processional routes around the vast park were specially designed to evoke feelings of hope and reconciliation).

More prosaically, Skogskyrkogården is the final resting place of the actress Greta Garbo – if you want to see her grave, it’s at plot 12A.

Getting there

From Gamla Stan in the centre of Stockholm, take the green tunnelbana (subway) line towards Farsta Strand and get off at Skogskyrkogården.

The journey takes around 15 minutes, and the park’s main entrance is just around the corner from the subway station.

3 Nacka Nature Reserve

The Nacka Nature Reserve is a beautiful place for a walk, a swim or a picnic in beautiful woods and lovely lakes.

Nacka Nature Reserve is just a 20-minure metro ride from the centre of Stockholm

You can hike through woods and valleys, over hills and granite cliffs and along sandy lake shores. And look out for wildlife, including beavers, moose, deer and foxes.

We think the way to see the best of the park is on a tour. The tour has an expert guide, who’ll come to the park with you on a local bus, take you to the best spots and also cook you a tasty organic lunch on a campfire.

Getting there

If you want to travel independently, you can get to Kärrtorp on the T-bana from Slussen in 20 minutes. From there it’s a 30-minute walk into the park.

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4 Västerås

Although plenty of tourists fly to Västerås (cleverly, the airport is branded as Stockholm Västerås), few stick around to see the sights.

There are Iron age burial stones called Anundhog, near Vasteras.

However, this small-ish city around 100km northwest of the Swedish capital is a pretty place to explore, with higgledy-piggledy cottages edging the river that runs through its centre.

We think it’s one of the best side trips from Stockholm.

In summertime, the beaches that skirt Lake Mälaren are perfect for a dip. Johannisberg, around 6km southwest of the city centre, is one of the easiest spots to reach.

Otherwise you might fancy making the trip to Anundshög, Sweden’s biggest burial mound.

Some nine metres high, it dates back to around 900 AD. Around the site you can also see a collection of standing stones arranged – in ancient Scandinavian style – to resemble ships.

If you decide to spend the night in Västerås there are a couple of interesting places to stay, including the STF Sala Silvergruva hostel, in a a traditional old wooden building that was originally built as housing for workers from the local silver mine.

Getting there

Frequent trains (roughly every half an hour) connect Stockholm’s main train station with Västerås. The journey takes around an hour.

5 Boda Borg, Oxelösund

For a completely different kind of day tour, head for Boda Borg in Oxelösund, around two hours from central Stockholm.

Boda Borg is a fun activity centre where visitors solve a series of challenges.

At this fun activity centre visitors try to solve a series of mental and physical challenges (if you’ve ever seen The Crystal Maze, you’ll know what we mean).

The tasks, which include trying to escape from a fake prison cell, are completed in small teams of three to five people, calling for plenty of teamwork and a bit of lateral thinking.

Getting there

Boda Borg is around 120km southwest of Stockholm. Note that you should reserve a place – don’t just turn up.

The easiest option is to drive, but it is possible to get there and back in a day using public transport.

Take the Flixbus service from City Terminalen in Stockholm to Nyköping’s bus station (1 hour, 25 minutes), and then change to bus 715 for the final, 20-minute journey to Oxelösund. Get off at Oxelögatan; Boda Borg is a short walk to the east.

6 Nyköping

Nyköping might seem like an odd place to visit on a day trip from Stockholm, but if you’re flying home from nearby Stockholm Skavsta (it’s just ten minutes away from Nyköping by road) then it’s worth having a look around the city.

Nyköping has a medieval castle near Stockholm.

Chief among Nyköping’s sights is the medieval castle known as Nyköpingshus, which now houses museum exhibits.

If you’re here during summer, we’d suggest making the trip out to the city’s guest harbour – it’s a popular stopping-off point for wealthy Swedes on yachting holidays, and has boats and bikes available for rent.

Getting there

Hourly train services run from Stockholm’s central station, taking an hour to reach Nyköping, or take the Flixbus (see above).

Arriving into Stockholm Skavsta Airport? Jump on LänsTrafiken bus 515 just outside the terminal – the journey to Nyköping takes 15 minutes.

7 Tyresta National Park

Go trekking in the Tyresta National Park, a wooded wilderness reserve just 15 miles from the centre of Stockholm.

Tyresta National Park
is a wooded wilderness reserve near Stockholm.

Trails of various lengths wind through the ancient woodland past rugged rocks and large lakes, dotted with sandy beaches.

Hiking, kayaking, camping and, in winter, ice-skating on the frozen lake are all popular activities here – or just enjoy the peace and quiet and reconnect with nature.

