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Five of the best day trips to do from Stockholm

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Five of the best day trips to do from Stockholm
In less than an hour from Stockholm city centre you can reach several postcard-perfect towns and other bustling cities. Photo: Catherine Edwards
15:32 CEST+02:00
Sweden is a large country, but you don't have to go far from the capital to see a completely different side of it. From charming towns to seaside spots and cities brimming with history and culture, here are five of our favourite destinations within easy reach of Stockholm. All of them are accessible on public transport in around an hour.

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Trosa

This picture-perfect Swedish town has a lot to offer visitors, and you can spend an afternoon strolling along the river, ducking down charming lanes of wooden houses and into shops, and following the pier to the spot known as 'World's End'. Families can hop aboard the free 'Blå (Blue Train) for a leisurely tour of the small centre.

In the summer, it's possible to go rafting or sailing along the stream and out in the archipelago, while in winter there's the opportunity to ice-skate or ski, either cross-country or at the volunteer-run ski slope. Hikers won't be disappointed either: Trosa is a good base for exploring the Sörmlandsleden trail, for example by taking a 20-kilometre route from the town centre to pass ruins and shoreline to reach Tullgarn Castle.


Trosa harbour. Photo: Catherine Edwards

How to get there: Take the Trosabussen from Liljeholmen south of Stockholm centre (on the red line of the tunnelbana), or take a pendeltåg from Stockholm city to Vagnhärad, then switch to a local bus to Trosa centre. Both options take around one hour from the city centre.

Don't miss: The surprisingly wide shopping opportunities, especially the regular markets and antique or craft stores (artisanal crafts at Garvaregården and the secondhand and rare books store Trosa antiquarian are two great picks).

Eat and drink: You won't be short of options, but our recommendations are Trosa Matstudio, located in the old fire station, Trosa Sjökrog for seafood, and Marsipangården for fika.

Sigtuna

Sigtuna holds plenty of records, boasting the title of the first town in Sweden, the country's oldest street (Stora Gatan) and smallest town hall. Sigtuna Museet has collections of Viking treasures as well as some history about why this spot was chosen for the country's first town, and the ruined churches of St Olof and St Lars date to the 12th and 13th centuries are must-visit spots.

You can also head further afield to one of the castles in the area: Skokloster and Roserbergs are both reachable by boat in the summer, and other options are Skånelaholm, Steninge and Wenngarn castles.

 

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How to get there: Take the pendeltåg from Stockholm to Märsta, and then bus 575 or 570 to Sigtuna -- the buses are timed to link up with the commuter trains. Total journey time is just over 1 hour. There are also regular connections from Arlanda airport with bus 579 if you're flying into or out of Stockholm.

In summer, you can also take the boat at 10am Wednesday to Sunday from Stadshusbron in Stockholm (2hrs 30).

Don’t miss: The rune stones: Sigtuna has more than any other town in the world, and you can pick up a map from the tourist information office to track them down and decipher the messages.

Eat and drink: Café Tant Brun is worth a visit for the rustic 17th-century setting and delicious cakes, and both Kopparkitteln and Våfflan Hamnkrog offer food with a view.

Mariefred 

Another small town that packs a punch, Mariefred's main attraction is Gripsholm castle, which is particularly spectacular when seen from the water. Inside you can see the portrait collection of the Swedish state and explore the four towers, or for a more contemporary cultural experience head to nearby Grafikens hus.

Elsewhere, the Kärnbo church ruins feature an 11th-century runestone built into the wall, or you can add a retro vibe to your visit by incorporating trips on the steam train or steamboat. After seeing the sights, you can relax in the picturesque town centre, or set off for a walk through the deer park or a bike ride to Taxinge Castle (also reachable by steam train), most famous for its wide offering of cakes and as the setting of reality TV baking show Hela Sverige Bakar (the Swedish equivalent of the Great British Bake Off).


In the grounds of Gripsholm Castle. Photo: Catherine Edwards

How to get there: Take the regional train to Läggesta, and from there, you have a choice of a bus, three-kilometre walk, or a ride in the steam train to reach the town centre. The total journey takes just under an hour on public transport.

Don't miss: Annas Hembageri, voted sustainable cafe of the year by Sweden's White Guide - the country's equivalent of the Michelin Guide.

Eat and drink: As well as Annas, there are several other cosy cafes including Två Goda Ting and Cafe Blå Katten. When it comes to restaurants the choice is more limited, but Gripsholms Värdshus offers tasty upscale dining.

Nynäshamn

Nynashamn’s big claim to fame is being the only mainland spot in Stockholm county where you get a view of the sea horizon. It's the gateway to many of the southern archipelago islands and offers a lot of activities centred on the water -- kayaking, surfing, jet-skiing, diving, boat tours, and ice-skating in the winter months -- but is also worth exploring in its own right.

It's another runestone hotspot, and the fishing port is lined with quaint wooden buildings housing cafes and shops to discover.

 

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How to get there: The pendeltåg takes just under an hour from Stockholm's central station.

Don’t miss: A stroll along beautiful Strandvägen and, if you dare, a swim in Drottningviken.

Eat and drink: Kökeriet offers great food from the local smokehouse, and when it's fika time head to Hamnbageriet for organic pastries or Kafe Radiokakan for an Instagram-ready vintage setting. Later on, the British-style pub Eight Friends Inn offers 120 kinds of beer and 50 kinds of whisky.

Västerås

Game of Thrones fans might be convinced to visit due to the mythical-sounding name alone, and there's lots to discover in this underrated city, one of the oldest in northern Europe. It's got a long history of industry, retail and trade (it's the birthplace of H&M), primarily due to its handy location on Lake Mälaren, which also means there are plenty of boat trips both along the lake and to nearby islands.

In the city centre, there are several historically significant attractions to choose between. The cathedral is impressive to look at and houses the body of a king said to have died from poisoned pea soup, you can also visit the castle where King Gustav Vasa abolished Catholicism and made Sweden Protestant, or stroll around the Kyrkbackan district to admire the city's oldest and most beautiful buildings. Two museums worth noting are Vallby Open Air Museum and the Vasteras Aviation Museum.

 

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How to get there: Take a regional train from Stockholm's central station and you'll be there in under an hour. It's also the home of one of Stockholm's international airports so is worth seeing if you'll be flying to or from there.

Don’t miss: Anundshög, Sweden's largest burial mound and a dramatic spot for a walk or a picnic.

Eat and drink: Visit Sweden's highest cocktail bar, Sky Bar, on the 24th floor of the city skyscraper. For food, Cafe Gränden and Stadskällaren are two central spots.

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