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Life is at its most tranquil out in the archipelago, while the town centre has a cosy atmosphere that makes shopping a real pleasure, with a combination of familiar chain stores and local shops. Karlshamn also has many cultural gems and well-preserved buildings that reflect the town’s colourful past. If you enjoy fishing we have some of the best salmon fishing stretches in the world here, or you could go on a wildlife safari, explore and experiment with science, walk or cycle along the river Mörrum or enjoy the party atmosphere at one of the largest and liveliest town festivals in Sweden. It’s hard not to have fun here. Karlshamn, which was originally called Bodekull, was given its town privileges back in 1664 by the then king, Charles X Gustav, and was named after him two years later. It had an ideal location on the Baltic Sea, the harbour was one of the deepest in Sweden, and Frisholmen (the Citadel), the fortified island at the mouth of the harbour, provided good protection from the Danes, who wanted to retake their land. At its peak, about 400 soldiers were garrisoned on the Citadel. They lived under harsh conditions and fought hard in the skirmishes with Denmark. The town was already home to many German and Dutch merchants, who were skilled seamen and traders. This was one of the main reasons why Karlshamn became such a prosperous trading town. Despite several fires and outbreaks of plague in the 18th century the town continued to thrive. There were more than 40 tobacco works here, and snuff from the region was sold all over Europe. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway gave a real boost to shipping and trade, as even more German merchants settled here. Thanks to its snuff and tobacco production, two factories making punsch and the first and largest playing card printing works in Sweden, the town became known as a den of iniquity. To crown it all off, the “King of Spirits” – Lars Olsson Smith – whose face decorates one of Sweden’s biggest export products, began his career as a distiller here. The harbour quarter was a lively place where emigrants bound for America rubbed shoulders with merchants and smugglers, and there was a pub on every corner. Karlshamn still has one of the largest ports in Sweden and life beats strong in the old heart of the town, the square. The pubs and the verandas where punsch was once drunk have made way for friendly restaurants and cosy terrace cafés where people meet and socialise. To get the best picture of what life was like in the town in times gone by you should visit the cultural quarter. There are beautiful timber houses and cobbled streets all over the town and many people know Karlshamn as the “City with the beautiful backyards”.
Carlshamns Culture Quarter

Carlshamns Culture Quarter

The museum is located in the cultural centre of Karlshamn - Kulturkvarteret. Here you will find the old swedish punch factory, tobacco factory, an art gallery and the famous song writer for children Alice Tegners room. Skottbergska Gården is also in the cultural quarters, next to the art gallery. It is one of Sweden´s best preserved trading houses with roots from the late 18th century, orginal adornments and an apartment furnished in the style of that period. C G Berg's factory was taken over by "the King of liquor" - L O Smith. He produced Carlshamns Flagg Punsch, which nowadays is produced by the state-controlled company for the sale of wine and spirits and can be bought in the State liquor shop. J N von Bergen was a great businessman in Karlshamn. In addition to the liqour factory he ran a number of businesses. During a period of 20 years in the mid 19th century he was the largest producer of playing-cards in Sweden. J N von Bergen's liqour factory had an extensive production of Punsch, liqueur, and aquavit. The factory is rebuilt in the museum in an almost authentical setting, with equipment, machinery, bottles, wooden barrels, movables, trade books, awards, and other things from the factory. Everything is preserved! Copies of old punsch glasses and playing-cards are sold by the museum. Old Buildings Old buildings in the Cultural Quarters are "Skottsbergska gården" - Manor House and Merchant's Structur - and "Holländarhuset" - Dutchman's House. Skottsbergska gården was built in 1766 and is considered to be among the best preserved merchant's structurs from older times in Sweden. Holländarhuset is the oldest building in the town, probably built for Dutch merchants during the 17th century. Silversmith's Workshop At the museum a Silversmith's Workshop is reconstructed in - almost - its every detail. Printing Works The local newspaper was printed by one and the same printing works from 1848 until the printing works was closed down in 1976. The composing room, office and bookbindery are preserved at the museum along with the Munktell printing press from 1830, which was used for the first issues of the local newspaper. Dahlens Snuff Karlshamn had several tobacco factories that produced cigarettes, cigarrs and snuff. One of those, Dahls tobacco factory, was established as early as 1798 and is represented at the museum with a collection of labels and posters. L O Smith L O Smith - "the King of Liqour" - started and ended his financial career in Karlshamn. The museum plans an exhibition on this remarkable man and wishes to get in touch with anyone who has something to tell about him.

Concerts, theatre, lectures and sports events. The programme includes everything from a city festival and cultural evenings to concerts, summer theatre, the start of the salmon fishing season, trotting races and fun runs. Enjoy exciting and fun events in Karlshamn all year round. More information about events at
To get a sense of what Karlshamn was like in the past you should head for the cultural quarter and visit Skottsbergska gården and the Punsch Museum - here it feels as if time has stood still for over a century. If you would rather get in touch with modern-day Karlshamn you might like to head for the nearby art gallery, explore the mysteries of science at Kreativum Science Center, try fishing on the river Mörrum or enjoy the freedom of the outdoors at Eriksberg Nature Park.
There is plenty to tempt your appetite here in Karlshamn. Our restaurants offer tastes from all over the world and are especially good at giving a fresh twist to traditional recipes using local produce.
If you want to grab a cup of coffee and chew on something sweet you will find both old-fashioned pastry shops and modern cafes in Karlshamn. In the summer months you can enjoy all the nice cafe terraces. Sit down for a moment and get to know the city at street level.
Enjoy shopping in Karlshamn! Here you will find well-known chains and small local shops in a convenient and cozy shopping center, close to the sea.
The E22 motorway runs past the town, so you just signal to turn off and you’re here. If you want to leave the car at home you can easily get to Karlshamn on the Öresund train or the Kustbussen coach service. If you are setting out from the Stockholm area and would rather fly, the nearest airport is Ronneby, 35 kilometres away. Once you’re here you can use Blekingetrafiken bus services and the archipelago boats to explore the surroundings. Information and timetables are available from the Tourist Information Office. For opening hours and contact information look at BUS Blekingetrafiken, tel +46 (0)455-569 00 Karlshamn Trainstation GPS: N 56° 10 32 E 14° 51 59 AIR Ronneby Airport, tel +46 (0)457-65 90 10 Kallinge-Stockholm, flight time 55 minutes GPS: N 56° 15 9 E 15° 16 35 FERRY Karlshamn-Klaipeda (Lithuania) Ticket booking: +46 (0)454-336 80 [email protected], GPS: N 56° 9 45 E 14° 48 59 TAXI Asarums Taxi/Sverigetaxi Blekinge, tel +46 (0)454-32 89 50, 122 67 Karlshamns Taxi, tel +46 (0)454-150 65 (at the trainstation) TAXI BOAT Booking tel +46 (0)702-50 05 76 TRAIN-ÖRESUNDS TRAIN Blekingetrafiken, tel +46 (0)455-569 00, Karlshamn Trainstation GPS: N 56° 10 32 E 14° 51 59
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