Östergötland Travel Guide

Explore the culturally important attractions, natural wonders, hiking/biking routes, food and drink scene, local culture and customs, and much more in the scenic destination of Östergötland, Sweden.

Introduction to Östergötland

Located in the southern part of Sweden, Östergötland is a scenic destination with a rich history that dates back to the Viking age. It is the perfect place to visit if you want to experience the unique blend of old and new Sweden, and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

List of Places to Visit in Östergötland

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Östergötland is known for its rich cultural history, and the region is home to several museums and historical places. The Östergötland County Museum is a must-visit attraction that provides a glimpse into the history and culture of the region. Other important museums include the Museum of Work and the Carl Larsson Museum.

Historical places of interest include the Old Linköping Open-Air Museum, which showcases life in rural Sweden during the 19th century, and the Vadstena Castle, which was once home to Swedish royalty. You can also visit the medieval town of Söderköping for a walk back in time.

Natural Attractions of Östergötland: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Östergötland boasts of stunning scenery and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures. Göta Canal is one of the most famous attractions in the region and is perfect for boating and cruising. The Tiveden National Park is an ideal destination for hiking, with its rugged terrain and diverse wildlife. Kolmården, one of Europe’s largest wildlife parks, is another must-visit attraction, featuring exotic animals and thrilling rides.

You can also explore the beauty of Östergötland’s countryside by bike, with several biking routes throughout the region. The Stångån River in the city of Linköping is a popular destination for kayaking and canoeing.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Östergötland

Östergötland is a paradise for hikers and bikers with many scenic routes available. Some of the popular routes include the Söderköping Round, which circles the town of Söderköping and passes through the Göta Canal and Slätbaken, and the Vätternrundan, a 300-kilometer biking route around Lake Vättern.

Best Things to Do in Östergötland: Activities and Tours

Apart from hiking, biking, and exploring the natural beauty of the region, Östergötland also offers a range of activities and tours. You can take a guided tour of the Vadstena Castle, go on a boat tour of the Göta Canal, or take a relaxing spa day at the Söderköpings Brunn.

In winter, you can go cross-country skiing or ice-skating on the frozen lakes, while summer brings opportunities for swimming, fishing, and picnicking in peaceful spots by the water.

Week-Long Itinerary for Östergötland

If you’re planning a week-long trip to Östergötland, here’s a sample itinerary:

  • Day 1-2: Explore the Old Linköping Open-Air Museum, wander around the city of Linköping, and take a boat tour of the Göta Canal.
  • Day 3-4: Go on a wildlife safari in Kolmården, take a hike in Tiveden National Park, and explore the town of Vadstena.
  • Day 5-6: Bike the Söderköping Round, discover the history of the region at the Östergötland County Museum, and enjoy a spa day at Söderköpings Brunn.
  • Day 7: Take a day trip to the historic town of Söderköping, with its picturesque streets and charming cafés.

Food and Drink Scene of Östergötland

Must-Try Dishes

Swedish cuisine is known for its fresh, simple ingredients, and Östergötland has some delicious local dishes on offer. Some must-try dishes include the Åby Rökeri’s smoked salmon, the Östgöta Korv sausage, and the classic Swedish dish of meatballs with lingonberry jam.

Local Beverages

Sweden is famous for its coffee culture, and Östergötland is no exception. You’ll find plenty of charming cafés in the region, perfect for enjoying a hot cup of coffee and a pastry. You can also try some local beers and schnapps. Don’t forget to sample some of the local apple cider, too.

Where to Stay in Östergötland: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Östergötland offers a range of accommodations to suit any budget and preference. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels and charming guesthouses, you’ll find something for you. Some popular options include the Elite Stora Hotellet in Linköping, the Vadstena Klosterhotell, and the Söderköpings Gästgiveri.

What to Buy in Östergötland: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you’re looking for souvenirs and local products to bring home, Östergötland has plenty of options. Some popular choices include handicrafts from the Old Linköping Open-Air Museum, smoked salmon from Åby Rökeri, and Swedish glass from the Orrefors Glassworks.

Local Culture and Customs of Östergötland

Swedish culture is known for its emphasis on equality, sustainability, and, of course, the love of fika or coffee breaks. In Östergötland, you’ll find people friendly and hospitable, ready to welcome visitors to their region with open arms.

Best Time to Visit Östergötland

The best time to visit Östergötland is from June to August when the weather is mild, and the countryside is at its most beautiful. However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of May or September when there are fewer tourists around.

Do’s and Don’ts of Östergötland


  • Respect the locals and their culture.
  • Bring comfortable shoes for hiking and exploring the countryside.
  • Try local cuisine and beverages, especially coffee and apple cider.


  • Leave trash or litter in the natural areas.
  • Be overly loud or obnoxious in public places.
  • Ignore the rules and regulations of local museums and attractions.

Safety and Health

Safety in Östergötland

Östergötland is generally safe for visitors. However, you should always take necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Be aware of your surroundings, especially while hiking in remote areas.

Health in Östergötland

Sweden has excellent healthcare facilities, and Östergötland is no exception. There are hospitals and clinics available throughout the region, including Linköping University Hospital, which is one of the largest in the country.

Getting to Östergötland: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Östergötland

The closest major airport to Östergötland is Stockholm Arlanda Airport. From there, you can take a train or bus to linköping.

Bus Stations Near Östergötland

There are several bus stations throughout the region, including the central bus station in Linköping and the Vadstena bus station.

Other Options

If you prefer to drive, there are several car rental options available at Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

How to Get Around in Östergötland

Östergötland is well-connected by buses and trains, and you can easily get around the region using public transportation. To get around more freely, consider renting a car or a bike.

Where to Go Next from Östergötland: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking to explore more of Sweden, there are several nearby destinations worth visiting. Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, is only a few hours away by train or car. You can also visit other regions like Småland, Värmland, or Dalarna for more outdoor adventures and cultural experiences.


Östergötland is a beautiful destination with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. With plenty of attractions, activities, and accommodations available, there is something for everyone in this scenic region of Sweden. Plan your trip, explore the history, and enjoy the outdoors on your next visit to Östergötland!