Scenic forests, open picnic areas and stunning gardens on this rural islet today offer family fun, but also hide the ghastly history of its former prison.
On the fringes of Stockholm’s city center, the picturesque island of Långholmen provides a bucolic outdoor escape. On a hot summer day go for a swim in the water. Aside from the remarkable natural scenery and swimming options, the area also has a fascinating and grisly backstory as an infamous prison island.
Climb out of the water and lie down on a blanket for sunbathing or picnicking on the grassy banks. Enjoy the excellent views of the lake and appreciate the serene atmosphere that will make you forget the hustle of the city center.
In summer, open-air stages bring all types of performances to the enchanting gardens spread across the island.
Make your way to the eastern edge of the island for a spectacular vista of Gamla Stan and the rest of Stockholm’s city center.
Learn about the macabre past of the area, which served as a notorious prison island from the 18th century until as recently as 1974. You can still visit the former prison, which today takes the form of a hostel.
Stay overnight at this historic attraction and imagine being incarcerated here centuries ago. Browse the intriguing items in the hostel’s museum, which helps to trace the story of the prison.
Staying with the island’s historic themes, wander through the Mälarvarvet, one of the oldest of Stockholm’s shipyards. Enjoy snacks and hot beverages at the Bellman Museum’s café after viewing the museum’s displays about its namesake songwriter, composer and entertainer.
Find the island of Långholmen a little west of the center of Stockholm. From Gamla Stan, enjoy a scenic walk along the southern shore of Mälaren Lake to get here in about 45 minutes. You can also get off the metro at Hornstull Station and walk north for a few minutes to get here. While visiting this area, check out the Reimersholme, Liljeholmen and Lilla Essingen districts.