5 nature experiences in Stockholm
Wherever you are in Stockholm you are pretty close to nature, water and islands. Here is a list of 5 nature must-sees in Stockholm. Some are more adventurous than others and you can just stroll around in the big parks as well.
If you’re looking for recreational activities in Swedish nature, Hellasgården has it all. Located only 20 minutes from Stockholm city, this outdoor activity centre offers swimming, fishing, canoeing and cycling activities.
Hellasgården is in the Nacka Nature Reserve, and there are several walking paths and jogging trails for those who want to explore the pristine nature on their own. If you’re visiting in the winter, try cross-country skiing and ice skating on the nearby lake – a moment of peace in the frosty forests and a recharging break from the buzzing city just a short distance away. Finish your day with a dip in the ice pool – a hole cut out of the ice – and a relaxing moment in the sauna.
Need to refuel between all the activities? Restaurant Storstugan serves light lunches, vegetarian dishes and Swedish ‘fika’ in a rustic environment with a cosy fireplace. On the weekends, people gather around the barbecue for hotdogs and burgers.
Kayaking in Stockholm archipelago
Stockholm is built upon 14 islands, and in the archipelago just outside the city, you’ll find nearly 30,000 more. Can’t choose what island to visit? Go on a kayak tour with True Nature Sweden to find the hidden gems.
You’ll start in the charming seaside village of Dalarö, located only 45 minutes from Stockholm city, and paddle out in the safe company of your group and guide. Watch the varied scenery with rugged nature, rocky cliffs and pristine beaches pass by from the comfy seat of your kayak. The archipelago islands all have their characteristics – some are inhabited all year round with shops, cafés and restaurants, while others are uninhabited with untouched nature to explore. You’ll stop at a deserted island and enjoy a hearty lunch to the rhythmic sound of the waves, perhaps spotting a sea eagle looking for prey in the sky.
Ice skating in Stockholm
Have you ever tried ice skating across frozen lakes? Sure, it might sound a bit scary, but with the guided tours by Green Trails, you’ll be in safe hands.
There are different tours to choose from depending on your experience, and you can decide whether you want to join a more advanced team or if you prefer going slower with more support from your guide. No matter your choice, it’s a one-day adventure where you’ll skate through the frosty landscape to the sound of the wind cradling the pine trees and your skates hitting the ice. Lunch is eaten outdoors by a crackling log fire, allowing you to recharge and enjoy the serenity of the forest.
All equipment is included in the tour and you’ll be picked up and dropped off in central Stockholm, meaning you don’t need to bring anything except warm clothes and your sense of adventure.
Swimming in the city
There is water virtually everywhere you look in Stockholm. And in fact, the water is so clean and clear that you can go for a swim in the middle of town.
One of the most popular beaches is in the park Tantolunden on the island of Södermalm. Its proximity to the hip cafés and restaurants of Hornstull, SoFo and Mariatorget makes it the perfect summer hangout. There's a sandy beach and cliffs to lie on and watch the boats go by. If you prefer staying active, you’ll find a beach volleyball court, disc golf course, mini golf and an outdoor gym in the park. Don’t miss the beautiful allotment gardens on the hill above the park. The colourful miniature houses with gorgeous flowerbeds add to the charm of Tantolunden.
Other popular city beaches are Långholmsbadet, Smedsuddsbadet and Rålambshovsbadet, all accessible by public transport. Find out more about where to go swimming in Stockholm.
Hiking the Sörmland Trail (Sörmlandsleden)
The Sörmland Trail, or Sörmlandsleden, is more than 1,000 kilometres long and one of the longest hiking trails in Scandinavia, with many starting points easily accessible by public transport from Stockholm city. One starting point near Stockholm is the Björkhagen subway station.
The trail winds through a breathtaking, varied landscape with forests, open landscapes, lakes and coastline. The area surrounding the trail is mainly uninhabited, but if you’re lucky you might notice wild animals such as moose or deer keeping you company along the way. Furthermore, there are several historical monuments and nature reserves to explore throughout the trail. Why not pack a tent and stay overnight? Falling asleep under the stars is a memorable experience, and you can start your day with a refreshing dip in one of the lakes. If you prefer a softer adventure, the trail is divided into more than 90 sections, ranging between 2 and 21 kilometres, meaning that you adapt the length of the hike depending on how long you’re prepared to walk.