Must see attractions in Jämtland & the Bothnian Coast

  • Top ChoiceSights in Luleå

    Gammelstad

    The Unesco World Heritage–listed Gammelstad, Sweden's largest church town, was the medieval centre of northern Sweden. The 1492-built stone Nederluleå church has a reredos worthy of a cathedral and a wonderfully opulent pulpit. It has 420 wooden houses (where the pioneers stayed during weekend pilgrimages) and six church stables remaining. Guided tours (80kr) leave from the Gammelstad tourist office at 11am, 1pm and 3pm (mid-June to mid-August). Bus 9 runs hourly from Luleå; disembark at the Kyrkbyn stop. Adjoining the church village is an open-air museum, Hägnan (open 11am to 5pm), a recreation of a 19th-century village, staffed by guides in period costume, which houses an ‘olde tyme’ country store.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Östersund

    Jamtli

    Jamtli, 1km north of the centre, consists of two parts: the open-air museum, comprising painstakingly reconstructed wooden buildings, complete with enthusiastic guides wearing 19th-century period costume; and the indoor museum, home to the Överhogdal Tapestries, the oldest of their kind in Europe – Christian Viking relics from AD 1100 that feature animals, people, ships and dwellings. Another fascinating display is devoted to Storsjöodjuret (the lake monster), including taped interviews with those who claim they have seen it, monster-catching gear and a pickled monster embryo. Outside, you can stroll the paths around the bakery, smithy, woodman’s cottage and 18th-century farm, and take part in milking, baking, tree felling and more. Kids can get acquainted with different farm animals, run wild in the playground or ride a children’s railway. The museum is located around a 10-minute walk from the centre along Kyrkgatan; alternatively you can hop on bus 2, which also departs from Kyrkgatan.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Bothnian Coast

    Bonnstan

    During the Protestant reformation in Sweden in the 16th century, church attendance was demanded of all parishioners, and later in 1861, a regulation ordering it was introduced. Church towns built up to house those who lived too far away to attend church on a day trip. Skellefteå's Bonnstan, a kyrkstad (church town), was one of 47 in the Norrbotten and Västerbotten counties and has been well preserved. There are 114 dark buildings containing 376 rooms. It's fascinating stroll through these legally protected streets.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Bothnian Coast

    Västerbottens Museum

    The star of the Gammlia museum complex, the engrossing Västerbottens Museum traces the history of the province from prehistoric times to today. Exhibitions include an impressive ski-through-the ages collection starring the world’s oldest ski (around 5400 years old), and an exploration of Sami rock art. The museum hosts excellent temporary exhibitions as well as regular workshops and activities for children. You'll also find a quality cafe specialising in organic fare. Catch bus 2 or 7 or walk 1km from the train station.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Bothnian Coast

    Stenstan Visitor Centre

    This incredibly high-tech multimedia museum shares space with the tourist office at the Stadhus on the central square of Storatorget. Besides showing films of the 1888 fire and its aftermath, it features touch-screen tables and picture frames that allow you to follow the reconstruction of central Sundsvall through old photos, and information on each rebuilt building such as the background of the architect and original drawings. The centre's technology is now being exported to museums around the world.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Östersund

    Mus-Olles Museum

    If you're into collections of stuff, this is the place to come, about 34km northwest of Östersund and1 km north of the E14. Per-Olov Nilson was a charismatic collector extraordinaire who first opened his museum in 1906. He hoarded more than 150,000 objects, including 25,000 related to packaging, then formed a trust, which now operates the museum, to run things once he died (in 1955). This fascinating museum, including a cafe and various buildings, is on Per-Olov's old property.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Bothnian Coast

    Hälsinglands Museum

    The Hälsinglands Museum covers local history, culture and art, including a recreated cottage interior with traditional painted furniture and costumes from the region. Highlights are the eerily illuminated medieval church art, including a particularly striking Madonna carved by local artist Haaken Gulleson, the Malsta rune stone from around AD 1000, engraved with the Helsinge runic script, and changing contemporary art exhibitions.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Bothnian Coast

    Guitars – The Museum

    If you're into the six-string, then this result of two brothers' lifelong hobby, a huge collection of vintage guitars, is for you. Want to see a 1959 Les Paul Standard, identical to the one on which Keith Richards played the 'It's All Over Now' riff? They've got it. Or perhaps a 1958 Gibson Flying V, made famous by ZZ Top?

