Stockholm refers to both the county and the city. The county has 30,000 islands! However, only 200 are inhabited and 14 of those make up the Stockholm city. It’s well connected and nearly everything is a short ride away, including the island town of Vaxholm.
Vaxholm is located in the central part of the archipelago. Due to its location it is called “the capital of the archipelago.” It is near the Baltic Sea and it is the on the main sea route in and out of Stockholm city. Historically it was the first line of defense, you had to get through Vaxholm first.
How to get there
BUS: It is about 40 minutes away by bus if you take the 670 from Tekniska Hogskolan in the northern area of Stockholm city. Tekniska is a northern travel hub, it is along the red line and it is the beginning station (Ostra station) for the Roslagsbanan (commuter train to go north) and it is the first stop for many of the buses headed to the eastern islands of the county.
BOAT: Depending on the time of year there is a ferry (1453) available that will take you from Strömkajen in Stockholm to Vaxholm. There is an extra charge to use the service and it takes about an hour.
Tip from a local: Buy a period travel ticket, there is the 24 hr, 72 hr, 1 week, and 1 month. Depending on which one you buy, you will have unlimited travel, which if you are using the public transport a lot it will be cheaper. If not, then each ticket will be ~40 SEK/ 4 USD.
Places to see/ things to do
1. The historic citadel – Beside the town/ island there is a small island which houses the fortress, which was initially built in 1544 but it has had some renovations in the past. So, this would have been the first line of defense for the Stockholm city. Today, it houses a museum, a hotel, a restaurant, and a fine arts gallery. The entrance is free but the ferry to take you from Vaxholm to the island costs 50 SEK return or roundtrip.
2. Walk around the island. The island is picturesque and it is a relaxing walk, the streets are quaint. Make sure you bring a swimsuit with you because you might just want to jump into the beautiful water.
Places to eat
Lunch – My favorite place to eat is at the Bistro Magasinet, the food is great and the view is even better. You have a view of the fortress and the canal from nearly everywhere in the restaurant. It is also open-air so you can enjoy the outdoors.
Dessert- Have a gelato at Glass på Hörnet. It is reasonably priced and is a perfect ending to a wonderful day-trip.