From Karlskoga, it’s only five minutes’ walk from the city centre to the northern part of Möckeln lake with beaches that are ideal for swimming and green spaces for playing and relaxing.

Karlskoga - everything from innovation and industry to adventures at Boda Borg

Karlskoga’s own history is characterised by two giants of the past, Duke Karl, later King Karl IX and Mr. Alfred Nobel. We blend cutting-edge innovation with the history of the vital iron industry. We also have a great range of restaurants and activities, for example, the ever-popular house of adventures, Boda Borg. Karlskoga is uniquely situated inside both Värmland and Örebro counties.

Restaurants and activities

There are around fifty restaurants in Karlskoga, specialising in several different cuisines. English pubs, sports bars, Indian, Japanese, and Thai alongside traditional Swedish husmanskost and a la carte. Choose between being by the shores or in the city. Take away or book a table.

Boda Borgis a building full of fun activities with adventure quests of various difficulty levels to keep your family, friends or workmates occupied for at least half the day. Hang out at O’Leary’s, combine dining with bowling, play shuffleboard, or try any of the other activities on offer. Go hiking on exceptional trails, on your own or with a guide who will also prepare a delicious dinner in the forest. There’s a skate park and parkour area close to the Möckelnlake, where you’ll also find several long, sandy beaches for swimming and recreational activities such as miniature golf, beach volleyball, and green areas for ball games and general play. The Strandbadet bath-house is close to the beach, and you’ll find swimming, diving, and kids pools with slides here.

History and culture

Karlskoga’s history is intrinsically linked with mining. The city’s founder, Duke Karl, later King Karl IX, saw the possibilities for manufacturing of iron as far back as the 1500’s, largely thanks to the lake system which is today known as Bergslagskanalen. He’s said to have sent wood for the building of a church, which is today the sacristy of Karlskoga church, as well as having given Karlskoga its name by stating ‘if it’s been called Möckelns bodar up to now, from now on it will be known as Karls skogar’.

In the mid 17th century, the mine took off and around ten shacks were built in the area. Metallurgy was a rewarding side industry for farmers, which also left its stamp on the buildings. Tilt hammers were built, among others in Valåsen, Björkbornand Bofors. There was great demand for iron both at home and across Europe. The boom ended in the 1800’s in a crisis period where almost the only survivors were the larger ironworks, such as Valåsen and Bofors. Valåsen focused on forestry and today has one of the country’s most modern, large-capacity sawmills. Bofors, founded in 1646, made it through the crisis, largely thanks to bold ventures and the development of innovations such as a Lancashire hearth and a rolling mill, among others. Bofors expanded and eventually became Sweden’s biggest works in terms of production of rolled bar iron. In 1893, Alfred Nobelbought all the shares in AB Bofors Gullspång. He was almost a saviour, coming with new ideas and plenty of money. The manufacture of cannons began in the 1880’s and literally blew up. By around the 1930’s, the company had a global reputation as a cannon manufacturer. The famous 40 mm automatic anti-aircraft gun contributed towards making Bofors a major player in the industry.

Today, Karlskoga has a Nobel museumwhere you can see Alfred Nobel’s home in Björkborns herrgård as well as the laboratory where many of his inventions were developed. There is also Fiffiga huset (the clever house) for children of all ages, with children’s theatre performances in the garden during the summer.

A well-preserved memorial from the mining times is Granbergsdals hytta, which is open for visits, year-round. A dedicated team of locals keep the coffee shop and hut shelter open during the summer as well as making sure there’s entertainment to be enjoyed. In September, we have coalman week, when the charcoal kiln is lit and kolbullar pancakes with pork and lingonberries are served.

There’s a lot of cultural life to be enjoyed in Karlskoga and every year there’s an art tour, where local artists display their works.

Some of the celebrities connected to the city are, to name a few, the canoeist Agneta Andersson, who you can also meet at the Ekmans på torgetdelicatessen, the divers Ulrika Knape and Anna Lindberg, the WTCC touring car champion Thed Björk, the Swedish chart-toppers Sten & Stanley, hockey player and coach Bengt-Åke Gustafsson, the instagram star ‘Wisslaren’ Christoffer Collin, footballer Daniel Tjernström, racing drivers Eje Elgh and Tony Ring, and the actors Figge Norling and Gustav Deinoff.

Historical figures with links to Karlskoga include, first and foremost Alfred Nobel, who truly left his mark on the city. The queen of the circus, Baptista Schreiber, had a permanent circus and winter quarters in Karlskoga but is best known today for her horse Menelik, who is now buried outside the walls of Skogskyrkogården. Archbishop Olof Sundby was born in Karlskoga in 1917.    

Accommodation and Camping

You can sleep anywhere from Granbergsdal’shuts and coalminer’s shacks to the softest beds at the historic Bofors hotell, which was long reserved only for clients of Bofors, when you visit Karlskoga. There are several hotels, large as well as small, close to the city or by a lake to choose from. Beautiful campsites in natural environments are just 5 minutes away by car and, if you have a mobile home, the popular pitching spot by Möckeln lake is one alternative, just 7 minutes walk from the city centre with shopping and restaurants. There’s a hostel next to Karlskoga Folkhögskola and exciting accommodation at the Boda Borg adventure centre. There are cabins for rent, most often close to the water at LabbsandLunnedet or Villingsberg.