Looking for some fun things to do in Örebro, a charming town in Sweden? Check out this little introductory guide!
Remember my friend, Kayley, from one of my trips to Busan? Well, shortly after I saw her and her husband, Mark that May, she landed a teaching job in Sweden! They’ve both since moved to the very cute city of Örebro, which is about two hours from Stockholm.
Örebro is a city in the Närke province and considered the sixth largest in Sweden. It surrounds the Svartån River and has been established since at least before the Middle Ages where it was a major town for commerce and trade.
When I was booking my flights to Norway, I realized something quite obvious. Norway and Sweden are neighbors! I messaged Kayley to see where they were living and how feasible it would be to come visit, and she told me it was an easy bus ride from Oslo.
Turns out it is, and I even got my bus from the airport, so I didn’t have to drag my luggage through an icy Oslo at night to find a terminal or station!
Anyway, I spent a little under a week hanging out with Kayley and Mark and getting to know the town they’ve called home for almost two years (three now). All these tips are, of course, from them! They gave me a bunch of little things to do and see while they were, you know, at work, and Kayley lent me her bike to use. Enjoy this guide, and I hope you think about adding Örebro to your Sweden itinerary!
Örebro Travel Tips
Where to Stay in Örebro
Now, obviously you guys can’t crash with Kayley and Mark like I did! When you’re figuring out where to stay, I’d recommend staying relatively close to the city center so you can sightsee more easily. The best of the hotel options I found was Hotel Borgen. Airbnb-wise, this super chic apartment is a stone’s throw from Örebro Castle while this 3-room apartment might be better for slightly bigger groups.
How to Get to Örebro
The closest airport for you is probably the Stockholm Airport, which is about 2 hours away. You can get the train or a bus from here.
I left Örebro by train, and it was super easy. There are two stations: Örebro Central and Södra Station. I came in at central and left via Södra since it was closer and I could walk.
Check flixbus for tickets and times getting to or leaving Örebro by bus. I took a bus from Oslo Airport to Örebro overnight, and it was super easy.
Another spot to get your fika on! (I’m pretty sure that’s not a real phrase or the proper way to use fika in a sentence, but here we are).
How to Get Around Örebro
Your best bet is to rent a bike, rent a scooter, or walk! Walking is fine, but some of the distances are just a bit long. Mark and Kayley had an extra bike I got around on. I’m not sure about renting a bike here but you can rent a scooter via Voi.
Sightseeing Things to Do in Örebro
1. Bike or walk along the river
Biking is the main mode of transportation in Örebro, so it makes sense that their main river, Svartån, has such nice trails all along it. I want to say I went for a walk or run as well, but I also think that was me planning to and not actually following through.
Anyway, Kayley was kind enough to leave one of their bikes for me to use, so I took advantage one sunny day to bike along the river and down to the next spot on this list. Even in winter it was actually really nice, and I actually left my coat behind because I knew it’d be too heavy!
2. Explore Karlslund Cultural Reserve
One spot to visit that’s a bit out of town (I biked here) is Karlsund Herrgård. It’s sort of a mix between an old manor, a garden, and other random things. During the winter, of course, everything was closed, but you can still walk around the grounds and see the different exhibits or sculptures.
This reserve has undergone a number of different owners, though its name “Karslund” probably comes from Duke Karl, who first built a barn on this land in the 1500s. It wasn’t until the 1800s under the Anckarsvärd brothers that it saw a huge expansion, much of which we can still see today. Seriously, this place has housed just about everything — a gun barrel factory, an airfield, a railway station, and so much more!
You can check here for all the specific buildings, cafes, and workshops. All the times vary, so it’s best to contact them beforehand if you want to do anything at firstname.lastname@example.org. They also offer guided group tours for 1,200 SEK (~$140 USD).
They also have different events throughout the year, like Garden Day, Midsummer celebrations. Mickelsmäss, a Light and Fire Festival, and the Christmas Market. I’d ask about the dates for those if you want to plan your trip to Örebro to coincide.
3. Have a nice fika at one of the cafes!
It didn’t take long for me to take to the tradition of fika, especially with all the Swedish pastries involved! There are so many cozy cafes around Örebro to enjoy this Swedish tradition of a coffee and pastry break. I’ll get into the specific ones I visited below.
