With the M/S Evert Taube, I traveled from Stockholm to Skoklosters Slott. I actually planned a day trip to Sigtuna but when I read that there was a temporary exhibition about Jane Austen in Skoklosters Slott (2017), I decided to stay on board the boat for another hour and leave Sigtuna for another time.
By boat to Skoklosters Slott
The boat to Sigtuna and Skoklosters Slott departs from Stadshuskajen, near the town hall of Stockholm. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance. In total, it takes 3 hours to arrive at Skokloster. The time on site is therefore limited, but the boat trip on Lake Mälaren along picturesque islands is definitely worth the effort. On the way they give you explanations of the places you pass by and the closer you approach Skokloster, the more information and history the hostess or host will provide about the castle. On board you can buy fika, sandwiches, drinks and even hot meals.
Skoklosters Slott is the largest private castle ever built in Sweden. The castle overlooks the Mälar lake. It was almost never inhabited. It used to be a summer residence and the builder Carl Gustav Wrangel only spent about 30 days in this castle. After his death, the castle went to the Brahe family.
Skoklosters Castle is a baroque castle that has been very well preserved. It is a 17th century castle with rich decorations. Be sure to look up to the ceilings too, because I saw a few things that I did not see (often) before. In most rooms, ornaments were placed around the ceiling beams. Another hall had no plain painted ceiling, but it was a sculpture or a 3D painting that came out of the ceiling.
Also very special is the collection of artworks on the ground floor. What, for example, do you think of a dried, inflated puffer fish? This painting Vertumnus of Giuseppe Arcimboldo is a portrait of Emperor Rudolf II, with fruits and vegetables. It was stolen in Prague in the 17th century.
The Wrangel and Brahe apartments are the highlights of the castle. You can also follow a tour in Swedish or English that leads you to the ‘unfinished room’. Since the 17th century this banquet hall has not been changed and is still not finished. The information boards in the castle are largely in Swedish. However, English-language audio guides can be rented. The entrance and the audioguides were included in the boat trip. If you come on your own, you can rent your audioguide.
Near the castle you will find the house of the father of the first castle owner and the church that used to belong to the monastery and from which the castle has its name. You can also take a walk in the big garden. In my mind, I was wearing a Jane Austen dress and waved my perfectly coiffured hair in the wind while in the distance Mr. Darcy showed up.
Exposition Jane Austen’s World (2017)
The temporary exhibition Jane Austen’s World was until October 1, 2017. In some of the guest apartments on the second floor, iconic costumes from the movies and TV series of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, etc. are shown. With a little imagination, you’ll see Kate Winslet or Colin Firth walking around in Skoklosters Slott. Anyone who wants to can even dive into the wardrobe and dress up in Jane Austen’s costumes.
The castle is not open every day during the summer months. So check out the website to plan your visit. Large bags are not allowed but lockers are provided. There is of course a castle/museum boutique and a cafeteria where they serve fika and small dishes.
The boat trips from Strömma to Skoklosters Castle are only during the Swedish summer holidays (so until mid-August). The entrance fee is included in Go City Stockholm All Inclusive Pass.
Interested in more day trips from Stockholm? You can also go to Birka by boat, Drottningholm Slott (same architect as Skoklosters Slott!). in the Mälarmeer or to Fjäderholmarna in the archipelago.