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!