Vadstena Castle

Vadstena Castle. Photo: Stefanie Svensson

Vadstena Castle was built 1545-55 originally as a fortress by King Gustav Vasa to protect the country from possible Danish and Smålandish attacks. Soon after, reconstruction into a habitable castle began, when prince Magnus became Duke of Östergötland. By 1620, Vadstena castle was completed and is today regarded as one of Sweden’s best-preserved Renaissance castles.

Visitors can enjoy the castle alone or take one of the exciting guided tours.

Opening times 2018
6 Jan - 28 April: Saturday 14.00 open for renaissance-tour.
5 May - 15 June Wednesday-Sunday 12.00-16.00.
12 May: Castle's Day. Free admission
16 June - 12 Aug: daily 10.00-17.00
13 August - 30 September: Monday-Friday 10.00-16.00, Saturday-Sunday 12.00-16.00
1 October - 21 December: Monday-Friday 10.00-16.00, Saturday (until 31 dec) 14.00 open for renaissance-tour.

Adults 90 kr
Pensioners & Students (ID required): 80 kr
Children (8 - 17) 70 kr
Children under 8 free

Other prices apply for entry with guided tours.

 0143-62 16 00

Regional Archives in Vadstena

Regional State Archives in Vadstena. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

At the Archives, you can explore a vast collection of written material and get help with information. You can also experience special exhibitions, listen to lectures or go on a guided tour. The regional archives have been in Vadstena since 1899. They contain detailed information about births, marriages, deaths, title deeds, crime registers and maps. Our largest archive is of Göta court proceedings, which occupies 5,5 km of shelving. Many private archives have also ended up in the Archive, for example from castles, farms, businesses and associations.

The regional archive is located in Vadstena castle. All the regional archives, with minor exceptions, are available for research. Exceptions include sensitive information, and the secrecy act. In addition, there are some individual archives, where the depositor has special conditions for archival access.

Opening times 2018
Mon, Wed-Fri 10-16, Tues 10-20
June-August: Mon-Fri 10-16

Exceptional opening hours:

Current exhibition:
Moderarkivets äldsta dotter (Oldest daughter of the archives mother)
Jubilee exhibition: An exhibition on the 400-year history of the Imperial and State Archives
Weekdays 10.00-16.00


Vadstena Town Museum

Vadstena Town Museum

Vadstena Town Museum - Exhibition in the ground floor. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The Vadstena Town Museum exhibits Vadstena life from the 1400’s, with a focus on town residents’ history and everyday life. Since 1949, the Vadstena Town Museum has been located in a medieval building next to the old town hall. It is run by volunteers (Vadstena Town Museum Association).

Opening times 2018
25 June - 12 August: dayly 13.00 - 16.00. Exceptions apply.

Extra opening times and group tours can be arranged on agreement.
Contact  or ring  010-476 87 31.

Vadstena Town Museum - Exhibition in the basement. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Vadstena Town Museum: Case at court

Sancta Birgitta Klostermuseum

Header Klostermuseum. Collage. Photo: Anders Malm,

Transportcoffin of Saint Birgitta. Photo: Anders Malm,

This modern and exciting museum has been located in House of Folkungar's (House of Bjelbo's) Palace since 2003, located next to the Monastery (Kloster) Church. The palace was built in 1260 and later became a nunnery. The museum tells the story of life in the palace, monastery and monasticism during the medieval times, as well as Saint Birgitta’s life and work.

Opening times 2018
13 Jan to 28 April: Saturday 15.30-17.30,
Guided tour in Coinvent area 15.45.
(Departure from Klosterhotells reception.)
May: Wednesday-Sunday 12.00-16.00, tours Sat & Sun 13.00.
1-22 June: daily 12.00-16.00, Tours 13.00. Midsummer eve closed.
23 June - 12 August: daily 10.00-17.30, tours 13.00 and 16.00. Selected days additional tours or activities 11.00
13-31 August: daily, 12.00-16.00, tours 13.00.
September: Wednesday-Sunday, 12.00-16.00, tours Sat & Sun 13.00
October-15 December: Saturday 15.30-17.30,
Tour in Convent area 15.45 Uhr. (Departure from Klosterhotells reception.)

