Kalmar, Sweden May 10, 2020 A woman sits on a wall on the grounds of the Kalmar Castle.; Shutterstock ID 1728247585; your: Sloane Tucker; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI

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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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Småland attractions

1. Kalmar Konstmuseum

0.16 MILES

The striking Kalmar Konstmuseum can be found in the park near Kalmar Slott. While it doesn't have a permanent collection, its striking galleries usually…

2. Krusenstiernska Gården

0.39 MILES

Krusenstiernska Gården is a 19th-century middle-class home around 500m from the entrance to Kalmar Slott that seems to be delightfully stuck in a timewarp…

3. Kalmar domkyrka

0.59 MILES

Home to a spectacular pulpit, the baroque Domkyrkan was designed by Tessin, King Karl X Gustav’s favourite architect.

4. Kalmar läns museum

0.72 MILES

The highlight of this fine museum, in an old steam mill by the harbour, are finds from the 17th-century flagship Kronan. The ship exploded and sank just…

5. Kalmar Sjöfartsmuseum

0.78 MILES

Ah-har, me hearties! Salty sea dogs should line up for this eccentric collection of seafaring memorabilia, with bottled ships, foghorns and all sorts of…

6. Ölands Djurpark

4.76 MILES

A zoo, amusement park and water park combined. Free admission for children under 1m.

7. World of Dinosaurs

5.44 MILES

Kids go gaga for the massive monsters of the past in this gargantuan indoor Dino Museum about 10km west of Kalmar. While it's not quite Jurassic Park and…

8. Gråborg


The largest Iron Age ring fort in Sweden, Gråborg was built as the Roman Empire was crumbling. Its impressively monumental walls measure 640m around, even…