For a city in Scandinavia that isn’t even on the coast Stockholm has some surprisingly good beaches within a stone’s throw of the city centre. Chief among these is Långholmsbadet, a modest strip of sand backed by the lawns and parkland of Långholmen island.
The beach is just a short walk from the trendy district of Hornstull with its hipster bars and cafes. In fact it is pretty easy to get here from most parts of the city, so it is no surprise it gets busy in the summer. At the height of the holidays you’ll be lucky to find a patch of sand, but there is plenty of grass and flat rocks to lounge on surrounding the beach.
Långholmsbadet is a popular spot for swimming and shares the same clear clean water as Stockholm’s other top beach, Smedsuddsbadet, just across the water. Back in 1998 the beach was awarded a Blue Flag and things have only improved since then.
Up until 1975 Långholmen island was best known for its prison. But strangely this slightly grim footnote in history actually helped create the pleasant backdrop it offers today. Originally a barren, rocky island the prisoners were tasked with covering it with mud dredged from the surrounding waterways. Over the ensuing years this fertile soil grew a verdant covering. It is said that the surprisingly exotic range of flora on Långholm is due to seeds being deposited by passing merchant ships from far-flung places.
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