Sweden

Best Castles in Sweden

Think of Sweden and you’ll most likely think of its natural landscape, Sweden being more famous for the Northern Lights and its scenic islands than its architecture, ice hotels aside!

But its turbulent history with neighbouring Nordic countries, at a time when it was split into 5 provinces, meaning it has plenty of Medieval and Renaissance castles, manor houses, and palaces to explore and enjoy so ditch those hiking boots for the day (or week!) and discover Sweden’s past through its Kings and noble families.

 

28 Famous Swedish castles you should visit

1. Borgeby Castle

Castles in Sweden-Borgeby-castle

Built on the site of an older 11th-century fortress beside the River Kävlingeån, the present Borgeby Castle dates back to around 1550 though the gatehouse is older, this now containing the Norlind Art Museum.

The tower known as Börjes torn dates back to 1450, this once containing the private residential rooms of the Archbishop of Lund and originally connected to the main part of the castle by a wing though this does not exist today.

Where: Bjärred, Lomma, Skåne
When:
10th15th century
Style:
Neoclassical
Open for visit:
Yes, open February-May and September weekends only 11 am-4 pm and June-August Thursday-Sunday 11 am-4 pm.

2. Bogesund Castle

Best castles in Sweden-Borgesund-Castle

Built for Count Per Brahe the younger in 1640, Bogesund Castle remained in the Brahe family until 1739 at which point it changed hands several times, ending up in the hands of Nils von Lantingshausen who in 1774, reconstructed the castle in the Norman style.

Wood carvings, wallpaper, and other design features along with the addition of towers and a chapel can all be seen today, giving a good overview of the design styles of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

Where: Vaxholm, Stockholm
When:
17th century
Style:
Renovated Norman
Open for visit:
Yes, guided tours take place Saturday and Sunday June-August from 2 pm. Tours can also be privately booked at other times of the year

3. Christinehof Castle

Swiss Castles-Christinehof-castle

The current day Christinehof castle was built in the 18th century as the residence of countess Christina Piper, owner of the nearby Andrarums ironworks.

Step inside to view the Countess’s Apartments and the elaborate 19th-century earth closet on a guided tour, learn about the Countess in the permanent exhibition, and afterwards, take a walk through the stunning eco-park.

Where: Brösarp, Tomelilla, Scania
When:
18th century
Style:
German Barque
Open for visit: Yes, open weekends mid-May-mid June 11 am-4 pm, mid-June – mid-August Tuesday-Sunday 11 am-4 pm and weekends mid-August- September weekends at 11 am-4 pm.

4. Ekenas Castle

Famous Castles in Sweden-Ekenas-castle

One of the best-preserved Renaissance castles in Sweden, Ekenas is a fairytale-like castle with 3 towers and moat that was built on top of a 14th-century Medieval fortress.

Enter the impressive interiors and see carpentry and furnishings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as you learn about the history of Sweden at a time when the European power struggle was rife.

Where: Linköping, Östergötland
When:
17th century
Style:
Renaissance
Open for visit:
Yes, open mid-June – mid-August Tuesday-Sunday and mid-August – 1st September weekends only. Tours in English take place at 11 am.

5. Ellinge Castle

Best Swiss Castles-Ellinge-castle

A luxurious hotel, restaurant, and events venue today, Ellinge Castle, dates back to the 12th century when a former Danish fortress, the seat of Scania, stood on the site.

The current day white-washed building dates from the 15th – 18th century when it was reconstructed as a manor house, the tower is a later 19th-century addition. Walk in the park to see the remains of the medieval moats whilst enjoying the views.

Where: Eslöv, Scania
When:
12th 15th century
Style:
Classic Swedish
Open for visit:
Park open 24/7, Castle open for guests using the venues with guided tours also available for pre-booking.

6. Gripsholm Castle

Castles in Sweden-Gripsholm-Castle

Referred to as Gustav Vasa’s castle as it was Gustav III who built this romantic red-brick castle beside lake Mälaren in 1537, it remained a Royal residence for the Swedish Royal Family until the 18th century.

Take a tour inside to see one of Europe’s best-preserved 18th-century theatres located in one of the castle towers, the 16th-century stateroom of Duke Karl, and admire the collection of portraits (the Swedish National Portrait Collection) and furniture spanning the 14th-18th centuries.

Outside, delight in the views across the lake and enjoy walks in the Royal deer park.

Where: Mariefred, Södermanland
When:
16th century
Style: Renaissance
Open for visit: Yes, open April-mid May and October weekends 12 noon – 3 pm. Mid-may-September daily at 10 am-4 pm.

