A city of contrasts, Stockholm manages to merge the old with the new with relative ease.
Unlike many cities in the world Stockholm sprawls; sprawls across 14 islands in fact.
Stockholm is one of the most environmentally conscious cities on earth and is famed for its innovative use of technology in a bid to become the most sustainable city on earth.
Stockholm is ahead of the game in other ways too, on the forefront of music trends, fashion, innovation and design of pretty much all varieties.
Once you have taken time to cycle around the incredibly clean streets, sipped coffee at the Uber-trendy coffee shops it is time to starting looking a Sweden as a whole.
Let’s explore the best day trips from Stockholm:
1. Broby Bro
Sweden is a country steeped in Viking and Iron Age history and one of the best ways to witness relics from these eras is to head to Broby bro.
This graveyard is over 1000 years old and the stories of those who are buried here live on today.
Broby bro is best experienced with a tour guide for they can bring to life the tales of the Viking heroes that once ruled the land.
There are dozens of these stories to learn about but none so interesting as ‘Estrid’ whose skeleton was found in the Christian section of the Broby bro graveyard in 1995.
2. Jarlabanke Runestones
A visit to the Jarlabanke Runestones and Jarlabanke Causeway is a great way to get to grips with Viking history and how their rule shaped the lay of the land forever.
Earl Jarlabanke is one of the most infamous Viking rulers who many believed abused his power for his own gain.
He did however create the Jarlabanke Causeway that runs its 116m course in Täby, which Jarlabanke once owned all of.
The Vikings were incredible civil engineers and in a visit to the Jarlabanke Runestones you can learn about how their bridge building and road construction changed the world in which they lived.
The tiny town of Sigtuna is home to just 8000 people and can be found sitting to the north of Stockholm.
This quaint and charming Swedish town is steeped in history and is home to some beautiful olde-world townhouses.
Sigtuna town looks out over Sigtuna Bay which is tranquil and incredibly picturesque, if a little icy in winter.
Highlights of a visit to Sigtuna include a walk around the ruins of St Olof Church.
When the winter snows settle on the tumble down medieval church is starts to look almost fairytale like.
Aside from taking time to stroll through Sigtuna winding streets you can visit Steninge Palace and Rosberg Palace too if you are particularly interested in architecture.
4. Stockholm Archipelago
The Stockholm Archipelago is one of the most impressive landscapes in all of Europe, home to some 24,000 islands that sit in the Baltic Sea.
Typically travellers associate island hopping with South East Asia, or the Caribbean, but in a short one tour trip from Stockholm city centre you can be in an island paradise, just a comparatively chilly one.
What makes the Stockholm Archipelago so incredible is that many of the islands are uninhabited and are true wildernesses.
Naturally, the Stockholm Archipelago is best experienced by boat.
You can kick back and relax or there are some tour providers who let you take the helm.
5. Natural Ice Fields
There are dozens of natural ice fields that surround Stockholm city centre and you can take your pick as to where you want to explore.
No need to have ever skated before as the guys and girls who run tours of the ice fields are fantastic teachers and by the end of the day you will feel as if you are ready to trail for the Winter Olympics…maybe.
The best season for ice skating in the Stockholm area of Sweden is between December and March.
This is a great day out for everyone; solo travellers, couples, families and big groups.
You will skate through some mesmerising landscapes, you’ll never want to skate in a rink again.
One of the most loved hiking routes in all of Sweden is Sörmlandsleden.
The trail starts about a 40-minute drive from Stockholm city centre and runs for 1000km through some of Sweden’s most pristine pine forest.
Obviously, on a day trip you cannot cover the full 1000Km but nevertheless you can get a taste for this phenomenal landscape.
You will pass through dense pine forest, walk alongside perfectly still lakes and out on to rocky plateaus.
Many people choose to hike up to Sweden’s highest peak, Kebnekaise, stop for a picnic lunch and admire the views before returning to the car to drive back to Stockholm.
7. Drottningholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family and is built on the island of Lovön.
Built in the 16th-Century Drottningholm Palace is a piece of history perfectly preserved in time.
Although each generation of the Swedish royal family has left their mark on the palace the 16-century facade remains the same.
In the centuries to come Swedish royals added a palace theatre and even a Chinese Pavilion.
A walk around the palace’s baroque garden is a real treat, especially when in full bloom in the spring months.
You can take a tour of the public rooms and the gardens too.
The complex is open throughout the year.