We love this sunset hike in the park, that includes an experienced guide who can help you spot the wildlife that lives in the park, and a picnic supper in the forest.

Getting there

To get to the main entrance at Tyresta village on public transport, take buses #807 or #809 from Gullmarsplan T-bahn station in the south of the city.

8 Tom Tits Experiment

If you’re travelling with kids and fancy leaving the city behind, but would still rather avoid a long trip away from Stockholm, consider visiting Tom Tits Experiment (entrance fee included in the Stockholm Pass). 

Tom Tits Experience  is full of interactive science experiments.

Pic: MARKUS CREPIN

Around 30km southwest of Stockholm in Södertälje, this strangely named complex is full of interactive science experiments, and will keep inquisitive kids occupied for a few hours.

There’s plenty of fun stuff for adults too – see our guide to exploring Stockholm with kids for more information.

Getting there

Tom Tits is easy to reach with public transport. Ride the train from Stockholm’s central station to Södertälje Centrum and then start walking north along the pedestrianised street that runs through the town centre. 

You’ll reach the science centre after around 10 minutes.

9 Drottningholm Palace

Perhaps the single most popular day-trip destination from Stockholm is Drottningholm Palace.

Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family in Stockholm.

This isn’t the Swedish king’s official residence (that title is given to Kungliga Slottet in central Stockholm), but it is where he spends most of his time.

Built on an island, the palace itself shares space with carefully tended baroque gardens and a theatre that was built way back in 1766, and is still in use today.

You can tour the grounds and palace (apart from the bit the royal family inhabit) all year round, though opening hours are limited to weekends during the winter.

Entrance to the palace is included on the Stockholm Pass. There’s more on visiting the palace from Stockholm in this guide.

Getting there

In summer, the nicest way to get there is on a boat trip (included in the Stockholm Pass), which takes around an hour to reach the palace. 

A cheaper, less scenic option is to take the T-bana (subway) to Brommaplan. Once there, change to bus 176 or 177 and get off at Drottningholm.

Or, if you really want to push the boat out, how about this private tour of the palace with your own expert guide, skip-the-line entrance tickets and return ferry tickets?  

10 Sigtuna

Lying on the shores of Lake Mälaren, Sigtuna is a picturesque place dotted with ancient rune stones – about 150 in total in the surrounding area – and historic 12th-century ruined churches.

Sigtuna is the oldest town in Sweden.

Sweden’s oldest town, Sigtuna was founded more than 1000 years ago by the Viking King Erik Segersäll. 

Its cobbled streets are lined with painted wooden cottages, and it’s a pleasant place just to wander around and breathe in the history.

We think the best way to explore Sigtuna is on this day-trip from Stockholm that includes a city walk round Sigtuna’s rune stones and historic remains, as well as a stop-off in Uppsala.

Getting there

In summer, you can take a boat trip to Sigtuna (included in the Stockholm Pass), or you can get there by train and bus in under an hour. 

SJ regional trains run regularly from Stockholm central station to Märsta, from where you can get bus #575 onto Sigtuna.

11 Mariefred

This pretty village lies on the southern shores of Lake Mälaren, with narrow cobbled streets, timbered cottages and pretty squares.

The pretty village of Mariefred  lies on the southern shores of Lake Mälaren, near Stockholm.

However, it’s the imposing Gripsholms slott (or Gripsholms castle) that’s its main attraction, built on an island just a short walk from the village centre.

The original castle was started in the 14th century by Bo Johnsson Grip, though later sections were added in the 16th and 18th centuries. 

If the castle looks familiar, it may be because the cover of ABBA’s Waterloo album was shot here!

Entrance to the castle is included on the Stockholm Pass.

Getting there

Mariefred can be reached in under an hour from Stockholm’s central station. Take the train to Läggesta, then change onto bus #303 or #305 to Mariefred.

12 Wolf tracking

This is one trip where you really do need a guide to have the best chance of seeing the elusive wolf in its native habitat.

Go wolf trekking on a day trip from Stockholm.

Wolves live wild in the Swedish wilderness, but are very wary of humans, so you’ll need the expert knowledge of a guide, who can help you follow their tracks and listen out for their howls.

This tour also provides binoculars and night vision glasses to improve your chances of seeing them, and a campfire barbecue.

Getting there

Take the T-bana from Slussen to Malmövägen station, from where it’s a five-minute walk to where you’ll meet your guide on the corner of Ystadsvägen.  

13 The Stockholm Archipelago

Regardless of the time of year, a quick day trip into the Stockholm Archipelago is the perfect way to escape the city.

