Hemsta, Uppland, Exploring Sweden

Hemsta, Uppland – Exploring Sweden

Hemsta is a small village outside of Enköping in the province of Uppland. This small village is home to a higher number of rock carvings than of actual inhabitants. It is probable that even the cows and sheep outnumber the humans. For visitors, it is most likely nature and the ancient remains that are the most attractive point of interest. But, who knows, there are probably people heading here for interaction with the locals as well.

A Short History of Hemsta

The area around Hemsta has been inhabited for a very long time. The theory is that the rock carvings are around 3000 years old, dating back to the Swedish Bronze Age. Hemsta has been a part of Boglösa Parish since its establishment in the Middle Ages and it has also been a part of Enköping Municipality since 1971.

Things to Do and See

For anyone looking for ancient remains and think rune stones are a bit too modern, then there are places like Hemsta to discover. Large fields, a few farms in the distance, and of course the main attraction of the area. a huge number of rock carvings.


Hemstahällen is a rock with several rock carvings. A lot of rock carvings actually. This is the rock with the highest number of rock carvings in the province of Uppland. They number around 500 and include 210 ships, 67 animals, and plenty more. The rock is in the Hemsta Hagar Nature Reserve and while you watch the rock, don’t be surprised if cows and sheep watch you.

Hemsta Hagar Nature Reserve

Hemsta Hagar Nature Reserve was established in 1988 and includes the rock carvings Hemstahällen. In addition, it covers a lot of the surrounding area, an area of 24 hectares. The landscape is kept open by cows and sheep for whom this is their pasture.

How to Get to Hemsta

  • Flights: The closest airport is Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST), 35 kilometers away, which has mostly low-cost carriers. In addition, there is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN), 64 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
  • Car: Hemsta is along country roads outside of Enköping.
  • Bus: Local and regional buses from UL connect Hemsta with the surrounding region.
  • Train: SJ has trains to and from nearby Enköping and connects the area with Gothenburg, Hallsberg, Stockholm, and Västerås.

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

  • Stockholm – 81 kilometers (1 h)
  • Gothenburg – 417 kilometers (5 h 9 min)
  • Malmö – 624 kilometers (7 h 11 min)
  • Linköping – 211 kilometers (2 h 43 min)
  • Kiruna – 1218 kilometers (13 h 54 min)

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

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