Eksjö: the cosy wooden town in Småland

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Anyone who thinks of red wooden houses when they think of Sweden should make a detour to Eksjö – this is where Swedish dreams come true! The small town in Småland has a wonderful old town centre, which is a listed building and whose wooden houses were partly built as early as the 16th century, and is one of the best-preserved historic towns in the country. Find out everything you need to know about this charming wooden town here!

Why holiday in Eksjö?

Eksjö is a very special Swedish town – it may not be particularly large, but it is one of Sweden’s best-preserved “wooden towns” (alongside Nora near Örebro, Hju on Vättern, Falun in Dalarna and Öregrund on the Baltic coast in Uppland), if not the best-preserved.

The listed town, whose roots go back to the 15th century, is located in the north-western part of Småland, not far from the city of Jönköping, between rolling green hills, rustic forests and small lakes – pure Swedish romance! In summer in particular, it offers an almost fairytale atmosphere and invites you to take a relaxing stroll, wander around and enjoy a coffee.

Eksjö Holidays
Eksjö is the backdrop for a picturesque summer holiday with that pure Swedish feeling.

Where is Eksjö?

Eksjö is located in the north-western part of Småland in the province of Jönköpings län. The next largest city, Jönköping, on the banks of Vättern, is about 60 kilometres away by car, and the capital Stockholm is about 300 kilometres away by car. The ferry towns of Malmö and Trelleborg are approx. 310 kilometres and 340 kilometres away respectively.

A popular destination in Småland is also around 60 kilometres away: Vimmerby, the capital of Astrid Lindgren. A day trip to the cosy little town, the surrounding villages and the attractions surrounding Sweden’s greatest author is worth considering if you are spending several days in Eksjö and Småland.

Eksjö: Weather & best time to visit

As Eksjö is located in the south of Sweden, the small town has a rather temperate climate with mild temperatures. The best time to visit is from June to August, as the temperatures here are above 20 degrees and there are many hours of sunshine. Nevertheless, you should take a rain jacket and umbrella with you – even in summer, Sweden can often experience unexpected and brief rain showers. The warmest month is July with an average temperature of 21°C.

But Eksjö is also well suited for a winter holiday in Sweden. The wooden town has a special charm in the cold and dark months, and the temperatures are still somewhat milder than in the far north of the country and are usually only just below zero. Snowfall is guaranteed from December to February – giving you the feeling of the Christmas stories from the popular Swedish children’s tales. The coldest month is February.

Eksjö sights and activities

Eksjö Old Town

Eksjö’s listed old town centre is the municipality’s flagship and landmark and still corresponds to the medieval town plan. Over 50 wooden buildings provide a picturesque backdrop with historical charm and bear witness to the long history of the wooden town, which was granted its town charter in 1403 and became a garrison town at the end of the 15th century. The special feature of the exceptionally well-preserved and renovated old town centre is also reflected in the fact that Eksjö was awarded the Europa Nostra Diploma in 1997 and is classified as a Swedish “Imperial Interest”.

Eksjö Old Town
The old town centre of Eksjö with its more than 50 wooden buildings is a listed building.

The old town is not only characterised by its colourful wooden houses, but also by its medieval layout. Typical features include cobbled streets, small courtyards, market squares and, above all, narrow alleyways in which you can lose yourself wonderfully. Here you can stroll around in a fairytale atmosphere or go for a coffee.

The tourist information centre in Eksjö offers guided tours of the town in summer, but you can also set off on your own thanks to the town plans and maps, which are also available in German. More information about the history of the town can be found in the Eksjö Museum, which not only has an idyllic museum garden and interesting exhibitions, but also offers guided tours all year round.

Eksjö town festival

A real highlight in Eksjö is the town festival, which transforms the idyllic wooden town into a celebration mile. The festival, which is one of the largest of its kind in Småland, has been held annually in August since 2008 and attracts over 20,000 visitors. Numerous Swedish artists provide good music and a great atmosphere – in 2024, for example, the band Mando Diao will be performing. A total of seven stages are set up in the city centre, as well as many food stalls and other offers for the whole family.

Eksjö Moose Park

Skullaryd Elk Park is located between Eksjö and Aneby – here you can get very close to the imposing kings of the Nordic forests. A large number of deer also live here. The park is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from the end of March to October and every day in July and August. A moose safari by tractor is offered twice a day during the two summer months and once a day during the rest of the year.

You can learn a lot about the moose and deer during feeding sessions. There is also a souvenir shop and a café serving sandwiches, coffee and cakes – the café can also be visited separately and is a good place to have a fika if you are in the neighbourhood.

Eksjö Gorge: Skurugata Nature Reserve

Around Eksjö there is almost boundless idyllic nature – typical of Sweden and Småland. One highlight is the Skurugata, an 800 metre long canyon surrounded by a 42 hectare nature reserve and located around 15 kilometres from Eksjö. The canyon is around 20 to 50 metres deep and 7 to 24 metres wide and has a different climate to the forest around it, which is why special plants can be found here. Skurugata is accessible, but requires a certain amount of surefootedness, as there is only a beaten track through the rough crevice.

There is also the Skuruhatt viewpoint, the third highest point in Småland at 337 metres, which offers a fantastic view over the picturesque nature of the region. A two-kilometre circular trail leads through the reserve, over Skuruhatt and through Skurugata – temperature difference included!

Eksjö Gorge Nature Reserve
The Skurugata gorge and the surrounding nature reserve near Eksjö is a paradise for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Eksjö Golf Club

Eksjö Golfklubb is home to one of the oldest and most beautiful golf courses in Småland. Here you can play 18 holes surrounded by idyllic and well-kept nature.

Accommodation in Eksjö

Eksjö Camping & Campsite

Småland, like Sweden in general, is made for camping – here you will find dreamlike natural idylls where you can spend nights in the open air. Many campsites are located in the middle of nature or right by the water. There are several campsites in and around Ekjsö that are particularly suitable for families. Nowadays, modern campsites offer a lot of comfort and services. But if you can do without that and want to experience an adventure in the country’s beautiful nature instead, you can go wild camping in Sweden – an exciting alternative to a normal holiday, especially in summer.

Hotels in Eksjö

If you want to stay overnight with a solid roof over your head, you should book a hotel. Hotels also usually offer a high level of comfort, such as breakfast. In Eksjö they usually have a special charm – in the wooden town you can also stay in a typical Swedish wooden house! Tips include the Eksjö Stadshotell or the Hotell Vaxblekaregården.

Eksjö Hotels
You can spend the night in Eksjö in red wooden houses in true Swedish style.

Holiday homes in Eksjö

Renting a holiday home is a popular option for a holiday in Eksjö. In and around the town, there are a number of holiday homes available in different varieties and price ranges. A holiday home is particularly attractive for families with children, whether large or small, or other larger groups due to its size, independence and cooking facilities.

Travelling to Eksjö

Starting from the UK, it is easiest to take a flight to Sweden. The major airports in Stockholm and Gothenburg are served by many British airports. Once you have arrived there, you can either continue your journey in a hire car or alternatively by public transport.

If you’re staying close to Eksjö, in Vimmerby, or Jönköping for example, travelling is best done by car. From Trelleborg or Malmö it is 300-350 kilometres to Eksjö.

If you don’t have any problems with longer journey times but want to see a lot of Denmark and Sweden without having to drive, you can also travel by train. In Copenhagen, departs the X2000 express train, which takes you to the town of Nässjö. From there it takes about another 25 minutes by train to get to Eksjö.

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