Things to see and do

Explore the city

Kalmar is a very beautiful, small town which stretches along the coast. The sea view is breathtaking, both on beautiful summer evenings and in winter when the ice glistens in the sun. Many of the old buildings have been preserved and this gives the town a special character. To stroll through the Old Town or in Kvarnholmen, which has been the town centre since the 17th century, and then out to Varvsholmen is to take a walk through history.


History

More than anything else, Kalmar offers the visiting tourist a sense of history. Kalmar Slott is one of Scandinavia’s best preserved renaissance castles and its beautiful rooms are open to the public at most times of the year. The castle’s chapel is a popular place for weddings and the castle itself is used for art exhibitions, concerts, Renaissance-days and an annual Christmas market. Beside the castle is Kalmar County’s museum with its unique Krona exhibition. The Krona, sunk by the Dutch fleet, was one of the 17th century’s biggest warships. It has now been salvaged from the bottom of the Baltic Sea and brought in pieces to Kalmar castle, where it is on display to the general public.


Art & Culture

The art museum is situated next door to the Castle Hotel. From there one can take a short walk through the picturesque Old Town area to Krusenstiernska manor. This is a bourgeois 19th century home with a beautiful garden where one can sit and drink tea or coffee in summer. You can also find a lot of art and handicrafts in Kalmar and Öland , especially paintings and pottery. Many artists have been fascinated by Öland’s special light and have set up studios on the island. At Whitsun, during the summer and in early autumn, there are lots of art exhibitions and other events connected with art and design.


Recreation

It is possible to swim outdoors in the middle of the city, for example in Kattrumpan near the town centre or in Kalmarsundsparken, which is immediately behind the hotel. There are also modern training facilities including a gym, sports centre and swimming pool within walking distance of the hotel. The hotel itself is set in beautiful surroundings which are ideal for jogging in and a little further away is an outdoor recreation area, a place for winter swimming and a sauna.


Children’s Activities

There are lots of exciting things for children to do in and around Kalmar. Salve, well known from TV, is an annual event. Every summer Kalmar is transformed into a medieval town and there are many different activities for children of all ages. And on the other side of the bridge there is Öland’s zoo.


Öland

Even though summer is the most popular time for tourists, there are many other things to enjoy in Öland at different times of the year. One example is exploring Öland’s ‘alvar’, a bare limestone biotype not found anywhere else in the world. Here the flora and fauna are unique and include Siberian plants and rarely seen ‘oceans’ of orchids. Other attractions are eating ‘kroppkakor’, a special kind of potato dumpling, walking along Öland’s wide beaches, looking at the birdlife at Ottenbury, visiting the many art studios and windsurfing in Haga Park. There are many tourist attractions on Öland such as Solliden, the Swedish royal family’s summer residence; the castle ruins at Borgholm, which is a museum during the day and a concert arena at night; Eketorp’s fortress with its historic remains of a Viking settlement and Himmelsberga, which shows how farmers lived at that time. One can of course, also relax on the beach and enjoy swimming and sunbathing. For those interested in arts and crafts we recommend a short tour of Paradisverkstan in Färjestaden and the pottery in Resmo. Öland is full of opportunities!


The Kingdom of Crystal

One of Sweden’s most popular tourist destinations, ‘glasriket’, the Kingdom of Crystal, is situated only twenty minutes away from Kalmar. As well as Orrefors and Kosta Boda there are many other small interesting glassworks. You can observe glassmaking, buy crystal glass at reasonable prices, or experience Hyttsill, where you combine blowing glass yourself with eating a special kind of herring that was traditionally eaten by the glass blowers.