“If I see the smoke from The Technical Works, I´ll soon be home again…”
If any of you have missed it, we love to travel. It is probably the main reason we got ourselves an RV in the first place. The opportunity to get to drive around and find new adventures and new places. But as with so much else, it’s easy to miss the forest because of all the trees. Therefore, here is a post about what you can do if you go to Linköping by RV, our beloved hometown for over 2 years.
Since we moved here, we’ve never felt as at home as we do now. Certainly it is strange how two people in their thirties (here Linnéa sharply objects that she is not 30 yet) can move to a city where neither of us has any relationship with, and both feel that we have found our home. The reason for this is of course difficult to pinpoint, but part of it is that we think of Linköping as a relatively big city, with all that it means for the mentality. Our view is that the people in the east of Sweden has a tendency to be very welcoming, while minding their own business and not having the time and energy to spend judging others.
In addition to the lovely people, it is also a city that offers a lot of beautiful places to see, and a lot of fun to do. Below we list some of the things you should not miss if you get here. Simply our 10 best tips for exploring Linköping by camper (and of course for everyone else visiting our fine city).
Let’s start with the most obvious. Linköping Cathedral is one of the mightiest buildings we have ever seen. “A church tower extends to the sky, like a beggar’s hand out of the slums. You can see it from the highway”, Lars Winnerbäck sings (Lars Winnerbäck is a Swedish singer-songwriter, who was born in Linköping), and it is certainly not difficult to understand the magnificence that inspired these lyrics. You feel incredibly small in its vicinity, and you are also impressed by what we humans can actually manage to create.
For over 800 years, this giant has looked out over the citiescape, watching over the cities population. It is clearly worth a visit if you go by RV to Linköping, even if you only have the opportunity to see it from the outside.
Gamla Linköping is one large homestead near the valla district. Gamla Linköping is a collection of very old houses that have been moved to this place, and together create the feeling of a genuine old Swedish city. Here you will find small shops and cafés located in the old buildings. Especially in summer it is a very vibrant area that is well worth a visit. The old houses are very beautiful to look at, and together with the cobbled streets it certainly creates a very special atmosphere.
This is a given place for a “Fika”, regardless if you brought your own or if ju want to enjoy a freshly baked waffle in the sun. For those interested in history there is almost an unlimited supply of information about old times around the small town. For those who get around by camper van in Linköping, there are also suitable parking spaces for our vehicles right nearby.
For information about opening hours, activities and more, take a look here.
3. Lill-Valla Playground
For the family with children, this should be an obvious part of the agenda, and also only a short distance away from Gamla Linköping. A very nice playground in very good condition, divided into different areas suitable for different age categories. In addition, there are chickens, goats and other animals that you can visit. Clearly worth a visit when the playground need becomes too wild after a long day in the RV. There are plenty of parking spaces nearby, and for those who want to learn something along the way, it is also close to the railway museum. All train enthusiasts, kids aswell as adults, are guaranteed to bring something from here.
Right next to the playground, on the other side of the small homestead where the Railway Museum is located, there is a good parking space. If you get around by camper van in Linköping, this is a great place if you want to stay overnight. The area is very quiet, which of course requires that we who stay overnight show a little extra respect for our surroundings.
In the Trädgårdsföreningen you will find, besides of course a whole bunch of flowers (which perhaps attracts one of us more than the other) lots of fun activities. There is a nice playground for the small children, but also opportunities to practice different ball games and large green areas. On a sunny day, finding a good place to sunbathe is no problem. When it then becomes tedious (after about 30 seconds for Martin) you can easily find good coffee and “fika” at one of the two cafés that are on the premises.
If you want, you can also try so-called “Park golf”. This is some kind of hybrid between golf and croquet, which is played on a nine-hole course. Well worth it for those who do not want to lie still for hours at a time.
5. Discgolf in Rydsskogen
Frisbee golf (or disc golf, which we think is the correct term) is a new little hobby we found. The total cost of a starter kit so you can get started and play is about 170 SEK. Then it’s just out on the court and play. In Linköping you will find two different courses within cycling distance from the city centre, and we tested one of them. In Rydsskogen, which is then to be regarded as our home course, there are 18 holes (or do you say baskets?) to play on. You can either choose to go all 18 holes, or to just take the first 9 or last 9.
Playing the course itself is free, so you can play as much as you want. Sometimes it’s a bit challenging, and it’s all about a walk in terrain. But both Noomie and Lowe can handle it just fine (although Lowe may need some carrying help, but it can be okay if you’re but a year old ;)). For those of you who have not tried, we highly recommend you to try it. For those who get around by camper van in Linköping or elsewhere, it is a real great activity. This is because the equipment weighs basically zero, takes up very little space, and in addition there are courses almost where ever you are.
