The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation: VERY GOOD*
(surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
- What did I like the most: the inside of this palace is magnificent, better than the Royal palace even
- What is the biggest area for improvement: all of the outdoor walking areas are on gravel, be careful if with elders or handicapped
This was a Strömma boat ride from Stockholm to the Drottningholm palace on Lake Mälaren (third largest lake in Sweden). It’s one hour out, and one hour back. You could easily spend a couple of hours here, especially if you also visit the Chinese pavilion and the gardens. There is also a cafe and restaurant in the immediate area, which would take even more time. Your best bet is to allow for being there for three hours, then you can always cut it short and come back sooner if you wanted. So that puts the total even time at 5 hours.
We got our tickets at Stadshusbron, Klara Mälarstrand 2, 111 52 Stockholm (this is over by City Hall). We paid 210 kr ($25) for each adult. That only covers the boat ride over and back. Entry to the palace itself is 130 kr ($15), and the Chinese pavilion is 100 kr ($12). If you’re concerned about the pricing, Strömma does offer package deals, so check their site.
Departure times vary dramatically, so check online for latest schedules leaving Stockholm. On the return trip, a boat leaves Drottningholm every hour.
You’ll get one of three boats that service this tour. They all feature plenty of seating, a bar, and a restaurant if you want have a meal on the way over or back. We managed to get the M/S Prins Carl Philip going out and coming back.
It was pretty warm when we went, so we were able to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery of Lake Mälaren.
When I think of Sweden, for some reason, beaches just never really comes to mind. But they have them here, and yes they swim in the cold water!
Lake Mälaren offers some really fantastic landscapes. This is one of my favorite trips since it is so beautiful, and the one hour boat ride each way is just right.
Ok, spoiler alert here, in case you haven’t already heard, Drottningholm Palace is one of the nicest palaces in all the land! Think I’m exaggerating? Guess where the royal family lives…. Nope, not in the Royal Palace. They have lived in the Drottningholm Palace since 1981.
I haven’t reviewed the Royal Palace for you yet, but if you saw it, you would understand why everyone, including the royal family, loves this palace so much more.
While the palace grounds do not stand up to the great Château de Versailles, you can’t help but feel the influence. And it is beautiful in its own right.
We were a little pressed for time when we were there, so we did not do the Chinese pavilion but I promise I will add it in at some point.
The comments about this palace vs. the Royal Palace apply as much to the inside as the out. The Royal Palace is much more business oriented and doesn’t have nearly the luxuries of this place.
One thing you will notice is that the statues throughout the palace are made to look like expensive Rome era artwork, when in fact they are cleverly disguised painted replicas. Still, very nice and very impressive.
Once we finished our tour, we had a few minutes before the next boat, so we sat down at the cute little cafe right by the boat dock. It’s nice because you can have a nice glass of wine or coffee and still be able to see if the line for the boat starts growing.
All in all this is a great way to spend a half day.
* Each area is rated on a scale 1-5, with 1 = poor, 3 = good, 5 = exceptional
How did this do compared to what I had expected: 4
How well were the logistics handled: 3
Was the staff helpful and friendly: 3
Overall execution and presentation: 4
Total score: 14
4 – 8 is POOR (was not at all what I expected and/or was not worth the time/money)
9 – 10 is OK (quality of the experience was a little low, but I enjoyed it)
11 – 13 is GOOD (met expectations, would recommend, would do again)
14 – 15 is VERY GOOD (surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
16 – 20 is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (outperformed my expectations, great value)