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Summer in the Stockholm archipelago. A commuter ferry arrives in Nacka strand. Pictured is also Carl Milles statue, greeting passengers as they arrive.

Photo: Visit Stockholm

Categories: Activities

My favorite summer hangouts in Nacka

Publish date: 7 June 2022

Nacka has lots of archipelago-vibe to offer. Here are my best tips for a lovely summer day with nature, fun activities, and ice cream just a few minutes away from the city.

In my book, Nacka is like an "archipelago light". It's close enough to central Stockholm for a spontaneous excursion; You'll be there in 15-20 minutes either by taking a bus from Slussen or a commuter ferry from downtown Stockholm. At the same time, you'll get a taste of what the archipelago has to offer, with Nacka's closeness to the sea and abundance of nature. And, if you're looking to venture further out in the inner-archipelago – for example to Saltsjöbaden, Värmdö, Gustavsberg, Ingarö, or Värmdö – this municipality to the southeast of Stockholm is a great starting point.

Hotels in Stockholm. Elite Hotel Marina Tower, exterior. Pictured is the hotel, located in a former factory and mill.
Up until 1989 Saltsjökvarn, the old bricked waterfront building in the neighborhood with the same name, was a mill producing flour and farina.Photo: Elite Hotels of Sweden

If you go by sea, I recommend disembarking at Saltsjökvarn. Here you'll see an industrial bricked building in front of you, the old Saltsjökvarn-mill. Built during the late 19th century, the mill was converted into Elite Hotel Marina Tower in 2011. The hotel has a spa, restaurant, and bar, and is a great spot to spend balmy summer evenings. Its patio has a lovely view of Djurgården, Waldemarsudde, and the waters of Saltsjön. Following the waterfront west of the hotel, you'll come across Boule & Berså after a short walk. This cozy outdoor bar, with its secluded location almost under the Danvik bridge, is a nice place to unwind with some drinks, food, and a game of petanque or two.

While on the subject of things to do in Nacka, Golfbaren Nacka Strand is worth mentioning, if you're looking for a family-friendly activity. Nice food and drinks, and a great miniature golf course with enough of a challenge to keep everyone entertained. And speaking of family-friendly you'll find Nacka's best ice cream at Kennys Gelato. Currently, Kennys has three locations; Sickla köpkvarter, Tollare in Saltsjö-boo and on Djurgården. Its founder, Kenny Mattsson, was actually crowned Swedish ice cream master at the national ice cream championships.

Nature in Stockholm. Ducks are resting by a lake in the Nacka nature reserve in southern Stockholm.
You'll find seven lakes in, and adjacent to, the Nacka nature reserve; Järlasjön, Sicklasjön, Källtorpssjön, Söderbysjön, Dammtorpssjön, Ulvsjön and Ältasjön.Photo: Visit Stockholm

If you're looking to experience some wonderful Stockholm nature you don't have to go further than the Nacka nature reserve. I happen to live quite close to the reserve so I usually take my e-bike, which you can do from the city as well. But you can also take a bus 401 from Slussen and hop off at Hellasgården, a recreation area with a restaurant and café, and something akin to a visitors' center. The reserve has many paths great for hiking or biking and several lakes perfect for a summer dip or some kayaking. It's not hard to see why it's one of the most popular outdoor areas in Stockholm.

Anyone looking for a beach or lake for a summer swim has several great options in Stockholm – especially if you don't mind jumping from a 10-15 feet diving tower! Flatenbadet, Ingarö havscamping and Tyresö Strand for example. In the Nacka area, you'll find the lovely Saltsjöbadets friluftsbad. This turn-of-the-century open-air bathhouse is beautifully located by the sea in Saltsjöbaden. With dressing rooms, a restaurant, and a spa, it is well worth a day trip.

About the author

Sofia Barré works as a communications officer at Svenskt Vatten. She spent her childhood in the inner-archipelago – Björnkärret in Gustavsberg to be precise – but has since worked her way closer to the city. Today she lives in the southern Stockholm suburb of Älta. Sofia describes herself as a "city hiker" and loves the contrasts between nature and urban areas in Stockholm. "You can experience a shift from nature to city in just a short bike ride, but often get both at the same time". Besides the family, her biggest love is her e-bike. "It's my enabler. It takes me everywhere I need to go".

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