Perched on the coast of Småland, Västervik is a charming town popular with boaters and holidaymakers in the summer months. It’s a convenient base for outdoor pursuits in the surrounding archipelago, ranging from kayaking to sailing and rock climbing. Västervik is famed amongst Swedes as the town where ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus spent his childhood.
Things to do in Västervik
Enjoy a ride on one of the rail buses of the Tjustbygdens Järnvägsförening, which was established in 1979 to preserve the railway history of Västervik. Its team of volunteers helps to preserve the station buildings, locomotives and warehouses along the narrow-gauge Hultsfred – Västervik line, with rollicking journeys on offer through Småland’s scenic landscapes.
Västervik is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding archipelago, with many of the islands only inhabited by seabirds. Kayaks can be rented for slowly paddling between the islands and scuba diving tours are available, as are climbing lessons in one of the world’s best bouldering areas. Västervik’s coastline is a wonderful place to hike and cycle, with plenty of places to rent bikes in the town.
A former nursing department of the Västervik Hospital has been transformed into the Psykiatriska Museet, which explores the history of mental health treatment in Sweden. Originally opening in 1912, the hospital houses vintage medical equipment and old photographs illustrating how it was once run and hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Getting around Västervik
Västervik is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Norrköping and just over three hours from Stockholm. Stockholm-Arlanda Airport is 3.5 hours away. Regular trains connect to Västervik railway station and buses travel throughout the city. The centre of Västervik can easily be explored on foot and boats can be rented for visiting the surrounding archipelago.