The museum is open for booking throughout the year.

Adults: 80:-
Children (8-17): 40:-
Children under 8: free

 +46-143-100 31

Toy Museum

Toy Museum. Photo: Slottsgården

Take a nostalgic trip through the Toy Museum. The museum displays dolls and prams that Grandma played with and Grandpa’s toy cars are even parked somewhere! You might even find your old favourite toy – we have toys represented for every decade since 1900.

Toy Museum. Photo: Slottsgården

Opening times
Open daily on weekdays from 8.00 and weekends from 9.00.
January-April: open to 15.00
May: open to 16.00
June: open to 18.00
July: open to 20.00
August: open to 18.00
September: open to 16.00
October-December: open to 15.00
(Christmas to new year - closed)

Admission to Toy Museum, Camera Museum and Photo Exhibitions

Adults: 60 kr
Children (5-15 years): 45 kr
Families (2 adults and 2 children): 180 kr
Groups (minimum 15 people): Adults 45 kr, Children (5-15 years) 30 kr

Note! Admission extends for 1 year, to give access the different photo exhibitions throughout the year!

Camera Museum

Camera Museum. Photo: Slottsgården

The Camera Museum is run by the Press Photographers Club (PFK) and the Slottsgården. There are about 500 cameras on display, from glassplate-based models through to the digital era. Including Jönköpings-Postens first ‘reporting camera’ (bought in 1925). The museum also displays photo exhibitions, including the annual winner of Sweden’s oldest and most prestigious competition: Årets Bild (Photo of the Year).

Öppet dagligen på vardagar från kl 8.00 och på helger från kl 9.00.
Januari - april: öppet till kl 15.00
Maj: öppet till kl 16.00
Juni: öppet till kl 18.00
Juli: öppet till kl 20.00
Augusti: öppet till kl 18.00
September: öppet till kl 16.00
Oktober - december: öppet till kl 15.00
(Jul - nyår är serveringen och museet stängt)

Entré till Leksaksmuseet, Kameramuseet och Fotoutställningen

Vuxna: 60 kr
Barn (5-15 år): 45 kr
Familj (2 vuxna och 2 barn): 180 kr
Grupper (minst 15 personer): Vuxna 45 kr, Barn (5-15 år) 30 kr

OBS! Inträdet gäller 1 år framåt, för att kunna se de olika fotoutställningarna som visas under ett helt år!

Wadstena-Fogelsta Railway

Vadstena station. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The Wadstena-Fogelsta Railway (WFJ) opened in October 1874. WFJ was one of the two first narrow-gauge lines in Östergötland. The 9.6 km long track was funded by Vadstena town and was built to provide access to the standard-gauge lines and privately owned Hallsberg-Motala-Mjölby railway, which was inaugurated one year previously in 1873. Today, visitors can ride a steam train from Vadstena station during weekends in the summer months, lasting 20-25 minutes. Hot beverages are served on board.

Vadstena station. Foto: Bernd Beckmann

Timetable 2018
Ordinary service to Quisberg, Road 206.

Saturdays 26 june - 1 sept Departure 13, 14, 15, 16 from Vadstena station.
Sundays 17 june - 5 aug Departure 13, 14, 15, 16 from Vadstena station.

Railcar services and Cafe carriage on the harbour tracks on Nostalgia evenings with departure from Vadstena station every 30 minutes 17.30-20.00. Additional services i July 15.00, 16.00 and 17.00. - Calender -

Hospital Museum and Mårten Skinnare's House

Hospital Museum, treatment room. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The hospital museum is in the so called "Stora Dårhuset" ("Madhouse") from 1757, in the centre of Vadstenas old hospital complex. The museum and outlines the development of mental healthcare techniques throughout the centuries - from Mårten Skinnare’s Hospital to the modern Birgitta Hospital.

Mårten Skinnare’s house belongs to the Old Hospital and is a medieval house with many interesting details.

