Get inspired

Are you here for a quick visit or for several days? It may just rain the day you are here. No matter how long you stay, how the weather behaves or what you want to do, here are some tips on fun and exciting experiences in Linköping.

Linköping in 3 hours

Need a break after an eternity on the E4 expressway? Or are you looking for ways to entertain foreign business colleagues before that all-important meeting?

Welcome to Linköping! Don't worry; parking won't be a problem, even close to city center. If you arrived at the Resecentrum train and bus station, the first sight you will encounter as you walk toward downtown is the "Metamorfos" sculpture, one artist's interpretation of biofuel. This is a fitting work for Linköping, which is known for its "green" profile. For example, the city was the first in Sweden to run its entire fleet of buses on biofuel!

On your way downtown

After a few blocks, turn left on Platensgatan Street. Look for the theater on your right. Soon, you will arrive at the intersection of Platensgatan and Ågatan. In the summer, a "must" stop is the legendary Bosse's Ice Cream Bar. Residents know that when Bosse's opens its doors, spring is on the way. On your right is the imposing Domkyrkan, the country's best preserved medieval cathedral. It is well worth a visit, as are the Slotts- och Domkyrkomuseet [Castle and Cathedral Museum], Stadsbiblioteket [city library] and Östergötlands länsmuseum [county museum], all of which are near the cathedral.

For entertainment, look no further than Ågatan and the immediate vicinity. The neighborhood pulses with life day and night. University students flock to Nationernas Hus. With its restaurants, nightclubs, numerous cafés and outdoor restaurants, it has a similar vibe to that of Stora Torget Square. For shopping in the area, visit the Filbytergallerian mall, where you'll find boutiques that specialize in high-end fashions and cosmetics.

Art in the heart of the city

If you're an art aficionado, don't miss our city's most interesting meeting place - the equestrian statue of Folke Filbyter by the world-renowned Swedish sculptor, Carl Milles. Or why not pop into Passagen art gallery, which always has exciting exhibits.

Shopping street

To your right on Storgatan street, look for Hemslöjden handicrafts, a trendy knitting shop, a chocolate-themed café, interior design and clothing boutiques. Handmade jewelry, record stores and the Clas Ohlson department store are located in the opposite direction on Storgatan. Tanneforsgatan, a lovely pedestrian street, leads to Trädgårdstorget Square and continues down to Lilla Torget Square. The entire area abounds with art galleries, boutiques and restaurants for every taste.

Winding down

It's only a short walk down Nygatan Street to the Stångån River/Kinda Canal and the city's tallest apartment building. Many people come here to go jogging, take a quiet stroll or stop in at one of the many restaurants and cafés that border the canal. At Drömmarnas Plats (place), on your left, relax on a bench and contemplate the stainless steel sculpture, Drömmarnas båge [Arc of Dreams], which stretches over the river.

From here, it's just a five-minute walk back to the Resecentrum.

Linköping in 24 hours

If you arrive in Linköping in the morning, a great way to start the day is to drop in at one of the many cafés that line the city's charming squares. Inside or outside seating? It all depends on the weather. Watch the city wake from its slumber as you plan the rest of the day. Most everything is within easy walking distance.

If you're in the mood for a quiet cultural experience, we highly recommend a visit to Domkyrkan. This magnificent medieval cathedral, with its many art treasures, opens at 9 am. More art awaits you at the Slotts- och Domkyrkomuseet [Castle and Cathedral Museum] located opposite the cathedral. The castle also houses the private residence of the County Governor of Östergötland.

Slip into our big, airy Stadsbibliotek [city library], ease into a cozy armchair and read the newspaper, or walk over to the Östergötland Museum (county museum) and take in one of the exhibits. All of these attractions are situated in beautiful park settings, of which we have plenty in Linköping.

Shopping time

Once the stores have opened, stroll down to Stora Torget Square and revel in the energy at the heart of the city. If you're lucky, it's market day. Depending on the time of year, merchants will be selling flowers, fruits and vegetables or Christmas ornaments, holiday treats and leather slippers.

Together, our three larger town squares and their neighboring streets offer a wide range of shopping options for every taste. Look for trendy boutiques that feature designer clothes and gifts, gorgeous jewelry, superb cheeses and select chocolates. You'll also find larger stores specializing in sports and outdoor recreation; shopping malls; cafés and restaurants to quell your hunger; and book and music shops to satisfy your soul.

