Sport and fitness - Stockholm - Travel | Monocle



Swedes, on the whole, love a little sport in the water and kayaking is an agreeable way to see the city from a new perspective. Companies such as Stockholm Adventures offer two-hour guided tours around the harbour in two-seaters, starting at Djurgårdsbron, the bridge connecting Östermalm and Djurgården. 

If you’re feeling lazy, however, fear not. The many islands prevent stronger currents or riptides from holding sway or swell, allowing paddlers to enjoy smooth sailing all round. It’s worth heading out to the archipelago too. The pristine waters surrounding the island of Runmarö, an hour-long ferry ride from the capital, are a popular destination for day-long kayaking trips. The hardier can opt for a three-day jaunt, complete with camping on the remote isle.

Djurgården run

Distance: 5.4km
Gradient: Gentle inclines
Difficulty: Easy
Highlight: Waterfront and woodland with architectural spirit-lifters throughout
Best time: Late afternoon 
Nearest metro: Östermalmstorg 

Start on Strandvägen at the northern tip of Berzelii Park. Head southeast along the water (closest to the buildings) to a crossroads. Cross Djurgårdsbron (the bridge on your right) and zip left through the Blå Porten (Blue Gates) erected by King Oscar I, whose monogram is on top. Stay by the water; through the trees to the right is an old merchant’s mansion Lusthusporten. 

At the fourth fork in the road go right towards Wårdshuset Ulla Winbladh and then, at the crossroads, left onto Rosendalsvägen. Things get steeper now. Stay right as the road splits; the orange-yellow building with the tower on the right is a former exhibition pavilion by Gustaf Wickman. At the crossing go right onto Sirishovsvägen, then right again at the next one. The road meets the tram-lined Djurgårdsvägen but turn right before that onto Singlebacken, then stay in the middle lane (it splits into three). 

After a while the path slopes back down to the aforementioned Djurgårdsvägen; turn right and follow it as it curves right. You’ll pass the orange-walled Liljevalchs Konsthall gallery on your left and a pillar topped by Carl Milles’ 1919 statue “Archer”. Pass the Nordiska Museet on the left and cross Djurgårdsbron back to Östermalm. The first statue on the right, atop the bridge, is the Norse god Thor. Turn left back onto Strandvägen, keeping close to the water, and finish at Berzelii Park. 


Östermalm bike ride 

Follow our leisurely cycle route through Östermalm, neighbouring Embassy Village and Ladugårdsgärdet Park. 

Starting point: Strandvägen in Östermalm 
Distance: 5km 

Grab your wheels at Rent-a-Bike at 18 Strandvägen and head east down the boulevard. Continue past Djurgårdsbron as the road curves left and inclines, then past the 1970s Berwaldhallen concert hall. Keep left as the road splits, turning onto Dag Hammarskjölds väg. The stretch ahead has a cluster of embassies, the first on the left being that of the US. Speed past the tree-lined stretch to the expansive Ladugårdsgärdet Park, just after the modernist and ivy-covered gem of the Norwegian embassy. Take the first left into the park and cycle for some 300 metres, taking the second right and dipping into the park. To your right is the brutalist Kaknastörnet TV tower, a once-controversial affair that’s become an unlikely city icon and houses a top-floor restaurant. 

Continue to Greve von Essens väg, turning left and continuing to the traffic lights, then turn left again. Ahead and slightly to the right is the peerless Svenska Filmhuset, its windows designed to resemble perforated rolls of camera film. Follow the road as it curves into the grander residential quarters of Östermalm. Cross over the roundabout and continue, with the pink-hued building of Stockholm’s University of the Arts on your right. You’ll soon hit the Nobelparken and the Berwaldhallen again. Turn right at the T-junction then it’s down the slope and back towards Strandvägen. Drop your bike off where you started or continue into the heart of the city for a little more adventure.

Images: Alamy

Go back: Stockholm


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