The water in Stockholm is clean and perfect for swimming during the long days of summer. The best beaches are all west of the city centre: Långholmens strandbad to the west of Västerbron bridge on Långholmen, rocky Klippbadet to the east of the bridge and across on Kungsholmen at Smeddsudden, with a large grassy area for sunbathing; take bus #4. Alternatively, Södermalm is the place to go for swimming pools; there are three in fairly close proximity: Forsgrénskabadet in Medborgarplatsen (t 08 508 403 15; Medborgarplatsen T-bana); Erikdalsbadet, Hammarby Slussväg 20, (t 08 508 402 50; Skanstull T-bana), which has an open-air pool; and the wonderful little Liljeholmsbadet, Bergsundsgatan 2, (t 08 668 67 80; Hornstull T-bana), a pool in a boat-like pontoon contraption that floats in Lake Mälaren and has nude swimming for women on Mondays, for men on Fridays, though it is closed mid-June to mid-August; the water here is always 30°C. For unofficial nude bathing, head out to one of the islands in the archipelago and find your own private spot.
The best gay beach is at Kärsön (Brommaplan T-bana then any bus towards Drottningholm palace). Get off at the stop over the bridge, Brostugan, and walk to the right along the water’s edge.