7. Gunnebo Castle

Best castles in Sweden-Gunnebo-Castle

This grand country house with beautifully landscaped gardens dates from the 1700s. Built as a Summer Villa for the merchant John Hall, it is one of the most complete 18th-century estates in the whole of Scandinavia.

Enter the house on a guided tour and learn about the rise and fall of the wealthy Hall family before exploring the orangery, greenhouses, old and new kitchen gardens, formal gardens, and Gunnebo Farm where the youngsters can feed the cows and horses.

Where: Mölndal, Västra Götaland
When:
18th century
Style:
Neoclassical
Open for visit:
See website for times of guided tours of the house during the Summer, park open all year.

8. Hjularod Castle

Swiss Castles-Hjularod-slott

Surrounded by 1,200 hectares of fields, forest, and lakes, the beautiful red-bricked, the turreted castle of Hjularod has stood here since the 19th century on the site of an older 13th-century castle.

Known as ‘Wheel Red’ in English, the original castle was owned by the monastery until the reformation in 1536 with the present-day castle built by Chamberlain Hans Gustaf Toll in 1894.

Where: Harlösa, Eslöv, Scania
When:
19th century
Style:
Neo-Medieval
Open for visit:
No, not open to the public

9. Kalmar Castle

Famous Castles in Sweden-Kalmar-Castle

Known as ‘the key to the kingdom’ due to its strategic position beside the current-day Swedish/Danish border, Kalmar Castle is an imposing sight with 800 years of history waiting to be discovered.

Standing on the remains of a medieval fortress, the Kalmar Castle that is seen today dates from the 16th century when it was rebuilt as a Renaissance palace for the Vasa Kings Gustav, Erik XIV, and Johan III.

Cross the wooden drawbridge and step inside on a guided tour to see the Governor’s Apartments and Grey Hall learning the history of the castle and its inhabitants as you move from room to room.

Where: Kalmar, Småland
When:
16th century
Style:
Renaissance
Open for visit:
Yes, Open daily April-October from 10 am and weekends November-March from 10 am.

10. Kastellet Fortress

Best Swiss Castles-Kastellet-fortress

Not to be confused with the fortress in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Kastellet Citadel is a small naval fort located on the islet Kastellholmen in Stockholm. Dating back to 1667, the red-brick round tower seen today dates from 1846 having been rebuilt after an explosion.

Originally serving as a lookout post for water traffic, today the tower is used as a conference centre.

Where: Stockholm
When:
17th century
Style:
Baroque
Open for visit:
Open weekends in May 12 noon-4pm. Daily in June-September 11 am-5 pm, and weekends until mid-September 11 am-5 pm.

11. Kronovalls Castle

Castles in Sweden-Kronovalls-castle

Located in the middle of a beech forest, this fairytale-like castle dates back to the 1760s, the current building in its beautiful Baroque style dating from the 1890s when it was renovated.

Originally belonging to the Åkesson family, the castle is now a wine château with rooms named after grape varieties and decorated in the style of the 18th-19th century.

Where: Tomelilla, Scania
When:
19th century
Style:
French Baroque
Open for visit:
For hotel guests and during Summer wine/art festival

12. Lacko Castle

Best castles in Sweden-Lacko-castle

A castle has stood on Kållandsö island on Lake Vänern since 1298, the present-day Baroque-style castle with its 240 rooms built by Count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie in 1615.

Step inside on a 40 minute guided tour to see the King’s Hall and the Counts Private Chambers before heading down to explore the kitchen, armoury, and dungeon at your own pace. Outside, as well as admiring the views overlooking the lake you can wander in the gardens and visit the chapel.

Where: Lidköping, Västergötland
When:
17th century
Style:
Swedish Baroque
Open for visit:
Yes, open 10 am-6 pm mid-Jun–Aug with tours in English at 10.30 am, 12.30 pm, 2.30 pm, and 4.30 pm.

13. Lofstad Castle

Swiss Castles-Lofstad-castle

Also spelt Lövstad, the château that we see today dates back to the 1600s with visitors able to tour the period rooms in the home that once belonged to Miss Emilie Piper.

Remarkably well-preserved the rooms take visitors on a journey back in time to the1700’s-1900’s as they see the personal belongings of Miss Emilie, the last owner of the house, including her furniture, artworks, clothing, and other personal and household belongings.

Where: Norrköping, Östergötland
When:
15th / 17th century
Style:
Baroque
Open for visit:
Guided tours April-May and September-October Fridays 1 pm, Saturday-Sunday 1 pm and 2 pm. Daily tours June-August at 1 pm and 2 pm (July also 12 noon and 3 pm).

