Trosa, a small town by the Baltic sea that sleeps through the winter. During summer the whole town suddenly wakes up and becomes a bustling meeting point. People arrive in masses; city dwellers come looking for some peace and quiet in their summer cabins in the area, and foreigners visiting the town on their vacation to Sweden.
With the nickname “Världens ände”, translated from Swedish to mean the world’s end, this charming coastal town attracts visitors of the more unknown kind as well as the cultural elite. Don’t be surprised if you run into the Swedish prince Carl Philip or one of the guys from ABBA in the queue at the grocery store. Word has it that they are all very sympathetic people.
A Short History of Trosa
The first known mentioning of Trosa dates back to around the year 1280. With a history stretching more than 700 years, there are for sure many that have changed since then. Such as the number of inhabitants, the occupations, and even the location.
The Old Town
Trosa has not always been where it is today. It was for a long time located where the church Trosa land stands today. The church is still in a place that is today known as Trosaby, a small village that is about to be swallowed by the locality of Vagnhärad.
Trosa was described as a town already in the 14th century. The land uplift that is still going on in Sweden after the last ice age has resulted in the coast is no longer being where it used to be. It was because of the land uplift that Trosa in the 16th century lost both its connection with the sea as well as its town status.
A New Fishing Town
Trosa was rebuilt at its current location at the beginning of the 17th century. The new town received its town privileges again in 1610 by King Karl IX. It was fishing that occupied many of the town’s inhabitants. The fishermen were known as skärborgare, they lived in the town during the winter and moved out in the archipelago during the summer to fish.
The Russian Pillage
1719 is a year that is still mentioned in Trosa. This was the year that the Imperial Russian Fleet arrived at the town’s shores. The Great Northern War was ongoing and Trosa would join the fate of several towns along the coast, including Nyköping and Södertälje. Trosa was burned to the ground and only the 18th-century church was spared.
Trosa today has been built after the Russian Pillage. The oldest buildings, with the exception of the church, are the ones from the time the town was rebuilt.
It is interesting to think about how the town must have looked at the time my ancestors Johan Lundgren (1763-1816) walked along its streets at the end of the 18th century.
Fishing continued to be important for Trosa until the beginning of the 20th century. Fishing was joined by tourism as an important industry at the end of the 19th century when regular traffic with steamboats where started along the coast.
Already in the mid-19th century, Trosa was famous for its production of Trosa Punsch, an alcoholic liqueur. Production continued until 1917 and was made in three versions, yellow, blue, and green. What few knew at the time was that the color didn’t matter, it was exactly the same liqueur inside bottles.
The industrialization of Trosa has mostly resulted in smaller manufacturers. There is one larger manufacturer established in the town and that is Camfil. The company was founded in Trosa in 1963 and is today a global producer of air filters.
Things to Do and See in Trosa
The picturesque town with its colorful wooden buildings and narrow cobblestoned alleys and streets attracts a lot of people from near and afar. With the town being located only one hour from Stockholm it’s an accessible option for a weekend getaway.
The town itself is quite small. In the center, there is a square with the old town hall. Continuing on the old streets towards the harbor you will find some of the older houses in Trosa. The majority of the buildings in the center of the town are built in wood – a nightmare for any firefighter but a picturesque scene for any tourist. So the main activity in the center of the town is walking around while enjoying the tranquility and the charming views. Don’t forget to buy ice cream during your stroll!
When in Trosa one has the opportunity to pay a visit to the beautiful archipelago. It is easily accessible either by boat or by walking or cycling out on the island of Öbolandet. This is where you will also find Trosa havsbad, one of the main beaches in the area. Do also consider to see parts of neighboring Vagnhärad with the royal waiting hall at the train station as well as several rune stones around in the area. Even the capital of Stockholm is within reach if you look for excursions.
It is the combination of the archipelago together with the picturesque small town that makes Trosa worth visiting. It is far away from major traffic and there is an air of tranquility that is not possible to find in many other towns and cities. So make sure to stroll around and enjoy the calm atmosphere instead of stressing around trying to see everything.
The harbor area in Trosa is where much of the activities during the summer take place. It is here that you will find the restaurants, small shops and of course the ice cream. In addition, there are usually several both small and large boats to walk look at while walking along the waterfront.
The Old Town Hall
At the center of Trosa is a square that is extended over the Trosa River with a bridge. At its center is the town hall that was built soon after the Russian Pillage of 1719. Its purpose was eventually moved across the river to what is today the hotel Trosa Stadshotell & Spa. The old town hall is today home to the library, tourist information, and occasional wedding ceremonies.
