Exploring Sweden, Arboga, Västmanland

Arboga, Västmanland – Exploring Sweden

Arboga is one of those small towns that you usually just drive by without giving it too much thought. We were actually told that it would not be worth a visit. Being stubborn we decided to make a stop in the town anyway. As it turned out, it was definitely not a waste of time at all. It is a beautiful town with the stream Arbogaån flowing through the center.

We were also surprised to see the number of restaurants. During our walk in the center, we noticed that there is a lot more history connected to the town than we had first expected. But in the end, Arboga will probably be most known for the beer sharing its name, at least among fellow Swedes.

Arboga, with its population of around 10.000, is the center of Arboga Municipality and it belongs to the county of Västmanland. It is a well-connected town with some of the country’s bigger roads connecting it to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Örebro, and Västerås. In other words, from here you can easily drive to four of Sweden’s six largest cities.

A Short History of Arboga

Arboga is an old town by Swedish standards. The town was founded in the 13th century. It lies close to the spot of an old fortress from the 7th century called Halvardsborg. Arboga’s first buildings appear to have been built in the 10th century.

The stream Arbogaån connected the town with the iron mines in Bergslagen and Arboga became an important harbor for the transition and shipping of the iron.

These days Arboga is still dependent on industrial production with the largest employers being Saab AB, Saab Aerotech, and FMV.

4 Things to Do in Arboga

A walk along the stream and in the center of town

There is something magical about walking alongside the waterfront no matter where you are. But Arboga has something special with all its old buildings along the stream. The compactness of the center of Arboga also makes it ideal for walking around and enjoying the atmosphere. You will easily see the church Heliga Trefaldighets kyrka, the old bridge, the town hall (Rådhuset), and the library (biblioteket) while on foot.

Visit the old relics from a time long past

There are several signs of settlement in the area from its past history. Two sights that we would like to visit one day are Halvardsborg and Kung Sigges Sten. The first sight is where you will find the ruins of an old fortress from the 7th century. Kung Sigges Sten (The Stone of King Sigge) is an old runestone from the 11th century. Both of these landmarks can be found in the vicinity of Arboga.


Jädersbruk is another place that we would have liked to visit. This is an area where the famous Swedish king Gustav Vasa founded a weapon industry in 1551. It was in use for producing weapons until the 18th century when the site switched to other goods. A large mansion was also built here in the 19th century. Today there is a small shop selling ecological food and a restaurant near the site.

Hjälmare Kanal

Not too far from Arboga you will find the channel Hjälmare Kanal. The channel was built in 1639 to connect Örebro with the capital Stockholm. It is 13,7 kilometers long and has 9 locks along the path.

Arboga: How to Get There?

There are several means of transportation to get to Arboga, the easiest being either by rail or road. There is an airport in Arboga, but you are probably better of by flying to either Örebro, Västerås, or Stockholm. The Airport has belonged to the air force and handles no goods or passenger traffic.

Car: Two bigger roads connect Arboga with other large cities in the Nordic countries. To the east E18 connects the city to Västerås and Stockholm and E20 leads to Eskilstuna, Södertälje, and Stockholm. To the west, E18 connects Arboga with Karlstad, Örebro, and Oslo, while E20 continues to Gothenburg.
Bus: There are regional buses operated by Västmanlands lokaltrafik.
Train: There are trains connecting Arboga with both Stockholm and Gothenburg, together with several smaller cities and towns along the line. This includes Örebro and Västerås.
Flights: Örebro Airport is not far away with flights to destinations such as Copenhagen and Malmö. There are also a few charter flights. From Västerås Airport one can fly with Ryanair to a few European destinations.

The driving distance to Arboga from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

Stockholm – 152 kilometers (1 h 43 min)
Gothenburg – 323 kilometers (3 h 48 min)
Malmö – 542 kilometers (5 h 10 min)
Luleå – 928 kilometers (9 h 29 min)
Linköping – 150 kilometers (1 h 45 min)

Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Julia Skinner

    What a lovely post. So much in a small town. I have never considered Sweden as a holiday destination but I think I should!

  2. harmoney

    It’s reminded me how much I loved the light, space, red painted houses and blue sky of Sweden, must go back

  3. Great pictures, many years ago i was fortunate to be able to work in Scandinavia for 9 months and got to travel all over, fell in love with it and we often go back on holidys

  4. Kevin Arrow

    Thank you, those pictures are truly amazing, and what a great post rounding up not only what to do but the history as well.

  5. runningtotravel

    It looks like a quaint little town. Thanks for all of the great info.

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