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Discover the originals
Many IKEA products are named after places in Sweden. Bolmen, Ektorp, Voxnan, Hemsjö, Kallax … It’s time the world knows that these names belong to wonderful places in Sweden. Discover the originals!
Photo credit: Olle Kirchmeier / Betina Alpskog

Discover the originals

Toftan, Ektorp, Voxnan, Hemsjö, Kallax … These are all wonderful places in Sweden. Yet, most people associate these names with waste bins, sofas, bath towels, block candles and shelf systems. And it’s all because of a blue and yellow giant.

A lot of IKEA’s products are named after places in Sweden. That’s a nice detail for a Swedish company, but it has caused a great deal of misunderstanding. Today, millions of people think that Bolmen is just a toilet brush. And if you search for Järvfjället, all you’ll find are pictures of gaming chairs. It’s time the world know that these names belong to wonderful places in Sweden.

Places just waiting to be explored.

21 places in Sweden that want to reclaim their name

Northern Sweden

Järvfjället, Västerbotten
Photo: Mårten Dalfors/dalfors.com/Visit Sweden

Järvfjället – more than an IKEA gaming chair

Please, feel free to play video games to your heart’s content, but sometimes we all need something more real. Something that’s as far away from digital swords and super combos as possible. That’s Järvfjället in the northern county of Västerbotten. Here, there’s not a 5G tower in sight. It’s just you, the ground you walk on and the fresh air you breathe. Go for a hike, put up your tent, and make sure you have a spare battery for your camera – in the original Järvfjället.

Discover more places to visit in Västerbotten.

Kallax, Swedish Lapland
Photo: Mihai Novac / Visit Sweden

Kallax – more than an IKEA shelf

Natural beauty and lots of space – that’s Kallax the flexible shelf, as well as Kallax the village. Kallax lies in Swedish Lapland, just outside the town of Luleå. Situated by the sea, this little spot is famous for its very smelly fermented herring (called ‘surströmming’ in Swedish). Every year in August, Kallax holds a fermented herring party where VIP-guests and locals celebrate together. So, take a deep breath, bring an open mind and discover the full taste of original Kallax.

Discover more places to visit in Swedish Lapland.

Laxviken, Jämtland
Photo: Marcus Sandström/Laxviken Adventure HB/Visit Sweden

Laxviken – more than an IKEA door front

The wavy surface on the Laxviken door front makes you think about water, doesn’t it? Well, no wonder! It’s named after a village surrounded by H20. Laxviken, situated in Jämtland County in the north of Sweden, has a smorgasbord of lakes close by. Why not take some lessons in fly-fishing? Or simply enjoy the unspoiled nature – and the best skiing in Sweden – as well as local delicacies like reindeer meat, cloudberries and chanterelle mushrooms. Come discover some top quality ‘exterior design’ in and around the original Laxviken.

Discover more places to visit in Jämtland Härjedalen.

Bodviken, the High Coast
Photo: Mostphotos / Bengt Isaksson / Visit Sweden

Bodviken – more than an IKEA countertop sink

Why wash your face in a sink, when you can splash it with crystal-clear water from a small mountain lake near Bodviken? Part of the High Coast of Sweden (Höga Kusten), Bodviken bay boasts the highest coastline in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This dramatic landscape offers breathtaking views and lots of outdoor activities – from hiking and climbing to cross-country skiing. You’re also a short car ride away from the nice towns of Örnsköldsvik, Sollefteå, Härnösand and Kramfors, so there’s a lot to explore around the original Bodviken.

Discover more places to visit around the High Coast.

Middle Sweden

Voxnan, Hälsingland
Photo: Mostphotos / Eva Olsson / Visit Sweden

Voxnan – more than an IKEA shower shelf

A shower shelf and a river with rapids and waterfalls are both about the love of gurgling waters, right? The river Voxnan that runs through the beautiful county of Hälsingland, is definitely worth a visit. This is the perfect place for hiking or paddling and you’ll find calm spots as well as wilder parts on the river. Maybe you remember the film where Pippi Longstocking went down a whirling waterfall in a barrel? That was right here, in the original Voxnan.

Discover more places to visit in Hälsingland.

Höljes, Värmland
Photo: Camilla Classon/Visit Värmland

Höljes – more than an IKEA pendant lamp

Let’s spread some light over Höljes! This small place in Värmland (close to the Norwegian border) is one of the most sparsely populated areas in Sweden – apart from during the annual rallycross event each summer. However, there are other equally adventurous ways to discover the area. Like slowly floating down the river Klarälven on a raft. These timber rafts are a way of reviving history – the Klarälven was once used to float timber from the woods to the coast, straight through the original Höljes.

