Stockholm was once described by novelist Selma Lagerlöf as “the city that floats on water.” If you really want to discover why, head to the vertiginous heights of the City Hall’s tower, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the sparkling waters that surround it. Stockholm is perched upon an impressive 14 islands, with the Old Town (Gamla Stan) separating fresh and saltwater zones. As the warmer seasons approach, locals and tourists alike start planning the many water activities they can enjoy when they are not busy sightseeing or tucking into local fare. If you are planning a trip to this dreamlike city in the upcoming months, make sure to include the following activities on your bucket list.
Take a Sightseeing Boat
There are various options for those seeking to sit back and relax in a spacious boat while taking in the best that the archipelago has to offer. Some of the most popular tours include canal tours (which take you through lush green areas—including the Djurgården canal—where you can feast your eyes on carefully manicured parks, majestic trees, and historical buildings). Also popular are hop-on, hop-off tours, where you can see different sights at your own pace, getting on or off boats at various easily accessible spots. For something really romantic, try a bridge tour, sailing in splendor while you take in the beauty of Stockholm’s bridges and architectural wonders.
Jet Skiing Around the Archipelago
Stockholm is home to a select list of jet ski operators that rent jet skis to people aged approximately seven and over, usually starting in Ropsten. Jet skis can be taken out during any time of the year, including winter, provided conditions are favourable. If you are learning to pilot a jet ski or you have never been out on the water before, don’t worry. The staff will run you through the basics (which basically involve knowing how to accelerate, brake, and turn safely) and ensure you have essential safety equipment. The latter includes a life jacket, a dry bag for your documentation, and a whistle for emergencies.
Kayaking, Stand Up Paddling, and Windsurfing
The city offers various opportunities for sports like kayaking and stand-up paddling (paddleboarding), with staff on hand to help you hone your technique and share the ins and outs of top spots in the water to head to. These ‘schools’ are located in different parts of the city, including Södermalm and Hägersten/Liljeholmen. Those who are more into adrenalin-chargers can try windsurfing at one of the many schools in the archipelago. Experienced staff is available to teach beginners how to maintain their balance and make the most of the wind. These schools can tailor the board shape and sail size to your needs, so you can have the most fun possible whether the wind is gentle or gusty.
Stockholm is a city that is surrounded by water, making it the perfect spot for water sports lovers. On your first day, why not just sit back in a boat and take in the beautiful natural and architectural sights as you sail through the archipelago? If the weather is inviting, take it to the next level by immersing yourself in the water, enjoying activities like jet skiing, paddleboarding, and windsurfing.