Boastfully the third largest in Europe and the largest in Sweden, there is nothing that can compare with Lake Vänern. In Kristinehamn, it is easy to reach Vänern. Cycle or stroll on the boardwalk all year round. One of the largest works of art of its kind by Picasso stands near Vänern’s shore. Take a walk through the charming town centre that traces its origin to the 17th century. Enjoy Vänern’s water, archipelago tours, shopping, cuisine, entertainment and culture.

Kristinehamn – from the history museum to Sannabadet

Discover a town that binds history and the modern world together – where illustrious personages such as Queen Kristina, Gustaf Fröding and Picasso left their mark. Immerse yourself in the history with a city walk, old signs or through a visit to Kristinehamn’s History Museum, and close the day with a dip in the pools in Sannabadet

Restaurants and activities

Many locally-made foods and beverages are produced in Kristinehamn: e.g., Värmland beer and Mother Carin’s cheesecake. At Hygns Vilt, you can find wild game meat from its own slaughterhouse and own-brand charcuterie produce. Sockerslottet features a unique confectionary boutique selling self-produced pralines in a former church. In Kristinehamn, enjoy food prepared with locally-produced raw ingredients in restaurants: White Guide’s selected Ölme Prästgård or locally-produced food at Panncentralen and 2 i 1. You will find a broad offering of flavours from all over the world: Italian cuisine at Oliveriet, Spanish tapas at Tabernan, Thai food at Thanh Thai Palace and Kookies Corner or American at Steakhouse 1895. Enjoy the waterside location and cuisine at  MastmagasinetGretas i SkärgårdenPanncentralen and Café Pärlanto name a few. 

Kristinehamn offers adventures for young and old alike. Hike an approved Värmlandsled(Värmland walking trail). Choose from the historical Iron Trail (Järnleden) or the Visnumskil Trails with beautiful views over Lake Vänern. You can also ride Icelandic horses at Ölme Islandshästar, pedal rail-trolleys on the Otterbäck Line, pet the animals in the town farm Stadsbondgården, enjoy the spa or relish a barbecue al fresco. In a certain geranium glass greenhouse, Niklasdams Geranium Museum can be found, with its wonderful scent of just over 450 geraniums.

Enjoy the bounty of the forest, the serenity, intense colours, unique nature and clean water rich in fish where Lake Vänern offers free fishing. Choose to take an evening cruise while enjoying a shrimp sandwich, a pirate tour with a treasure hunt, a cruise with a three-course dinner or view the sunset over Vänern from the floating coat of arms, Bojorten. Another suggestion is to hop aboard a tour boat and ride to an island, stay a few hours and then move on to another island. Hike, run or camp in Värmland Forest. Fish, swim in fresh water, enjoy yourself on a sandy beach, sunbathe on the rocks – or why not just lay in the grass and listen to the birds. The water tastes fresh and is possible to drink. 

Several chain stores and many unique boutiques with fashion, delicacies, home decor, giftware, etc., can be found in Kristinehamn’s intimate town centre. Something that you shouldn’t miss is the pottery Krukmakeri Hemjordwhich is located in the old, red wooden house by the river. Here works Annbritt Schmützer, the Nordic master thrower in ceramics and master potter. You will find ceramics, coffee, tea, homemade ice cream, liquorice and home decor. 

Kristinehamn hosts many events both large and small. Several take place annually and others return occasionally. A small section of events happening in Kristinehamn includes: Fasting Market, the Leisure Trade Fair, Queen Kristina Day, the “Taste Värmland” festival and Väner Week.

History and culture

From the 17th to the 19th century, Kristinehamn was the most important shipping point for Bergslagen’s wrought iron. It was here that the market price of iron for the whole world was decided. You have several opportunities to gain more insight into Kristinehamn’s fascinating history: join a city walk, follow the nine signs about Old Town or step into history at Kristinehamn’s History Museum.

There is a wide cultural offering in Kristinehamn. Many artists come from Kristinehamn, such as Ingemar Lööf, Karin Lööf, Bengt Olson, Stig Olson, Kjell Sundberg, Harry Moberg and Gunvor Nelson. Visit Kristinehamn’s Art Museum. There is a café and restaurant with views over Lake Vänern. You can find a diverse range of exhibitions of national and international art. Feel free to join a guided tour or borrow an audio guide. You have the opportunity to meet the artist Per Schützer in cosy setting over a cup of coffee at Galleri Schützer. There are several smaller galleries where the exhibitions vary continually. 

In the summer, you have the chance to watch an outdoor theatre performance of The Brothers Lionheart in the proximity of Gustafsvik Manor. The play is adapted from the thrilling adventure novel by Astrid Lindgren. Sara Sommerfeldt is a guest actress. The theatre association Lekaresällskapetorganises the summer theatre as well as several highly appreciated theatrical performances throughout the year. Christina Theatre is located in the heart of the town centre and offers a diverse range of performances throughout the year, with everything from music, theatre and comedy. 

Accommodation and camping in Kristinehamn

Where would you like to stay? Do you want to stay in the centre or next to Lake Vänern? You choose. Are you looking for a room for the night or are you seeking a base to start the rest of your holiday? In Värmland, everything is close by. You never have far to go to reach something enjoyable when you are in Värmland’s Kristinehamn. You can find overnight accommodation options for all tastes – everything from the campsite Kristinehamns Herrgårdscamping near the boardwalk, exclusive hotel rooms in Sockerslottet in the centre, family-friendly Hotel Marieberg or why not one of Sweden’s largest hostels Krongården. As you can see, there are many options, and we have only mentioned a few, so there is always something to suit your needs.

Recreation on wheels is enjoyed by many and, for this, Kristinehamn is a must. There are several campsites and pitches you can camp on. If you want to buy or service your campervan or caravan, there are several major retailers and service centres such as HusbilslandetJG’s Husvagnar and Nordic Husbilar. There have been many events with this theme in recent years, and more are planned, such as the flourishing Leisure Trade Fair, the Campervan Club’s annual meeting, the Nordic Rally for the Caravan Club, etc. It is not for nothing that Kristinehamn became Sweden’s Friendliest Campervan Municipality in 2015.