Discover more places to visit in Värmland.

Toftan, Dalarna
Photo: Mikael Svensson / Johnér / Visit Sweden

Toftan – more than an IKEA waste bin

If you use Toftan the waste bin in your bathroom, it may help to stop waste from polluting the water. That could be one way of keeping beautiful lakes like Toftan full of life, with fish like pike and perch. Visit lake Toftan in Dalarna County for its magnificent surroundings. There is much to see and enjoy during both summer and winter. Start with a visit to Sundborn, home to the iconic Swedish artists Karin and Carl Larsson. They created their own unique world of art and interior design, situated by the original Toftan.

Discover more places to visit in Dalarna.

Norberg, Västmanland
Photo: John Ellard

Norberg – more than an IKEA folding table

The practical Norberg table fits neatly into any home, just like the small town of Norberg fits into every Swedish tour. Start here to discover the county of Västmanland and all the adventurous activities available. Visit the mysterious Blue Cave in Klackberg, the silver mine in Sala and the mining museum. Or go hiking in the region and discover its magnificent nature, complete with historical finds, including rock carvings and great castles. If you visit during wintertime, make sure to go skiing in the original Norberg.

Discover more places to visit in Västmanland.

Björksta, Uppsala
Photo: Canilla Enskär

Björksta – more than an IKEA picture with frame

When you feel like resting your eyes on something pretty, you could either put up a Björksta picture or visit Björksta the village, close to the vibrant university town of Uppsala, north of Stockholm. Wherever you walk in Uppsala you’ll be treading on historic ground. If you are interested in the Vikings, there are plenty of ancient Viking monuments. Take a walk on Eriksleden, the pilgrims’ path between the cathedral in central Uppsala and the church in Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala). Or visit the royal burial mounds, not far from the original Björksta.

Discover more places to visit in and around Uppsala.

Ektorp in Stockholm
Photo: Anna Sörman / Visit Sweden

Ektorp – more than an IKEA sofa

Spending your evenings at home on a comfy Ektorp sofa is all very nice, but visiting Ektorp in Nacka is a whole other experience. Lots of people live here – it’s close to Stockholm, but has the Baltic Sea, lakes and woods right around the corner. Explore the Nyckelviken nature reserve, enjoy dinner at the old manor. If you’re lucky enough to visit in December, make sure you try the Swedish Christmas buffet. After that you may find yourself longing for a nap, either in an Ektorp sofa or back in the original Ektorp.

Discover more places to visit in and around Stockholm.

Askersund, Örebro
Photo: Pavel Koubek / Iconphoto

Askersund – more than an IKEA kitchen cabinet door

IKEA’s Askersund door fronts are made of wood, just like the houses in the small town of Askersund, Närke. Located on the edge of Tiveden forest, Askersund lies north of Lake Vättern and just south of Örebro city. This is where you’ll experience the wild and rocky Tiveden, once used as a hiding place for outlaws. Today it’s perfectly safe, so don’t worry! Embark on an exciting hiking adventure, visit Örebro Castle and round things off with a good night’s sleep in the original Askersund.

Discover more places to visit in and around Örebro.

Vrena, Sörmland
Photo: Mostphotos / Eiwy Åhlund / Forsman & Bodenfors

Vrena – more than an IKEA countertop

The Vrena countertop made from oak may well be found in some of the kitchens in Vrena, the village. However, should you happen to visit Vrena – close to Nyköping on Sweden’s east coast – you may prefer to explore it outdoors. Tour the lake with a steamboat or pop into one of the many local farm shops around here. The province of Sörmland is known for its varied and wonderful nature, for its historical finds from the Viking age, and its many great castles. All of it close to the original Vrena.

Discover more places to visit in Sörmland.

Southern Sweden

Rimforsa, Östergötland
Photo: Visit Östergötland

Rimforsa – more than an IKEA work bench

If you want to slice up some mushrooms on your kitchen work bench, you’ll need to get yourself some mushrooms first. And there’s no better place for mushrooms than Rimforsa. This small village in Östergötland county (in the east of Sweden) is surrounded by woods. And these woods are packed with mushrooms. Make yourself a good old chanterelle toast and head over to Trollegater – the nature reserve with one of Sweden’s biggest primary caves. Come spend some time with sticks and stones, in the original Rimforsa.

Discover more places to visit in Östergötland.

Skärhamn, West Sweden
Photo: Markus Holm / westsweden.com / Visit Sweden

Skärhamn – more than an IKEA door handle

A beautiful door handle may well be the finishing touch your home needs, but if you’re looking for natural beauty in the great outdoors, then Skärhamn is the place to go. Once an important fishing port, Skärhamn is a small village on the island Tjörn, on Sweden’s west coast. Today, Skärhamn offers a magnificent mix of unique landscapes, lots of water activities, fresh seafood and international art at Nordiska Akvarellmuseet. Bring your swimsuit and enjoy life in West Sweden, and in the original Skärhamn.

