While Stockholm’s city skyline is jaw-droppingly beautiful, the wider region’s jewel-in-the-crown is its dazzling archipelago, spilling out into the Baltic Sea. Here you’ll find thousands of islands, ranging from chic tourist spots boasting boutique hotels and sandy beaches, to deserted rocky outposts sprouting with pine trees. Navigating the area can feel overwhelming—there’s less information in English than you’d expect online, perhaps a hint that Swedes want to keep this beautiful spot to themselves. But don’t feel the only answer is a package tour. Busses from Slussen station connect to the main commuter boat lines (yes, some Swedes are lucky enough to actually live in the archipelago), or you can catch slightly pricier direct ferries to popular destinations including Waxholm, Fjäderholmarna and Sandhamn from the city centre, run by transport companies Waxholmsbolaget and Cinderella Båterna.
Time Out tip: Head straight to the top deck as soon as you get on any ferry, to ensure you snag an outdoor seat. Booking on to the second crossing of the day can make for a less sardine-like journey in high season.