14. Orebro Castle

Famous Castles in Sweden-Orebro-castle

Built on an island in the River Svartån, this castle was originally a small medieval fortress built by Jarl Birger. Expanded and used by historic members of the Swedish Royal Family including Gustav Vasa, Gustavus Adolphus, Charles IX, and Charles XIV John of Sweden, today visitors can tour the 700-year-old castle, exploring its rooms, cellar vaults, and towers as they learn about the nobles, prisoners and serving folk who have all lived and worked here.

Where: Örebro, Närke
When:
14th century
Style:
Renaissance
Open for visit: Yes, guided tours daily at 1 pm mid-June – August and weekends only at 1 pm September-mid June.

15. Orenas Castle

Best Swiss Castles-Orenas-Castle

Orenas Castle was built by a sugar beet pioneer named Carl Tranchell in 1914-1918 making it the newest castle in the country. During World War II Danish and Estonian refugees were houses at the castle but today it’s an upscale hotel and conference centre with restaurant.

Enjoying views across  Öresund and the island of Ven, the interior of the castle today combines old with new for a comfortable stay in individually decorated rooms.

Where: Glumslöv, Landskrona, Scania

When: 20th century

Style: German Baroque

Open for visit: Restaurant open to the public

16. Sofiero Castle

Castles in Sweden-Sofiero-Castle

This beautiful country mansion is located within 15 hectares of landscaped parkland and is a former Summer residence for the Swedish Royal Family.

Originally a farm called Skabelycke, it was purchased in 1864 by Prince Oscar of Sweden and his wife Sophia of Nassau who built the castle in the Dutch Renaissance style, the famous rhododendron gardens being planted later by King Gustav VI Adolf and his wife Margareta.

Where: Helsingborg, Scania

When: 19th century

Style: Dutch Renaissance

Open for visit: Castle open 10 am-6 pm April-September, park open all year from 10 am.

17. Teleborg Castle

Best castles in Sweden-Teleborg-Castle

Built in 1900, this fairytale-like castle, inspired by the German knights’ castles of the Rhine Valley, is located on the edge of Lake Trummen.

It was built for Count Fredrik Bonde Björnö as a belated wedding present for his wife, Anna Koskull but sadly, the couple had both died within 20 years of the castle being finished.

However, the love story continues with the castle now being a hotel and wedding venue.

Where: Växjö, Kronoberg, Småland

When: 20th century

Style: Neo-Medieval

Open for visit: Only via prior registration for groups of 10+ people.

18. Tjoloholm Castle

Swiss Castles-Tjoloholm-castle

Inspired by Tudor architecture along with Liberty & Co, this grand country house with sea views was completed in 1904 and is considered the leading Arts and Crafts property (including its formal garden) not just in the region but in the whole of Sweden.

Comprising of almost 30 buildings, visitors can take a guided tour to discover the details and history of the house, or spend the night as the castle also operates as a hotel/restaurant and event venue.

Where: Fjärås, Halland, Götaland

When: 20th century

Style: Tudor/Elizabethan and Art Noveau

Open for visit: Yes, castle tours daily during the Summer and weekends during the Winter. English tours only guaranteed when booking online. Garden open all year.

19. Torup Castle

Famous Castles in Sweden-Torup-castle

Built on the grounds of a medieval castle known as Askebacken, Torup Castle was built as a defence castle in 1537 and later renovated by Görvel Fadersdotter (Sparre), a notable female Swedish landowner, between 1602-1630.

Explore the interior of the 3-story red brick castle surrounded by a beech forest with a tour of the library, dining hall, and courtyard as you learn how it originally stood in the middle of an artificial lake.

Where: Svedala Scania

When: 16th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: Yes, unknown hours.

20. Tosterup Castle

Best Swiss Castles-Tosterup-medieval-castle

Dating back to the 1300s, Tosterup Castle with its tower from the 1400s and main building from the 1500s was restored in the 1760s at which point the tower became part of the main building.

Owned by a variety of noble families over the centuries including the Brahe’s Thott’s, and Krabbe’s, the castle is now the private residence of the Ehrensvärd family.

Where: Bollerup, Tomelilla, Scania

When: 15th century

Style: Medieval / Renaissance

Open for visit: No, private residence.

21. Trolle-Ljungby Castle

Castles in Sweden-Trolle-Ljungby-Castle

Once belonging to the Danish politician, admiral, and country governor Jens Holgersen Ulfstand (who commissioned the Medieval manor Glimmingehus), the castle gets its present-day look from renovations that took place in 1621.

The castle was damaged by guerrilla fighters after it was caught up in the Swedish conquest of Scania from Denmark and the Scanian War of which bullet holes can still be seen on the tower door.

A number of businesses are housed on the estate today including an artisan brewery, farm shop, canoe centre, and holiday accommodation.

