Ekerö is a freshwater archipelago in lake Mälaren, which forms a municipality in Stockholm County. Ekerö is also the only Swedish municipality with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Viking age settlement Birka, and Drottningholm Palace, which is the residence of the Royal family.
Strömma runs boats from Stockholm City Hall (Kungsholmen) to Drottningholm and Birka.
Björkö can be reached only by boat, and other islands (Kungshatt, etc.) are reached only by private vessels.
Drottningholm PalaceWhile the Royal Palace is in Stockholm's Old Town, the Royal family lives at Drottningholm Palace on the Lovön island in Lake Mälaren. The 18th-century palace is beautiful, and much of it is open to the public. The surroundings are well worth a walk as well. Travel to T Brommaplan, change to bus 176 or 177 or (mostly during peak hours) 301-336, to Drottningholm. In the summertime, there is also regular boat service from Stadshuskajen (the City Hall Quay) to Drottningholm operated by Strömma Kanalbolaget (130 kr for a return ticket). Consider the combination return ferry ticket (210 kr, includes the palace and the Chinese Pavilion). But, if you are a student with an ISIC card, don't buy the combo ticket because you won't get the discounts offered by the Palace and Chinese Pavilion. There are no interpretative signs in the Palace or in the Chinese Pavilion. So, catch a (free) guided tour, offered nearly every half hour in Swedish and English, and you'll get a lot more out of it. Or, buy a guide book (50 kr). If you use Talk of the town the mobile audioguide for Stockholm. You can listen at six sights spread over Drottningholm Royal domain in six languages.
Since most buildings were made of wood, traces of the settlement are hard to spot, and the most prominent "old" structure is a stone cross from the 19th century; a 1,000-year memorial of the advent of Christianity. The small museum (+46 8 56051445, closed during winter) is really only worth the ride if you are genuinely interested in the subject. Parts of the settlement have been reconstructed.
Boats to Björkö are operated by Strömma Kanalbolaget. Birka can also be reached by taking the green line of the underground (T-Bana) to Brommaplan and from there suburban bus 312 to Rastaholm. Once at Rastaholm, walk down the road to your left for 800 m and you'll find yourself at an inn and a jetty. From here, boats depart for Birka at 10:15, 11:00 or 11:30 depending on the season (see timetable), taking 15-30 minutes to reach Birka.
During the summer, there are several staged events (fairs, archaeology expos etc) at Birka.
- , the neighbour of Björkö, contains more archaeological sites than Björkö does, with continuity to the Middle Ages. Hovgården on Adelsö is also a part of the Birka World Heritage Site.
- Outdoor bathing and hiking throughout the area. Rod fishing in Mälaren is unrestricted, see Right to access.
Drottningholm Palace TheatreStages international classics.
- Golf: Drottningholm Golf Club, Mälarö GK, and Troxhammar GK
Ekerö centrumA suburban shopping square with basic services such as pharmacy, hairdresser, dentist and liquor store.
- Several farmers' markets.
- Several art studios across Ekerö.