Stockholm Archipelago

There are thousands upon thousands of islands to explore, but to reach most of them you’ll need a lot more than a single day (a private yacht would be useful too). Luckily there are plenty of options within easy reach of the city centre. Here are a few of our favourites:

Vaxholm

The fact that the little island of Vaxholm is so easy to reach by boat (and indeed road) means that it can get very busy. Even so, it’s packed with pretty wooden buildings and places to eat and drink, and provides a gentle introduction to the wider archipelago.

There’s also an impressive fort just offshore, which houses a museum. In summer, water taxis make the trip between Vaxholm and the fort every 15 minutes.

Our favourite way to explore Vaxholm is by kakak. On this fun day-trip, you’ll paddle round the island, looking out for wildlife then moor up one of the beaches for a tasty picnic lunch.

Grinda

A little further out into the archipelago and with more of a relaxed feel, despite its popularity with Stockholmers, Grinda has some excellent beaches.

The majority of the island is given over to rocky forest, so it’s a lovely place to explore on foot and have a dip.

And if you want to stay the night, its home to the lovely  Grinda Wärdshus, a renovated traditional wooden guest house. 

Finnhamn

Finnhamn just about near enough to Stockholm to reach on a day trip, but you’re much better off spending the night on the island if possible.

The forested island is beautifully serene and is crowned by a cosy hostel

There’s a sauna available for hire by the water’s edge – otherwise there’s little to do here except wander along the woodland trails and enjoy the isolation of being far out among the islands.

Sandön

A sleepy place in winter, the car-free island of Sandön has a resident population of just 120 people. 

But in summer, the pretty village of Sandhamn with narrow cobbled alleyways and a lively harbour front attracts day-trippers from Stockholm and is a popular stopover for sailors and the yachting set.

The island has several lovely sandy beaches and a comfortable hotel if you’re tempted to stay the night.

Getting to the archipelago

There are plenty of boats and ferries out to the islands of the Stockholm archipelago – and some can even be reached by bus!

For full details of how to get to each island, see our ultimate guide to 10 of the best islands in the Stockholm archipelago and how to get there.


14 Birka

Easily reached by boat on a day trip from Stockholm, the preserved Viking settlement of Birka is a must if you like history.

Birka near Stockholm is home to runestones and Viking remains

The village sits on the island of Björkö in the middle of Lake Mälaren, and served as an important trading hub between the ninth and tenth centuries.

As well as an excellent museum, which provides a good introduction to Viking activity in the area, Birka is home to a Viking village with reconstructions of typical dwellings.

Getting there

Strömma runs boat tours to Birka from the quay near Stockholm City Hall, including entry to the museum and a guided tour of the site (May–September only).

A full-day trip out to Birka, including entrance to the Viking village plus the return boat trip is included on the Stockholm Pass.

15 Helsinki

Ok, so it’s not really doable as a day trip (unless you fly), but it is possible to do an overnight ferry journey from Stockholm to Helsinki and back, that gives you a full day to explore the Finnish capital.

You can take an overnight cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki

Boats leave Stockholm in the late afternoon, arriving in Helsinki the following morning. After a day in the city, you can re-embark the ferry for the overnight trip back to Stockholm.

If you book far enough in advance the trip can be real bargain. 

Prices start at €130 per person for this two-night cruise that includes a four-bed cabin, plus two buffet breakfasts – which is about what you’d pay for accommodation alone in the city!

For all lowdown on the journey and how to book, see our guide to the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki.

16 Side trips from Stockholm to see the northern lights

Being able to see the northern lights in Stockholm is an extremely rare occurrence.

Take a side trip from Stockholm to see the northern lights

You could feasibly take a day trip to the far north of Sweden to see the aurora, but it would involve taking a domestic flight very early in the morning from Stockholm to a northern city such as Luleå, Gällivare or Kiruna, and then heading out into the countryside for some proper dark skies.

Even then, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see any lights before your flight back to Stockholm (it could be cloudy, or there could simply be a shortage of solar activity).

The best advice is to allow at least a few days in the north of Sweden to maximize your chances of seeing the aurora. Kiruna and Abisko both make excellent bases. Here’s our full guide to seeing the northern lights in Sweden.

See also:
Where to go hiking near Stockholm
Taking the Stockholm to Tallinn ferry
6 of the best food tours in Stockholm

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Sofia
Sofia
7 years ago

I’m loving your website, thanks for sharing such useful information! I’m planning my husband’s and my trip to Sweden in June. I’d like to know if you have information about wildlife safaris, hikings and such, also on a budget.