Trosa Havsbad is a beach and camping located on the island Öbolandet. The beach is a popular destination for swimming in the Baltic Sea during hot summer days. It was established already in the 1950s.
Åbladsstugan, Östra långgatan 12
Åbladsstugan is a house located along the street Östra Långgatan. This building is believed to be the oldest building still standing in Trosa with the exception of the church. It was built soon after the Russian Pillage at a time when the whole town had been destroyed.
Garvaregården has its origins in the 18th century and is an old homestead for the local craftsmen. It is today a museum and a café. There are even theaters here during the summers.
Trosaån is the river that flows through Trosa. Walking along the river is a popular activity for locals and tourists alike. It is most likely one of the most scenic walks in the town.
Tomtaklintskogen Nature Reserve
Tomtaklintskogen Nature Reserve was established in 2009 and covers an area of 54 hectares. It is a forested area with many trails and offers a possibility for some shade on hot summer days.
If you ever wonder where the town’s sewage ends up after it has passed through the local treatment plant, then just head to the wetland. This is a nature area that has been created to manage the water’s last passage before entering the Trosa River. The area is built to promote the local wildlife and is popular with birds. For the locals, this is an area for walks or to view the birds from the bird watching tower.
Tureholm Castle is privately owned and located just a stone’s throw from Trosa. It was built in the 18th century. The castle itself is not open to the public and has seen better days.
Trosabacken is the local ski area for downhill skiing and snowboarding. They have one lift to their single slope. Once there is enough snow during the winter months, this is a very popular place during evenings and weekends.
Right next to Vitalisskolan, the Vitalis School is a forested area that has a floodlit trail for walking or running. The electrically illuminated trail is 2.4 kilometers long and loops around the ski slope.
If you look for somewhere where the kids can play, then there are two large public playgrounds in Trosa. The first one is Hamnängen Playground, located in the harbor area. Then there is also Spindelparken Playground along the street Högbergsgatan.
Events in Trosa
One good idea is to plan a visit to Trosa during the summer. There are three main annual events to keep in mind if you plan a trip there during the summer months. However, there are a lot more being arranged during the summer months.
The annual market day is a day when the town’s streets are crowded with people and stalls. Unlike most European markets, it’s not a food market. Sure, you might find a sausage or two here. Actually, the elk sausage is well worth a try. However, you are much more likely to find people and smaller companies selling everything from socks to handicrafts.
As is the case with most of Sweden, midsummer is something special in this coastal town. There are several places in the area where you can find a midsummer pole to dance around. One of the larger festivities is held a few kilometers outside of Trosa in the village of Västerljung. Here you will find everything from the midsummer pole, stalls selling coffee, and the traditional “kobingo” – a kind of bingo where you have a small enclosure that is split into squares with numbers in them. Then you let a cow in and wait for it to do its business. If you’re lucky the cow will do its thing in your square.
The last weekend of June is important for the townspeople and it is also a time when many of the people who grew up in the area return home for a weekend. The main attraction during this weekend is running. Trosa Stadslopp in first of all an 8,9-kilometer race that usually welcomes several hundred participants. But it is also a big party with spectators along most of the track and festivities that continue long into the night. We have both participated in the race and can warmly recommend it to all you runners out there!
How to Get to Trosa
- Car: take the E4 exit at Vagnhärad and drive the last 10 kilometers towards Trosa.
- Train: take either the train from Norrköping or Nyköping towards Stockholm or the train from Stockholm or Södertälje towards Norrköping and get off in Vagnhärad. From here you will be able to take one of the local green buses to Trosa.
- Bus: Sörmlandstrafiken has regional buses to Gnesta, Nyköping and Södertälje. They do also have local buses connecting Trosa, Vagnhärad, and Västerljung. In addition there is Trosabussen that has regular traffic to and from Liljeholmen in Stockholm.
- Flights: Closest airport is Stockholm-Skavsta Airport outside of Nyköping. It is located 51 kilometers away and has mostly low-cost airlines. There is also Stockholm-Arlanda Airport 107 kilometers away north of Stockholm, from there you will find both domestic and international flights.
The driving distance to Trosa from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm - 72 kilometers (54 min) Gothenburg - 414 kilometers (4 h 26 min) Malmö - 562 kilometers (6 h 1 min) Linköping - 145 kilometers (1 h 34 min) Kiruna - 1303 kilometers (14 h 50 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden
This post was first published 2016-04-04 and was updated 2021-09-07