Where: Fjälkinge, Kristianstad, Scania

When: 17th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: No, private residence. Castle gardens open Wednesday and Saturday 1st June – 31st August.

22. Trolleholm Castle

Best castles in Sweden-Trolleholm-castle

Operating as a monastic estate in the late Middle Ages when it was known as Katty Abbeville, and later, during the Renaissance period, built as a fortress known as Eriksholm, it didn’t get the name of Trollenholm until the 1700s.

Having seen many rebuilds and restorations carried out over the centuries, the fairytale-like Trollenholm Castle that stands today on 123,000 acres dates mostly from 1889 with subsequent work carried out in the 1950s and 1980s.

Where: Svalöv, Scania

When: 19th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: Garden open daily until dusk.

23. Trollenas Castle

Swiss Castles-Trollenas-slott

Owned by just 2 families since it was built in 1559, Trollenas Castle (originally  Näs Castle) gets its present-day red-brick look from the 19th century when it was renovated in the French Renaissance style.

Now a wedding/event venue, wander in the castle grounds and visit Näs old church which dates back to Medieval times before taking a guided tour of the castle interiors to learn more on its history including hearing the fascinating legends and myths that the surround the building and the families who lived here.

Where: Eslöv, Scania

When: 19th century

Style: French Renaissance

Open for visit: Yes, guided tours available at 12 noon, 1 pm, and 2 pm Thursday-Sunday March-May and September-October. Open daily June-August.

24. Uppsala Castle

Famous Castles in Sweden-Uppsala-Castle

Constructed by King Gustav Vasa in the 1540s on the site of an older fortress, the Royal castle of Uppsala has played a vital role in the history of Sweden, the castle has witnessed the coronation of King Erin XIV in 1561, the murder of 5 members of the noble Sture family by Erik XIV in 1567, and the abdication of Queen Kristina in 1654.

Now housing 3 of the city’s top museums, take a guided tour to understand the art, architecture, and history of this royal castle before admiring the view from the castle roof walk.

Where: Uppsala, Uppland

When: 16th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: Guided tours in English at 1 pm and 3 pm Tuesday-Sunday

25. Vadstena Castle

Best Swiss Castles-Vadstena-Castle

Located on Vattern Lake, Vadstena Castle was built as a fortress by King Gustav Vasa to protect Stockholm from enemies.

In 1544 it got its Renaissance makeover, becoming a Royal residence for Magnus Duke of Östergötland (3rd son of King Gustav Vasa) and remaining a royal residence until 1716.

After this point the castle was used as a cereal warehouse, a houseboat factory, and a weaving factory, for this reason, Vadstena castle despite being very well preserved, is rather austere inside.

Where: Vadstena, Östergötland, Götaland

When: 16th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: Yes, open mid-April-November 12 noon – 4 pm, guided tours on Saturdays. Special events throughout December. Closed January-March unless visiting on a pre-booked guided tour.

26. Vittskoevle Castle

Castles in Sweden-Vittskoevle-Castle

The largest castle in Scania, Vittskovle (Vittskoevle) castle is considered one of the best Renaissance castles not just in Sweden but all of the Nordic countries.

Built in 1553 by Jens Brahe as a defence castle, it sits on the foundations of older castles dating back to Medieval times. Now the private residence of the Stjernswärd family, visitors can enjoy the view of this picturesque castle from the 19th century English park.

Where: Vittskövle, Kristianstad, Scania

When: 16th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: Park open 9 am -dusk

27. Vrams Gunnarstorp Castle

Best castles in Sweden-Vram-Gunnarstorp

Founded in the 1400s and once belonging to the Bishop’s seat in Lund, the present-day Vrams Gunnsrstop castle dates back to 1633 when it was built by Jørgen Vind.

Surrounded by Beech forest, it became the family home of the Tornérhjelm’s in 1838 before being exchanged with the Berch family for Össjö Castle and 17 barrels of gold.

Where: Billesholm, Bjuv, Skåne

When: 17th century & 19th century

Style: Dutch Renaissance

Open for visit: By appointment only

28. Wanas Castle

Swiss Castles-Wanas-Slott

Dating back to Medieval times the present-day Wanas Castle, otherwise spelt Vanas Castle, was built in 1556 with some parts of the manor house dating back to the 1400s.

Today the castle estate is a family-friendly day out combining art, nature, and history all in one thanks to the castle art museum, restaurant, and boutique hotel housed in the18th century barns, and sprawling sculpture park.

Where: Knislinge, Östra Göinge, Scania

When: 18th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: Park open year-round 10 am -dusk. Castle introduction in English daily at 2 pm mid-June- mid-August. Guided tours of the castle in Swedish only, Saturdays Mid May – October at 2 pm

PIN IT!