Stockholm: Top Swimming Spots
Although when you think of Stockholm, you probably think of frozen ocean and snowy rooftops, it actually gets pretty warm here over the summer. Warm enough that you might even get to wear a t-shirt out (!!!). All those months of winter hibernation are over and it’s time for the entire nation to get their yearly dose of Vitamin D on every part of their bodies (excessive emphasis on the every). Any sunny day spent inside can often feel like a day wasted. So, hobos, if you find yourself in this usually frosty capital in summer, do as the Swedes do: find yourself a body of water (or just a beautiful Swedish body) and get amongst it.
Here are our favourite spots:
This one is in here for the giggles. Close to the university and popular for student picnics, this spot is a favourite with nudists. The water is a bit cold, so, if you’re curious on the meaning of the word shrinkage, look no further than Brunnsviken. And, as it is a relatively steep rock face that makes exiting the refreshing water a challenge, there is surprisingly great entertainment in seeing said nudists awkwardly flop out of the water, or grapple with rock foliage to pull their butts out. Exit the metro on the read line toward Morby Centrum at Universitetet and head directly along the road under the bridge parallel. Or just follow the students.
Hornsberg Strand/ Kristineberg
Extremely popular with groups of young Swedes and their speakers and picnics, Hornsberg Strand and the connected rocks of Kristineberg are the top pick for water and sun bathers. On almost any day of the week in the summer, this spot has plenty of the summer vibes you’ve been searching for, and the modern urban design is a pleasant reminder than you are certainly in Scandinavia. But it does get packed up pretty fast, so you’ll have to time your arrival early. The boardwalk boats pontoons and jetties for jumping into the deep water whenever that *ahem* scorching Swedish sun simply becomes too much. Trendy, new bars and restaurants line the waterfront, so if the warm beers you just bought from the SystemBolaget (the Swedish bottle shop – yes, they don’t sell cold alcohol) aren’t doing the trick, you can enjoy an icy brew somewhere nearby. Take bus 50 from T-centralen towards Hornsberg and walk left facing the water along the promenade to reach the rocks of Kristineberg. Here, if the social vibe isn’t your thing, you can find a secluded spot among the rocks and trees.
The water here can get pretty chilly, as it opens out into the archipelago. The water’s edge is sandy, rather than rocky, which makes it a pretty attractive place to take a dip. The grassy hill surrounding the beach makes this a bit of a family spot, so probably isn’t ideal for boozy picnics. Though it isn’t as though it doesn’t happen. Beware the ‘toilet of the future’ in this park. Race back in to get your water bottle after the doors are already closing and you will be included in its disgusting self-cleaning cycle (true story). The closest metro is Thorildsplan on the green line towards Akeshov, Hasselby Strand or Alvik. From there, head directly through the park towards the water. You’ll find it.
Although a little out of the city, Björnö can give you a little taste of the archipelago without paying big bucks (hobo win). It is the most visited reserve in the archipelago and is for good. Jutting out on to the Baltic sea, the water is cool and clear and far more reminiscent of a beach you’re probably used to than most other swim spots here in Sverige. It has both grassy picnic spots and large rocks you can claim for the day if you get there early. Embrace your inner seal and spend the day slipping in and out of the salty ocean, without another building in sight. It really feels like you have escaped the city and become a recluse in one of the many islands (like members of a certain, infamous Swedish pop group…). Bus 428 or 429 from the bus station at Slussen T-bana on the red line, will get you there on your SL transport card. Get off at Björnö Nature Reservat and head towards the water through the forest. Look out for the blueberries on the way, they’re a sweet addition to any Swedish beach hang.
Blå Lagunen, Ekero
Definitely a bit of a mission to get to, if you squint hard enough, you might just be fooled into thinking you’re relaxing on a an island in Micronesia. Although definitely no ocean, this ex-gravel pit (appealing, right) has some of the bluest, clearest waters around and is the biggest sandy beach in the area. So, naturally, for those Swedes unable to get on that RyanAir flight to Greece, Bla Lagunen is almost as good. As it is a nature reserve, you won’t be able to buy anything too close to here, so make sure you’re well ready for this. Hop on the green line at T-Centralen towards Akeshov, and exit at Brommaplan. Bus 312 from Adelso will drop you at Husby and a little bit of a pre-downloaded map wouldn’t go astray from here. Or a lovely Swede to point you in the right direction.