Kalmar Slott

Top choice in Småland

Fairy-tale turrets, a drawbridge, a foul dungeon and secret passages…Kalmar Slott has everything that a proper castle should. This dominant Renaissance stronghold was once the most important building in the land and is appropriately fortified outside and sumptuously furnished inside. You're free to wander around the castle as you please, but the engaging and fun hour-long guided tours (at least one a day, at 11.30am) included in your admission fee really help you appreciate the significance of this magnificent relic.

Of the many highlights to be discovered, King Erik’s chamber is a real scene-stealer – Erik’s rivalry with his brother Johan was so great that he installed a secret passage in the loo! There’s also a superb suspended ceiling in the Golden Hall; mesmerising wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling marquetry in the Chequered Hall; an elaborate bed, stolen as war booty then carefully vandalised so that no Danish ghosts could haunt it; and a delightful chapel, one of Sweden’s most wanted for weddings. Visiting exhibitions add to the whole experience.