Culture & history
A Grand Tour of Småland
Experience the precious gems of nature and culture in Småland with plenty of time on your hands. Here, we suggest a route and give you tips on spots and places worth seeing.
A Grand Tour of Småland
1. IKEA Museum, Älmhult
Start your Grand Tour of Småland at the IKEA Museum in Älmhult to experience the story of IKEA where it began – in Älmhult. The IKEA Museum takes you on a journey from the roots to the global powerhouse it is today. It is situated in the same building where the world’s first IKEA store opened in 1958.
2. Linnés Råshult, Diö
Discover Linnés Råshult, where the world-famous botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus was born. Carl Linnaeus laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme in latin. Råshult is now a nature and culture reserve with gardens and a café, and the garden is perfect for an afternoon stroll.
3. Åsnen National Park
Explore Sweden's newest and 30th national park . 75 % of its area is made up of water – an inland lake archipelago with untouched islands and rocks. You truly get a sense of wilderness here, surrounded by ancient beech forest and rich plant and animal life. Go hiking, canoeing, biking, birdwatching, or just relax!
Take Sirkövägen, the “Sirkö road”, that runs from Urshult in direction of Växjö. It boasts spectacular views of Lake Åsnen and the surrounding wilderness mixed with meadows and apple trees. Make sure to make a stop at one of the small local farm shops along the way, or make a stop at Sunnabron, one of the entrances to Åsnen National Park.
5. Huseby Bruk
Stop by at this immaculately-preserved manor and ironworks from the 19th century and take a step back in time. The park and garden have been kept in their original form. It's like a Swedish Downton Abbey!
Welcome to Växjö in the heart of Småland. Visit the Cathedral, the Swedish Glass Museum and the ruins of Kronoberg Castle. Växjö is also a paradise for food lovers with for example the Michelin-starred restaurant PM & Vänner in the frontline.
7. The Kingdom of Crystal
The glassworks and glass studios in the Kingdom of Crystal all have their own distinctive character. Here you will encounter both everyday glass and art glass of world-class quality, and you are welcome to step up to the glass furnaces to see it being created. At some glassworks, you can even try glass blowing yourself.
8. Kalmar Castle
Kalmar Castle goes back 800 years in history, to the Middle Ages and was known as the key to the kingdom for a long period in time, due to its strategic location. Today it plays an important role for culture in Småland, hosting exhibitions, guided tours, a restaurant and lots of activities for children.
9. Mönsterås coastal road
Escape the summer traffic on the E22. The cruise on the Mönsterås coastal road alongside the avenues, stone walls and sea is definitely worth a detour. In the beautiful landscape, the old main road winds its way along the coast like a snake. Make sure you stop in the cosy old market town Pataholm or the charming Timmernabben.
10. The mythical Blå Jungfrun
Pay a visit to the beautiful island and national park, located all on its own in the Baltic Sea between Oskarshamn and northern Öland. Blå Jungfrun is an isolated island with a striking silhouette. The grey-blue granite dome rises 86 metres above sea level in the Kalmar Strait.
11. Västervik Archipelago
Come to north-eastern Småland and you will find Västervik and the Tjust Archipelago. Here you can consume the Baltic Sea uninhibited. It is a unique paradise in the world with 5000 islands and skerries, a growing but tastefully dimensioned range of restaurants, guided tours, hire and accommodation options.
12. Astrid Lindgren's Vimmerby
Pop into the charming town of Vimmerby, the hometown of Astrid Lindgren, one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors. Astrid Lindgren affects people all over the world with her books, and it was right here, in the small town of Vimmerby, where she laid the foundations for her fantastic authorship. Näs, Astrid’s birthplace, is still here, and today it has a visitor centre with exhibitions, gardens and a restaurant. The childhood home has been preserved and is open for guided tours.
13. Trolley cycling
Try trolley cycling for a really enjoyable and environmentally friendly way to travel on the narrow-gauge railway. Trolleys are available for hire in three charming places along Smalspåret.
14. Eksjö – the unique wooden town
Get to know Eksjö, one of Europe’s best-preserved wooden towns, with its idyllic town centre and more than 50 listed wooden houses. Eksjö has been awarded Europa Nostra Diploma for the remarkable renovation of traditional buildings. Go on a guided tour of the city and experience history.
15. Boxholm II, Tranås
Experience Sommen on a wood-fired steamboat. S/S Boxholm II is one of the oldest – and last – wood-fired steamboats. She has worked Lake Sommen since 1904, first transporting timber and now enchanting passengers. During the summer there are different themed tours to various gems along Lake Sommen.
16. Grenna Museum
Check out the exhibition about Gränna’s son S A Andrée, who in 1897 set off on the first Swedish polar expedition. Even though Andrée’s trip in a gas balloon to the North Pole was unsuccessful, it is a fascinating story and one of the most written about of its kind. Equipment, letters and pictures have been preserved at Grenna Museum.
17. Jönköping – Bryggan
Enjoy the sun by the dock, a gathering place by the Lake Munksjön’s northern shore. Here – right in the city centre – you will find Bryggan Café and Bistro, appointed by the White Guide for its very good class.
18. Husqvarna Museum
Experience the Husqvarna Museum, where you can relive memories and see the factory’s broad production history with everything from weapons and sewing machines to kitchen equipment.
19. Habo Church
Habo Church is known for its paintings that cover the whole church. The cathedral-like church was built back in the 14th century but has been preserved as it was since 1723. Open daily in the summer. Guided tours are recommended and can be pre-booked.
Explore Vandalorum, a living museum located between the fields on the outskirts of Värnamo, where our most trendsetting contemporary art and design are exhibited. Vandalorum’s ‘Syltan’ was named Culture Restaurant of the Year 2018! Combine your art and design experience with a meal focusing on organic and local produce!
22. Store Mosse National Park
Enjoy more than 40 km of footpaths and unique flora and fauna in the national park of Store Mosse – Sweden’s biggest marsh south of Lapland. Walk and explore on your own by following one of the footpaths or go on a guided snowshoe walk in the wet bog – in the middle of summer!