Sweden and Kalmar

What to do in Kalmar, Sweden!

Welcome to Kalmar, one of Sweden’s most popular holiday spots during the summer! I would guess this is due to Kalmar’s coastal position and proximity to both Öland and Gotland. So when you next head to Öland, definitely make a stop in Kalmar!

I have been to Kalmar a few times because one of my best friends lives near by. It is a charming city that feels big (by Swedish standards) but is quite small (by global standards). It is the perfect place for a day trip, or as a home-base for day of exploring Öland.

What To Do in Kalmar

Visit Kalmar Castle

The castle is over 800 years old and served as a strategic Swedish defence point between Sweden and Denmark over the many years of power struggles between the countries. The design you will see today came about in the 16th century when it transitioned from a medieval castle to a Renaissance palace.

In addition to protecting Sweden from those pesky Danes and fighting pirates off, Kalmar Castle has long been a key locational of Swedish political events as well, including the signing of the Kalmar Union in 1397, when Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united by Queen Margaret I of Denmark.

What I think is most interesting about this slott is that nothing has changed since 1592! Take an hour out of your day and visit Kalmarslott!

Stop by Kalmar Stadspark and Konstmuseum

Just outside the castle is Kalmar’s City Park, a well-maintained park with a play ground (lekplats) for children. Within the park you will find Kalmar’s art museum (konstmuseum). This contemporary art museum is housed in a cool building, offers tours and workshops, and is a perfect place to pop into if rain suddenly comes pouring down!

Check Out the Kalmar Cathedral

Located in the city’s main square, this cathedral took 43 years to build and was inaugurated in 1682 (before it was technically done). It is a baroque building and was designed by the architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. This cathedral also holds a special place in my heart because it is where my friends Rebecka and Bryan got married on my birthday in 2019!

Tip! Keep an eye out for farmer’s markets in the square around the cathedral!

I would say that Kalmar is most popular in the summer time, but it is also a really cozy city to visit in the winter. I have been twice during the winter season and it doesn’t disappoint – just remember to bring a rain jacket! And as you can see from the first image, it can get pretty cold!

So, will you put Kalmar on your to-visit list? I hope you do!

Fun Facts:

  • Kalmar has a population of 36,000 people.
  • Kalmar has been an established city since the 12th century, and recognized since 1027.
  • Kalmar is located in Småland and is the third largest city there, after Jönköping and Växjö.
  • There is a “kiss stop” by the beach at Kalmarsundsbadet. The pusshållplats (the kiss stop) is a play on the busshållplats (bus stop) signs you will see all over town. So swing by a give your loved ones a smooch!
  • Kiss means “pee” in Swedish, so definitely don’t refer to the “kiss stop” as the kisshållplats unless you want to be directed to the nearest bathroom.

Tess’ Tips:

  • Kalmar is a perfect place for a day trip!
  • Holmgrens Konditori is famous for their almond croissants and has been around since 1885!

Hope you learned some new Swedishness today and I’ll see you in the next post!


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