Stockholm from the water

Situated on dozens of small islands, Stockholm is a city of water. The Local gives you tips on how to make the most of the Swedish capital’s greatest resource.

Hire a canoe:

There can’t be many cities of 1.5 million people where you can make your way round the major sights in a rented kayak. The 9 km trip round the island of Kungsholmen and the 6 km route around the former prison island of Långholmen are among the best routes. Both offer spectacular views of the old town. Renting a single kayak costs 250 kronor for a half day, a two-person kayak costs 350 kronor. Kayaks must be booked in advance.

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Dine on the water:

Stockholm’s traditional archipelago steamers are an intrinsic part of the city’s image. Board the S/S Drottningholm for a dinner cruise out to the royal palace of Drottningholm, main home of the current royal family. Once on board the historic ship, built in 1909, passengers are served a three-course set meal as they steam through Lake Mälaren on their way to the palace. Upon arrival, a guided tour of the palace park is given, before re-boarding for the return trip to Stockholm. The entire cruise takes three hours and costs 530 kronor, including dinner and guided tour.

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The white-knuckle option:

If canoeing sounds too sedate for you, a tour on a RIBshould please all but the most demanding thrill-seeker. The RIB sightseeing tour starts outside the National Museum in the city centre and heads out past the nearby archipelago islands of Vaxholm and Fjäderholmarna. The 1.5 hour tour costs 395 kronor per person.

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Take a private yacht tour:

Not the cheap option, but if you are a large party this is the five-star way to see Stockholm’s stunning archipelago. Stockholm Yacht Charter offers one day trips from Saltsjöbaden, a half-hour train ride from central Stockholm. The crew serves coffee and cakes on the way out, later anchoring for lunch in a sheltered bay. The crew will sail you round the island of Nämndö, offering great views of the Baltic, before returning to port by about 5:30pm. For a party of ten, the one day tour costs 20,500 kronor.

Head to the beach

If you prefer to be by the water rather than on it, why not join the locals at one of Stockholm’s beaches? While the capital’s shoreline isn’t naturally sandy, sand beaches have been created at various places around the city, such as Smeduddsbadet on Kungsholmen or Solviksbadet in Bromma. Långholmen is also a popular bathing spot, with large grassy areas providing space for sunbathers to soak up the rays. The City of Stockholm has provided a map of approved bathing areas. Swimming outside these areas is frowned upon – remember, Stockholm is a working port.

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Algal bloom a problem for drinking water in Sweden

Clean drinking water may become more difficult to guarantee after a bloom in algae this summer.

Algal bloom a problem for drinking water in Sweden
Photo: Kustbevakningen/TT

Toxic blue-green algae, which thrive at higher temperatures, have created problems at waterworks in Sweden, with water purifiers at risk of failing to filter out toxic substances where there are large accumulations of cyanobacteria, P4 Östergötland reports.

Around half of all drinking water in Sweden is sourced from rivers and lakes, according to the National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket). Municipal treatment works that extract water from these bodies are in need of better equipment to effectively filter toxic algae and analyse samples, according to the report.

“If the algae bloom is very large, waterworks may not be able to filter out all of the toxic substances, which may then end up in drinking water,” National Food Administration chemist Caroline Dirks told P4.

Dirks stressed that levels of toxic substances in drinking water related to the algae have not exceeded permitted safety limits, despite the challenges currently faced by filtration equipment.

Climate change will cause the problem to become more serious in future, Dirks added.

“We have also seen this in other countries, that the problem is getting worse, and that is related to climate change,” she told P4.

Drinking water containing excessive amounts of cyanobacteria can cause can cause stomach problems and liver damage, according to the National Food Administration.

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