Day 10. Vaxholm in Stockholm’s archipelago

For the first time this holiday we opened the curtains to cloudy skies but the forecast was good for our planned day out to Vaxholm in the Stockholm archipelago. The island can either be reached by ferry or road as there is a bridge connecting the island to the mainland.

Vaxholm, Stockholm
Vaxholm waterfront

Although it would have been more pleasant to approach the island by boat we opted to travel by metro and bus as the journey is included in the SL-Access travel card. To get there we took the metro to Tekniska Högskolan metro station on the Red Line and then transferred to Bus 670 which terminates in Vaxholm. The entire journey took approximately 50 minutes with the latter part of the bus journey being very scenic.

Vaxholm, Stockholm
Vaxholm Island

The bus terminated on the waterfront near the ferry terminal and after picking up a map from the nearby tourist information office we set off on our way. As we were crossing the road we heard the hoot of a steamer approaching the quay so we sat on a bench for a few minutes to watch it come in and its passengers disembark. Vaxholm is located in the centre of the archipelago and is a hub for boat travel with numerous ferries calling at the island each day.

Vaxholm Fortress, Stockholm
Vaxholm Fortress

Near to the ferry terminal and located across a narrow channel stands the Vaxholm Fortress which was first built in 1544 to guard the island. A small ferry operates every 20 minutes for visitors wishing to explore the fortress and its museum.

Vaxholm Island, Stockholm
Traditional wooden houses on Vaxholm Island

We wandered along the coastal path admiring some of the island’s well preserved wooden houses which were painted in candy coloured pastels. Each of them had neat cottage style gardens brimming with scented roses. There was a cafe marked on our map down a narrow lane and as we were looking for somewhere for lunch we went to investigate.

Hembygdsgårds cafe, Vaxholm Island, Stockholm
The Hembygdsgårds cafe, Vaxholm

The Hembygdsgårds cafe is nestled in an idyllic location overlooking a small bay and seemed very popular. A long queue of customers were waiting to be served but as the large selection of cakes looked so tempting we decided it was worth waiting and being patient, even managed to get a table in the garden near the water’s edge. It was so relaxing sitting there feeling the gentle breeze and hearing the sounds of lapping water whilst indulging in tea and cakes.

Hembygdsgårds cafe, Vaxholm Island
Selection of cakes on offer at The Hembygdsgårds cafe, Vaxholm

After enjoying our tea and cakes we continued our stroll through the small town passing fishing huts, small boats and more beautiful wooden houses. Our tour finally led us to the newer part of town back near the ferry pier where we found a pedestrianised street lined with small shops, cafes and restaurants.

Vaxholm Island, Stockholm
Vaxholm’s main street

We didn’t have to wait very long for a bus back towards Stockholm and it was just as well we were getting off at its terminus as we both fell asleep for part of the journey.

Rock Fest concert taking place in Kungsträdgården, Stockholm
Rock Fest concert taking place in Kungsträdgården

We returned to our accommodation in Solna and mid-evening set off again to Kungsträdgården for a stroll through the park. A free Rock Fest concert was taking place over two evenings at one end of the park and we managed to find a gap in the crowds to watch for a few minutes whilst a Swedish band took to the stage. There was a lively party atmosphere and the surrounding bars and cafes were overflowing with customers enjoying the music and warm evening temperature.

If you have enjoyed this post you may also be interested in the following:

Fisksätra in the Stockholm Archipelago

Touring Oslofjord and Oscarsborg Fortress

Haukilahti and Matinkylä, Espoo, FInland


30 thoughts on “Day 10. Vaxholm in Stockholm’s archipelago

  1. I always find it fascinating to visit an island near a main city when travel. It is hard to believe the atmosphere can change so much, but I expect that is more to do with a separation of work and home or business and play. You are right though, the best approach is by boat to these islands. Thanks for sharing Marion. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Junieper/Jesh stG

    Am from Holland, but live in the USA. Have toured through most of Europe, except for Scandinavia, Ireland, Portugal and Russia. So, this is interesting to me. Saw your like -thank you! How did you get to my url? Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking an interest in my Swedish posts. I’ve actually visited and written about most if the destinations in Europe you haven’t yet been to, so hopefully you might find some inspiration for future trips! I noticed your post in my WordPress Travel feed.


  8. It was so lovely re-living my visit to Vaxholm about 7 odd years ago! I was showing my daughter the photographs (she was 11 then) and I was very happy to see that she remembered it!!
    It is such a lovely place and very swedish. I had my first Swedish fika experience there!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely environment. Love the cobble stone roads and lanes in Europe. What caught my attention was the description of the climate as a warm evening. I’ve always imagined that country being so close to the pole would be freezing year around. I was surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

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