To find more courses to play on, we usually use the map on discgolfbanor.se.
Linköping has a wonderfully vibrant city centre, something that is almost becoming a bit rare in Sweden. Ever since the large shopping centres came to be, we see more and more city centres dying due to lack of visitors. Linköping, however, is fortunately one of the exceptions. Whether you move in the city centre in the day or evening, here is always life and movement. There are still a lot of small shops here that do not belong to the big chains.
Probably a part of the explanation for this is that we have the university, which clearly puts its imprint on the city. It can sometimes turn out in a somewhat strange way, which medium-sized Swedish city has, for example, enough interested customers to provide for three board game stores in the city center? Anyway, there is something for most people, and is well worth a visit if you roll through.
Just outside Linköping is one of Cloetta’s candy factories, of course with factory sales. Unfortunately, none of the production can be seen, which we thinks is to bad. But you can be sure that you walk away with “Kexchoklad” and other sweets so that it squirts out through your ears. Not once have the children protested when we proposed an excursion to Cloetta.
The factory is located in a small community a short distance outside the city called Ljungsbro. At the factory sale there is free parking that is perfect even for us with a little larger vehicle. The best candy tip is the second sorting from the taragona production. Nuts wrapped in chocolate. In fact, we find it difficult to understand why we should make matters more complicated than that. In addition, the factory is only a few minutes away from Bergs Slussar (see below) which is a perfect place for overnight stays for those who get around by camper van in Linköping.
For more information and opening hours for factory sales and the store in Gamla Linköping, take a look here.
8. Bergs Slussar
Bergs slussar are a real RV-metropolis. If you want to be sure to meet others who also travel with RV in Linköping, this is where you will find them. Bergs Slussar are simply a gate system in the Göta Canal, used to transport boats over height differences. Right next to the gates there is an ice cream shop, so the “fika” opportunity is obvious. Here you can, at least in the summer months, see the gateing of boats on the front row. The ice cream is also served with a very beautiful view of the water. And should it be tedious, you can always take on the mini golf course, a great opportunity to get really into a real quarrel if you, like us, keep a few winner-oriented people in your family.
Right next to the gates themselves is also a large RV-site that has just undergone a renovation. No amenities beyond a large gravel field, but a perfectly good place to stay the night. Around Bergs Slussar there are also nice walking paths for your morning walk, as well as swimming opportunities when the heat becomes too real.
For information about opening hours and activities in Bergs Slussar, take a look in here.
9. Air Force Museum
Linköping has a long military history, especially with the Air Force. Of course, a big reason for this is that SAAB has its air force factory here. Linköping Air Force Museum has a large exhibition of aircraft, where you can read a lot of information about the different planes and their role in the army. There is a movie theater were they show relevant documentaries, and also an upper floor full of activities for young pilots.
But perhaps the coolest thing of all is the flight simulator, where you can try to be a pilot in a JAS 39 Gripen. In all honesty, perhaps the coolest for the adult computer geek with the his inner child left. Like most museums, the exhibitions on display varied, allowing return visits to be made at regular intervals.
Previously there was also a RV-site outside the Air Force Museum. It unfortunately had to close, as previous guests did not behave. We would also like to tell you that anyone visiting the Air Force Museum will take the time to have lunch in the restaurant. The best tip is to choose a locally produced “Wallenbergare”, made out of wild boar from the plains of eastern Sweden. Really great food!
For information about opening hours, pre-registration, exhibitions and more, check in here.
10. Ljungsbro Activity Park
In spring 2020, this super cool activity park was completed. Here you will find most of what the children like, including a large skateboard park, a DJ booth and an obstacle course. After playing for a few hours, you can light up the grill at one of the barbecue areas. Even for our four-legged friends, there are things to do, including an agility course. In other words, there is something for most people, and it is no problem whatsoever to spend a full day in the park. Especially if you like us have kids who like to be active.
Noomie has also talked about wanting a skateboard for a long time. Now that we have found this place, it may be worth considering, even if we imagine that there are many abrasions until she is so good at it that she can ride herself. On the other hand, that’s how they learn. Maybe even Mom and Dad would invest in learning to board in old age? Anyway, it looks really fun when you look at the ones that are good at it.
We hope of course that you who have read been inspired and found a new fun excursion. Linköping is a city that in many ways is very well located, but we really want to urge not to just pass trough. A fantastic city to both visit and live in, which is well worth a day of tourism. In addition, easy to find places to stay overnight for those who pass Linköping in a camper van.
Are you missing any information about the excursions above? Or maybe you yourself are an “Östgöte” and have tips on where to go by camper van in Linköping? Please comment, and we will be happy to explore and complement. For tips on other places around Östergötland, please take a look at our post about Excursion Road.
Hope you all get a real big vacation, and drive carefully. See you on the road!