  • Top ChoiceSights in Jämtland

    Kabinbanan

    Bringing you almost to the top of Mt Åreskutan, this gondola is worth taking for the awesome views alone. The seven-minute ride departs from behind Åre’s main square and whisks you up to a viewing platform (1274m) complete with Åre’s most expensive cafe. Hike up to the peak from there.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Bothnian Coast

    Mackmyra Whisky

    Mackmyra Svensk Whisky, established in 1999 as the first Scandinavian malt-whisky distillery, offers tasting sessions that must be booked in advance via the website. You'll find the distillery, warehouse, and visitor center with restaurant just outside Gävle.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Bothnian Coast

    Älgens Hus

    This moose park, 70km west of Umeå along Rte 92, near Bjurholm, is your chance to meet the (tame) King of the Forest face to face. In Swedish, these are elk, but English-speakers know these giants as moose. There's a museum, video explanations of a year in the life of a moose, and even a small dairy where the ultra-rare moose cheese is produced; at 6000kr per kilogram, this is the most expensive cheese you’ll ever taste.

  • Sights in The Bothnian Coast

    Museum of Tornio Valley

    This museum, only a 200m walk from Haparanda's Tourist Office and into Finland, showcases Tornio Valley culture and history on both sides of the Swedish–Finnish border. There's lots of pictorial and film material, plus exhibits on cross-border marriages, trade and smuggling. Keep in mind that the entrance fee is in euros and there's a one-hour time difference as you wander over to this interesting Haparanda–Tornio collaboration of a museum.

  • Sights in The Bothnian Coast

    Kulturmagasinet

    Down near the harbour, Kulturmagasinet is a magnificent restoration of some old warehouses and now contains the town library and Sundsvall Museum, which has engaging exhibits on the history of Sundsvall, natural history and geology. There’s a permanent art exhibition upstairs featuring 20th-century Swedish artists and superb temporary exhibitions.

  • Sights in Jämtland

    Åre Bergbana

    This lovely old mountain railway was completed in 1910 along with the first ski lifts in Åre. These days, the funicular is run by SkiStar during winter and Hotel Fjällgården keeps it operating in the evenings and at other times to get guests to the hotel. The trip takes seven minutes and is included for hotel guests.

  • Sights in Jämtland

    Härjedalens Fjällmuseum

    Härjedalens Fjällmuseum has displays covering the South Sami, who still herd their reindeer in from the nearby Mittådalen and Brändåsen villages, and settlement of this area by local farmers and miners. The adjacent Fornminnesparken open-air section features 19th-century buildings from this area.

  • Sights in Luleå

    Luleå Archipelago

    This extensive offshore archipelago contains over 1700 large and small islands, most of them uninhabited and therefore perfect for skinny-dipping, berry picking, and camping. The larger islands, decorated with classic red-and-white Swedish summer cottages, are accessible by boat from Luleå. Facilities are limited, so most visitors come as picnicking daytrippers.

  • Sights in Östersund

    Frösön

    Large and peaceful Frösön island sits just across the bridge from central Östersund, reachable by road and by footbridge from Badhusparken. The island takes its name from Frö, the pagan god of fertility, worshipped by the Vikings originally resident here. Just across the footbridge, outside Landstingshuset and near the Konsum supermarket, is Sweden’s northernmost rune stone, which commemorates the 1050 arrival of Austmaður or ‘East Man’, the first Christian missionary on Frösön.

  • Sights in The Bothnian Coast

    Alnö Gamla Kyrka

    This magnificent church, a mixture of 12th- and 15th-century styles, sits 2km north of the bridge (at Vi) on Alnö island, just east of Sundsvall. The upper wall and ceiling paintings, likely done by one of Albertus Pictor’s pupils, have survived intact. Even better is the late-11th-century carved wooden font across the road; the upper part combines Christian and Viking symbolism, while the lower part shows beasts that embody evil. Catch bus 1 to Vi, then walk 1km north.

  • Sights in The Bothnian Coast

    Sveriges Järnvägsmuseet

    Inside Gävle’s former engine shed, this excellent museum traces the history of the railway in Sweden through seriously hands-on displays. Besides numerous old locomotives and carriages that you can clamber inside (including the 1859 hunting coach belonging to King Karl XV), there are collections of miniature trains, an X2000 simulator, toy railways, and a small railway for kids to ride. To get here, walk to the southern end of Muréngatan, and then follow the cycle path to the museum.

  • Sights in The Bothnian Coast

    Umedalens Skulpturpark

    For more than two decades, eminent Swedish and international artists have exhibited their works in Umedalsparken, 5km west of the centre. Through those years, Balticgruppen, the owner of the compound, has purchased 44 sculptures that form the permanent collection that can be seen today. Take bus 1 to the Glädjens gränd stop. The park is in the grounds of a former psychiatric hospital, built in 1930. Go anytime, but guided tours must be pre-booked – see the website for details.