On the shores of Lake Mälaren, Västerås is a city on the up. Traditionally well-known for manufacturing within Sweden, its location just 100 kilometres outside Stockholm make it a great place to visit if you want to spread your wings a little further and see Sweden as the Swedes do.
Whilst you’re in the city, there are a few must-sees to put on your itinerary. Here’s the top five attractions for you to take in while you’re in town.
One of the oldest castles in Sweden, Västerås slott has parts of its structure that date back to the 12th century. The castle played an important part in Swedish history, becoming embroiled in bloody battles and acting as a stronghold during the Union struggles in the country in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. It was while the Swedish court was held in Västerås that the ties with the Catholic Church in Rome were cut, making Sweden a Protestant country.
Today, you can book a guided tour of the castle and see where Swedish Royals lived and died in stately style. The castle now houses the city Governor’s residence, to which visitors are only allowed limited access.
The Västerås museum of art
Located next to Västerås town hall, the museum is situated in the late 19th century town courthouse.
The museum has an extensive collection of art from across Sweden. With a focus primarily on contemporary art, the museum has a permanent collection and regularly hosts temporary exhibitions on a range of themes. The art on show gives a different slant on Swedish life and culture.
The museum is open every day except Monday, and is open late on Thursdays until 8pm.
The most central lake beach from Västerås, Lögarängenis only about ten minutes away from the centre of the city. It’s very popular with locals, who often go here at the weekends for a swim with family and friends.
The pretty beach is backed by an open grassy meadow, which is perfect for a picnic. Take some sandwiches from the town and a blanket and enjoy a pleasant afternoon watching the world go by.
Open air museum
The open-air museum in Västerås is a folk museum, the like of which is popular across Sweden and Scandinavia in general. The museum park is vast and throughout is dotted with typical homes from different parts of Sweden. The homes are rebuilt on the site and include the types of wooden houses occupied by the vast majority of regular working Swedes all the way through to a grand luxury home, the like of which would have been owned and occupied by a more wealthy land-owning Swede.
The museum is open to all and free to attend.
Lake Mälaren boat trip
From the eastern harbour of Lake Mälaren, you can take a boat trip across the lake to see the city from the water. The most regular and by far the most popular boat to take is the old steamer, the Elba, which takes in a number of the islands in the lake should you choose to visit.
The trip gives you the opportunity to swim if you want to, or just ride along and relax with the sights of the shores of Mälaren laid out before you.
Although it might not be the first place to come to mind when planning a trip to Sweden, Västerås is bound to become more popular. Västerås is a great place for camping, purchase your camping equipment from an online store such as Outdoor World Direct. Check-out these Vasteras holiday flats to plan your stay. With plenty of attractions and a quiet, relaxed feel, the city is just waiting for its tourist boom so best get in quick!
Image Credits: Wikipedia 1 & 2.