Exploring Södermanland

Exploring Södermanland will take you along the peaceful coast of the Baltic Sea, as well as the shores of Lake Mälaren – the third-largest lake in Sweden. Travel in Södermanland means small towns and easy access to water. The coastal area and the shores of Lake Mälaren have a few of the more historical towns in Sweden as well as rich archipelagos, while the inland has large forests, areas of farmland, and especially plenty of lakes. Along the many countryside roads, you can expect to find runestones and other ancient remains such as burial mounds. This is a province where history and natural beauty mix with the modern world.

Five things to look for when visiting Södermanland:

  • The many lakes
  • Historical castles
  • Runestone and other ancient remains
  • The islands of the rich archipelagos
  • The small traditional settlements

About Södermanland

Södermanland is a province that stretches along the eastern shore of Sweden. Its name – meaning “Southern man land” refers to its people who live south of Lake Mälaren. The province includes the southern half of the country’s capital Stockholm. In total, the population is around 1.300.000. The province is famous for its history; the earliest settlements date back to the early stone age, and around 300 runestones remain from the Viking Age. Before the end of the 14th century, six cities had received official city status. These places can still be visited today and they are Södertälje, Nyköping, Stockholm, Strängnäs, Torshälla, and Trosa.

Largest City: Stockholm
Province Flower: “Vit näckros”, a European white water lily (Nymphaea alba)
Province Animal: Osprey

Södermanland landskapsvapen

Exploring Södermanland

Exploring Södermanland can be done in many ways. The Baltic Coast and Lake Mälaren have plenty of islands and are easiest to explore with a boat. These are, otherwise, mostly inaccessible for any visitor. The railway network will take you to many of the larger localities from where there are local buses to almost everywhere. It is the sights far out in the forest or away from populated settlements that will be hard to reach with public transport. For these, there is only one way to explore and that is with a car. Well for the more adventurous there are cycling and hiking possibilities. The province has a huge network of hiking trails that can you from one corner to the next. The many smaller roads also make perfect roads for cycling.

Our Top 5 Recommendations, Not to be Missed

What not to miss when visiting Södermanland? There are plenty of historical towns, natural features, and more modern urban areas. These are the five places that we recommend you visit when exploring Södermanland. Just remember, there are plenty more places worth a visit in this part of Sweden.

5. Vagnhärad

Vagnhärad is a locality close to Trosa. This is our base and for some reason, we felt that it should be included. This is a part of Sweden with many ancient remains, such as burial mounds and runestones. In addition, there is the Trosa River, some forests, lakes, and plenty of fields to walk along or through. It is one of the possible bases for anyone wanting to explore both Södermanland as well as the Swedish capital Stockholm.

4. Trosa

Trosa is one of the picturesque small towns along the coast of the Baltic Sea. Its history stretches back to the 14th century and it is a popular stop for people looking for a bit more peace and quiet compared to the larger towns in Sweden. With the Baltic Sea ever so close by, it is easy to end up on a promenade along the water.

3. Strängnäs

Strängnäs was for a long time together with Nyköping the main center in Södermanland. While Nyköping had trade and administration, Strängnäs had the church. The Diocese of Strängnäs had its seat here and was responsible for the two provinces of Södermanland and Närke. This means that Strängnäs is home to a cathedral and a historical area in its vicinity. The town is also located along the shores of Lake Mälaren, offering easy access to swimming and the possibility of nice walks along the shore.

2. Nyköping

Nyköping and its location along the coast of the Baltic Sea do offer great possibilities for tourists and the town is probably one of the best bases for exploring this part of Södermanland. It is a historical town that has played an important role in many of the events in Sweden’s history. Nyköpingshus, the castle, might be partly in ruins but is one of the more significant sights. There is also Stendörren Nature Reserve a bit outside of the town, on the way towards Vagnhärad. Stendörren is an easy access point to the archipelago that otherwise usually requires a boat to explore.

1. Mariefred

Mariefred is really a must when visiting Södermanland during the summer. Located along the shores of Lake Mälaren, this is not only a small historical town. This is a town with one of the most beautiful castles in Sweden, the Gripsholm Castle. Exploring the small town will also include a visit to the historical museum railway and the royal enclosure to see the deers.

Places to Explore in Södermanland

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