Lunch amidst flora the year round
Is it lunchtime already? For a change of pace, cross Drottninggatan Street and enter the world of the Trädgårdsföreningen [Garden Society], Linköping's biggest open green space. In addition to beautiful and unusual plantings, this green oasis offers a playground, a boules course, free outdoor exercise classes and midday concerts during the summer months. Enjoy lunch surrounded by lush vegetation inside the spectacular Tropikhuset greenhouse. After lunch, why not stroll around the Naturcentrum [nature center] and pick up gardening tips or relax over coffee in the Belvedere lookout tower?

Never far from the water
If it's a warm summer day, take a dip in Tinnerbäcksbadet, either in the swimming pool or the man-made lake beside it. A walk along the Stångån River/Kinda Canal is a delightful experience any time of year, and here too, you can select from a variety of restaurants and cafés if you feel like an afternoon snack.

Not ready to call it a day? Wander over to the Stora Torget-Ågatan neighborhood, where you will discover a vibrant nightlife filled with bars, restaurants and nightclubs. And don't forget to keep an eye out for some of the exciting theater, sports and concert events that are a regular part of Linköping's entertainment scene.

When your feet are tired from all that walking and your head is reeling from the day's adventures, you're probably ready for a good night's sleep - the city is home to hotels and hostels to fit every budget.

Also near city center....
Want to explore other sights and sounds associated with our city? With one of our biofuel-powered busses, you can go on an excursion to either Gamla (Old) Linköping or the Flygvapenmuseum [Air Force Museum] for several hours of enjoyment!

Linköping in 3 days

Like many other cities in Sweden, Linköping is known for its very vibrant downtown, with many stores, cafés, restaurants, numerous entertainment options, green promenades and a variety of cultural attractions. While we hope that you will be able to take advantage of everything the city has to offer during your stay, we would like to tell you about some real "gems" that are unique to Linköping and its environs.

Something for the entire family

How about beginning your visit with the Gamla Linköping open-air museum, situated right outside the city center? Open all year round, this idyllic small town features some 90 historic buildings, which were transported to this location and given a new lease on life. Here, it's easy to lose yourself in a bygone era, especially if you step into the shops or the school museum or visit the houses and gardens. Don't miss the traditional artisans at work, an inviting chocolate shop, and TV personality Ragnar Dahlberg's café - who knows, maybe a community sing-along will take place there tonight.

A visit to the amazing science center, Fenomenmagasinet is sure to be a hit with both young and old. The open-air museum also includes the Valla recreation area - to get there, board the "choo-choo" train and enjoy a ride through the Vallaskogen Nature Reserve. Upon arrival, visit the Järnvägsmuseet [train museum], take in a round of miniature golf, play on the Lill-Valla playground and pet the animals that live at Valla recreation area.

"Test your wings"
It's easy to understand why Linköping is a well-known aviation city when you visit the Flygvapenmuseet [Air Force Museum], situated a bit further west of the city. The museum houses a unique collection of military aircraft dating back to the turn of the 20th century. After you've wandered around a bit, take a seat in a flight simulator and head skyward. Children will find lots to enjoy here too.

A gigantic shopping center
Before you begin your shopping expedition at the IKANO-huset shopping mall in Tornby, we suggest that you eat lunch at one of its many restaurants and also take some time to plan how to best tackle Sweden's second largest shopping center (it's only slightly smaller than the one at Kungens Kurva, outside of Stockholm). Besides an IKEA, the mall comprises more than 60 stores. And all around it are home improvement stores, sports equipment, and Biltema, a Mecca for car and home accessories. In fact, there's not much you can't find here. On your way to or from Tornby, don't miss the "original traffic circle dog," created by artist Stina Opitz.

We suggest ending this activity-filled day with a quiet dinner in the city, followed by a movie or a musical event at one of our many concert venues.

A day by the water and an evening at a nightclub
If you're blessed with beautiful weather, we highly recommend a day on the water. The Göta Canal, one of Sweden's most famous waterways, is open from the beginning of May to the end of September. Drive to the Berg locks and witness the incredible flight of 11 interconnected locks. If you're in the mood for swimming, take a dip in Lake Roxen, located at nearby Bergsbadet. You might also fancy a delightful all-day round-trip boat ride to Borensberg, an idyllic town beautifully situated on the Motala Ström and the Göta Canal.