4. Join Park Run Örebro
It’s not super common in the US, but in South Africa and Europe, there are a lot of Park Runs! In Örebro, the Park Run is on Saturday at 9:30 AM starting at Oljevägen 15, and it takes you along a really beautiful route. It’s only a 5k, so really easy to keep up with any running goals!
5. Visit during Hindermässan
Lucky for me, right when I visited was during Örebro’s annual Hindersmässan! It’s basically this nice market set up with lots of food stands and little shops all around the main town center. We went to walk around on my first day and to see all the different offerings.
6. Enjoy Örebro Castle
Örebro’s shining landmark: its castle! It kind of sits on its own little islet right in the city center and its history dates back to the 1300s when it was initially built as a fortress. Under Duke Charles, who would later become King Charles IX, during the 1500s, it was turned into a castle instead. Since then it’s undergone different refurbishments and reconstructions to be the castle you see today.
If you’re not visiting during the summer, you’ll have to book a guided tour to actually go into the castle. Since I was there in the dead of winter, I obviously missed doing this so something to do on a future visit!
7. Walk around the main center and take in the architecture
I mean, this goes for pretty much any European city — there are just so many pretty buildings and usually unique sculptures to see if you just head towards the city center and wander around. Örebro was no exception — so many cute alleyways and storefronts. Personally loved that rubber duck made of rubber tires.
8. Go up the Svamp for pretty Örebro views
If you’re looking to get panoramic views of Örebro, then you want to head right over to the Svamp! The Svamp is a water tower for the city but they also recently built an observatory you can go up for free! There are some very pretty views and, of course, you can always dine at the restaurant!
9. Enjoy Wadköping
Wadköping is a cool open air museum showcasing some houses from the 17th-19th centuries, similar to Skansen in Stockholm. While I didn’t really walk around since there’s not much to do during the winter, we all got breakfast nearby after Park Run. During warmer weather, though, you can see different arts and crafts exhibits.
10. See the main churches in Örebro
There are a few churches sprinkled throughout Örebro, but the main one to see (and you really can’t miss) is Sankt Nikolai kyrka (Saint Nicholas Church). I mean, for us, it’s where we parked our bikes when we rode into town! St. Nicholas goes back to the late 1200s and is a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles.
Where to Eat in Örebro
We ate at Saludhall on my first night after walking around the Hindermässan. It’s this hipster kind of place with lots of different places in one bigger dining hall. It kind of reminded me of the Auction House Market in New Orleans. Of course, we had to try the Korean place there ;)
Lill-Anna’s Butik & Café
Kaylely recommend I visit Lill-Anna’s while she was at work. There are actually a few locations around the city center, including in the castle, but the one I went to was at Vasagatan 13. If I remember correctly I just got a latte and a kanelbullar (cinnamon roll).
After Kayley finished work and met me at Lill-Anna’s, we walked across the street to Vasa Konditori to try even more fika. This time we orded princesstårta, semlor, and punchrulle. My favorite was the princesstårta; the semlor didn’t really taste like much to me.
So one of the evenings Kayley had a prior commitment leaving Mark and I to hang out at their apartment. He ordered this delicious monstrosity of a keab pizza (and a regular cheese one for balance) from Pizzeria Express for us for dinner. I don’t even know how to describe what was on it, but I don’t even think I could eat how you’d normally eat a pizza! However, I do know it was the perfect Friday night dinner while obsessively working on a puzzle!
Did you know Sweden has its own fast food franchise? It’s called Max Burgers or Max’s, and it was founded way back in 1968 in a tiny area called Gällivare in northern Sweden.
We stopped here to get a late lunch one day, and I have to say the chipotle burger was pretty delicious! If you want a quick meal and still want to feel like you’re eating something Swedish, then why not the Swedish version of McDonald’s (but better)?
Gamla Örebro Café & Konferens
After Park Run, we went to this cute spot near Wädkoping for breakfast. Yummy! While we just got some sweet things for a post-run breakfast, they do offer actual meals and food too.
Fröken Brogrens Veranda
On the day that Kayley had off and we could sightsee together, she took me to Fröken Brogren for a nice, yummy brunch. Not only do they have the most fun name for me to say, they have a really big selection of fika pastries as well as some healthier options, which you can see in the pic above.
And there you have it! All the best things to do in Örebro from my little trip. Anything to add? Let me know!