Weekend trips to Vadstena – a town from the Middle Ages with numerous attractions
Vadstena is a municipality and county in Östergötland, situated right next to Vättern. It's about 10 miles from Motala and 150 miles from both Stockholm and Gothenburg – Vadstena sits right between these two cities.
Over a weekend in Vadstena there are many tourist attractions and activities to enjoy. The figure the town is perhaps most associated with is Saint Bridget of Sweden, whose reliquary is kept in Vadstena Abbey, still a popular pilgrimage destination. Visit the Sancta Birgitta Klostermuseum to learn more about the saint, the abbey and the surrounding buildings dating from the Middle Ages.
Another famous inhabitant was King Gustav Vasa, who built Vadstena castle in the 1500s. The castle is surrounded by a moat and was originally intended to be for defence, but soon became more palatial. Demonstrations and guided tours suitable for children and adults are held here.
Vadstena also lets you enjoy various activities out in nature. Tåkern nature reserve and lake are popular with visitors keen to see some of the 276 bird species that have been observed there, with shore meadows of primrose and orchids are crossed by grazing animals. Water sports enthusiasts can choose from Vätterviksbadet, Järnevid and Tycklingebadet. If you're not afraid of heights then you'll love Ombergs Zipline with its many ziplines and suspended walkways.
Other leisure activities include playing golf at the Vadstena Golf club with its broad expanses with views over Tåkern. You can ride a rail bike on the Vadstena railway from the station in town to Fågelsta, a stretch totalling 6 miles, where all you have to do is turn around if you want to go a shorter distance. Back in town you can visit any of the restaurants and cafés around Storgatan or Rådhustorget, the latter where you will find the 15th-century Rådhuset, or court house.
A number of nearby domestic airports make Vadstena an easy destination to reach. Public transportation is operated by ÖstgötaTrafiken and express busses travelling between Stockholm and Gothenburg call at Vadstena. Once arrived, you've only to choose what you'd like to see and do in this historically rich and naturally beautiful rarity.