Are you going to travel to Växjö or considering moving there? Here are my top 5 reasons to fall in love with Växjö.
Växjö = Småland = Sweden
Sweden is often associated with Abba, Pippi Longstocking, Ikea, vast nature, Volvo and, of course, moose. All of the aforementioned – well apart from Abba – can be found in or around Växjö. And even though the car and truck company Volvo have their seat in Gothenburg, you can still get your rental Volvo and listen to an Abba playlist on Spotify while driving to a moose park somewhere in Småland.
Top 5 Växjö tips in diverse categories: Växjö Travel Guide
Well, what I'm trying to say, is, Växjö and Småland are THE places to travel to, if you want the experience the “typical Sweden” that you know from movies and children's books. Or as the association for tourism in Småland states it, Sweden for real.
Växjö, capital of Småland
After having lived in and travelled to different places in Sweden, for more than a decade, I have to say, Småland is as Swedish as it gets. So let me show the best places and reasons why Växjö – the city that expresses the essence of Småland, and Sweden – is the best starting point to discover Swedishness.
Top reasons to love Växjö
This is why Växjö is a place to fall in love with:
1. Beautiful nature
(The image above was taken at Södra-Bergundasjön in Växjö)
Växjö is surrounded by forest, lakes and sweet, little, red houses here and there. This gives you plenty of opportunities to go for a hike, run, cycling tour or swim/ice skate (depending on the season). Within just a few minutes by bike, from any place in Växjö, you will find a beautiful spot with a view that stuns you.
One of my favorite places is the lake Växjösjön, which you can reach within two minutes from the central square stortorget. The perfect size for walking or running around it during lunch break, or for a sunday stroll. Takes no more than 45 minutes.
Over the years I have taken and posted so many pictures of sunsets over Växjösjön on Instagram, it's almost embarrassing.
2. The city center
At least once per week, I have to go to the city center of Växjö, even when I actually don't have any errands there. Just walking the 10 to 15 minutes across the center and back. Starting from the square Stortorget in the east, walking to oxtorget in the west, along Storgatan or the parallel street Sandgärdsgatan.
I love looking at the thoughtful placements of products and decorations in the shops (favorite shop: Johanne), enjoying the architectural creations and experiencing the feeling of being a part of Växjö by having a little chit-chat with some of the locals, Hej, hur är läget?, (Hej, what's up?). Great atmosphere!
3. The Växjöbo, citizens of Växjö
The citizens of Växjö, called Växjöbo, are not in a rush. The live a lagom life, in a lagom city. (Lagom = “just right”) When you ask them what they think about Växjö, you will probably hear that it is “lagom stor”, just the right size.
And lagom are the people. Which is a good thing. Växjö is not too demanding. Well, maybe you shouldn't go out to party in your sweat pants, but you also don't have to dress up with a fancy dress or suit when you go to the finest restaurants in town.
Traits of the citizens of Växjö
- Connected to nature
Just go into a shop or café and ask a salesperson what they think of Växjö. Or ask for their favorite places. (Maybe they also have some noteworthy sightseeing tips for Växjö. :) In that case, please share them in the comment section below!)
4. Växjö Campus
The campus of Linnaeus University. I have lived on campus for a few years, and still have my office there. For a reason. It's just a beautiful place to be. A park like surrounding. Like a village for students from all over Sweden, and the world. Växjö Campus is like Neverland, but with an academic twist.
If you come to Växjö for a few days, you should probably check out the campus area. Have a coffee in the library café! One of my favorite places in Växjö (or even in the world :) ). Also on campus, Teleborg Castle. (Find it in the map below.)
Suggestion: Have a walk around lake Trummen (ca. 30 min), starting on campus, passing the castle, including a fika (coffee break) in the library, will take about 2 or 3 hours, depending on how fast you eat your kanelbulle (cinnamon bun).
5. Evedal & Hissö
Yes, it's nature again. But I just have to mention this because this one is special: the road from Evedal to Hissö.
First, go to Evedal, which is an area at the lake Norra Bergundasjön. There is a camping site, hostel and restaurant right next to a little beach where the sun-addicted Växjöbo go in summer to get some tan and have a swim. On your way from Evedal to the island Hissö, you will drive on a road along the shore of the lake, with beautiful, typically Swedish houses to the left and right of the road. Hold you camera ready! Then, on Hissö, (drive over a little bridge), you can park your car at the northern tip and go for a relaxing walk through the forest and enjoy the view over the lake.
Växjö guide map
Map with all my favorite locations and travel recommendations in and around Växjö. Cafés, hotels, places with a great view etc.
This might be interesting for you …
- Swedish culture and traditions
- Learn basic Swedish words and sentences for your trip to Sweden
- Best hotels in Växjö
- Travel tips (Växjö Co) – official tourist site of Växjö