Discover more places to visit in West Sweden.

Ingatorp, Småland
Photo: Mostphotos / Magnus Fyhr / Visit Sweden

Ingatorp – more than an IKEA table

Ingatorp is an extendable table with a traditional look. It’s nice and all, but if you’re looking for something truly traditional, you should book a trip to Ingatorp in Eksjö, Småland. Here, right next to Ingatorp Church, you will find one of Sweden’s oldest wooden buildings, dating from the 13th century. Then, go on a tour at the agricultural museum, where you’ll learn how farmers did things back in the day. So, leave the modern world behind and enjoy some Swedish history – in the original Ingatorp.

Discover more places to visit in Småland.

Mästerby, Gotland
Photo: Roger Arleryd / gotlandsbild.com / Visit Sweden

Mästerby – more than an IKEA step stool

Sometimes you need new perspectives to understand things. Using the Mästerby step stool is one way to get a better view – digging into history with battlefield archaeologists is another. Witness history come alive in Mästerby on the island Gotland – in between the flocks of curly sheep – right where the Battle of Mästerby took place, back when Danish troops invaded Gotland in 1361. Today, you can experience this battle and other historic events as magnificent spectacles during the annual ‘medieval week’ on Gotland, and in the original Mästerby.

Discover more places to visit on Gotland.

Misterhult, Småland
Photo: Mostphotos / Erik Sjöstedt / Visit Sweden

Misterhult – more than an IKEA bamboo lamp

The Misterhult pendant lamp is made from bamboo, a plant you’re unlikely to find on any of the 2000 islands in the Misterhult archipelago. Although there are plenty of other rare plants and birds to be discovered around here. Or, go south and visit the historic and beautiful coastal city of Kalmar in the county of Småland. Take a walk around the old Kalmar Castle or drive over the bridge to the island of Öland. There you’ll find equally fascinating flora and fauna as in the original Misterhult.

Discover more places to visit in and around Kalmar.

Himleån, Halland
Photo: Charles Kallin / Visit Sweden

Himleån – more than an IKEA bath towel

What could be better than wrapping yourself in a Himleån bath towel after a swim? Well, maybe the swim itself?! Especially if it takes place in the wonderful waters of Himleån in Halland, western Sweden. Here you can paddle through ravines, watch baby salmon at play below medieval stone bridges, and do some serious birdwatching. Oh, and swim. Don’t forget to bring a towel when you visit the original Himleån.

Discover more places to visit in Halland.

Bolmen, Småland
Photo: Olle Kirchmeier / Visit Sweden

Bolmen – more than an IKEA toilet brush

Cleaning the toilet bowl might not be the most pleasant of chores, but sometimes you just thank god – or IKEA – for that effective brush. Of course, it hardly compares to Lake Bolmen, from where it borrows its name. This huge lake in Småland has everything you’d expect from one of Sweden’s best lakes: water so clean you could drink from it, lots of freshwater fish, and beaches with kayaks for rent. Go for a swim or discover the surrounding nature reserve – by the original Bolmen.

Discover more places to visit in Småland.

Hemsjö, Blekinge
Photo: Bengt Nyberg / Visit Sweden

Hemsjö – more than an IKEA block candle

Lighting some Hemsjö candles is a good way to create a cosy atmosphere, as is a visit to the village of Hemsjö in Blekinge. Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by wild forest and beautiful lakes in southern Sweden. The Swedish writer Harry Martinson (who won the Nobel prize in 1974) was born in these parts, and it’s easy to imagine this landscape sparking anyone’s storytelling skills. So, fill your backpack with some food from the local farm shops, bring a good book and enjoy the outdoors in the original Hemsjö.

Discover more places to visit in Blekinge.

Stubbarp, Skåne
Photo: Anita Kebic / Visit Sweden

Stubbarp – more than IKEA cabinet legs

If you’re happy to use your own legs to explore some amazing parts of Sweden, then the surroundings of Stubbarp manor, in the southern county of Skåne, are a good place to start. For starters, Sweden’s southwest coast is quite outstanding. Like the peninsula of Kullaberg, with its steep cliffs, dramatic views and rocky beaches. People have been living here since the Stone Age, and yes, there are caves to visit, as well as hiking, biking and golf. And do try the local dessert, ’spettekaka’ – it’s quite spectacular. You’ll find it all, close to the original Stubbarp.

Discover more places to visit in Skåne.