Norrköping is a beautiful city with an amazing waterscape, a well-preserved old industrial landscape, and many restaurants, parks and museums. The city centre and most hotels are located about 10-15 minutes walk from the train station.
The very best thing to do in Norrköping is taking a long walk and experience the sights and food along the way! Few european cities can boast such a well-preserved industrial landscape as Norrköping. Strolling through this historic landscape right in the city centre is fantastic! Magnificent factory buildings and chimneys, lock systems with rapids and waterfalls, riverwalks and enticing bridges! Museums, restaurants and shops are now nestled in the old houses where the Norrköping dwellers used to toil for centuries.
If you have more time, check out the cactus display, museum of art or why not take a guided tour on the old tram.
Norrköping is a fantastic place to try Swedish cuisine and specialties. You’ll find great recommendations under ‘Eating & Drinking’.
Walking Tour through the Industrial Landscape
Spinning mills, cotton factories and a variety of other industries were established along the rapids of Motala Ström from the 17th century and onwards. It was water power from the river and the good harbour that made very rapid industrial growth possible. Especially the textile industry boomed, which is why Norrköping has acquired the nickname “Sweden’s Manchester”. The last thumping from the looms was heard in the mid 1970’s, and these days none of the impressive factory buildings are used the way they were intended. The city has put a lot of resources into preserving this area with beautiful walkways along the water and several interesting museums. The old buildings also house a number of great restaurants and cafes.
You can easily spend half a day or more immersing yourself in this historic landscape. It has it all! The self-guided walk is only three kilometres, but there is so much to see. Allow yourself plenty of time for stops to enjoy delicious Swedish food, visit the museums and take in the views.
You’ll find more details about the different cafes, restaurants and bars under ‘Eating & Drinking’. You can of course walk any direction you like, make the loop shorter or longer, and pick and choose what sounds interesting!
Note! Many establishments close for Midsummer June 21st, sometimes also the 22nd.
This clock tower from 1750 is the entrance to the Industrial Landscape. It serves as a symbol for the site where Holmen Works operated since the early 17th century. The original function was to clearly separate the works from the rest of the city, as well as house archives and offices.
A munitions factory was built here in 1609 which was the start of Holmen Works. Over the next decades Louis De Geer, Sweden’s “father of industrialism” expanded the company into an empire of flour mills, ironworks, paperworks and a brass foundry. All the old buildings burnt down in 1719 when the Russians torched the whole city during war-time, but the prominent Holmen Tower was reconstructed along with many factories.
Louis De Geer Concert Hall
Next to Holmen Tower by the river you’ll find the site of industry magnate Louis De Geer’s paperworks. The present building is quite new, from 1952, but most of the interior of the previous paper factory has been preserved throughout the new structure. It’s now one of Sweden’s most beautiful concert and conference halls.
Restaurant “Kråkholmen” serves a lunch buffet with fantastic views of of the waterfall and rapids below. Note! See ‘Eating & Drinking’ for details.
Concerts and shows: louisdegeer.se/evenemang/
If you go to the riverside of the concert hall, you’ll find a staircase down to a walking bridge that’ll take you right by the famous waterfalls.
The Cotton Mill
Walk along the waterfront next to the huge terracotta coloured brick building on your left. The house was built by Holmen Works and used as a cotton mill in the 1850s. It became the largest and most impressive industrial building in all of Norrköping. Five stories high with gas lighting and elevators, it was the epitome of modernity at the time! In 1998 it was converted into a university building.
When you reach the little walking bridge you’ll see the old steam plant with its chimneys straight ahead. It was built between 1927-1930 and is a good example of 1920s neoclassical architecture with yellow facades and high narrow windows. The building used to house three coal-fuelled boilers that provided Holmen’s textile and paper factories with heat and steam. It was no doubt a very tough work environment! These days the “Heat Church”, if you translate it from Swedish, is an arena for entertainment and conferences.
