Lunch in the Archipelago at Vaxholm

Entrance to Hembygdgårds Café, where...

Every 3 or 4 years, I write an article about visiting the town of Vaxholm in the Stockholm archipelago (I actually usually visit at least once every summer). The reason I revisit Vaxholm, and have written about it several times, is that it is one of the most accessible places in the archipelago to visit. It is relatively close (compared with islands further out), with many ferries to choose from, a nice boat ride and with good lunch options... easy! 
...they have a great waterfront location with...

My recent visit is a good example. My parents were in town visiting last week, the weather was beautiful and they wanted to do a boat ride but didn't have a full day to spend, so I decided to take them to Vaxholm for lunch at my favorite place there: Hembygdgårds Café. We used Waxholmsbolaget (the commuter boats of the archipelago) to travel there and back. These boats have several departure times and the trip just takes between 1 and 1½ hours, depending on the boat. They depart from the pier Strömkajen in the downtown area. You purchase your tickets on the boat, so no reservations necessary. As I wrote in an earlier post, you can also use the SL commuter boats to get to Vaxholm.  

...outdoor seating and...

Vaxholm is the name of both the town and the island it is on. Located in the mid-archipelago, the island is actually connected to the mainland with a bridge, so you can travel there by car or bus. However, the boat ride, in my opinion, is a much nicer and scenic way to travel. Vaxholm received its town charter back in the 1600's and is one of the largest towns in the archipelago. In fact, it is often called "the capitol of the archipelago" due to its importance as a communication hub (almost all ferries have to pass by the town on their way out to the outer islands).

...great lunches.

There are many things to do in the town, like visiting the cute stores, taking a hike, going swimming or visiting the fortress... though I usually am just there for lunch and a look around. Hembygdgårds Café has nice options for lunch or just a "fika", but the best selling point is their location right on the water with a large outdoor seating area, where you can enjoy some sunshine and watch the boats cruise by. The café is just a 10-15 minute walk from the boat dock. There are other options for lunch on the island, this is just my favorite. 

With the boat trips and time for a leisurely lunch, this trip can take as little as four hours total, making it a good option if you want to experience the archipelago but don't have many days in Stockholm. If you are looking for a full day adventure, then I can recommend Grinda, Finnhamn or Sandhamn (each has their own charm). Though really there are hundreds of options, depending on how adventurous you are! Click here to read about my visit to Grinda and here for my visit to Svartsö (another option), both from last summer. 

Departing from Vaxholm.

To get to Strömkajen, where the Waxholmsbolaget ferries depart/arrive, from the Hotel Rival, you can either take the subway to Kungsträdgården (blue line), take a 5-7 minute taxi ride or else walk 30 minutes through the old town. If you wish to journey further out in the archipelago (to the islands mentioned above), then I recommend the Cinderella boats (less departures, but they power out quicker). These depart from Strandvägen at Nybroviken. The closest subway station here is Östermalmstorg (red line).

The boat ride is half the experience...


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