Another alternative is a day trip on the Stångån River/Kinda Canal - boats leave from the toll bridge near the Resecentrum train and bus station. Refreshments are available during the voyage to Rimforsa. Some tickets include bus or train transportation back to town. You could also take a long walk on either side of the canal, which is spanned by several bridges, in case if you want to go the other way. The Tanneforsslussen lock, with its lovely surroundings and excellent restaurant, is popular with locals and tourists alike. Another option is Åbacka Café, housed in a quaint red cottage - try their home-made buns and cookies.

As evening approaches, you might want to visit the beautiful old neighborhood around the cathedral. If you'd like to learn more about the city's exciting history, we recommend the Slotts- och Domkyrkomuseet [Castle and Cathedral Museum], opposite the cathedral. If you've still got lots of energy, look no further than the area around Ågatan Street and Stora Torget Square, which fairly hums with activity during the evening hours.

Nature at your doorstep
In Linköping, you're never far from wide-open landscapes, water or rolling hills. The Tinnerö Oak Woodland Nature Reserve is located just south of the city. Previously a military training ground, today it offers the visitor a varied agricultural landscape, with meadows and pastures, abundant flora and fauna and the mighty oaks that are characteristic of the area. If you're interested in military history, don't miss the Garnisonsmuseet [Garrison Museum] on your way back to the city. Now might also be the perfect time to relax in the Trädgårdsföreningen [Garden Society]. If you've run out of snacks, several luncheon options are available here - choose from the Tropikhuset greenhouse, Brasserie Britto or the Belvedere lookout tower.

Are you traveling with youngsters?
If so, maybe they'd like to spend some quality time at the Hangaren Hot Sport Center, which offers inline skating, skateboarding and BMXing. Your kids can also use the trampoline or scale the 14 meter-high climbing wall. In addition, Linköping boasts Sweden's biggest outdoor skateboard park. A variety of bumps, steps, banks, gaps, rails and ledges will surely tempt those in the know.

We hope you've enjoyed your visit to Linköping, and that you will come back to do all the things you didn't have time to do this time around!

Linköping on a rainy day

If you wake up to the gentle sounds of summer rain and the swimming excursion to Lake Roxen in Berg or to Stora Rängen in Bestorp no longer seem so inviting, it's time to think of something else fun to do.

If you simply can't let go of the swimming idea, you can swim indoors at the Linköping Simhall swimming complex. Among its major attractions are two 25-meter pools, a water slide, a diving tower, a wave and swimming pool, a spa facility, Roman baths, saunas, solariums, spinning machines, two gyms, including a spinning section, and a restaurant.

If you were on your way to Berg anyway, don't miss the Museihuset [museum house] in Ljung. Unlike many other museums, it is also open on Mondays. In addition to being Scandinavia's biggest motorboat and toy car museum, it houses a huge (and partly antique) model railroad. Motorbåtsmuseet [Motorboat Museum] is ranked as one of the five greatest vintage boat museums in the world, and Museihuset's collection of 9,000 toy cars is also in a class by itself.

While you're in these parts, Kulla Kornettgård farm is also worth a visit. This private collection includes thousands of items from bygone times, including an old-fashioned kitchen and café, a barbershop and beauty salon from the 50s and 60s, cameras, telephones and much, much more.

On the way back to town, stop at Vreta Kloster cloister and explore the beautiful, 12th century medieval church. It is surrounded by the ruins of the Benedictine convent, which was founded around the same time as the church. Vreta Kloster was Sweden's first cloister. On your way back to the city, we hope the sun makes an appearance so that you can enjoy the gorgeous view across the fields down to Roxen.

Shopping or IT history
As you're driving into Linköping, you will pass Tornby. In addition to IKEA, the IKANO-huset mall comprises more than 60 stores selling shoes, the latest fashions, lingerie and much more. Though there are busses from Linköping, the easiest way to get here is by car. Other stores in the area specialize in home furnishings, appliances, toys, and electrical and household items. In the neighborhood around the mall, look for the home improvement stores; Biltema, with car accessories and much more; and sporting goods and computer stores.

