Värnamo, Småland – Exploring Sweden

Värnamo is a town in the historical province of Småland and today a part of Jönköping County. The river Lagan flows through the town with around 19.800 inhabitants. The town finds pride in its historical past within furniture design and manufacturing,

A Short History of Värnamo

Värnamo, or Wernnamo as it has been known as was first mentioned in writing in the 13th century. It was at the time a medieval age village where several important paths met, including a crossing over the River Lagan. The village included a marketplace and trade was early on an important reason for its development.

Värnamo became a market town in the 17th century, but the town Jönköping controlled the trade. It would take until 1860 before Värnamo became an independent market town. It had now around 300 inhabitants.

Värnamo’s importance along transport grew even stronger with the arrival of the railway at the end of the 19th century. An urban area grew around the station and the population reached 3.500. It wasn’t until 1920 that Värnamo received its town charters. The town’s expansion continued during the second half of the 20th century, with both the opening of the E4 highway and the arrival of several larger businesses. It is especially within the fields of design and furniture production that Värnamo finds its pride.

Things to Do and See in Värnamo

There are activities in Värnamo also for people not interested in furniture. Our recommendation is to start with a walk through the town center, see the river Lagan and then spend some time with the family at Apladalen. There are of course a lot more things to see than that.

Apladalen

Apladalen is a green area close to the town center. This is where you will find a large park that acts like an open-air museum showcasing a historical landscape with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. If farm animals are not enough for the kids, this is also where you will find the largest playground in town.

Bruno Mathsson Centre

Bruno Mathsson (1907-1988) is one of the central figures in the furniture designs from Värnamo. Considered one of the most prominent furniture designers in Sweden, Mathsson was born in Värnamo and it is here that his work is now showcased.

Vandalorum

At the outskirts of Värnamo you find the art and design museum Vandalorum. They have several exhibitions, with both Swedish and international artists.

Stora Mosse National Park

Stora Mosse is one of 30 national parks in Sweden. It is a bit north of Värnamo and covers an area of about 100 square kilometers. It is known for its boggy grounds, which is the largest such area in the southern half of the country. The visitor center, Naturum, tells both the history of the parks, but also about its landscape and inhabitants.

High Chaparral

‘High Chaparral is a theme park a short drive from Värnamo. It is based on the American Wild West and includes live shows and theme buildings. It was founded by Bengt Erlandsson (1922-2016) and opened in 1966.

How to Get to Värnamo

Flights: The closest airport is Ljungby-Feringe Airport 30 kilometers away, a small airport without regular flights. Other options are Växjö-Kronoberg Airport (VXO), branded as Växjö Småland Airport, that is 65 kilometers away and Jönköping Airport (JKG) 75 kilometers away. Both airports offer both domestic and a few international flights.
Car: Värnamo is along road E4 between Helsingborg and Jönköping.
Bus: Local and regional buses connect Värnamo with the surrounding region.

The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

Stockholm – 389 kilometers (4h 17min)
Gothenburg – 167 kilometers (1h 58min)
Malmö – 224 kilometers (2h 30min)
Linköping – 197 kilometers (2h 9min)  
Kiruna – 1623 kilometers (18h 24min)

Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden

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