You’ll find no shortage of activities to do and attractions to visit during the summer months in Stockholm. The lush archipelago, exploring the city on the water and fun trips just outside the city make the Swedish capital the perfect destination for your summer holiday. Enjoy beautiful outdoor sights, take a dip into the cool water or see the city from a different angle – all those activities are best enjoyed surrounded by glittering water and the shining sun on your skin.

Cool down in the water

What better way could there be to cool off on a hot summer's day than to take a refreshing dip into the cold water? Whether you prefer to swim directly in the sea or you rather jump into the water in the heart of Stockholm, the city has many opportunities to offer.

Trouville is one of the most popular beaches of Stockholm, it sits on the edge of the archipelago on the island of Sandhamn, a 2-hour ferry ride from the city centre. The barren rocks and the white sandy beach give it an almost Mediterranean feel and make it the ideal spot for a relaxed evening near the water. A 20 minute walk from the port brings you to the beach, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

But did you know that Stockholm’s central canals are not only giving the capital its unique and romantic look but that they are also clear and clean enough to swim in? Popular inner city beaches can be found on Långholmen and Kungsholmen. Both Smedsddbadet and Långholmbadet have sandy beaches and large lawns to enjoy.

Spend the day at Skansen

Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum. It was founded in 1886 and ever since has been attracting visitors from all over the world. The equally fun and interactive museum is beautifully located on Royal Djurgården and not only takes you on a journey through time from the 16th to 19th century but is also home to a zoo with native Scandinavian animals.

Discover traditional villages that include farms, workshops, houses, churches, beautiful gardens and much more accompanied by historians and actors in historical costumes, taking you back in time to the pre-Industrial Revolution era. Learn all about local crafts such as pottery and glassblowing and marvel at animals native to Scandinavia likes bison, moose, bears and wolves.

While a visit to Skansen is worth it all year round, summer is the perfect time for exploring the open-air museum since the area will be buzzing with life and you can enjoy the Midsummer festivities from up close. Skansen joins the celebrations of the longest day of the year on 21 June with a grand midsummer pole with accompanying dances and a fiddle band. To refresh yourself you can try traditional Swedish midsummer snacks and make garlands from birch leaves.

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Skansen – Open-air museum
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Skansen – Open-air museum

Boat trip to Drottningholm

A visit to Drottningholm Palace is one of the most beautiful trips you can take just outside of Stockholm. The royal palace is the residence of the Swedish Royal Family and was modelled after Versailles. Today it is one of the best-preserved royal castles built in the country since the 17th country. Since the Royals reside in the palace’s Southern wing, the grounds and other parts of the palace are open to visitors year round.

To reach the palace simply hop on a boat in the city centre and enjoy the picturesque and lush cruise. You can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site on your own or through a 45-minute long guided tour. Marvel at historical paper and silk coverings in the Chinese Pavilion, wander around the scenic landscape gardens and discover luxurious ornamental fixtures and golden wooden panels in the Reception Halls.

See Stockholm from up high

A clear summer's day is the perfect occasion to take a look at the city from up high. SkyView at the Avicii Arena offers you this view from the top of the second largest spherical building in the world. You will make your way up the building in a glass gondola, so that you can enjoy a 360-degree view over the city.

With a maximum of 12 people per gondola you know you will have plenty of room inside to comfortably enjoy the ride. The Avicii Arena is the largest spherical building in Europe, with the top of the building sitting at 130 metres above sea level. At that height you will have beautiful views of the city.

Explore the Stockholm archipelago

Exploring Sweden's extensive archipelago and island hopping are some of the best things to do when visiting Stockholm in the summer. The archipelago consists of more than 30,000 idyllic islands, providing endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts such as sailing, kayaking and hiking as well as swimming, barbequing and camping, all with a magnificent view of the Baltic Sea. Most of the islands can easily be reached through public ferries, which makes them the ideal getaway for day trips and taking a break from the busy capital.

The Fjäderholm islands are a great start to experience the archipelago’s beauty. The name translates to ‘the little island on the coastal inlet’. They are easily reached with a 20 minute ferry ride from downtown Stockholm. The islands are full of luscious green forest trails as well as gravelly shorelines accompanied by a variety of little cafes, art galleries, craft shops and traditional Swedish restaurants.

If you don’t have the time to visit some of the islands, you should definitely take a boat tour around some of the islands. During the day The Royal Bridges & Canal Tour will take you around Djurgården. And in the evening the Pizza Cruise Stockholm takes you around Fjäderholmarna.

SUP tour through Stockholm

A great way to discover Stockholm in a more active way is a SUP tour through the city. The Stand Up Paddle tours offered by Stockholm SUP are taking place until late into the evening during summer in Stockholm. The guided tours are one of the best and active ways to explore the city, combining exercise with the refreshing water.

Alternatively, you can also rent a SUP here and make your way through the canals in your own pace or even attend a yoga class on a SUP. Before starting your adventure you will receive a brief introduction from the staff, so the experience is suited for beginners as well as those with experience with SUPs.

Visit iconic museums

There are several extraordinary and iconic museums in Stockholm, aside from Skansen. There are museums dedicated to art, history, music and much more. ABBA The Museum which celebrates the iconic music group is possibly the most popular and famous museum in the city.

Art lovers should make their way to Fotografiska, Millesgården Museum and Prince Eugen's Waldemarsudde, they feature, respectively, photography, sculptures and paintings. Those with an interest in history will want to visit The Viking Museum, the Swedish National Maritime Museum and the Vasa Museum. Both the Nobel Prize Museum and Tekniska, the Museum of Technology, feature discoveries that will keep you thinking.