The Ironing Board and Holmens Museum
Cross the walking bridge to the “Ironing Board”. So named because of the adjacent seven-cornered building that looks like an iron. Holmen’s Museum is located on the ground floor with displays of manual paper manufacturing. This is the same site where the first paper makers toiled in the 17th century. The present building used to house a textile mill and was surrounded by flour mills, a smith’s hammer, a weapons factory. Salmon and eels were caught in large quantities in the river.
Address: Laxholmstorget 3
Phone: +46 11 12 89 92
Opening hours: Tuesday & Thursday 09.00-12.30
There is an italian restaurant “Enoteket” in the Ironing Board building with great views of the waterfall.
“The Iron” and the Museum of Work
Next to the Ironing Board you’ll aptly find “the Iron”. This very unusual building with seven corners was constructed to use every inch of the small islet in the river. The Iron used to be a cotton factory and is by far the most famous building in the Norrköping. These days you’ll find the Museum of Work here, with exhibitions about the life of the workers. You can for example follow textile worker Alva Carlsson, who spent 35 years working in the Cotton Factory in this very building.
Restaurant “VY” up top has the best view of the city and is a perfect stop for a lunch break. Note! See ‘Eating & Drinking’ for details.
Phone: +46 11 18 98 00
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 09.00-17.00 Saturday-Sunday 11.00-17.00. Thursdays 11.00-20.00
Walk across the little bridge “Laxholmsbron” to get back to the mainland. From the bridge can peer at the chimney by artist Jan Svenungsson. Its placement is quite unique in the middle of the river. Svenungason has spent many years building chimneys as art installations across the world. He has made nine to date, and the one here in Norrköping is his fifth.
Visualization Center C
Take a right after the bridge and continue walking down “Kvarnsgatan”, and hang another right on “Kungsgatan” until you reach the Visualization Centre. Three old factory buildings have been transformed into a super modern centre for digital science. Admission to exhibitions is free, you can for example go on a journey into the world of scientific imagery. See how visualization makes the invisible visible in a number of different areas from medicine, statistics and astronomy to special effects in film and computer games.
There is a 3D dome for shows in 360 ° (tickets are 110 SEK). English language track is provided upon request.
In front of the centre is you’ll see the surrounding locks and rapids and find a walkway to the bridge “Bergsbron”. There is a little observation deck on the bridge with a beautiful view of the “Iron” building and the river. If you’re opting for a shorter loop you can cross the bridge to the other side. We’re going to continue on the southern side for a little while longer though, so head back the way you came and turn right on “Norra Grytsgatan”
Address: Kungsgatan 54
Phone: +46 11 15 63 00
Opening hours: Monday-Wednesday 08.00-16.00 Thursday 08.00-20.00 Friday 08.00-16.00 Saturday-Sunday 11.00-16.00
The Statue of Moa Martinson
On your right handside right along the river you’ll find a powerful bronze statue of the beloved Swedish author Moa Martinson. She was active in the first half of the 19th century and portrayed
conditions of the working class, especially the hard life of working class women. The statue is placed right in the quarter where her mother used to toil in the textile factories.
The backdrop is a beautiful view of a still part of the river and the majestic factory buildings on the other side mirrored in the water Continue around the little bend of “Korsgatan” and take a right in between the brick buildings to the wooded pathway and the bridge “Dragsbron”.
The Drags Area
There is a flurry of water activity around the narrow “Dragsbron” with many locks. The name “drags” originates from centuries ago when boats would be hauled, or “dragged”,
over a neck of land between two streams, right next to the waterfalls. The buildings date from the late 1800s, however woollen cloth has been produced here for more than 300 years.
Once you cross the bridge a fantastic riverside walk awaits back down the river. Follow the pathway as it curls along the river until you reach the bridge “Bergsbron”.
The “Love Park”
Take a little break when you reach the plaza where “Bredgatan”, “Kungsgatan” and the bridge “Bergsbron” meet. There is a lovely little park next to the river. The park has has an air of the olden days with red wooden houses, traditional perennials and cast iron details. It’s a great place to enjoy the afternoon sun on one of the many benches.
