Kungsbyn is a small church village to the east of Västerås in the province of Västmanland. The village was the center of the former Kungsåra Parish and has today around 50 inhabitants. Today its most famous attraction is the small zoo, Kungsbyn Djurpark.
A Short History of Kungsbyn
Kungsbyn has been the center of Kungsåra Parish since its establishment in the Middle Ages. The current church was built in the 18th century and was most likely the third church at the location. According to old sagas, the first church in the village dates back to the 13th century and was requested by the Swedish King Erik Eriksson.
The name, which would translate to the King’s Village, most likely dates back to an old royal estate, or kungsgård, that was located here earlier. The best-known piece from the local history is the Kungsåra Bench, a piece of furniture that is believed to be the oldest still existing in Sweden and that is today housed at the Swedish History Museum.
Things to Do and See
It might be a small village with easy access to the much larger city of Västerås, but do not underestimate the small villages. There are a few places to explore also in a village of this size.
Kungsåra Church is the most historical and prominent building in the small village. It dates back to the mid-18th century, a few parts of the church were, however, part of its predecessor and has a much longer history.
For anyone looking for a close encounter with nordic animals such as the elk or the fox, the small zoo Kungsbyn might be suitable. There are also lemurs, European bison, and a lot more to explore in the park. The zoo has survived a few years of struggling, but have an extra look at the opening hours prior to visiting. During the times it is open, it is most likely one of the most intimate zoo visits possible in Sweden.
Read more about Kungsbyn Djurpark here:
How to Get to Kungsbyn
Flights: The closest airport is Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST), 11 kilometers away, which has mostly low-cost carriers. In addition, there is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN), 94 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
Car: Kungsbyn is along country roads to the east of Västerås.
Bus: Local and regional buses from VL connect Kungsbyn with the surrounding region.
Train: The closest train station is in Västerås.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 95 kilometers (1 h 6 min) Gothenburg – 403 kilometers (4 h 38 min) Malmö – 616 kilometers (6 h 22 min) Linköping – 203 kilometers (2 h 31 min) Kiruna – 1232 kilometers (13 h 36 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden