A cultural highpoint of visiting Karlstad is a visit to Värmlands Museum in Sandgrund Park. Not only for the superb and comprehensive permanent and temporary exhibitions of Värmland and other Swedish artists work, but also for the unique architectural experience of Cyrillushuset.
The mother of all parks in Karlstad is Mariebergsskogen; part park and part open-air museum down by the shores of Lake Vänern. You could easily spend a day here enjoying its various environs; ancient forest, glades, old buildings, beach and bathing spots and Naturum Värmland – a wonderful building in which the nature of the province is presented. Stop for a cup of coffee or visit the gift shop.
You’re kids will love you for taking them here. What kid doesn’t love waterslides, climbing walls, heated pools and even a very own kid’s pool. And it's just a short stroll from the town centre. Sundstabadet has a fully equipped gym, relax section and a 25-metre long pool for doing laps. Sundstabadet has two differences water slider, Black Hole and Magic Hole. The differences between them is that kids (and perhaps a co-pilot) fire down the latter in a single or double ring that decides whether they achieve warp-speed – or not. The Black Hole is not quite as fast, as the point here is to collect points by skimming over the illuminated points inside the slide. If your kids get bored of the slides (and how could they?) point them in the direction of the climbing wall that they climb up…and then fall off, usually in quick succession, into the heated pool below. There are also two heated pools for the little once. All this calorie sapping activity means the kids are going to get hungry. The café here serves Fairtrade coffee and all the dairy products are ecological. Sandwiches, snacks, cakes, biscuits and most importantly coffee are all on the menu. The café opens on to the kid’s section so you can order 'pool side'.
Alsters Herrgård is the countryside estate where Gustaf Fröding, one of Sweden’s most beloved national poets, was born in 1850. The estate consists of a 19th century new-classical style mansion house and several other earlier buildings set in the lush Värmland countryside. It lies 8 km east of Karlstad and is easy to get to by car, local and regional buses and even by bicycle. If you don't have a bike can you always rent one from Solacykeln in Karlstad.
Leklandet, or "play land" in English. If your kids love thrills, spills, jumping and climbing – and let’s face it, they all do - then this is the place to come. Some of the highlights of Leklandet include an 8-metre high drop slide, trampolines, a 'ball canon', giant climbing frames, a mini racetrack and much, much more. There are play areas for infants (0-1 year) and toddlers (1-3 year) after that it is a free-for-all.
The 90 km railway embankment coated with asphalt. Klarälvsbanan is a disused railway embankment, where the rails have now been removed and motor traffic is strictly prohibited. An outdoor experience that will lead you through the landscapes of Värmland, from Karlstad in the south to Hagfors in the north.
Sliperiet is a modern art and culture centre in Värmland´s countryside, just 40 km outside of Karlstad. It offers the best of two worlds. A wonderful exhibition of contemporary art and a fantastic atmosphere as well. Sliperiet won the 'Newcomer of the year' tourism award in Värmland 2012. At Sliperiet you can also enjoy an unforgettable taste experience in Major Larssons café & wine bar.
The museum shows Sweden in the Shadow of the Cold War", via original and well-preserved military and civilian objects, artifacts and accurate settings stretching from the 1940s to the present day. All-in-all, the museum provides you with fascinating snapshots of daily life in Sweden from the 1940s to the 1990s, covering such events as the building of the Berlin Wall, the Vietnam war, the affluent Swedish society of the 1950’s and others. How good of a shot are you? Try one of the simulators here; one lets you take part in military target practice with a 1942 automatic rifle and the other puts you in charge of a tank in a tank battle. Inside the museum and outside in the courtyard are some pieces of military technology and hardware, including tanks and guns that will interest military historians, but this is a museum for the whole family. And, of course, you’re going to work up an appetite at the museum. Pay a visit to the museum café called Café Kaviar for homemade eats and refreshments and then have a browse of the museum shop.
In many Swedish cities during the mid 19th century there were ambitions to build parks. They were inspired by parks on the continent. The ambition was not any different in Karlstad and in the 1860´s the work began to lay out a city park. In the early history of the park there were a school for gardeners and a nursery here. After a fire in the old restaurant in 1959 the Karlstad City Park lay fallow until 1993. Today the park has a great selection of trees, bushes and flowers. You can also find many rhododendrons and around forty magnolias here. The Karlstad City Park is really worth a visit for all of you who are interested in flowers.
A people-friendly bistro-brasserie built on a delicate electrical-engineering nostalgia. A restaurant that promises beautiful and simple dining and which also is based on a slightly different and exciting history, which really sparkles. Lunch menu on weekdays, excluding the summer months.
In the restaurant you can choose from various appetizers, sandwiches, salads, classic dishes, snacks and desserts. They also serve a large number of draft beers and malt whiskey. Live sports will be shown on the big screen in a comfortable level so that the sports, food and drink becomes a part of the experience.
The Clarion Hotel Plaza's restaurant Kitchen & Table, adds flavors from Manhattan combined with Swedish ingredients that together creates a new experience. The concept is called Fun Dining, an easier and more pleasant alternative to Fine Dining. Karlstad embraces Manhattan, but the local cuisine is also important. With locally produced food and chef Daniel homemade lemonade on the menu, you can taste Karlstad in a whole new way.
Tiffanys is located at Västra Torggatan 19. This is one of Karlstad’s most beautifully and stylishly decorated eateries and it has its own veranda in the summer. One of the picks from the menu is fillet of Vänern pike-perch with lobster sauce, scallop Saint-Jacques and a vegetable fricassee.