Norrköping City Museum
Stroll through the Love Park and follow the path along the river to reach the best museum for learning more about the history of Norrköping’s impressive industrial history. The building, located right on the waterway, was once a textile and dyeing mill and has a very interesting interior with many twists and turns. Admission is free. There are many different exhibitions throughout the year. One of the most popular ones is the reconstruction of the old artisan shops – milliner, shoemaker, barber etc, as well as working industrial looms which can sometimes be seen in action. The Museum also houses a gift shop that sells cloth with patterns from times long gone.
Phone: +46 11 15 26 20
Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 11.00-17.00 Saturday-Sunday 11.00-16.00
Knäppingen Brewery & Restaurant
Walk Holmsbrogränd from the museum to “Västgötegatan”, close to where the streets intersect you’ll find the fantastic restaurant and brewery “Knäppingen”. It’s located in a 200 year old classic “Gathus” – a long house for living quarters that often stretches a whole block, with a courtyard and rear houses inside the street facade. Wealthier people lived in the street house and poorer people lived in the rear house.
Knäppingen is a casual fun place that brews their own beer and serve meat-forward delicious dishes. Highly recommended! Note! See ‘Eating & Drinking’ for details.
Continue east on “Västgötegatan”, which by the way is the only street in Norrköping that retains the same route as in Medeaval days. You will pass a very traditional Swedish pastry shop called “Mjölnaren”. It closes in late afternoon. Note! See ‘Eating & Drinking’ for details. Further along the street, on the left hand side you can observe Ståhlbom’s Mill. It was built in 1925 with an ingenious system of conveyors and gullies.
The River Park “Strömparken”
As you’re walking down “Västgötegatan”, you’ll eventually cross the bridge “Järnbron”. On the other side of the bridge you’ll find the rather large park that stretches along the river. It was built in 1922 from rocks that were extracted from the river during construction of a power station. At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century a bath house was located here. These days you can find a stream with a fish ladder at the far end of the park, allowing migrating salmon etc to bypass dams and power stations. Follow the loop around the park until you reach “Knäppingsborgsgatan”.
The Knäppingsborg Quarter
This is one of the most charming places in Norrköping and the perfect place to end your walking tour through the industrial landscape. The Knäppingsborg Quarters date from the the 18th century and has a long history of flour and snuff manufacturing. Nowadays it’s an idyllic and busy district with fantastic restaurants and cozy cafes, often with outdoor seating in the courtyard. There are also genuine artisan shops with locally produced delicacies and crafts. There are entrances to the quarter from “Knäppingsborgsgatan”, “Gamla Rådstugegatan” and “Skolgatan”.
A few of the establishments in Knäppingsborg:
Bagarstugan Brasseri & Bageri (restaurant and bakery)
Kvarterskrogen Asken (restaurant and bar)
Coffee in Knäppingsborg (coffee shop)
Note! See ‘Eating & Drinking’ for details.
Lindhs te & kaffe (tea and coffee)
Norins ost & delikatesser (cheese and deli)
Reuterwalls kött -och fiskaffar (meat and fish)
Noor of Sweden (locally deseigned fashion for women)
Vera design & interior (interior design)
Not far from the Knäppingsborg Quarters on the old square you’ll find a highly recommended restaurant and bar with long traditions of Swedish cuisine at its best. Lagerqvist offer a renowned house-made schnapps made from a 19th century recipe. Note! See ‘Eating & Drinking’ for details.
The famous Cactus Display in Norrköping changes annually and is located in Karl Johans Park, in the very heart of the city. There has been a cactus display here since the year 1900. Around 25 000 cactus plants are laid out in June of each year, creating a colourful and stimulating sight that is always unique, as the design is never the same from year to year.
