Stockholm is one of the greenest capital cities in Europe and, luckily for us, going out of the city to be in nature is easy and affordable. There are a lot of choices, whether you want to spend some days in national parks, nature reserves, or in the archipelago. And for a little while now, we thought that going camping for a night or two would be a fun experience. So, we decided to head to the island of Utö (Southern Archipelago) and camp in Stockholm Archipelago!
We chose Utö, as we’ve never been there or in the Southern part of the archipelago before. However, you can use the below tips for other locations too!
You might not be aware of it, but in Sweden there is something called “allemansrätt”. It translates to ‘all man’s right’, meaning that everyone is allowed to go everywhere when it comes to natural spaces. Theoretically, you can then camp everywhere in Sweden. The condition to such right is, of course, to respect the place, environment, and nature around.
Keeping this in mind, wild camping in Sweden gives you the freedom of settling your tent in some of the prettiest and most unique places you can think of!
Traveling to Utö
The good thing about going to Utö is that it is fairly affordable and it does not take too long. Leaving from Stockholm center, let’s say T-Centralen, head south with the pendeltåg (commuter train) line 43 towards Nynäshamn. Get off the train in Västerhaninge and take the bus 846. The bus stop is located just on the side of the platform. Once you are on the bus, get off in Årsta Brygga, there again, the pier is located right in front of the bus stop.
From there, use the ferries from Waxholmsbolaget, as they go directly to Utö. When arriving at Utö, there are several stops to choose from. We recommend you get off at Gruvbryggan. This stop is the one in the ‘city center’, where you can find a small tourism board, bakery, shops, etc. In our opinion, it is also the most convenient if you want to stay at the hotel, hostel, or camping site.
If you have an SL/access card, from Stockholm you can get until the pier for free and only need to pay for the ferry ticket. One way without discount costs 79 SEK (58 SEK discounted). You can check the ferry schedules and other info here.
Utö Camping site
Based on the ‘allemansrätt’ mentioned at the beginning of the article, you should be able to camp wherever you wish to. This is also what we thought. However, this right does not apply in Utö since most of the island is a nature reserve and so is protected. Wild camping and wildfires are strictly prohibited.
In order to camp (still), you can go to the Utö camping site, which is just outside the town. It is only for tents, and there are all the facilities you may need (ie. toilets, showers, kitchen, barbecue places, etc.). All of the mentioned are cleaned everyday.
The area is close by the sea and is surrounded by trees which create the perfect shade for your tent! The price to set your tent there is 100 SEK per night, and you need to add 50 SEK per person per night. In our case, for two people for two nights, it cost us 400 SEK – all included.
Discovering the island
We were expecting something like a remote island, but when we arrived in Gruvbryggan, we were actually surprised by the amount of people! The area was very lively, with a lot of families, a few restaurants, stores, bikes, and kayak rentals, etc. There was even a supermarket! So if you don’t want to carry too much with you, you can always buy everything upon arrival!
The town in this part of Utö is fairly small and you can find everything on 2 streets. The good thing is that you get the nice village life feeling, where everyone is relaxed and talking to each other… There are very few cars on the island which makes it feel very safe for pedestrians or cyclists. In addition, there are a few restaurants and bars organizing events and concerts. Make sure you check it out during your stay!
And if you are a baked-goods lover (just like me!), there is a bakery on the island, selling the best cinnamon buns ever! They also have a lot of bread, sandwiches, and tea/coffee. Keep in mind that in the morning there is often a queue to get fresh bread!
If you like being outdoors, you will love Utö. There are a lot of beaches around the island or places to relax. Whether you prefer rocks or sand, both options are available to you. However, to any beach or swimming area, a bit of walking is needed. Most paths are made to be accessible for all so it should not be a problem.
In Utö, there is also a hiking trail you can do. It is roughly 15 kilometers long and goes around the island – it is called Utörunt. The track is physically demanding and you should be in good physical condition. The track takes you very close to the water and coast line. The scenery is absolutely beautiful but it takes a lot of time if you want to do it all. We did approximately half of it in about 3 hours.
What to bring?
As our initial plan was wild camping, we planned absolutely everything and brought all the supplies with us, as if we would be on a remote island with nothing around.
So whether you stay in an area with stores around or not, here are some basics you should take with you.
- Basic camping equipment (tent, sleeping bags, isolation mats, etc.),
- Small pot to cook,
- Anti-mosquito spray/cream,
- Basic food and snacks,
- Refillable water bottles,
- Flash light,
- Swimsuit, small towel, and slippers,
As a side note, in Utö, as in many other places in Sweden, there are a lot of tiques, so remember to check yourself after hiking or being in the wild!
This weekend camping in Utö has been really good and we really enjoyed it. Therefore, we would like to repeat this again in the near future – the latest in early September.
Spending a weekend outside has been really beneficial to relax our bodies and minds and disconnect from our usual city life.
So “where next” you may ask! Well, probably in the archipelago again. We both really enjoy being close by the water and staying on an island is something a bit magical as well. Luckily, Stockholm’s archipelago is made of over 30,000 islands so there are quite some options to choose from!
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⇒ Let us know! Have you ever been camping outside Stockholm? Which places would you recommend for our next trip?