It is said that Birka was Sweden’s first city and it can be found on the island of Björkö or ‘Birch Island’. As one of the most significant trading spots of Vikings this is a city rich in history and cultural heritage.
In fact, Birka is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The highlight of a visit to Birka is taking a tour of the Viking Village.
Step inside traditional Viking homes, learn about daily life in Viking times and learn about how the black soil of Birka helped the city to thrive.
Once you have finished in the village head to Restaurant Särimner for a hearty lunch overlooking the sea.
Gävle is something of a hidden gem.
This charming town sits 100 miles to the north of Stockholm and is famed for being the home of Sweden’s best chocolate.
Many people enjoy taking a visit to the Swedish Railway Museums to see the locomotives of yesteryear, others prefer to take a gentle stroll around Boulogne Skogen City Park which is especially beautiful in autumn.
If you fancy something a little bit different book a session at the Dome Adrenaline Zone.
This 6000 sq.m playground has a climbing wall, ninja warrior course and super springy trampolines.
Church Street Saloon is a much loved restaurant in Gävle, and Matildas serves up a wonderful array of traditional Swedish dishes with a modern twist.
One thing that is particularly great about Europe is that all major cities are incredibly well connected, either by road, railway or by air.
Flights from Stockholm to Helsinki fly multiple times daily meaning you can have a flying visit to the Finnish capital should you so wish.
Take a wander down Mannerheimintie and pop into the National Museum.
Once you have toured the impressive museums head down to Parliament House or perhaps Kiasma, the city’s best loved art gallery.
The most iconic landmark in Helsinki is the rusty-red Uspenski Cathedral.
Standing proudly overlooking Helsinki Harbour do not miss this amazing architectural gem before you fly back to Stockholm in the late evening.
Malmö is a majestic city that can be found in the south of Sweden.
With cobbled streets and vast city squares there is so much to explore in the course of a day trip to Malmö.
The first port of call should be Malmö Castles that was built by the Danes in the 16th Century.
Speaking of Denmark, be sure to take moment to gaze in awe at the magnificent Øresund Bridge which connects Sweden to Denmark.
Kungsparken is an exquisite inner city park that can found just west of Malmö Town Hall.
Taking a little rowing boat out on the river in Kungsparken is one of the most romantic things you can do in all of Sweden.
12. Gripsholm Castle
Picture a castle from a fairytale, chances are what you are imagining looks a little like Gripsholm Castle.
This magical castle can be found in the small but perfectly formed town of Mariefred near Lake Mälaren.
This is one of the most popular tourist hotspots in Sweden and it is not hard to understand why.
Gripsholm Castle is not only incredibly photogenic but is home to a truly unique collection of Swedish artworks and furniture that date back over 400 years.
Once you have toured the castle’s interiors be sure to take an hour or so to roam the castle grounds.
Stopping by the deer paddock to take a moment to observe these chilled out creatures is a treat.
13. Lake Mälaren
Lake Mälaren, or Lake Malar, is one of Sweden’s natural jewels.
Covering 1,140 km² Lake Mälaren is the third-largest freshwater lake in the country.
During a day visit to Lake Mälaren you can drop by Gripsholm Castle or even Drottningholm Palace for a flying visit but many people prefer to head straight to Långholmen.
This is a sandy beach area that sits on the shores of Lake Mälaren and is the perfect place to relax and unwind, especially in summer.
If you prefer to be more active on your holidays you are more than welcome to be.
There are dozens of cycling and hiking trails that run through the woodlands that border Lake Mälaren.
Hiding out in the Baltic Sea is the island of Gotland.
The coastline of this island is other-worldly and has to be seen to be believed.
Arches, stacks, and stumps are scattered across the beaches and form stunning silhouettes at sunrise and sunset.
The Gotland Museum is a must-visit and provides fascinating insights into local history and the region’s rich culture.
A visit to the Lummelunda Cave is a great way to spend an afternoon and can be accessed by a short boat ride.
The city of Visby that sits on Gotland is one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world.
Visby is another of Sweden’s gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Uppsala is a charming Swedish university city that has a lot going on.
Being a university city means that there is no short supply of hipster coffee shops and bustling bars.
Marrying the old with the new, much like Stockholm in that sense, Uppsala is a versatile city that is a joy to explore.
There is a lot of history to explore in Uppsala, from the Carolina Rediviva library to Skokloster Castle and Uppsala Cathedral.
If you have a hankering for seafood head to Hambergs Fisk, should you want to hang with the cool kids get yourself to Cafe Årumment and settle down with a latte or two.