Visitors information Hospital Museum and Mårten Skinnare's House (in swedish)

Mårten Skinnares house. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Opening times and tours 2018
30 Juni/1 July: Sat & Sun 12-17 Uhr
Tours: 13.00 & 15.30 Uhr
7-8 July: Sat & Sun 12-17 Uhr
Tours: 13.00 & 15.30 Uhr
9 July-12 August: daily 12-17 Uhr
Tours: 13.00 & 15.30 Uhr
18/19 August:
Sat & Sun 12-17
Tours: 13.00 & 15.30 Uhr

Guided tour included in admission
Adult 85 kr
Children (8-17 years) 55 kr
Children under 8 free

,  0143-62 16 00.

Gottfrid Larsson Gården / Sculpture Museum

Vadstena Lace Museum. Photo: Vadstena Lace Museum

The Sculpture Museum shows Östergötland-born Gottfrid Larsson’s (1875-1947) art. After studying in Stockholm, he was based in Paris for ten years at the beginning of the 1900's. On his return to Sweden he ran an art school in Stockholm between 1920-1932, together with Edward Berggren. The museum opened in Vadstena after his death and shows drawings, sketches and original artwork – all of which were in his studio at the time of his death. This includes emblematic works "The darkness flees the light" from the turn of the century extending to his later years of realistic portraits of both Östergötland residents and others. His official artwork can be found in Vadstena, Linköping, Norrköping, Stockholm and Uppsala. Gottfrid Larsson was a central figure in Östergötlands artlife until his death and is Vadstena’s most internationally known sculptor. In 1921 he was one of the founders of Östergötlands Art Association.

Gottfrid-Larsson-Gården. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Opening times 2018
The same as the Lace Museum’s opening times
28 June - 12 August daily 13-17
as well as weekends 18/19 and 25/26 August.

Admission: Free

Enquiries regarding viewing can be sent to Göran Söderström, Vadstena, or Stefan Hammenbeck, Linköping.

Gottfrid-Larsson-Gården. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Gottfrid-Larsson-Gården. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Vadstena Lace Museum

Vadstena Lace Museum. Photo: Vadstena Lace Museum

In Vadstena and the surrounding area there is a tradition of making lace that goes back at least the 1600's.

The Lace Museum presents both lace-works and the people behind the handicraft like pricking-makers, lacemakers, dealers, travelling salesmen and toolmakers.

Further examples of lace are on display in a museum section for innovatory laces.

Vadstena Spetsmuseum. Photo: Vadstena Spetsmuseum

Opening times 2018
Summer opening 27th June 19.00.
Then open every day during the summer 13.00 - 17.00 to 12 August
as well as weekends 18/19 and 25/26 August.

Admission: 20:- kr

Garden art
Woven works with a hearts theme are shown in the garden.

Exhibition 2018
Crossing rotation needle
The goal of lace-making

The Lace Museum (Spetsmuseet) is located in Gottfrid-Larsson-Gården.

Shoe Maker's cottages

The Shoe Maker's Cottages. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Both the cottages were originally located on Backegatan’s south side and in the 1820's there was a simple pub operating in one of the cottages. In 1910 the shoe-maker Karl Pontus Petterson became owner to both cottages. In 1957 both the cottages moved to their current location.

The Shoe MakerÄs Cottages. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The Shoe Maker's Cottages. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Opening times 2018
The Shoe-Maker's Cottages opens on agreement with the Foundation Gottfrid Larsson Gården.

Admission: Free

Vadstena Motorcycle & Tractor Museum

Vadstena Motorcycle & Tractor Museum. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

On the 1200 m² site around 90 tractors, 80 motorbikes and mopeds and a number of engines are on display.

The tractors are from the 1920's through to the 1960's. They were manufactured in Sweden, USA, Germany, France, Czechoslovakia and England and were used in Swedish agriculture.

Smaller stationary engines have been used in milk machines, wood cutting, mills and the larger ignition engines used in sawmills and seed mills.

The motorbikes and mopeds are from Sweden, Denmark, England, USA, Germany and Czechoslovakia. On display are road bikes, military bikes and racing bikes. The oldest motorbikes were manufactured in the 1920s. There are also mopeds from different eras.

Opening times
May-August: Sat & Sun 13-18
July: daily 13-18
Additional opening times on agreement.

