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Living in Copenhagen, Denmark has given us access to all the beauty that Scandinavia has to offer. While we’ve made several trips over to Norway already, this summer we decided to head east to Sweden.
The Stockholm Archipelago is a chain of 24,000+ islands off the country’s eastern coast. The beautiful nature and abundance of islands make it a great place for water activities and camping.
We brought our dog, Walter, with on the trip and we found the canoe portion as well as the city of Stockholm to be very dog-friendly. It should be noted, however, that bringing your dog into Sweden requires a pet passport, and you should make sure you meet all requirements and have the proper documentation before trying to bring your pet into Sweden. Since Walter is licensed and insured in Denmark, it was relatively simple, but we still had to take him to a certified vet to get an EU Pet Passport issued in order to bring him into the country.
We took an overnight train from Copenhagen to Stockholm and were able to get a sleeper car at a very affordable rate. This meant that we had a private room with beds. It left around 9 PM and arrived at 6 AM. We weren’t sure what to expect, but Walter did pretty well on the train, despite being a bit restless and waking us up a couple of times. He also got motion sickness and threw up in the middle of the night. The joys of traveling with your pet!
Since we arrived in Stockholm so early we had to kill some time before catching another train out of the city to the outfitter. Luckily we were traveling light, with just our backpacks, so we were able to get some pastries and coffee, and then enjoy the city early in the morning — so peaceful!
From Stockholm, we took a train about 1 hour to the outfitter, Skärgårdens Kanotcenter. Public transportation is very easy and efficient, and you can easily purchase tickets through the SL app on your phone. We were able to get dropped off within about 100 meters of the outfitter, which was impressive considering it was on a small island and there wasn’t a lot in the area. At Skärgårdens Kanotcenter we were able to get our canoe, rent some additional equipment, fill up water containers, and set on our adventure.
Sweden has very relaxed rules about camping, known as Allemansrätten (freedom to roam). You are allowed to camp anywhere, but it is expected that you use consideration and common sense. Not camping in someone’s front yard, for example, not trampling the flora, and not leaving behind garbage or waste. This makes the Stockholm Archipelago and wonderful playground, especially by canoe. You can paddle where you like and camp anywhere to picnic or set up camp, including most of the beautiful shoreline.
We padded for about 3-4 hours each day and stopped when we were tired or saw nice places to swim or picnic. The area doesn’t have much for beaches, most of the shorelines are rocky, so you have to be prepared for somewhat tumultuous landings and launches and always be prepared for waves that can crash onto the shore and dislodge your vessel. We spent our first-night wilderness camping at a spot that had nice swimming and places to sit and watch the sunset. On the second night, we were at a more designated campsite that had a log shelter. When we were in Sweden there was a burn ban, so no campfires were permitted (we were able to rent a butane camp stove from the outfitter for cooking).
What we packed:
2 Sleeping Bags
Food for 3 days
Dog food for 3 days
What we rented:
Canoe and Paddles
Butane Camp Stove
Dromedary Containers (for water)
We spent just 1 night in Stockholm at the end of our trip, but it was such a lovely city, and a fun one to enjoy with Walter in tow.
Downtown Camper – this was such a cool hotel, and very dog-friendly! They rent bikes and kayaks right at the front desk, and if we’d had more time we would have definitely enjoyed paddling or peddling around town. They even had carts for dogs and kids that you could rent. The hotel is beautiful, with wonderful spaces to relax (including a big net hung across the ceiling that you can relax in on pillows!) and has a wonderful central location.
Have a Picnic – Stockholm is full of beautiful parks, making it easy to enjoy the sunshine or a picnic with your dog. We went Östermalms Saluhall, a big indoor market, and picked up sandwiches and drinks and then walked to Humlegården to enjoy them.
Mosebacketerrassen – This outdoor beer garden was so good we went twice. Beautiful view of the city and affordable beers in a relaxed atmosphere.
Wirströms Pub – The street this is on is really cute and worth spending an evening on. We popped into this pub for a quick beer, but when I got up to use the bathroom I could hear music coming from the basement. I was delighted to find a group of musicians having a jam session. We ended up hanging out down there for a couple of hours and it was so fun and enjoyable! Definitely stop in here and check out the basement.
Sofia Kyrka – this beautiful church is surrounded by an amazing park. It’s fun just to walk around, or bring and blanket and a good book! There are also a few cafes within the park.
As with most things in life, our trips don’t always go perfectly. Here were a few of the “oops” moments from our trip to Sweden:
Are you interested in more water-loving itineraries?!