This guide is for anyone who appreciates historical places that tell something about Uppsala and its area. It is no exaggeration to say that it is teeming with old fine mansions and castles on the plains of Uppland. Buildings that deserve a detour for their beautiful architecture and memorable surroundings. We also provide information about which castles and mansions offer guided tours and other activities.
Salsta Castle - ghost walks in baroque castles
2.5 miles north of Uppsala is Salsta Castle, an impressive baroque castle from 1679. For a long time, only ghosts and ghouls populated the halls at Salsta, but the castle has received a boost recently and woke up from its slumber. Nowadays, visitors can go on guided tours, experience concerts, see art exhibitions and stay one night in the eastern castle pavilion.
The Cosy Salsta Slottscafé is open in the summer and when the autumn darkness falls, hair-raising ghost walks are organised that delve into tales with supernatural elements. Ahead of Christmas, we warmly recommend Salsta Castle’s traditional Christmas market, which focuses on handicrafts. The castle is a highlight along the 8 km long Salstaleden which stretches from Vattholma station to Skyttorps station.
Wik's castle - dating from the 13th century
If you instead set the GPS to 2 miles southwest of Uppsala, you will reach a castle with even older ancestry. When Wik’s castle was built in the 15th century, it had the function of a medieval fortress. In fact, it was one of Mälardalen’s strongest fortresses and is today Central Sweden’s best-preserved late medieval castle.
Wik’s castle, which also houses a folk high school, is run by the Uppsala Region and has become a popular destination for day trips. The main attractions are lunch at Wik’s castle café, the bathing area and walks in Wikparken. The latter is a lush nature park with several cosy paths that take you through deciduous forests, pastures and past apple groves. If you go there with children in tow, you’ll enjoy the Tiptoe Tour, the Cow Builders’ Land and the annual Christmas Market.
Uppsala Castle - a symbol in the middle of the city
Welcome to Uppsala’s most common postcard motif, along with the cathedral. Uppsala Castle’s elevated position means that you can almost always catch a glimpse of the pink facade on the horizon wherever you are in the city. But the castle is more than a beautiful surface. Its content are also exciting.
For example, it houses two interesting museums: Uppsala Art Museum and Vasaborgen. When you have finished looking at the art and learned that Gustav Vasa started building the castle in 1549, you have earned a cup of coffee and something edible. Appropriately, the old vaults under the Art Museum house the Museum Bar & Café.
Guided tours in all their glory, dare to try something different – book a rooftop tour! Yes, you heard right, now you have the chance to walk on the roof of a legendary castle for the first time. Uppsala’s best view is included in the price.
Skokloster Castle – a Swedish palace
On the Skokostler Peninsula on the banks of Lake Mälaren, right on the border with Stockholm County, there is another castle gem to be captivated by. Skokloster’s castle was completed in 1676 and is considered the largest private palace ever built in Sweden. Not bad, but it does not end there. The magnificent architecture, intact interiors and collections also make it one of Europe’s foremost baroque castles.
So, what’s in it for visitors? Discover the museum, go on guided tours, unfurl your picnic blanket in the castle park or have coffee in the Castle Café.
Spa day and Afternoon Tea at Krusenberg
Let’s leave the castles for a while and instead focus on the Uppsala area’s many fine mansions. Along road 255 south towards Knivsta, Krusenberg Mansion has been located since the 17th century with a view of Ekoln’s water. The estate consists of the main building, the wings, the gardener’s residence and the stone magazine. Today, the mansion houses an elegant 4-star hotel with a spa and restaurant. On Saturdays, Afternoon Tea is served in beautiful porcelain and floral cups. An extremely popular feature – make sure to book a table in advance!
Gimo – mill history and nature experiences
Interested in a piece of Swedish industrial history? Gimo has a mill history that dates back to 1615. Among other things, it was home to the famous Walloon forges, which can still be visited. Another remnant from the time as an industrial centre is Gimo Mansion – Sweden’s first Gustavian mansion. Today, the estate, beautifully situated by Lake Gimosjön, is a finer hotel for spa and conference experiences. If you’re just passing through during the day, we recommend that you book a table at the restaurant, challenge the dizziness in the high-altitude course, take a round of disc golf or explore the beautiful surroundings. Only the full splendour of the mansion itself is worth the trip!
Lövstabruk – in the footsteps of the Walloon mills
We continue in the footsteps of the Walloon mills to Lövstabruk, which once could boast the stamp of Sweden’s largest ironworks. Mansion, park, orangery, mill street, church with the famous Cahman organ, studios, mill archives, art exhibitions, guided tours, Christmas markets, café and Barnens Bruk make it easy to fill a day with fun activities at Lövstabruk.
Örbyhus – was Erik XIV poisoned?
Few places in Uppland have been a more important scene for historical events than Örbyhus, 5 miles north of Uppsala. National history was written in 1577 when the deposed king Erik XIV (Gustav Vasa’s son) died here. The question is: was he poisoned? Those who are curious can during the summer season be given guided tours of Erik XIV’s prison, the castle park and the carriage museum. In Örbyhus’ beautiful orangery, summer concerts with chamber music are arranged.
Österbybruk – a living idyll
Finished with Gimo Herrgård? Take the opportunity to also check out Österbybruk, a short drive west. Welcome to another cosy Walloon farm in Uppland with the world’s only fully preserved Walloon forge. What can you do on site? Discover, for example, Aspbo nature reserve, Dannemora church, the homestead, the orangery garden and the manor.
Coffee at Hammarskog
For an excursion closer to the city of Uppsala, Hammarskog is always a good choice. A fantastic outdoor area that comes alive all year round. The bathing area with associated jetty, boat rental, opportunities for fishing, bird watching, many barbecue areas and a vast area with 25 km of excellent hiking trails are popular summer activities. When the snow has fallen enough, there is a chance to skate, several groomed ski tracks and tobogganing on the slopes in front of the mansion. Feeling hungry? The café serves light lunches and snacks.
Wenngarn Castle – antique meets modern
South of Uppsala, near Sigtuna, is Wenngarn. A special place with lots to experience with the castle from 1670 as an obvious starting point. The urban community has got new air under its wings, which has created an interesting mix of new and old. Adjacent to the castle is, for example, a super-modern house that is completely self-sufficient. In addition to the usual historical tours of the castle and the castle park, you can also look at the cider brewery and Sigtuna candle factory.
Here and now at Krägga
A mansion gem that deserves more attention is Krägga. A youngster (built in 1830) in comparison with many equivalents in this guide but still an enchanting place reminiscent of times gone by. Walk along the flowery fields and feel Mälaren’s pleasant breeze on your face. Stay at the conference hotel, book a table at the restaurant, enjoy Afternoon Tea or drop your shoulders in the lakeside sauna.
Friiberghs – inner peace since 1658
Friiberghs Herrgård Örsundsbro is the place to go to find balance in beautiful surroundings on the shores of Lake Mälaren. Friiberghs is mainly a conference hotel but also welcomes private guests for lunch, dinner and afternoon tea buffet. Do you like golf? The mansion is located next to the courses at Friiberghs Golf Club.