You’ll find no shortage of activities to do and attractions to see during the summer months in Stockholm. Lush archipelagos, exploring the city on the water and fun trips just outside the city make the Swedish capital the perfect destination for your summer vacation. 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 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.

One of the most popular beaches on the historical location of Sandhamn is Trouville. 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. It just takes a 20 minute walk from the port to reach here, 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? The Mälarhöjdsbadet is conveniently located just outside of the Gamla stan in Southern Stockholm. Besides beautiful beach along lake Mälaren you can also find a large lawn for sunbathing and picnics, a public gym, a playground as well as a diving tower here.

Spend the day at Skansen

Skansen is the world’s first 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 also is 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 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 June 25th 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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Boat trip to Drottningholm

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.

Tour on top of the roofs

Did you know that you can discover Stockholm from the roofs of the city? You might have explored the beautiful Gamla stan and the picturesque cobbled streets already but this tour adds a whole new perspective to your experience of the city 43 meters above the ground, adding just the right dose of adventure to your day.

Takvandring offers historical tours with Stockholm’s best views over popular as well as new sights. The tour takes place alongside an exposed track on top of the old Parliament building on Riddarholmen. While you are safely secured with a special system you can take in all the stories and learn more about Stockholm’s and Sweden’s history, giving you a true Karlsson-on-the-Roof experience.

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 island, providing endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts such as sailing, kayaking and hiking as well as swimming, barbecuing and camping, all with a magnificent view of the Baltic Sea. Most of the islands can easily be reached through public ferries. Hence, they are the ideal getaway for day trips and taking a break from the busy capital.

The Fjäderholmarna islands are a great start to experience the archipelago’s beauty. The name translates to ‘the little island on the coastal inlet.’ They can be conveniently reached through 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.   

SUP tour through Stockholm

A great way to discover Stockholm from a different angle 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.

Play at Junibacken

If you are visiting Stockholm with kids then a visit to Junibacken is extra fun during summer. You can escape some of the summer sun inside, where you and your kids are transported to story book worlds of favourite Swedish children's stories. The Junibacken Story Train, for instance, tells the last story written by Astrid Lindgren.

Outside, Junibacken has the largest Moomin playground in Sweden. With scenes from the books The Exploits of MoominpappaWho Will Comfort Toffle? and Comet in Moominland, the playground can entertain kids for hours. They can go down a six-meter-high slide inside a Moomin house, play in the giant snail, play under the stilts of Sniff, Snufkin and the Moomintroll, and much more.

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RED Sightseeing Stockholm bus & boat + Junibacken