Lidköping is the oldest town on the shores of Lake Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden and the third-largest in Europe. This small town has a population of around 23.000 inhabitants and many sports fans know it for its bandy team Villa Lidköping BK.
The town has for years been fighting for a way to not be mixed up with the much larger Linköping. Two attempts to change its name to “Lidköping-Vänern” and “Lidköping vid Vänern” failed, even though the latter is in use.
A Short History of Lidköping
The oldest known mentioning of Lidköping dates back to 1446 when the town received its charter. With the charter, it became the first town along the shores of Lake Vänern. Lidköping’s town status was severely contested after a fire devastated the town in 1533.
The history of Lidköping was, however, about to turn into a tale of two towns. Jacob De la Gardie became count at Läckö in 1615 after the successful war campaigns. He was granted the privilege to found a new town, something he never used. Instead, Lidköping belonged to his countship between 1651 and 1655. His son Magnus Gabriel received the same privilege and started to found a new town in 1670, on the other side of the river Lidan. The two towns were united under the Swedish crown again in 1683 but continued to act as two separate units until 1705. Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie is still considered to be a front figure for the development of Lidköping.
The population was in the early 19th century 1377 inhabitants and it grew to 5452 to the year 1900. The 19th century also saw another devastating fire and the opening of the railway. Industrialization sped up at the beginning of the 20th century with several large industries opening up.
Things to Do and See
Lidköping is a town with a long history and there are many sights of interest within the town limits. There are also many excursion possibilities to the surrounding area. The island Kållandsö has both the tourist attractions Läckö Castle and Spiken, but also a great possibility to enjoy lake Vänern or the island’s nature. Other towns, such as Mariestad, Skara, and Vänersborg, are also within reach.
Rörstrand is a famous porcelain manufacturer and the second oldest porcelain trademark in Europe. Its plates are annually used at the Nobel dinner. At Rörstrand Center you find shops, restaurants, and the Rörstand Museum. The museum showcases 290 years of the porcelain history.
The Old Town Hall is the most iconic building in Lidköping. It was originally a hunting mansion on the island Kållandsö and it was moved to Lidköping in the 1670s. It was a move that took four years. The building has had several uses until 1960 when it was destroyed by a fire. It was, however, reconstructed only a year later and today it houses the tourist office and café.
The Old Town Hall is located at the Square of the New Town. The square houses markets a few days a week and is the centre of the town.
Stadsträdgården or the town gardens is the green oasis close to the centre of Lidköping. This is where you will find green open spaces or a playground for the kids. There is also a scene for local events.
Limtorget is a square that survived the fires of 1849 and by doing so now houses the oldest part of Lidköping. There are a few private residential buildings in the area, but most of them are for commercial use today.
Vänermuseet is a museum that displays research and history about lake Vänern and the town of Lidköping. Here you can learn about life on and around the lake.
Villa Lidköping BK and Sparbanken Lidköping Arena
Villa Lidköping BK is the local bandy team. Bandy is a sport that is not so known in many countries, with Finland, Kazakhstan, Norway, Russia, and Sweden being the main contestants for the World Championship. With the exception of the Soviet Union, no other country has won a medal during the 38 World Championships that have been played.
Villa Lidköping is one of the traditional teams in Sweden with 46 seasons in the top league and two National Championship wins, in 2019 and 2021. They play their home games at Sparbanken Lidköping Arena. The arena was opened in 2009 and has a capacity of 4250 spectators.
How to Get to Lidköping
Flights: The closest large airport is Göteborg Landvetter Airport (GOT) 122 kilometres away, with both domestic and international flights.
Car: Lidköping is on road 44 between Götene and Trollhättan. Road 47 connects the town with the E20 in Skara.
Train: Västtågen provides train connections to Hallsberg, Herrljunga, Göteborg, Mariestad and Örebro.
Bus: Regional and local buses connect Lidköping with the surrounding region.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 363 kilometers (4h 12min) Gothenburg – 129 kilometers (1h 49min) Malmö – 397 kilometers (4h 30min) Linköping – 223 kilometers (2h 56min) Kiruna – 1459 kilometers (17h 9min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden