Vaxholm is a locality and the seat of Vaxholm Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden. It is located in the Stockholm archipelago. The name Vaxholm comes from Vaxholm Castle, which was constructed in 1549 on an islet with this name on the inlet to Stockholm, for defense purposes, by King Gustav Vasa.
For historical reasons it has always been referred to as a city, despite the small number of inhabitants, which as of 2010 total was 4,857. Vaxholm Municipality prefers to use the designation Vaxholms stad (City of Vaxholm) for its whole territory, including 64 islets in the Stockholm archipelago, a usage which is somehow confusing.
The town of Vaxholm was established in 1558, when King Gustav Vasa bought some farms from Count Per Brahe (the elder). It later received rights as a merchant town (köping) and in 1652 was granted the Royal Charter. The designated coat of arms reminds of the fortifications as well as shipping industry.
During the 19th century, it hardly expanded. In the 1880s, it became a popular spa town, and many wooded summer houses were built by people from Stockholm.