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The solubility and potential mobility of heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn) in two urban soils were studied by sequential and leaching extractions (rainwater). Compared to rural (arable) soils on similar parent material, the urban soils were highly contaminated with Hg and Pb and to a lesser extent also with Cd, Cu and Zn. Metal concentrations in rainwater leachates were related to sequential extractions and metal levels reported from Stockholm groundwater. Cadmium and Zn in the soils were mainly recovered in easily extractable fractions, whereas Cu and Pb were complex bound. Concentrations of Pb in the residual fraction were between two- and eightfold those in arable soils, indicating that the sequential extraction scheme did not reflect the solid phases affected by anthropogenic inputs. Cadmium and Zn conc. in the rainwater leachates were within the range detected in Stockholm groundwater, while Cu and Pb conc. were higher, which suggests that Cu and Pb released from the surface soil were immobilised in deeper soil layers. In a soil highly contaminated with Hg, the Hg conc. in the leachate was above the median concentration, but still 50 times lower than the max concentration found in groundwater, indicating the possibility of other sources. In conclusion, it proved difficult to quantitatively predict the mobility of metals in soils by sequential extractions.