Our Top 5 Islands in Stockholm!
Updated: Oct 15, 2022
Sweden's capital city sprawls across its 14 islands. Each island has its own personality and attractions; some islands are tourist-flockers; others are popular for the lack of attractions, built for the local residents of the city.
Here's a list of our favourite islands of Europe's most underrated, and understated, cities.
Stockholm's historic Old Town, Gamla Stan is a weaving maze of medieval squares, cobblestone streets, and sand and rhubarb buildings. Gamla Stan is the beating heart of the city. By morning, its locals gather for the extraordinary coffee and hearty pastries; by night, its bars and pubs explode with drinks and live music.
If you're going in the High Season (June to August), be sure to visit in the morning and experience Gamla Stan without the tourists.
Djurgården is the home of Stockholm's top attractions. But before we delve into that, the views from each of the four bridges connecting the island to the north are special, especially at sunset. And as for the deep brown and golden trees lining the river in Autumn - they're something else.
Its attractions include:
Vasa Museum: The Vasa Museum houses a near 50m-high warship from the 1600s. Its masts peer through the roof and can be seen across the city, as well as greeting you as you enter Stockholm by boat. This is a must-visit activity in Stockholm; the scale of the ship will blow you away when you enter.
Skansen: The world's first outdoor museum, Skansen playfully recreates how life in Stockholm once was centuries ago, exploring life through its magical buildings and traditions. Skansen is the attraction in Stockholm that locals will recommend to you the most.
Royal Djurgården: Stockholm's prettiest park, spanning nearly the entire island. In Autumn, its paths are a beautiful haze of auburn and gold.
Södermalm blends urban streets of chic cafes and bohemian bars with bursts of green parks by the water. Locals enjoy the relaxed setting, taking advantage of the running paths and outdoor gyms overlooking the city.
Stockholm's most understated islands, the small island of Skeppsholmen sits in between the three islands listed above and Norrmalm.
The home of the Toy Museum, East Asian Archaeology Museum, and Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, Skeppsholmen is spacious and green. Its paths circulating the island, and its off-shoot island Kastellholmen, are a perfect setting to enjoy the sunset.
Technically not part of Stockholm's city centre, Vaxholm is part of the archipelago to the east; its pastel-coloured houses, sloping cobblestone streets, and small greens make it a charming day trip. Take the commuter boat from Strömkajen and pass through many of the islands and picturesque residential neighbourhoods until you're met with the imperious Vaxholm Castle which used to guard invaders entering the city centuries ago.
After taking in the pretty views along the winding paths, head to Hembygdsgårds Cafe for delectable Swedish cakes and pastries. Try and sit at the further table on the outside terrace under a blossom tree and right by the water.