Hello, all Sweden fans out there! We thought that we’d share yet another great destination with you – Norrköping!
We visited this fabulous town a couple of years ago and it is one of my favorite towns in Sweden thus far. The city center boasts with interesting architecture and there are plenty of things to learn, to see and to do here. Considering my love for industrial and laid-back styles, it is hardly surprising that Norrköping is also known by the nickname “Sweden’s Manchester”. Yup, I adore Manchester, too.
Our tip: if you are coming to Sweden for your holiday and you would like to combine several towns, we suggest you pair Norrköping with Linköping. The cities are close to each other and it is easy to travel between them. You will not need more than one day in Norrköping.
Norrköping: A History
Norrköping is located by the river Motala Ström, which is an inlet of the Baltic Sea. Due to the favorable location, there were settlements here already during medieval times. Salmon seems to have played a great role in the history of Norrköping: the settlers had food to eat and the fish was also the cause for the area being mentioned for the first time in history. In 1283 the lord of Östergötland donated his rights of salmon fishing to a monastery. None of the medieval parts of the city remain today as the town witnessed several battles and it was burnt down several times. The last time happened (as a result of war) was in 1719 during the Great Northern War. Despite some later fires as well, the city developed into one of the main industrial centers of Sweden. Much of the industrial era is still visible in Norrköping today.
Norrköping: Things To Do
Take a sunny day and just go for a stroll, that’s our advice. Actually we visited during Christmas time and it was as cold and grey as it gets in Sweden during the winter time. We spent an hour or two looking for Christmas gifts, but did have some spare time for sightseeing.
Industrilandskapet (the Industry Landscape) is situated by the Motala ström. This is the place to admire bridges, former factory buildings, canals and waterfalls. The area is filled with cozy cafés and restaurants as well as several museums with free admission. The museums document different aspects of the city’s industrial past, including working life. Norrköping also offers an active cultural life: there is a symphonic orchestra in the town. In the summertime one of Sweden’s largest music festivals, the Bråvalla festival, is arranged here.
Visitors who enjoy walking are encouraged to walk 30 minutes along the river and to the west. Here one can admire petroglyphs from the Nordic Bronze Age. There is also a museum, Hällristningsmuseet, at the spot.
For those interested in venturing further away, maybe during a holiday in Sweden, Kolmården is a must. The largest zoo in Scandinavia is located 35 km north of Norrköping and it is easily accessible by either car, bus or train. Kolmården has 750 residents from all climates and continents.
Norrköping: How to Get There?
There are several means of transportation you can use to get to Norrköping. Buses, trains and even flights are available.
- Car: driving either south from Stockholm or north from Linköping or Jönköping along the E4 is probably the easiest way to get to Norrköping by car.
- Bus: there are national buses going from several of the mayor cities along the E4 south of Stockholm.
- Trains: there are trains to Norrköping from several cities in the southern half of Sweden, such as Stockholm, Malmö, Linköping and Motala.
- Flights: there is an airport but the traffic is limited.
The driving distance to Norrköping from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 163 kilometers (1 h 44 min)
- Gothenburg – 313 kilometers (3 h 16 min)
- Malmö – 455 kilometers (4 h 55 min)
- Luleå – 1060 kilometers (11 h 36 min)
- Linköping – 43 kilometers (38 min)