Admission: 30 kr

Veteran Days
Sat & Sun weeks 28 & 29. 10-18
During Veteran’s days we display veteran tractors, ploughs, harvesters and a stone crusher in service. Hot beverages served and a large market!

Skräddaregården / Hembygdsgården in Hov

Skräddaregården (2010) in Hov. Photo: Patricia Renström

The village of Hov was originally one of Östergötland’s largest villages with 15 to 20 farms. Skräddaregården (Skräddare's farm ) remains in the old village after the land reform of 1827. The site was built with a residential building and consists of a s.c. "parstuga" cottage from the 1700's, a brewery and a barn. Even though the farm was lived in to 1947, it has never been modernised. It is therefore of high cultural importance and was declared a monument in 2009.

Skräddaregården (ca. 1910) in Hov. Photo: unknown photographer

Hov village 1718

Opening times
See "aktiviteter" on the website.

Stone Museum

Stone Museum

In the tithe barn next to Örberga church there is a small stone museum with a copy of an early Christian grave monument (Eskilstunakista).

Stone Museum, Örberga. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Opening times
daily 9-18.

Admission: Free

Skateboard Museum

Skateboards Museum. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

One of Vadstena’s most unusual museums can be found in Borghamn - Lasse Söderberg’s Skateboard Museum.

The museum is connected to Media (second hand) market (medialoppis) in Borghamn and offers a mix of boards, wheels, shoes, helmets, knee pads, games and posters.

Opening times
Mon-Fri 15-18
Sat-Sun 12-18
Check the website or call 070-777 4154.

Admission: Free

Local History Museum in Östgöta-Dal

Östgöta Dals hembygdsmuseum. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The museum can be found at Hovanäset next to Vättern beach just north of Borghamn. The museum is under construction and contains, amongst other things:
- The stone industry in Borghamn
- A shoe maker's workshop
- Old appliances
- Apartments from the 1920's and 1950's
- (Steel wire) craft items.

Östgöta Dals hembygdsmuseum. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Opening times 2018
On activities arranged by museum society.
25/8 Borghamnsdagen / Hembygdsdag

Admission: Free

The Fishing Museum in Borghamn

The Fishing Museum in Borghamn. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The museum is located in one of Borghamn’s smallest buildings. It exhibits tools and fishing methods from Borghamn’s history.

The Fishing Museum in Borghamn, fishing tools. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Opening times
15. May to 31. August
daily 11.00-18.00.
Exceptions apply.

The museum is run by Borghamns Fiskarförening (fisher's association).

Borghamns Fiskemuseum

Map of Vadstena’s museums

The map is viewed best full screen. - Map as [pdf]

Jakob Berzelius

Jacob Berzelius exhibition. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Jacob Berzelius, 1779-1848, was on the world’s most famous scientists. He developed chemical symbols and nomenclature systems, and discovered elements cerium, selenium, silicon, zirconium and thorium. He was born in Väversunda in Östergötland, and at his birthplace there is a memorial, erected at the centenary of his birth. On the Väversunda Church’s porch there is also a small exhibition about his life, open daily 9-18 in summer from May to August.

Ellen Keys Strand

Ellen Keys villa Strand. Photo: Ellen Keys Strand

Ellen Keys Beach was built in 1910 - 1911 and is a mixture of many sources of inspiration from Ellen Key: Art Nouveau, Italy and the Swedish manor house (herrgården), not least her own parental home Sundsholms herrgård outside Västervik. After many years without her own home she did it like many others at that time: she built her own dream house in which she could retire.

Guided tours
for single visitors, 1 - 8 persons. For larger companies and groups of travellers, special tour times apply.
1 May–15 May: Saturday, Sunday and on holidays 11 and 14
16 May–30 June:
Tuesday-Sunday 11 and 14
1 July–15 August:
Tuesday-Sunday 11, 12, 14 and 16r
16 August–31 August:
Tuesday-Sunday 11 and 14
1-30 September: Saturday, Sunday and on holidays 11 and 14

Alvastra, 599 93 Ödeshög,  0144 330 30

Ellen Keys Strand