Örnsköldsvik is the city where the heart of hockey might actually exist. As the home of the ice hockey team Modo, it is also the home town for several of Sweden’s best players in the last decades. In a city where hockey is number one, there are still many more things to explore.
With a population of around 33.000 Örnsöldsvik is the largest city in the province of Ångermanland. The town is at outlet of the river Moälven into the Bothnian Sea.
A Short History of Örnsköldsvik
Founded as a market town in 1842, Örnsköldsvik was a part of Själevad parish. It became a city in 1894. Örnsköldsvik received its name from the Swedish nobleman and governor of Västernorrland County, Per Abraham Örnsköld. The name means Örnsköld’s Bay. If you want to translate the whole name it would be Eagle Shield’s Bay.
It is the forestry and production industries that have been the main focus in the city. It was Modo, later known as Holmen, that ran production within logging, pulp, and paper. Modo and Holmen have more recently been replaced in Örnsköldsvik by Metsä Board. The other major employer was traditionally Hägglunds, a company that today is split into several parts, for example BAE Systems Hägglunds.
Things to do and see in Örnsköldsvik
Modo Hockey at Fjällräven Center
The Heart of Hockey as they have been known, Modo Hockey is the pride of Örnsköldsvik. It is indeed impossible to visit the city without noticing the team. Modo is currently housing in Hockeyallsvenskan, the Swedish second league, after being demoted in 2016. They were Swedish champions in 1979 and 2007, but that is not all. The team has fostered some of the greatest players in Swedish hockey history. Peter Forsberg, Markus Näslund, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and Victor Hedman are just a few of the stars that have represented the team.
Fjällräven Center, previously known as Swedbank Arena, was completed in 2006. It replaced Kempehallen (1964-2012) as the team’s home. With a capacity of 7.600, it is the 9th largest ice hockey arena in Sweden.
Varvsberget is a hill west of the city center. It might be the best viewpoint in Örnsköldsvik, but there is a lot more here to explore. Here you find the home of the ski jumping and Nordic combined (that’s a combination of ski jumping and cross country skiing if you didn’t know) club IF Friska Viljor, the ski jumping hill Paradiskullen. There is also a slope for alpine skiing.
This is also the start or finish line for the 127-kilometre long High Coast Trail that goes along the High Coast of Sweden.
The City Center
The centre of Örnsköldsvik is easy to navigate on foot. With the main square, Stora Torget, in the center, you will easily find your way. It is here that you find smaller shops and restaurants. The waterfront is also close by.
Islands, nature and wildlife
Nature is never far away in Örnsköldsvik. There are either the forests inland or the islands in the archipelago. You can catch a ferry to Trysunda, Strängön and Ulvön. Fishing, hunting, hiking and other nature activities are at your disposal.
How to get to Örnsköldsvik
Flights: Örnsköldsvik Airport (OER) is located 23 kilometers north of the city and connects the area with the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN) for connections around the globe.
Car: Örnsköldsvik is located along the highway E4 between Sundsvall and Umeå.
Train: Northbound trains from Stockholm stops in the city.
Bus: Several long-distance bus routes along the Swedish northern coast stops in the city.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 529 kilometers (5 h 24 min) Gothenburg – 881 kilometers (9 h 31 min) Malmö – 1136 kilometers (11 h 6 min) Linköping – 723 kilometers (7 h 16 min) Kiruna – 710 kilometers (8 h 6 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden