August 2, 2017

Visiting the Stockholm Archipelago on Your Own

Waxholmsbolaget's pier at Strömkajen
Seeing the archipelago is on many visitors' lists of things to do while in Stockholm and, with over 24,000 islands, it is a true natural wonder. I really recommend putting aside a full day to really enjoy the islands... but there are some half day options as well. Strömma offers several boat tours, half to full day, while Cinderella is a good company when you want to visit islands in the outer archipelago, like Sandhamn, Finnhamn and Möja (full day).
Digital signs letting you know the boat, destinations and depature time
A third option is using Waxholmsbolaget which is a company that runs the commuter boats that criss-cross the archipelago and is often used by locals to get to their summer homes. I have written about this company before in one of my most popular articles which is about visiting the town of Vaxholm, but I was at a friend's summer home yesterday and I thought it would be a good opportunity to revisit the subject and do a new article.
Waxholmsbolaget's information office where...
You can think of Waxholmsbolaget as the water busses of the archipelago, helping people travel between islands. Using the bus analogy, the above mentioned Cinderella boats are like the express busses and are recommended if you want to visit the outer archipelago for the day. Waxholmsbolaget is less "express" and great for visiting more off-the-beaten-path islands, doing island hopping or getting to and from the town of Vaxholm.
...you can get maps, brochures, schedules and advice.
Like busses, these boats are also quite inexpensive. Tickets are purchased on board the boats and then shown when disembarking. If you have more time while in Stockholm, they do have the options of 5 or 30 day travel cards which allow you to hop on and off any of their boats. Like busses also, their routes and timetables can be daunting and confusing. However, they do have an online journey planner complete with maps of the different routes along with names of the various docks/stops which should help you plan your travels.
Arriving in town from the archipelago
For more personal help, Waxholmsbolaget does have an information office located on Strömkajen. Here they have a plethora of guides, brochures and time tables as well as agents who can answer questions and give advice. The location on Strömkajen is convenient as this is where the boats arrive and depart from in Stockholm. To get there from the Rival Hotel,  it is a 25 minute walk through the old town, a 7-8 minute taxi ride or else there are regular busses which take about 15 minutes.
Leaving Stockholm...
...for the archipelago...
...where you can hopefully find...
...your own bit of natural bliss. 

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