A stunning Swedish coastal city, located on the shores of Mälaren Lake, Västerås offers a mixture of modern city attractions and traditional historical spots. Visit the largest prehistoric burial mound or explore the history of Swedish retail giant H&M. Västerås invites you in with is relaxed charm, beautiful nature and interesting attractions.
Västerås Cathedral is one of the city’s best recognized landmarks. The first church was founded in this place back in the 13th century. The magnificent church standing today was built in Scandinavian Gothic style and was extensively renovated in 1960s. During renovations, new modern pieces were installed and the interior is now an interesting mix of old treasures and modern art pieces. See the 163 intact gravestones located in the cathedral, among which is also the grave of Eric XIV, Swedish King from the 16th century.
Visit the largest prehistoric burial mound in Sweden – Anundshög. Spreading over 64 meters in diameter and raising nine meters tall, Anundshög was an important trading and meeting area during the Iron Ages. The area was inhabited between 500 BC to around 1050 AD, and it is counted as one of the richest areas for archaeological findings in the country. See the stunning ship setting memorial, a typical Nordic monument, with stones set in the form of a ship. The largest one, of the five restored, measures 53 meters in length and 16 meters in width.
Old Town – Kyrkbacken
Kyrkbacken is one of the oldest parts of Västerås. Walk around and explore the small cobbled stone streets and see the traditional colorful houses, made of wood and stone. In the past, the area was the northern border of the city and housed poor and outcast inhabitants of Västerås. After the Second World War, the debate started on whether to protect or destroy the area. The picturesque village thankfully underwent restoration, and today is home to many local artists.
Djäkneberget is a beautiful park in the city center. The park stretches over 12 hectares of land and is located on a hill overlooking the city. Stroll around and enjoy the beautiful sights, including views of the Cathedral, City Hall and Mälaren Lake. The park was designed in the 19th century by a lecturer from nearby school Sam Lidman. Across the park he placed many different quotes, written on the stone. Today there are almost 500 inscriptions, among them also notes from the last two kings of Sweden, written on their visit to the park.
Skultuna is one of the suburbs of Västerås, situated around 10 kilometers north of the city center. The area is known for brassworks, as well as hosting one of the oldest industry sites in the country. Skultuna Brassworks, founded in the 17th century, still occupies the same place since its start. The charming valley, rich with history, hosts factory shops, museums and cafés. Join a guided tour and see different parts of brasswork production.
Stop for a fika
Fika is one of the best known Swedish customs and has a long and treasured history. Fika entails taking a break, enjoying a warm cup of coffee together with a sweet treat. Swedish specialities are cinnamon buns, though cardamom buns are popular as well. The concept is deeply rooted in Swedish culture and it has transcended boarders to spread among tourists visiting the country. Västerås offers numerous cafés, so on your walk around the city find a perfect place, settle down and enjoy your little piece of heaven.
Vallby Open Air Museum
Vallby is one of the largest open air museums in Sweden, featuring around 40 buildings from the region. The museum was opened in 1921 to present different lifestyles in Västmanland, both current and past. Explore different surroundings – farm village, city quarter, manor house, homes of the ironmaster and village school. Vallby Museum also includes live exhibitions, with animals and plans typical of the surroundings. During summer months, Vallby hosts different cultural events.
The wonderful Västerås Castle, located in the city center, dates back to the 13th century. The castle’s current form was built in the 16th century by King Gustav Vasa. The Vasa dynasty has a rich history with the castle. King Gustav’s son and successor, Eric XIV, was imprisoned in the castle for more than a year, under concerns of mental instability. The unfortunate king was deposed and later murdered, before his body was buried at Västerås Cathedral.
Västerås Aviation Museum
Västerås Aviation Museum (Flygmuseum) is a fantastic aircraft museum, located in an old hangar from the 1930s. The museum is housed next to Stockholm Västerås Airport, where every year in May the 25 exhibited planes take off for a stunning aviation show. Enjoy the interactive exhibitions and explore Swedish air history. Become a pilot for a day and test out one of the five flight simulators in the museum, one classic from the 1920s and four modern ones.
Explore the History of H&M
Västerås is the birthing place of one of the giants of international fashion – H&M. Erling Persson opened the first store in the city just after the Second World War, back in 1947. In the beginning, the Hennes store only sold women’s clothing. Twenty years down the line Erling acquired Mauritz Widforrs, which sold men’s outfit, resulting in a new name – Hennes & Mauritz, or H&M for short. The current store in the city is only a few blocks away from the very first one.
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