Away from the popular sights of the city, you'll find a trove of hidden, beautiful and historical environments – so make the time to discover these exciting spots within 1 hour from Stockholm. Just outside the city lie Viking remains, medieval castle ruins, stately renaissance palaces, both modern and classic art, picturesque towns, award-winning shopping centres, ancient forests in vibrant greens and wholesome archipelago experiences.

    Whether you're travelling by car or using the region's well developed public transport network, you'll find no shortage of destinations near Stockholm, for kids and adults alike.

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    Birka

    Live like a Viking on Lake Mälaren

    The world-heritage site of Birka is home to an exciting Viking village and educational exhibitions for all ages. The island's gorgeous location on Lake Mälaren made it a perfect trading outpost more than one thousand years ago, although it doesn't help with getting there today. Luckily the island is well served by public boats.

    Stroll around Viking dwellings, listen to an expert guide and let the kids try their hand at some practical crafts like making candles or jewellery. There are plenty of nice spots to grab a snack or take a swim, too, so why not make your trip a whole day affair?

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    photo by Bengt A Lundberg (CC BY-SA 2.5) modified

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    Uppsala

    Feel the pulse of history in a university town with roots in the Iron Age

    Uppsala is a beautiful and lively town with a rich history and a more relaxed pace of life compared to its big-city neighbour. The city is just 43 miles north of Stockholm but is easily reached by high-speed rail in just under 40 minutes. Once you've arrived, sign up to a guided tour for some expert insights from a local guide, or head out on your own and get lost along the tranquil river or among the city's charming streets. Be sure not to miss the majestic cathedral. Or if you feel like strolling along through ancient environs, pay a visit to the Gamla Uppsala archaeological site and museum.

    Uppsala is also a great place to go shopping or kick back with a coffee and a cinnamon bun. Before you go, be sure to pick up a memento from the city's trendy craft cooperative Öster om Ån.

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    Sigtuna

    Discover Sweden's medieval capital

    Before there was Stockholm there was Sigtuna, now a cute little town that takes great pride in its historical weight. The handy location just 30 miles north of Stockholm makes Sigtuna a great day-trip destination. Discover some of Sigtuna's more than 150 runestones.

    Visit Sigtuna Museum and learn more about what life was once like in Sweden's former centre of political gravity and the place where the first Swedish coins were minted. And if you're interested in technology and aviation, be sure to visit Arlanda Flygsamlingar just out of town, where you can see propeller planes and try out a flight simulator.

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    Rune Kingdom (Runriket)

    Read the words of the Vikings

    Rune Kingdom (Runriket) is home to some exceptionally well-preserved rune stones dating back to the Viking ages. This historically important area is located around 24 miles north of Stockholm, around the Vallentuna Lake. Check out the gorgeous rune snakes at Fällbro and Gällsta, which were carved by the evidently very active rune master, Öpnir.

    Be sure to also visit the Arkils Assembly (Arkils tingstad) which is marked out by stones before enjoying a picnic by the lake. If you plan your visit to coincide with Rune Kingdom Day then you will also be able to sample some typical Viking food or watch the Vikings make handicrafts and do battle.

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    Tyresta National Park

    Explore an ancient forest and glimmering lakes between city and archipelago

    Tyresta National Park is an ancient, spell-binding forest located just 18 miles south of Stockholm. The easiest way to get there from the capital is by car, although the right combination of metros and buses will also get you there in about an hour.

    Begin your visit at Naturum to learn more about the Swedish national parks and to get information about the trails and guided tours. Then set off on your adventure through the verdant forest, following one of the marked trails which vary in length between 1.5 and 8.5 miles.

    Location: Svartbäckens by 361, 136 59 Vendelsö, Sweden

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    Phone: +46 8 745 33 94

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    6

    Södertälje

    Stroll through an idyllic small town that's packed with art and culture

    The charming town of Södertälje is brimming with picture-perfect architecture, stately palaces and great opportunities to get out on the lake. The town is located just 24 miles south west of Stockholm and can be easily reached by public transport.

    Spend a sunny day outside Tullgarn Palace where Swedish King Gustaf V used to pass his summers. Wander around Södertälje Art Gallery where you'll also find entertaining events for kids at regular intervals. Or take an incredible trip out onto Lake Mälaren aboard a genuine steamship from days gone by. And be sure to explore the historic environments at the idyllic open-air museum of Torekällberget where you can chat to the animals or pick up a souvenir to take home.

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    7

    Kungens Kurva

    Bag a bargain not far from Stockholm

    • Shoppers

    Kungens Kurva is a huge commercial area packed with popular shops selling everything from fashion and jewellery to home decor and sporting equipment.

    Kungens Kurva is located just 6 miles away from central Stockholm and even if the easiest way to arrive is by car, the area is also well connected by local transport from Hornstull. You'll find everything from sporting clothes and equipment at the Swedish chain Stadium or French store Decathalon to Swedish fashion at H&M or the latest American trends at Lexington, with plenty of dining options to enjoy at lunch.

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    8

    Enköping

    Enjoy small-town charm, historic buildings and leafy parks

    Enköping is a charming little town boasting idyllic green spaces and many historic buildings. The town is located 43 miles north west of Stockholm and can be reached in less than 40 minutes by train – great for a stress-free day trip from the big city. Stroll around flowery and leafy parks like Afzelius Place (Afzeliiplan) which is more than one hundred years old, the charming Drömparken (lit. Dream Park) or the petite little English Park (Engelska parken).

    If you love history then be sure to check out the medieval castles and ruins of Husby Holme, Borgarringen and Gröneborg. Or if you prefer your castles to be stately and intact, then head to nearby Fiholm Castle or Ängsö Castle instead.

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    photo by Tokstollen (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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    Mariefred

    Step back in time to a fairy tale town with historic castles

    Visiting Mariefred is like taking a step back in time to a fairy tale town full of cobblestone streets, romantic castles and historic traditions. Mariefred is located by the shores of Lake Mälaren, around 45 miles to the west of Stockholm. The easiest way to get here is by car or if you don't feel like driving, a combination of trains and buses will get you here from the centre of Stockholm in about an hour.

    Visit the majestic, red Gripsholm Castle which is not only an impressive building in a beautiful location, but also home to the Swedish state's collection of portraits. While in the area, seize the chance to travel by steamboat or sample some modern art at the nearby POM Gallery.

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    10

    Nynäshamn

    Discover island idyll outside of the capital

    Nynäshamn is the pearl of the archipelago and brimming with beautiful nature and historical sights. The island is located around 37 miles from central Stockholm. You can get here either by car or by commuter train. Stroll around the charming town and sample some public art – call in at the Nynäshamn Visitor Centre for more information on where to find the various artworks.

    Enjoy the sights of the archipelago with a crossing over the Baltic Sea or through the Draget Canal and linger for a while to admire the oldest lighthouse still standing in Sweden. For some living history that will captivate the entire family, stop at Tostesta Felag and check out the Iron Age dwelling.

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