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Visualiseringscenter C in Norrköping
Visualiceringscenter C offers exhibitions, a VR arena and a restaurant.
Photo credit: Visualiseringscenter C

Norrköping – an outdoor haven with a rich cultural heritage

Nestled in the bay of Bråviken on the Baltic Sea, Norrköping is an old industrial city in the county of Östergötland, with a wealth of cultural and outdoor activities for all the family.

One of Norrköping’s most popular tourist destinations is Kolmården Wildlife Park, Scandinavia’s largest outdoor zoo. Home to over 60 different species from around the world, the park is set in the vast Kolmården forest, which features wonderful hiking trails and mountain bike trails, along with stunning sea vistas. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do while history lovers will be fascinated by the city’s rich cultural heritage.

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The industrial landscape, Norrköping

Arbetets museum (The Museum of Work) is located in the 'Strykjärnet' (flatiron) building, which is one of the most iconic industrial buildings of Norrköping.

Photo: Norrköpings kommun

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The industrial landscape, Norrköping

Photo: Norrköpings kommun

Kaktusparken, Norrköping

Photo: Norrköpings kommun

Knäppingsborg, Norrköping

Photo: Sofia Backman

A city tram

Photo: Fredrik Schlyter/imagebank.sweden.se

Architectural gems from an industrial past

Once the hub of Sweden’s 19th and early 20th century textile industry, Norrköping’s industrial heritage is visible in its unusually well-preserved industrial landscape. One of the city’s most iconic industrial buildings is the ‘Strykjärnet’ (flatiron) building, a former weaving mill and Sweden’s most famous historical factory. Situated on the tiny island of Laxholmen in the Motala river, the 7-storey building seems to rise directly from the water and is in the form of an irregular heptagon, hence its resemblance to an iron shape. Today, Strykjärnet houses Arbetets museum (The Museum of Work) and, as the name suggests, The Museum of Work is dedicated to the history and future of working life and society.

In the city’s Old Town (Gamla stan), you can stroll around the Knäppingsborg area, which gets its name from the Viking fort that once lay here, and browse the area’s many artisan boutiques. The area as we know it today flourished in the 18th century, when its factories milled flour and produced ‘snus’, the Swedish smokeless tobacco made from ground or pulverised tobacco leaves.

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Löfstad slott, Norrköping

Löfstad slott (Löfstad Castle), located south-east of Norrköping, was the home of Emelie Piper (1857-1926), who left it to Östergötlands museum after her death. The interior has more or less remained untouched since then and is now shown in guided tours.

Photo: Östergötlands museum

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Löfstad slott, Norrköping

Photo: Östergötlands museum

Löfstad slott, Norrköping

Photo: Jonas Karlsson / Östergötlandsmuseum

Norrköpings stadsmuseum

Photo: Anders Ristenstrand

Löfstad Castle and Norrköping’s rich cultural heritage

If you’re into castles and interior design, make sure you visit Löfstad slott (Löfstad Castle), built in 1660 and last refurbished during the 1880s and early 1900s. Löfstad slott has a fantastic collection of furniture and decorative arts, including a unique set of old wallpapers that inspired Sandberg Wallpapers to create a new wallpaper collection called Löfstad – on sale in the castle shop.

To learn more about Norrköping’s history, from Viking times to the 19th century industrial revolution and onto the present day, visit Norrköpings stadsmuseum (Norrköping City Museum). Housed in a former factory building by the Motala river’s dramatic waterfall, the museum is right next to the aforementioned flatiron-shaped Museum of Work.

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Hiking in Norrköping

The hiking trail of Rödgölen nature reserve is a perfect way to experience nature.

Photo: Josefin Schön

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Hiking in Norrköping

Photo: Josefin Schön

Skärgårdslinjen

Photo: Skärgårdslinjen

Marmorbruksleden, Norrköping

Photo: Vivicea Valgren

Arkösund

Photo: Margareta Sjögren

Hike, bike, boat and kayak your way around

Norrköping has hundreds of mountain bike and hiking trails – from the famously long Östgötaleden trail (1,400 km) to shorter hiking trails in the Kolmården forest, there is something for everyone. In addition, the Bråviken bay and coastline boast some of Sweden’s most beautiful nature.

With the seaside village of Arkösund as your starting point, get on a boat and explore the nearby archipelago. Or you could rent a kayak in Arkösund and paddle along the coast, then have lunch in the harbour and wander between the piers and jetties afterwards.

Sweden’s famous Göta Canal is also nearby, starting at Mem, and traversing for 190 kilometres and 58 locks to Sjötorp. Hop on a boat or rent a bicycle to ride along the canal route.

Vintage shopping and farm shops for foodies

If you’re interested in sustainable shopping, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the plethora of thrift and vintage boutiques in central Norrköping, like the Prylo retro boutique, packed with vintage treasures from the 50s-70s.

Norrköping boasts plenty of farmers’ markets and local farms that sell their produce directly. Make an excursion to the peninsula of Vikbolandet – where the aforementioned village of Arkösund lies – and you’ll discover a number of farm shops along the roadside, as well as an organic ice cream factory at Sänkdalens Gård farm. Enjoy a delicious ice cream in the farm café and sit back and relax in the wide-open spaces.

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Restaurant GIN in Norrköping

Experience tasting menus featuring local produce at the modern fine dining restaurant GIN.

Photo: Peter Holgersson

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Restaurant GIN in Norrköping

Photo: Peter Holgersson

Restaurant GIN in Norrköping

Photo: Peter Holgersson

Restaurant Arv Bistro in Norrköping

Photo: Peter Holgersson

Restaurant Arv Bistro in Norrköping

Photo: Peter Holgersson

The terrace at Pappa Grappa in Norrköping

Photo: Pappa Grappa

Restaurant Ànima in Norrköping

Photo: Pappa Grappa

Norrköping eats – fresh, local and seasonal delights

Norrköping is a vibrant town, with plenty of cafés and restaurants. Check out Östgöta Kök for their daily lunch special. For a taste of modern Swedish fine dining, go to GIN in the centre of Norrköping – enjoy exquisitely prepared tasting menus, made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, as well as fresh herbs and delicacies foraged in the wild. Just make sure you check GIN’s opening times ahead of your visit, as they close during the summer holidays. For a more casual, yet equally delicious menu featuring fresh Nordic ingredients, try GIN’s sister restaurant Arv Bistro for lunch or dinner.

If you want to sit outdoors, head to the spacious terrace at Pappa Grappa Terrassen restaurant and bar. It’s also the perfect place to enjoy sundown, preferably with a cold drink in your hand and live music playing in the background. Another popular spot is Ànima, a lively restaurant and wine bar with a focus on fresh, tasty Mediterranean dishes that guests share at table, family style.

For traditional Swedish baking at its best, don’t miss Kafé Kuriosa – so good it’s listed by Sweden’s gastronomic authority, The White Guide.

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Kolmården Wildlife Park, Norrköping

At Kolmården Wildlife Park you can experience animals up close.

Photo: Rickard Monéus/Kolmården

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Kolmården Wildlife Park, Norrköping

Photo: Rickard Monéus/Kolmården

The ostrich farm of Vikbolands Struts

Photo: Mats Andersson

Visualiseringscenter C in Norrköping

Photo: Visualiseringscenter C

Grand deluxe room, The Lamp Hotel & Spa in Norrköping

Photo: The Lamp Hotel & Spa

PRACTICAL INFORMATION BEFORE YOUR TRIP TO NORRKÖPING