As I am sure you know, Stockholm is a city stretching over numerous islands with water and shores being to a large extent what gives the city its unique character. ‘The Venice of the North,’ as it is known, then offers some great possibilities to get around that you can not find in many other places.
If you are in the know, finding exceptional experiences in the Swedish capital is a breeze. Something I would recommend to everyone looking for unusual ways to discover the destination is to move around Stockholm by boat.
However, making sense of all the available options, finding itineraries, and figuring out how things work exactly is not always a piece of cake. This is where this post comes into play. In the following paragraphs, I aim to simplify the process of finding the right boat line for you as much as possible, so that the only thing you need to worry about is deciding where you want to go and get aboard.
Probably the most convenient and cheapest option, especially if you have a valid public transport ticket, is the SL commuter boats (Pendelbåtar). The four boat lines operated by Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) can take you to different parts of the city, and standard SL fares apply onboard.
Remember throughout this post that you can find more information about each line such as a map of its route, current ticket prices, and timetables by following the provided links.
This line operates the route between Nybroplan near the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern) and Frihamnen located on the edge of an area colloquially known as Gärdet. Along the way, you can get off at two different locations on the island of Djurgården or in residential areas in the south-eastern part of the town such as Kvarnholmen or Nacka.
If you would like to move around the central islands of Stockholm, Line 82 will take you from the Old Town (Gamla Stan) to the peaceful Skeppsholmen, as well as the beautiful green Djurgården. Apart from indescribable views and a calm atmosphere, you can expect to find some stunning architecture and a large selection of world-famous museums on these few islands. Remember to inform the staff of the ferry if you would like to get off on Skeppsholmen.
On the other side of the Old Town of Stockholm (Gamla stan) operates line number 85. Boats on this line can help you get from a jetty near Stockholm City Hall (Stockholms Stadshus) to Riddarholmen, the northern side of the Södermalm Island and finally, back to Kungsholmen, a bit further down Norr Mälarstrand located on Kungsholmen just like the City Hall.
If you are not ready for a longer trip, be careful as to not board a wrong boat at Klara Mälarstrand near the City Hall. Line 89 leads all the way to the island of Ekerö which is a beautiful green island south-west of the city. It is a wonderful choice for a longer trip outside of the town gates where you will get to admire the beautiful coasts of Stockholm, as well as some exquisite Swedish nature nearby.
Apart from the commuter boats, you can appreciate services of a few private transporters whose boats would take you to even more interesting parts of Stockholm.
Sharing a part of the route with line number 80 is M/S Emelie which continues south from Djurgården until it reaches Hammarby Sjöstad, the world-renowned eco-friendly district. Hammarby Sjöstad itself is a beautiful and very pleasant area to visit but arriving on a boat can take your experience to a whole new level as you get to enjoy the modern facades forming the district from a different perspective.
Keep in mind that special tariffs apply onboard of M/S Emelie and that you cannot use your standard SL tickets for your journey there.
If instead of moving around the city you would like to go for a slightly longer trip and explore the stunning Stockholm archipelago, which I recommend you do, boats operated by Waxholmsbolaget are likely your best choice. Generally, you will need to purchase a ticket only valid for the boats operated by the company, and you can do so either directly onboard or in advance at ticket counters or self-service machines available near jetties from which the ships depart.
It may be tricky to know where to go with one of these boats and what line to look for if you are not familiar with the archipelago. The following tool from the Archipelago Foundation is here to help, though. You can see all the available destinations that you can explore together with some fundamental information about each location there.
Consequently, you can look for a boat that will get you to the destination of your choice on Waxholmsbolaget’s website.
If you are looking for something slightly more unusual, you might be interested in knowing that the company also offers journeys on three historical vessels that are more than a hundred years old. These can take you on a round trip around the archipelago.
I truly believe that exploring Stockholm and its beautiful archipelago from the board of a boat is one of the best ways to treat yourself when in the Swedish capital. It not only gives you a great opportunity to view the city from another perspective but is also something you cannot experience in many other places.
Hopefully, you will find the information collected in this post helpful in planning your next nice trip. If you do find the post helpful or interesting, consider sharing it with your dear ones and inspire their adventurous selves, too.
For more interesting content from our platform, simply sign up for our newsletter below, and we will keep you updated weekly.