Bålsta Travel Guide

  • Bålsta
    by Dizzyhead
  • Bålsta
    by Dizzyhead
  • Bålsta
    by Dizzyhead

Bålsta Things to Do

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    by Sjalen Updated Apr 4, 2011

    This castle is one of the most well-known in Sweden. It was built in the 17th century by nobleman Carl Gustaf Wrangel, who wanted a modern palace in his childhood area, as a base for when he was in Sweden. Fortunately for us, he was rarely here as he was in charge of the Swedish part of Germany, and this means that the castle stood un-heated for ages so its furniture is extremely well-kept today. Especially since later generations also rarely came here for various reasons. Wrangel lost his sons early on but one of his daughters married a man from the Brahe family so they owned the castle until mid 20th century when the Swedish state was offered to take over the castle itself for financial reasons. As Wrangel himself spent so much time outside Sweden, there is an amazing collection of European furniture, glass, weapons and decorations so the castle is often called the most "un Swedish" of our castles. It has also been legally protected so nothing can be moved from the castle. You are taken on a guided tour of a couple of floors (although photography is not allowed inside) and the only disappointment to me was that I didn't get to see the big library. There is however an array of amazing things to see instead, such as Bavarian cupboards, oriental shell cups, lots of paintings and a magnificent (Swedish made for a change) crystal chandelier with the extra shape of a dragon with the light coming out as its fire - very fragile it won't last forever and they cannot even clean it now. There is also the grand banqueting hall, left unfinished in 1676! This means we get to see tools and building techniques from the time as well. On the ground floor, you can see various free exhibitions depending on time but always something about the creation of the castle. You also get to see Giuseppe Archimboldo's "Vertumnus", the famous painting of Rudolph II made with various fruits and vegetables. There is also a souvenir shop and a great cafe apart from the nice lakeside gardens to stroll. See the travelogue below for more photos.

    Skokloster Castle
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    by Sjalen Updated Apr 4, 2011

    The church is built on land originally given to Cistercian nuns during the 13th century by king Canute the Long. Herman Wrangel, owner of the surrounding land and Carl Gustaf's father, had the church restored in the 17th century when the reformation had hit Sweden, and then included a side chapel for the Wrangel family which you can see on the other photos attached. If you would like to see photos from the church interior, have a look at the webside below. It is a very pretty church with that tranquility you only find in rural churches.

    Herman Wrangel on horseback Wrangel grave chapel
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    by Sjalen Updated Jun 15, 2006

    This won't be the biggest motor museum you've ever seen but what is fascinating is the really unusual finds here! How about an amphibious car designed to be run on the lake, the Cadillac that one of our kings were in an accident with which later gave its name to that Stockholm area (second picture), and a really old Austin London cab (with a genuine letter from Tony Blair to the owner regarding politics!) as well as on of British racing star James Hunt's cars. Have a look at the travelogue below to see a selection of what I found fun. It is supposedly the second oldest dedicated motor museums in Europe, as Baron Rutger von Essen opened it in the style of his old friend Lord Montagu's museum in England. It is open April to October.

    Amphibious car with diver...
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Museum Visits

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Bålsta Restaurants

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    by Sjalen Updated Jun 15, 2006

    On the ground floor of the castle, there is a great cafe serving light lunches such as chicken and parmesan salad, cold roast beef and pasta but also sandwiches. As nice as it all is, it is however the cakes and cookies that are outstanding. Not the cheapest of cafes but worth it. Try the "norrländska" with their buttery flavour...or the "frangipane" marzipan Danish...or....In good weather, you can enjoy your coffee in the lakeside grounds instead (see second photo). If you bring a party and notify them in advance, they can prepare picnic baskets if you want to sit in the park. The price depends on how big you want them.

    Favorite Dish: Rhubarb pie :)

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Castles and Palaces

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Bålsta Transportation

  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    by Sjalen Updated Apr 4, 2011

    The nicest way to get to Skokloster is easily by boat from Uppsala - the m/s Carl Gustaf. But don't worry if you're out of luck - you can also catch a commuter train to Bålsta from Stockholm (just remember the extra fee if you have SL cards only, as you cross a county border) and then continue by the local Uppsala county buses to Skokloster. Pay attention to departure times though, so you're not stuck at the castle in the afternoon as buses out on the peninsula aren't that frequent. They are pretty good at coordinating departures with the castle opening hours though.

    m/s Carl Gustaf
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Sailing and Boating

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