Speaking of computers, a "must visit" is the IT-ceum, a computer museum whose aim is to document, preserve and describe Sweden's IT history. The museum is located in Östergötland Museum. There's an excellent restaurant on the ground floor of the museum.

Something special for the children
Doesn't the Busfabriken [mischief factory] sound really cool? This fun place is located on Vimarkagatan Street, near the Linköping Airport; it's open every day and suitable for children up to 13 years of age. Busfabriken is a 3,000 m² indoor playland. Kids can ride down huge slides, crawl through pipes and alleys, play air hockey, run, jump, climb on jungle gyms, tumble around in a ball room, jump on trampolines and generally engage in creative play. While the kids are having fun, the adults can relax in the restaurant, at the billiard table or in the internet café.

The Fenomenmagasinet, located in the open-air museum of Gamla (Old) Linköping, is a three-story science center featuring more than 200 educational experiments about science and technology - it touches on everything from how the ear functions to how one passes through the locks of the Göta Canal. If you're up for it, you can also pretend to be the pilot of a Saab 2000 turboprop airplane. Curiosity is the only thing that's required to appreciate the opportunity to test, examine and experiment in order to learn more about everyday phenomena.

And for great way to end the day: A visit to the nearby Cloetta chocolate factory shop!

Prison Island Linköping
Prison Island is the latest and coolest Prison Island in Sweden. A completely unique prison adventure with challenges for all from ten years and upward, younger children are welcome, accompanied by adults. Here you will find everything for an unforgettable experience. Brainteasing prison cells, café, changing room with shower and conference facilities. Gather your friends, form a team and together crack the challenges in the prison cells. Co-operate, have fun and pick up as many points as you can. Everything is possible and the best team always wins!

Explore the Oak Woodland (Eklandskapet)

The regions south of Linköping are home to an unusually large number of oak trees. In fact, there are so many here that the area is called the Oak Woodland. If you are interested in nature, there are many good reasons to make one or more excursions to this, Europe's most important region for the biological diversity linked to the oak.

The abundance of so many prime examples of this species of tree in just this location has to do with the fact that the long, fertile valleys are perfectly suited to the oaks, as well as other ecologically valuable deciduous trees. Because of the rocky hills and moraines, the land is not as developed as it is on the plains elsewhere around the city. The central parts of the oak woodland are situated around the Brokind, Bjärka-Säby and Sturefors estates. The northernmost part, Tinnerö, stretches all the way to the outskirts of the city.

Join us - we promise you many beautiful sights and interesting discoveries. More than 1,000 different species, primarily insects, are inextricably linked to these old trees, some of which are several hundred years old. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of woodland brown butterflies, stag beetles and hermit beetles. The oak woodland has been designated a national treasure because of its importance to culture, nature and outdoor life.

A taste of locally produced food

In Linköping, we are surrounded by fields on all sides. Our city is beautifully situated in the middle of the fertile Östgöta plains, where food production is higher than it is in many other places. Enjoy the wide selection of locally produced food - you can either buy provisions at one of the farm shops or enjoy a meal at a restaurant.

Östgötamat is a web portal for food, raw ingredients and culinary experiences. You can find many exciting producers and growers, farm shops and restaurants here. On the website, you'll learn that the province's national dish is crisp potato pancakes with fried pork and lingonberry preserves. This is no coincidence - ever since the potato made its way to Sweden, Östergötland province has been a huge potato producer. In addition, we have always been big producers of pork, and our woods are filled with lingonberries. This dish has been a favorite since the 19th century.

Would you like to know how it's prepared? A genuine potato pancake from this county is made of our own raw, grated potatoes. The grated potatoes are fried in a pancake pan in which moderately thick slices of pork were fried first. The remaining pork fat is what makes the pancakes so crisp. However, it is important not to fill the entire bottom of the pan with the potato batter. Cover only half of the pan with batter and turn the pancake when one side has reached the right degree of crispness.

If you're lucky enough to be in Linköping on a Tuesday, when most of the city's restaurants are serving this dish for lunch, be prepared to stand in line for a table.

Would like to know about the restaurants and producers that are part of Östgötamat and Regional Matkultur [food culture] in the Municipality of Linköping? Then take a look at the list of links on this page and let your imagination guide you to many exciting, culinary adventures!