Nya Via Appia on Järnvägsgatan 14 in the city is so central that you can’t miss it, and you shouldn’t. Here we’re talking a heavy Scandi-Mediterannean mix of taste and influences. You can dine inside, outside and atop this fine 3-tiered eatery as it opens its roof-top dining and bar area in the summertime. One not to be missed when you’re in Karlstad.
The restaurant at the hotel Scandic City offers organic breakfast buffet every day of the week but also serves fresh lunch buffet on weekdays. In the afternoons you can choose a mouth-watering dish from the á la carte menu. They also serve brunch on Saturdays.
In the restaurant you can enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner. On evenings an à la carte menue is served with Swedish modern classic and the kids have their own children's menu. The restaurant overlooks Klarälven and during the summer you can sit down on the terrace and enjoy the food and drink outside.
Carli Choklad is a café near the train station in the middle of Karlstad. The family-owned business make their own chocolates by hand, various chocolate products and Italian gelato. In the cozy café you can also enjoy really good coffee or your favorite among the wide range of tea.
A café at the roasting house of the coffee company Löfbergs. Find your own favorite coffee by trying different beans and blends. You are of course welcome even if you prefer a cup of tea instead. You can choose between white, green, red and black teas from around the world, all with different flavours and ingredients. There is an assortment of chocolates and buns from local suppliers as well. Furthermore you are also able to purchase everything in the café, from coffee beans and grinders to trays and coffee mugs.
Artisan Bread is a modern bakery which serves freshly made bread, pastries and coffee. Gustav Fagerman and Mattias Dröschmeister from Kristinehamn have opened a bakery on Kasernhöjden in Karlstad. At Artisan Bread you can eat both bread and pastries, all inspired by french traditions.
Tempel is a restaurant, bar and nightclub with endless opportunities for you as a guest! Modern design and cozy environment imbues Temple premises, which are located in the center of Karlstad. The nightclub has three dance floors with different themes, four bars and a stage spread over two floors.
The Swedish word Nöjesfabriken translates literally as "the entertainment factory". Given that it is housed in an old factory, it’s a pretty good name. An entertainment palace with a great pulse right in the middle of Karlstad. You can listen to concerts with international artists or play disco bowling. If you want to lower the tempo, there is both a restaurant and a bar here.
You will find Röda Rummet (the Red Room) nightclub at Pitcher’s sports bar on Kungsgatan in the Karlstad town centre. Röda Rummet is a small, cozy nightclub for the connoisseur. It has an small dancefloor and groups of comfortable seats. At Röda Rummet the guest is always in the spotlight. The nightclub opens on Friday evenings, when you can groove to a mix of the latest party hits and retro classics. Saturday night is for Dance night, which means you can boogie down to the latest club hits, house classics, R'n'B hits and more. Age limit: 23.
Tastefully furnished club and restaurant. Their ambition is to give their guests that little extra and in addition to a well put-together menu there is a delicious delicatessen stand to browse through. Take a seat in the bar and enjoy a drink or get in the groove with one of the live bands that often play here.
The Bishop's Arms doesn’t sound very Swedish does it? Not to worry, this clone of a British pub is at least as good as the original with a huge and quality selection of international beers, ales, wines and spirits (250 different kinds of whiskey). And a good selection of hearty fare including fish and chips and home-grown Värmland beef. The location isn’t bad either; the pub sits just a few metres from Klarälven. Enjoy.
Sommarro Links opened in 2006 and is known for being Karlstad’s most central golf course. Since then many have found out an unique golf experience and praised the course for its “Scottish-style Links” layout and for almost always being in perfect condition. As well as the 12 hole inland Links there is also a 9 hole Pay and Play (the small course). Sommaro´s spectacular clubhouse, which is an old airport terminal opened in 2007. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, young or old, at Sommarro everyone can enjoy the game.
In Karlstad city centre you’ll find all the big, established Swedish retail brands like H&M, Lindex (womenswear), Åhléns (department store), all with their own stores. In the smaller stores and boutiques you’ll also find rising stars of the international and Swedish fashion scenes such as Odd Molly, Filippa K, Whyred, J. Lindberg, Nudie Jeans and Cheap Monday jeans. And as for legendary Swedish art glass, crystal and tableware, look no further than Kosta and Orrefors which you’ll find in stores on the streets that criss-cross Järnvägsgatan and Drottninggatan. Still in the city, you can also shop at "Mitt i City", "Duvanhuset", "15-huset", shopping centres in the centre of Karlstad that sell Swedish and international goods and products, as well as restaurants and cafés.
Why not visit Ikea on its home turf? We won’t bother telling you what to look out for at Ikea, you probably live close to one. Ikea lies beside Bergvik Köpcentrum (shopping centre) just outside town. Bergvik was awarded 'shopping centre of the year' in Sweden in 2008, with its 68 shops, restaurants and cafés. All the big Swedish names are here and look out in particular for Swedish-design clothes and accessories, outdoor wear, household goods, glassware, textiles and kitchenware.
About 18 km north of Karlstad is Karlstad airport with good connections to major airports. To and from the airport, you can choose between bus and taxi. The airport bus comes when you book by phone on +46 771 32 32 00 or book online varmlandstrafik.elasticmobile.net and can be ordered when traveling to / from Stockholm and Frankfurt. The taxi price from Karlstad to the airport is about 360 SEK. The travel time is estimated to be about 20 minutes. At the Karlstad Airport you can also rent a car from companies such as AVIS, Hertz and Europcar.
You can’t miss the bright orange local buses with the sun emblazoned on the side here in Karlstad. Karlstad has a great bus network and tickets can be bought at the tickets machines, via sms with your mobile, at Karlstad tourist office or at Pressbyrån outlets. The bus is a great way of getting around the city.