Another pearl among the Swedish towns and cities is Örebro. The city is located beautifully at the stream Svartån just at the western shores of lake Hjälmaren, Sweden’s fourth largest lake. It is a city with a long history of being the center of Scandinavia, standing where the roads between Stockholm, Gothenburg and Oslo meet.
As Susann had been talking about visiting Örebro for a long time and we had been looking for ways to travel there. Eventually we decided to include it in our road trip. Read more about our sunny trip here >>
With a population of around 107.000 it is Sweden’s sixth largest city, just a few thousand inhabitants behind Västerås. It is the seat of both Örebro Municipality and Örebro County, and it is part of the traditional province of Närke.
Örebro is a diverse city with immigrants from around 165 different countries. Many students come to the city to study at its university. Everyone who visits the city receives a splendid greeting when they enter the center of Örebro. The old castle offers an amazing view from where it is standing at the shores of Svartån.
Örebro: A Short History
Örebro received its name from an old bridge. A long time ago it was built over the stream Svartån and was named Örebron. The bridge, together with seven important roads nearby, created good circumstances for the creation of a town in the area.
The importance of the city grew from the 12th century onwards. The city has been an important town for the rulers due to its location in the center of the country. A fortress was built at the location of today’s Örebro Castle in the 1350’s. It was later extended to a castle.
During the 16th century the number of inhabitants grew to around 600 and several sessions of the court were held in the city. The castle was also once more rebuilt into a more mordern renaissance castle by the Swedish king Karl IX.
The 18th of July 1812 a peace agreement was signed in Örebro. The event took place in a house that was later named Fredshuset, the House of Peace in English. The agreement in question sealed the peace between Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as between Russia and the United Kingdom. This created the conditions needed for the defeat of Napoleon I in the Napoleon wars. An interesting fact about the war between Sweden and the United Kingdom is that the war was a result of a declaration of war forced upon Sweden by Napoleon I. Consequently it was a war in which no bullets were fired between the belligerents.
5 Things to Do In Örebro
The castle is the main sight in the city. It is located in the center, on a small island right in the middle of the stream Svartån. It is one of the more majestic castles we have seen in Sweden together with Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred. The medieval castle fortification has had several functions throughout history. For more than 200 years it has been the official residence of the county governor. Parts of the castle are open to the public, with art, music, food, exhibitions, guided tours, conferences, and lots more.
Wadköping Open Air Museum
The open air museum is located next to the city park and it’s the home to many old buildings brought here from the area around Örebro. Most of these buildings are from the 14th and 15th centuries. The museum was opened in 1965, the same year the city celebrated its 700-year anniversary. Here you can walk around and between the old buildings, while enjoying the picturesque atmosphere. Take the chance to do some shopping in the traditional shops or just enjoy a cup of coffee or an ice cream in one of the quaint cafés.
A boat trip along Svartån and further out on lake Hjälmaren
This is something we didn’t have time for during our visit to the city. But considering the beauty of the area we can only assume that this would be a highlight for anyone who has a bit more time to spare. Traveling along Svartån takes you past most of the city of Örebro as well as some locks that help the boats with the shifting highs along the stream.
A Day at the City Park (Stadsparken)
The city park. A cozy park just next to Svartån and Wadköping. Here you will find everything from playgrounds to cafés. There are also tennis courts and several gardens. In 2004 the park was elected the most beautiful park in Sweden.
Svampen, (the Mushroom in English)
Svampen is a water tower built in 1958 and it is nowadays also used as a lookout tower. The water tower is located a few kilometers from the center and it offers its visitor a great view over Örebro and its surroundings.
The cultural scene in the city is very active. Among other things, it is home to the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. The largest water park in the Nordic countries, Gustavsvik, attracts over 700.000 guests annually. The city also has many sports clubs playing at various levels in the national leagues.
Örebro: How to Get There?
Being one of the major cities in Sweden, Örebro has excellent connections to several other regions in the country. There are good rail and road connections which makes Örebro easily accessible.
Car: Two bigger roads connects Örebro with other large cities in the Nordic countries. To the East E18 connects the city to Västerås and Stockholm and E20 leads to Eskilstuna, Södertälje and Stockholm. To the West E18 connects Örebro with Karlstad and Oslo and E20 continues to Gothenburg.
Bus: There are buses connecting Örebro with most major cities in Sweden. One of the bigger operators is Swebus.
Train: There are trains to several places in Sweden. It is also close to Hallsberg which is a major railway junction.
Flights: There are flights to a few destinations, such as Copenhagen and Malmö. There are also a few charter flights departing from Örebro.
The driving distance to Örebro from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 202 kilometers (1 h 59 min)
Gothenburg – 282 kilometers (3 h 18 min)
Malmö – 502 kilometers (4 h 46 min)
Luleå – 966 kilometers (9 h 48 min)
Linköping – 121 kilometers (1 h 34 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden