The Island of Långholmen

A heat wave has moved through Western Europe over the past few days, bringing Mediterranean temperatures to many parts of Scandinavia. When the temperatures rise, it is always nice to get outdoors, enjoy some nature, maybe take a swim or even rent a kayak. Or perhaps just lay under a leafy tree and read a book. Långholmen, a small island not too far from Hotel Rival, is a perfect place to indulge in all these activities!
Reimersholme to the left and Långholmen to the right

Långholmen means "long island" in Swedish and this sliver of an island is located, along with the island Reimersholme, right off the western tip of Södermalm. The island is almost completely made up of green space (park/forest/beach). One of the few buildings on the island was once a former prison (1649-1825) which has been restored and now houses a hostel, bar, conference facilities and more. You can also find an inn and several cafés on the island.

But most of the visitors to the island come to enjoy outdoor activities, especially the sandy beach called Långholmsbadet. During the summer months, this beach can get quite crowded due to the central location, facilities and easy access. It is particularly popular with families with small children. Young adults, wanting to avoid crowds (and children), tend to sun and swim on the rocky outcrops or piers on either side of the beach. 


On the inland side of the island, closest to Södermalm, you have a small boat harbor. Here you will find Långholmen Kajak, where you can rent kayaks or even book a kayak tour of the area. This has become a popular activity with both locals and visitors as it is a great way both to keep cool and to see the city. The area around Långholmen and Reimersholme has narrow canals and no large boat traffic which makes it a wonderful place to kayak, even for beginners.

If you want to keep it even more casual, then the island is a nice place just to stroll around on with lots of paths and gardens as well as beautiful views of the city. If you want to extend your walk, you can access the bridge Västerbron from the island. This large bridge spans Lake Mälaren, connecting the main islands of Södermalm and Kungsholmen and some of the best views of the city can be had by walking to the top of the bridge. 

As I mentioned, Långholmen isn't that far from the Hotel Rival. The easiest way to get to Långholmen from the hotel is to take a subway (red line) two stops to the station Hornstull and then walk ten minutes to the island. You can also walk the whole way... about 20 minutes along the northern coast of Södermalm. Bonus trivia! There is an old distillery on the adjacent island of Reimersholme that was the birthplace of the world famous Absolut Vodka.

Walk or bike over Västerbron and...

...enjoy the views of the city.

Or kayak under the bridge!



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