Norrköping: a modern industrial city in Sweden

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The city of Norrköping on the Swedish Baltic coast impressively demonstrates how a city can develop positively and sustainably. Where once abandoned and dreary industrial buildings waited to decay, today there is a colourful and lively cultural centre with a unique atmosphere. And there’s not only a lot to discover in Norrköping’s city centre – the picturesque countryside surrounding the former industrial city also invites you to explore. Find out everything you need to know about a trip to Norrköping here.

Why should you go to Norrköping?

Rather inconspicuously located not too far from Stockholm in the east of Sweden, Norrköping is best known for a branch of Linköping University and the local football club, IFK Norrköping, which is one of Sweden’s most successful clubs. But Norrköping has much more to offer – the former industrial town has a cityscape that is unique in Sweden, characterised by old textile factories that stretch along the banks of the local river and create a unique atmosphere.

Kolmården, the largest animal park in Northern Europe, is a mixture of amusement park and safari park that delights young and old alike. And if all this is too much for you, you can relax in one of the museums or on a tour through the picturesque nature along the Baltic Sea coast.

Norrköping: Travel
Norrköping is a varied, lively city.

Where is Norrköping located?

Norrköping is located in the Östergötland region, in the southern part of Sweden. The city lies on the bay of Bråviken and thus on the Baltic coast. It is also crossed by the Motala ström river, so the cityscape is very much characterised by water.

Norrköping is located on the route between Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm and is well connected to the rest of the south of Sweden. The Swedish capital is only around 160 kilometres away by car, Gothenburg around 310 kilometres and Malmö a good 450 kilometres. Closer are Östergötland’s largest city Linköping, for example, which is around 40 kilometres away, or Örebro and Västervik, which are both around 115 kilometres away by car.

Norrköping: weather

Norrköping has a maritime climate with rather mild temperatures, making it suitable for a city break all year round. The best time to visit with the highest temperatures is from May to September, the warmest month is July, when temperatures average 23° Celsius. In the winter months, temperatures hover around 0° Celsius. As in most Scandinavian cities, you should be prepared for very long days in summer and very short days in winter.

Sights and activities in Norrköping

Norrköping city centre: the former industrial plant as a cultural centre

Norrköping industrial complex
There is a lot to discover in Norrköping’s former industrial complex.

A walk through Norrköping’s former industrial sites is a must when visiting the city. The cityscape is characterised by the old textile industry factory buildings, which date back to the period between 1850 and 1917 and are mostly located on the banks of the Motala ström river.

In the 1970s, the buildings were largely derelict, but they have now been renovated and are being used again, for example as a branch of Linköping University, museums, concert halls and restaurants.

On a stroll through the city, you can discover so much and experience the special flair of the former industrial city while losing yourself in the various cultural offerings. For example, there is the Labour Museum, which is located in a former cotton factory and offers information on the history and future of the city. The city museum can also be found here.

Kolmården Zoo

A good 30 kilometres from Norrköping city centre is one of the area’s most popular attractions, Kolmården Zoo. With 250 hectares and over 700,000 visitors a year, Kolmården is the largest zoo in Northern Europe and provides a species-appropriate home for 85 animal species. Here you will not only find the oldest and largest dolphinarium in Europe, but also a safari park, a rainforest and a large aquarium.

The park also has its own cable car system, which runs through the park over a length of 2.64 kilometres and takes a good 27 minutes. For young visitors, there is the “Bamses Värld” theme park, where there are all kinds of attractions centred around the cartoon character Bamse. There are also three roller coasters, including the wooden roller coaster “Wildfire”. Admission to the zoo, which is committed to nature and animal welfare, costs SEK 279 for visitors over 13, while children pay SEK 199. The zoo is open daily in the summer months, and only partially at weekends in the low season.

Norrköping Kolmården
Kolmården near Norrköping is the largest zoo in Northern Europe.

Out and about in the countryside around Norrköping

Norrköping is located in a very natural region of Sweden and is surrounded by forests and water, so outdoor enthusiasts get their money’s worth here. Whether on a hike through one of the many forests or a canoe tour in the archipelago, the city and its surroundings are also very easy to explore actively.

The Östgötaleden long-distance hiking trail, which runs through the region for a total of 1,400 kilometres, passes Norrköping, as do many smaller hiking trails. Excursions to the bay of Bråviken are particularly worthwhile, with fantastic views from the coastal area. Cyclists and mountain bikers are also welcome in the city and region, for example a cycle tour along the Göta Canal.

Accommodation in Norrköping

Holiday flats in Norrköping

If you want to be self-sufficient on holiday and have the feeling of having your own four walls, accommodation in a holiday flat or holiday home is ideal, especially in a city like Norrköping. Many holiday flats are centrally located or just outside, but only a few minutes’ walk from public transport stops, so you are mobile and still have a quiet location. In addition to independence, holiday flats often offer more space, making them ideal for families or other groups.

Camping in Norrköping

Camping is a particularly popular way to go on holiday in Scandinavia. Camping in Sweden is particularly popular in summer, as it is close to nature and uncomplicated, with many campsites located directly on lakes, rivers or other bodies of water. There is also often a wider choice of accommodation, from simple pitches to glamping. The “Sörsjöns Camping & Stugby” campsite in Norrköping is located by a lake and has a climbing park and a sauna. Like many other campsites, it also offers a range of services.

If you want to experience a completely independent holiday, you can also opt for wild camping. Wild camping in Sweden is completely legal. The Everyman’s Right allows you to camp in the great outdoors for one or two days. This is a particularly good alternative in a natural region such as Östergötland.

Hotels in Norrköping

The classic accommodation during a city trip is a hotel. Most hotels are centrally located so that the railway station or sights are only a few minutes’ walk or drive away. Norrköping has a good and large selection of hotels, so everyone should find the right one for them, whether hostel, B&B or star hotel.

One highlight in Norrköping, for example, is Södra Hotellet, a small family hotel that is about a six-minute walk from the centre and offers guests a sauna or their own fireplace. Another highlight is Borgs Villahotell och B&B, which is located in a quiet residential area but is well connected to the centre of Norrköping by tram and is partly located in a former historic railway station building.

Norrköping Tram
Sur place, tu peux te passer d’une voiture : Norrköping possède son propre tramway.

Travelling to Norrköping

Travelling by plane

Norrköping has its own airport, although it only offers seasonal flights. However, as Stockholm is not too far away and is very well connected to Norrköping, you can also fly to the Swedish capital and travel on from there by hire car or train. Travelling by train takes around two hours, and there are also direct train connections between Arlanda and Norrköping, which only take around two hours, making the journey even more comfortable.

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