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Take shore leave in Sweden

Explore Stockholm and Gothenburg on land and by sea with this 7-day itinerary

Thousands of beautiful islands create the Stockholm and Gothenburg archipelagos. From tiny, deserted rocks looking out across the Baltic Sea, to their larger, livelier neighbours. In this itinerary, seven days is plenty of time to explore some of the most popular sights, by ferry and on foot. It’s a trip made even easier with one of Stockholm’s boutique hotels as your anchor and our experienced Travel Advisors planning your trip.

AT A GLANCE

  • 7-day independent itinerary for Stockholm and Gothenburg, based on flying in to Stockholm and out from Gothenburg
  • Spend days experiencing the sights, sounds and natural wonders of the islands – and nights at SLH boutique hotels
  • Highlights include exploring the historic charms of Gamla Stan and museums of Djurgården, and discovering the Stockholm and Gothenburg archipelagos

DAY ONE: STOCKHOLM & DJURGÅRDEN

After a refreshing morning dip in the indoor pool and delicious breakfast at the luxury Bank Hotel, the day is yours. Walk, pedal, or even glide around on a Segway tour. The historic past comes alive among the medieval streets and storybook jumble of buildings in the ‘Old Town’ of Gamla Stan. This part of the city is also where you’ll find Stockholm Cathedral and the Royal Palace.

You could also take a tram or boat across to Djurgården – a tranquil, leafy area in the middle of Stockholm. You soon realise why it’s known as ‘museum island’. Skansen, the world’s first open-air museum and zoo, takes you back to how Swedish people lived and farmed centuries ago. The ABBA Museum transports you to the 70s – letting you indulge your inner dancing queen. While the airy galleries of Moderna Museet in Skeppsholmen, just west of Djurgården, will satisfy serious art lovers with world-famous artworks.

Royal Palace

DAY TWO: AROUND THE ARCHIPELAGO

Kayaks and super-fast rib boats. Ultra-modern hovercrafts and regal old steam ships. Your options for exploring Stockholm’s vast archipelago are (almost) endless. However you travel, you can easily get to a couple of little islands not far from the city centre: Vaxholm and Grinda.

Boats from Strömkajen take around 75 minutes to Vaxholm Hotellkajen. Stop for a bite to eat among its pretty wooden buildings and take a water taxi over to an imposing fort and museum. Grinda is roughly two and a half hours away. But once there, you’re rewarded with walks through the forest, superb beaches and a bracing swim in the sea.

DAY THREE: VISIT A VIKING CITY

History buffs will relish a day trip to Birka on the island of Björkö. Once considered Sweden’s first city, nowadays you get to wander around reconstructed Viking dwellings, join a guided tour and marvel at the well-preserved relics in the Birka Museum. There’s also a decent café serving hearty Viking snacks of bread piled high with grilled meat.

DAY FOUR: HEAD WEST TO GOTHENBURG

Gothenburg

With its historic port, eclectic cultural scene, excellent museums, restaurants and parks, Gothenburg boasts a vibrant vibe all of its own. Sweden’s second city is, however, 400km away from Stockholm. So allow a full day to get there. One of the more relaxing and scenic ways to travel is by train – with non-stop services arriving at central Gothenburg in three hours.

DAY FIVE: FIKA, FESKEKÔRKA AND RAINFORESTS

After a rejuvenating rest in the palatial comforts of your boutique hotel, Dorsia, head towards the picturesque neighbourhood of Haga. Here, among the artisan shops and cafés, you can join the locals for fika. This sacrosanct Swedish ritual is when everyone breaks for a chat, coffee and cake. Try the kanelbulle for a sweet, chocolatey hit.

If you haven’t got a sweet tooth, the indoor Feskekôrka fish market – the name means ‘fish church’ in Swedish – is pure heaven for fans of glistening-fresh seafood. While kids will love running around a wartime destroyer and climbing into a real submarine at the floating museum of Maritiman.

Kanelbulle

DAY SIX: GOTHENBURG’S ARCHIPELAGO

Just an hour from the city by ferry, you can truly get away from it all in the surrounding southern archipelago. Land on Styrsö island with its colourful clapboard houses and peaceful woods. While from the granite landscape of Tjörn, you can cross a bridge to Klädesholmen (Herring Island) and taste every kind of pickled herring imaginable.

Kladesholmen

DAY SEVEN: GOODBYE TO GOTHENBURG

If there’s time before your flight back home, try and fit in a visit to the Gothenburg Museum of Art with its collections of Nordic and international masterpieces. Or at Universeum, walk across a suspension bridge strung above a rainforest canopy, teeming with jungle animals and exotic plants. It’ll be an unforgettable finale to your adventure around Sweden’s much-loved shores.

BOOK YOUR BOUTIQUE HOTELS

To book the hotels on this independent itinerary, get in touch with our Voice Reservation Team on 0800 0482 314 (UK) & 1-877-234-7033 (US). You can find a full list of our dedicated toll-free numbers here. We’re ready and waiting to plan luxury adventures 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whenever inspiration strikes, just get in touch.