Address: Located only a couple of minutes walk from the train station at Drottninggatan/Slottsgatan
At the beginning of the last century the locals would take a pleasure ride on the trams. This activity is still popular today and many visitors enjoy a ride on the yellow trams, especially in the summer when the Old No. One is brought into service. Take a guided tour around Norrköping on one of the trams (60 Skr per person).
Address: Söder Tull, at the crossing Drottninggatan/Nygatan.
Admission: 60 SEK
Dates and time: 18,00 and 18.30 on 9 July, 16 July, 23 July, 25 July, 30 July, 1 Aug, 6 Aug, 8 Aug
Normally held in Swedish, but groups can request the tour in English by contacting Upplev Norrköping +46 11 15 50 00.
Museum of Art
Norrköping Art Museum (Norrköpings Konstmuseum) has one of Sweden’s foremost collections of paintings and sculptures. The main focus is Swedish modernism. The museum also has a graphics collection that is one of the largest in the country.
Admission: Always free to the collection. Admission to certain, costly exhibitions.
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 12.00-16.00 Wednesday 12.00-20.00
Eating & Drinking
Swedish cuisine is fantastic. Clean simple flavours, food made from scratch with seasonal and local ingredients. Lots of fish, shrimp and pork, root vegetables, lemon, butter and fresh herbs like dill & parsley. All kinds of freshly baked rustic breads, often from rye, spelt or wholewheat. These days restaurants often serve beer from microbreweries from the region, mainly Lagers, but also darker beers and IPAs.
There are lots of restaurants in Norrköping with food from all over the world – the following recommendations focus on Swedish cuisine, high quality food and outdoor seating. Service in Sweden can sometimes be a lil lacklustre compared to many other countries. Keep this in mind and enjoy the yummy food instead. In many places you’ll order your food at the counter, only higher end restaurants usually offer table service.
Note! Many establishments close for Midsummer June 21st, sometimes also the 22nd.
Fancy dinner attire is usually not a big deal in Norrköping, you can dine in casual clothes also in higher end restaurants.
Knäppingen Brewery & Restaurant
A fantastic casual restaurant with their own brewery. Knäppingen focuses on all the right things, simple super delicious food made from the best ingredients and great beers.
A few examples:
Board with cold cuts and cheese, perfect to share as a late afternoon snack, accompanied with their house-brewed beer.
Dinner mains: Classic Swedish seafood stew. Smoked pork belly with creamy celeriac, red wine sauce and amandine potatoes. Different kinds of burgers. (150-250 SEK)
Outdoor seating: yes
Address: Västgötegatan 19 (Industrial Landscape)
Phone: +46 11 10 74 45
Opening hours: Tuesday-Thursday 16:00-23:00 Friday 16:00-01:00 Saturday 12:00-01:00. Kitchen closes at 22.00.
Great restaurant and bar serving up delicious Swedish cuisine. Menu changes often using seasonal ingredients. Open for lunch and dinner. Also has a “back pocket”, a simpler bistro in the old vault.
A few examples:
Lunch: fresh whitefish with capers, horseradish, egg, onions, browned butter and potato puré (120 SEK)
Dinner mains: Venison filet with potato cake, pickled endive, roasted pumpkin puré and truffel jus. Crispy trout with potato pancake, smoked trout roe, kale and lemon creme. (240-300 SEK)
Outdoor seating: yes
Address: Skolgatan 1 (Industrial Landscape)
Phone: +46 11 18 00 20
Opening hours lunch: Monday-Friday 11.30-13.30
Opening hours dinner: Monday-Thursday 17.00-22.00, kitchen closes 21.00 Friday 17.00-late, kitchen closes 22.00. Saturday 12.00-late, kitchen closes 22.00.
Opening hours “back pocket”: Monday-Friday from 17.00 Saturdays 12.00-late.
Highly recommended restaurant in a historic building with exquisite Swedish cuisine, many very classic fine dining Swedish dishes made to perfection. Serves house-made Schnapps stored in oak barrels from an 1800s recipe. In the summertime Lagerqvist opens its charming courtyard Trädgår’n