Travelling to the Stockholm Islands

STOCKHOLM – Travelling to the islands

The Waxholmsbolaget Boat card                             The Waxholmsbolaget Period Card

Unlike Gothenburg that has public transport in place, Stockholm has a privately owned company, Waxholmsbolget, to get you to the islands. There are also taxi boats that operate in all areas too but you will most likely take the Waxholmsbolaget ferries.
If you are in the Stockholm area just for a short while then it makes sense to buy your ticket when you are on the boat rather than buy one of the cards. The Boat card (shown above) costs 750:- but is charged up with value of 1000:- that you can use anytime. This card is good if you want to see a lot of the islands over maybe 2-3 weeks. The period card lasts for a month and costs the same amount of money which is great if you are spending a long time in Stockholm.

When using a Waxholmbolaget ferry, you pay for your ticket on the boat and then give that ticket to the staff on exit to the island. This system has confused the best of people as nobody hounds you to buy a ticket, especially on ferries that run closer to the main land.

The Waxholmbolaget ticket. Buy one of these onboard and hand it to the staff on your exit.

Depending on what island you choose will determine which island you will travel from. For example, travelling to the southern archipelago will usually involve catching a boat from Nynäshamn, Stavsnäs or Årsta Brygga. Travelling to the middle archipelago will involve catching boats from Vaxholm and the northern archipelago from Simpnäs.


One of the most important things to remember is to use the semaphore when negotiating the Stockholm archipelago. This doesn’t involve waving table tennis rackets above your head. No. Instead you have to lower down a sign that will attract the boat to you which I forgot to (uh hmm!) do once and the boat sailed past me. The image down below should clear up any confusion on this as you don’t have to do the same thing for the west coast islands.

The semaphore: Handy to use when wanting to go home.