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Kalmar/Oland

Hi everyone - I am doing a Sweden-Denmark trip from August 12-19. I will be spending 3 days in Stockholm, 1 in Kalmar and 3 in Copenhagen. I wanted to go to Kalmar to experience life outside of the city and I heard Oland is beautiful with its windmills. I also thought it would be an opportunity to see what Sweden's beaches are like in the summer. However, the weather seems to be very cool - it will be in the mid 60s. Do people go to the beach? Is Kalmar worth going to? And furthermore, what clothes should I be packing? I was thinking to pack for "San Francisco" weather.
Any other tips/suggestions anyone has are much appreciated. Thank you!

Posted by
387 posts

The main "summer season" when most Swedes go on vacation ends promptly in mid-August when the kids go back to school, and it's often a very abrupt shift in the beach towns. Seems like you will probably be arriving right after this - so the beaches should be quieter than in peak summer and things like the ferry to/from Oland may be running a more limited schedule.

Have only been on a day trip there, but Kalmar is nice and you won't have trouble filling your brief stopover, especially if you go over to Oland. As for the weather, "San Francisco" is probably a good packing plan. I visit southern Sweden regularly in the summer and while the avg temp is only around 70-72 degrees, I can tell you that I'm still often surprised by just how warm the sun can feel there, especially if you're in a sheltered area out of the wind. However, it can be quite chilly on rainy days even in mid-summer and like many coastal areas, it's often windy and much cooler in the morning and evenings so I always bring a fleece/sweater and light jacket too.

Posted by
1814 posts

I loved Kalmar. I stayed there two nights on a trip that also included Copenhagen and Stockholm, but I had more time overall (3 weeks total) and included several other destinations as well. I spent two nights in Kalmar, arriving after dark. The next morning I rented a car and drove over to Oland. I got back in time to enjoy an early evening stroll in Kalmar, and my train for Stockholm didn't leave the next day until early afternoon, so that still gave me the entire morning to visit the castle and explore some more.

If you're only staying one night, I don't think you should try to go to Oland. I think there's enough to see in Kalmar.

If you decide it's worth going to Oland anyway, stop at the TI at the first exit after you cross the bridge. Tell them how much time you have and what you're interested in seeing, and they will help you plan your day. I found them enormously friendly and helpful.

Rick is not especially enamored of Borgholms Slott, the ruins of an old castle on Oland, but that was the highlight of my visit to Oland. You should try to get there early in the morning when the sun is still somewhat low in the sky. Nearby is Solliden, the summer home of the royal family. I think it's skippable unless you love gardens. You can't actually enter the home itself. (At least when I was there you couldn't.)

Much as I liked Kalmar and Oland, with just a week, I think you're better off staying in Copenhagen 3 nights and Stockholm 4 nights (or vice versa) and skipping Kalmar. You can take a day trip from Copenhagen or Stockholm as a way to get out of the city and see smaller towns.

It's only a few days away, so it might be too late for you to make any adjustments, but if it's not, just some food for thought.

Whatever you decide, you will love it all! Enjoy!

Posted by
5634 posts

I lived in Stockholm for a couple of years. When I first moved to Sweden, it was mid-August and I was temporarily living in a corporate apartment in the Stockholm suburbs by a lake. Everyday, I would come home from work and see these crazy kids swimming in the lake on days when I thought it was far too cold to be swimming outdoors. By the next summer, I was just as crazy as those kids. I'd swim in Lake Mälaren or even the Baltic. The water was always cold, even in the peak of summer. So to answer your question, people do swim in August.

If you want to go to the beach while in Stockholm, Långholmen Strandbad is a popular place on Lake Mälaren.
http://www.badkartan.se/047977/Strandbadet_på_Långholmen

I visited Öland in the off-season, so only saw the beaches there when they were empty.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you everyone for your replies! Heading to Sweden today and excited to explore.