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Uppsala Castle
Uppsala Castle was built in the mid 1500's during the reign of King Gustav Vasa. The castle now houses three museums - Uppsala Art Museum, House of Peace and Vasaborgen.
Photo credit: Lisa Arnold /Nordkultur

Uppland – where Swedish history comes to life

Nestled in central Sweden, just north of Stockholm, Uppland is a historically significant province serving up stunning nature and a culture-rich city life. It’s home to the must-visit university town of Uppsala, the former hometown of world-renowned botanist Carl Linnaeus.

Steeped in history, much of Sweden's past can be discovered in Uppland across its many ancient remains, centuries-old royal mounds, castles and trade settlements. The Vikings’ presence is acutely evident – the prehistoric Vendel Period is named after a royal tomb found in Old Uppsala, a key historic attraction. You'll also find traces of Uppland's industrial past via its many ironworks. In the 17th century, the Romance ethnic group – the Walloons – arrived to work at the forges, including the well-preserved Lövstabruk, Österbybruk and Strömsbergs Mill.

Sigtuna, Sweden's very first town, is known for its quaint cobbled streets and over 150 runestones while Uppsala boasts Sweden's oldest university – the 15th century Uppsala University. The city attracts students from across the world, giving it a young, vibrant identity with a thirst for innovation. In recent years, the centre has gained an international reputation as an 'ideas incubator'.

Plenty of outdoor adventures await, too. Uppland stretches across landscapes of varying kinds, spanning forests, meadows and archipelago – collectively fit for any outdoor activity you can imagine.

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Old Uppsala mounds

Enjoy beautiful nature and exciting history at Old Uppsala mounds. The Old Uppsala Museum close to the mounds offers exhibitions and tours.

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

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Old Uppsala mounds

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

Lövstabruk, Uppland

Photo: Josefin Näsström

Linnaeus’ Hammarby, Uppsala

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

The Linnaeus Garden, Uppsala

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

Skokloster Castle, Uppland

Photo: Jens Mohr/Skoklosters slott/SHM

Uppsala Art Museum

Photo: Alex Giacomini/Destination Uppsala

Discover Uppland's diverse cultural landscape

One of Uppland’s most famous former residents is 18th century botanist and scientist Carl Linnaeus, and here you'll be able to discover his legacy via a range of experiences. Linnaeus’ Hammarby is a summertime idyll, replete with a farmhouse and 40 'Linnaean plants'. The Linnaeus Museum, meanwhile, is housed in the former Uppsala home of the botanist, and the expansive Linnaeus Garden is an obvious highlight.

Charting the history of the region some centuries prior to Linnaeus' time, the Old Uppsala Museum is situated among the royal burial mounds in a landscape dating back to the Iron Age. Travel back in time to 7th century Viking village life via the compelling VR experience on offer.

If castle-hopping is on your agenda, you've come to the right place. Uppland is home to a good number – including Skokloster Castle and Salsta Castle. Don't miss the medieval Uppsala Cathedral – where King Gustav Vasa, among other royals, is buried. Another tip is the 16th century Uppsala Castle, with its three resident museums – Uppsala Art Museum, House of Peace and Vasaborgen.

Notable museums elsewhere include Bror Hjorths Hus – the charming studio home of renowned sculptor and painter Bror Hjorth, active up until the mid-20th century. The Museum of Evolution – which houses the largest collection of dinosaur skeletons in the Nordic region – is another highlight.

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King Björn's burial mound, Uppsala

Uppland is a province with many hiking possibilities. Hike the historical area of Hågahöjden to watch King Björn's burial mound.

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

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King Björn's burial mound, Uppsala

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

Ice skating in Fjällnora, Uppsala

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/ Destination Uppsala

Hiking the Uppland Trail

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Destination

Fjällnora recreation area, Uppsala

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

Öregrund in Roslagen

Photo: Anne Sofie Eriksson/Visit Roslagen

Nature experiences in Uppland

The type of terrain you'll come across is almost limitless and easily accessible, even at the city fringes. Setting off along the eight Linnaeus trails, which run from Uppsala into the surrounding countryside, is a good way to discover Uppland's verdant side. These trails – called ‘herbations’ and studded with information boards – were established by the botanist himself, who took his students there to observe plant species in their natural habitats.

For long hikes, set off along the Uppland Trail – covering some 500 kilometres – or the section of the Pilgrim Route between Stockholm Cathedral and Uppsala Cathedral.

Also near Uppsala, Fiby Urskog – an old growth forest about 16 kilometres west of Uppsala – offers hiking trails through an 87-hectare area of unspoilt, wildlife-rich nature. Fjällnora – a lakeside and forested recreation area – caters for an array of seasonal activities including canoeing, ice-skating, wild swimming and SUP paddling. Fyrisån River will give you the opportunity to join experiences such as beaver safaris, courtesy of organisers such as Aktivt Uteliv.

Summer paradise Roslagen, Uppland's much loved archipelago, is a collection of islands displaying varied nature – from forest and cliffs to meadows and sandy beaches. The historic maritime town of Öregrund, with its quaint wooden houses, is studded with cosy independent shops and cafes.

Nedre Dalälven river in Färnebofjärden national park is a fishing paradise –organiser Sivan offers a range of fly-fishing courses, while Hammarskogs nature reserve is one for keen bird watchers.

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Hotel Villa Anna, Uppsala

The restaurant at Hotel Villa Anna offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea.

Photo: David Johansson/Villa Anna

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Hotel Villa Anna, Uppsala

Photo: David Johansson/Villa Anna

Bistro Klostergatan 5 in Uppsala

Photo: Jens Engström/Klostergatan 5

Güntherska Hovkonditori & Schweizeri

Photo: Güntherska hovkonditori & Schweizeri

Restaurant Bojabäs in Öregrund

Photo: Anne Sofie Eriksson/Visit Roslagen

Savour the flavours of Uppland

The culinary profile of Uppland is geared towards sustainable dining, giving you ample opportunity to sample organic, locally sourced produce. Uppsala is awash with quality cafés and restaurants. Boutique hotel Villa Anna, situated within striking distance of Uppsala Castle, is a draw for many reasons – not least its seasonal, Nordic style menu.

Other culinary Uppsala highlights are Hambergs – celebrated for its innovatively prepared seafood dishes – and Klostergatan 5, a cosy restaurant specialising in Scandinavian and Spanish cuisine.

Thanks to its thriving student community, Uppsala has a rich café culture. Güntherska is a must-visit with a history stretching back to the 1880s. This royal warrant holder serves up delectable cakes as well as more savoury offerings.

Over in Österhammar, Forslundska Villan focuses on locally sourced ingredients, while top chef Melker Andersson runs fish restaurants Bojabäs and Sjöboden in Öregrund, open summertime.

Green-minded foodies should consider Fjärdhundraland – a peaceful agricultural area studded with organic farm shops and cafes – the picture of a Swedish idyll.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION BEFORE YOUR TRIP TO UPPLAND

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The botanical garden, Uppsala

At Uppsala University's botanical garden you will find greenery and flowering plants all year round. Visit Uppsala's only rainforest, explore the 200 year old orangery or enjoy a coffee at Café Victoria.

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

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The botanical garden, Uppsala

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

Pelle Svanslös Park, Uppsala

Photo: Gustav Dalesjö/Uppsala Marknadsföring

Museum railway Lennakatten, Uppland

Photo: Kalbar/Uppsala Marknadsföring

Uppsala Cathedral

Photo: Lisa Arnold /Nordkultur