Stockholm is one of those cities with a wealth of cultural sites and attractions. From wandering the fairytale-like streets of Gamla Stan to seeing historic and artistic treasures in one of the many world-class museums, visitors definitely won’t have a shortage of things to see and do.
But if you want to see something else besides this buzzing capital city, then you’ll want to plan a day trip. The outskirts of Stockholm are easy to navigate, meaning you can see jaw-dropping landscapes, ornate palaces, and even quiet fishing villages all in just under an hour.
What is the Best Day Trip from Stockholm?
With so many great attractions near Stockholm, you won’t have to spend most of the day traveling. Picturesque towns like Sigtuna and Mariefied can be easily visited on a day trip. If you prefer to dive into Scandinavian history, then a trip to Drottningholm Palace or the settlement of Birka may be better suited to your tastes.
And if you’re looking for a break from city life, then you can stretch your legs on a hike through Sörmlands or a ferry ride to Fjäderholmarna. But these are just a few ideas of what you can do. Read on to discover a few more awesome day trips you can take from Stockholm.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. They reside in the west wing of the palace (which is closed to tourists for obvious reasons), although you’re more than welcome to tour other parts of the building.
Save time after the tour to wander through the English gardens, which consist of ponds, canals, and tree-lined forests.
And to top it off, the ride to the palace is almost a worthwhile day trip on its own. The palace is located on Lovön island and can be reached by a scenic 45-minute boat ride across Mälaren Lake.
While Stockholm is filled with cool neighborhoods and picturesque buildings, it can’t beat the authentic charm of Sigtuna. The Viking town was originally founded in 980 CE, although most of the current architecture is from the medieval period.
As you stroll through the winding streets of the historic city center, you’ll find a plethora of wooden houses, handicraft shops, and family-run restaurants.
One of Sigtuna’s most prominent attractions is the ruin of St. Olof’s Church. Dating back more than 900 years, this is believed to be the oldest church in the country.
Visiting the church and city is an easy day trip from Stockholm and takes just 40 minutes using the train and local bus.
Uppsala is a vibrant university city 45 minutes north of Stockholm, making it one of the easiest day trips for visitors.
And although the city center is overflowing with small cafes and local restaurants, it’s the historical landmarks that really make Uppsala stand out.
Make sure to stop by the Domkyrka, a 13th-century cathedral and the largest of its kind in Scandinavia. Here you’ll find the tombs of many Swedish royals, including Eric IX, Gustav Vasa, and John III.
You can also make your way to the Uppsala Castle, which now houses the Uppsala Art Museum, the Vasaborgen Museum, and the Peace Museum.
For many locals, visiting the archipelago of Fjäderholmarna is a beloved summer pastime. While you won’t find any major landmarks or big-name attractions, you will be able to spend a leisurely few hours strolling through the picturesque harbor villages.
The main island, Stora Fjäderholmen, is a thriving community of artists’ studios, boutique shops, and cafes and is only 30 minutes by boat from Stockholm.
The islands also cater to nature lovers, who come for the rugged cliffs and natural beaches. And while Fjäderholmarna is arguably a beautiful destination throughout the year, it’s only open during the summer between the months of May and September.
While visiting a graveyard may not be everyone’s cup of tea, trust us when we say that Skogskyrkogården is unlike any cemetery you have seen! Set amongst a pine forest in between green rolling hills, Skogskyrkogården (also known as Woodland Cemetery) is particularly famous for its tranquil setting.
Its layout was designed by modern architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz, which due to the unique elements of Nordic Classicism and functionalism, has since become a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Guided tours of the cemetery are available, although many people just like to wander through the pastoral landscape or admire the views on meditation hill.
Considered by many to be the crown jewel of Mälaren Lake, Mariefred is a picturesque lakeside town dotted with incredible medieval architecture.
The first building you notice in town is Gripsholm Castle, which is one of the many residences of the Swedish royal family. It also houses the National Portrait Gallery, a museum with one of the oldest portrait collections in the world.
Other notable sites in town include the 17th-century church, the 18th-century town hall building, and the ruins of the nearly 1,000-year-old Kärnbo church.
While you can reach Mariefred by car or public transportation, it’s way more scenic to take a cruise on the historic S/S Mariefred instead.
If you’re craving a bit of fresh air, then escape the bustling city for a few hours to hike Sörmlandsleden.
This trail is over 620 miles long and winds through the heart of Sörmland, although it’s divided into multiple sections based on distance and difficulty. You can even start directly from the city center of Stockholm if you want!
For a quick day trip, look for the blue routes (the orange routes are more for long-distance trekkers). Depending on where you hike, you’re likely to see a diverse mix of landscapes, from glistening lakes to deep, wooded forests and everything in between!
To learn more about Sweden’s rich Viking heritage, don’t miss out on a trip to Birka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest town in the country.
This settlement was founded in 750 CE and was an important trading center, with a likely population of around 1,000 people.
Nearby, you’ll also find the Birka Burial Ground, which contains more than 3,000 graves
When some of the tombs were excavated, archeologists found objects transported from foreign countries (jewelry, glass, textiles) which can be explained by Birka’s trading history.
While there aren’t any original buildings or ruins that are present here today, you can see a handful of reconstructed buildings in the Viking Village.
If you’re visiting in summer, make sure to come during Viking Week (mid-July) to see real Viking decedents living and working in the village.
Now that you know about the amazing destinations that lie outside of the city of Stockholm, it’s time to start planning where you want to take your day trip! Are you eager to see an old Viking stomping ground? Perhaps you’d rather enjoy fika in a small cafe on the shores of Mälaren Lake.
Or maybe you want to visit the majestic palaces fit for the Kings and Queens? No matter what you choose, seeing a different part of Sweden will surely enhance your Stockholm getaway.