Östhammar is a town in Roslagen, a part of the historical province of Uppland. The town has for over a century been a popular seaside resort, right at the shores of the Baltic Sea. The population of around 5.000 inhabitants increases many times over during the summer. The coastal area of Roslagen is popular for holiday homes, especially for people living in Stockholm. The area around Östhammar is no exception, this is also the case with its former twin town Öregrund.
A Short History of Östhammar
Östhammar received its first known town privileges in 1368. The tectonic uplift started, however, to cause problems already in the 15th century. The harbor became too shallow and the citizens requested to move the town to a better location. The town privileges were transferred in 1491 to the new town, Öregrund.
Östhammar continued to be important during the many times that Öregrund was burned to the ground. The many inhabitants of Öregrund continued to take refuge in Östhammar and the former town receives new town privileges by King Gustav Vasa in 1539. Öregund continued to be an important harbor for shipping, while it was the craftmanship that played an important role in Östhammar.
Östhammar would share the fate of many coastal towns and villages during the Russian Pillage. The town was burned down in 1719. Even though the town was rebuilt, the prosperity was short-lived. The town had a declining economy from the end of the 18th century until the end of the 19th century. It was at the end of the 19th century that the town saw a new renaissance. This was a time when towns such as Norrtälje, Öregrund, and Östhammar became seaside resorts. Östhammar saw the establishment of a bathhouse and a house for the gentry’s gatherings. Many new holiday homes were also built, in and around the town.
Things to Do and See
There are many things to explore in and around the town. There is the center with its old wooden buildings as well as different activities along the shores of the Baltic Sea. Östhammar and the sorrounding region, all of Roslagen, offer both charming picturesque towns and nature around the corner.
The marina is at the center of the social life in Östhammar. This is where many of the restaurants and cafés are located and the area especially comes to life during the summer months.
Sjötorget, or the Sea Square in English, is a central park area. This is where you find the city park as well as the strand promenade. Visitors will not only be greeted by a small gazebo but a green park area right next to the Baltic Sea.
Frösåkers hembygdsgård can be considered a museum run by the local heritage organization. The area includes the old courthouse of Frösåker and several other buildings from the 19th century.
The church in Östhammar was inaugurated 1675. It has since seen many additional works being done and the tower was completed first in 1845. It is otherwise a for Sweden typical white stone church.
Storbrunn Culture Center
The Storbrunn Culture Center, or Kulturhuset Storbrunn in Swedish, is where you will find the public library and space for Östhammar’s culture scene. The center also houses an art gallery and a theater scene.
How to Get to Östhammar
- Flights: The closest major airport is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, 97 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
- Car: Östhammar is located along Road 76 between Forsmark and Hällstavik, this is also the end of Road 288 from Uppsala.
- Bus: Local and regional UL buses connect Östhammar with the surrounding region.
- Train: There is no nearby train station. The closest one is in Örbyhus, 48 kilometers away.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 135 kilometers (1 h 35 min) Gothenburg – 522 kilometers (6 h 13 min) Malmö – 743 kilometers (7 h 54 min) Linköping – 330 kilometers (3 h 35 min) Kiruna – 1172 kilometers (13 h 38 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden