Exploring Sweden – Mariefred, Södermanland

Looking for a getaway? Visit Mariefred – one of the pearls in the region of Södermanland! This is one of the summer getaways that on a sunny summer day will look like something from a book. Boasting with a fantastic view over lake Mälaren and the old castle of Gripsholm almost untouched by time this is a town which will make a visit worth your while.

We visited this town on a cloudy Saturday in June. The tourist season had not yet begun and the threatening clouds kept the visitors away. We found that Mariefred is great for walking, so bring comfy shoes and an umbrella just in case.

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Mariefred: A Short History

Mariefred is mostly famous for its castle, the Castle of Gripsholm. It was on a small islet that Bo Jonsson Grip built a fortress in the 1370s. This fortress was later taken over by Gustav Vasa and it was reconstructed several times before it became a royal castle, There was a convent nearby as well. The city was given city rights in 1605.

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What To See And Do in Mariefred

There are according to us four main attractions in the town. There is the town itself; one can easily pass a couple of hours admiring the small stores, galleries, and restaurants that are housed in old wooden buildings. There is also a historical railway that is still linking Mariefred with Läggesta.

There are the walks along the coast of the lake. Theoretically the walk is endless, we opted for a shorter walk. There are several ice cream stands and kiosks on the promenade.

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There is the royal reserve of deer, where a walk most certainly will include the sight of the majestic animals. The walk around the reserve is approximately.. and there is the possibility to bring a picnic or have a barbecue. The paths are comfortable to walk on, so one can bring children for instance.

Last but not least there is the main sight of the town; the castle of Gripsholm. It’s difficult to miss it, it stands right next to the centre of the town and it is big. A lot of Swedish castles are quite boring, reminding more of mansions than anything else. This one is one of those castles that will make you dream back to all the fairy tales you heard during childhood. The castle is located on a small islet, which means that it isn’t surrounded by huge parks. The area around the castle, however, is very nice for a walk.

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Getting to Mariefred

The driving distance to Mariefred from 5 major Swedish cities are according to Google Maps.

From Stockholm – 70 kilometers (53 min)
From Gothenburg – 417 kilometers (4 h 37 min)
From Malmö – 611 kilometers (6 h 19 min)
From Luleå – 938 kilometers (10 h 53 min)
From Linköping – 197 kilometers (2 h 1 min)

By car – Turn of E20 at Läggesta, between Södertälje and Strängnäs and continue the last kilometers towards Mariefred.
By train – From Stockholm take the train towards Eskilstuna, if going from Eskilstuna or Strängnäs take the train towards Stockholm. Get of at the station in Läggesta from where there are local green buses going to Mariefred.
By boat – During summer time there are boats from Stockholm taking around 3h and 30 minutes.

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Read more about what to do and see at Strängnäs kommun – Turism >>

Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden

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