Most travelers will visit Rome, Paris, and Stockholm, the big cities of a country. But you are really missing out if you don’t explore other parts of a country. The city of Linköping, Sweden is the 5th largest town in Sweden. It is just the perfect size for me. It is large enough to have interesting things to see, but small enough to have a cozy feel. It’s central town population of 100,000, fluctuates depending on whether the University of Linköping students are attending school, and living there. The city is located 2 hours southwest of Stockholm, by train, and has an airport that connects with Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The airport is small and easy to maneuver through… creating no stress. In Linköping you can see and feel the real “soul” of Swedes. To consolidate why I love the city, here are “3 Things in the City I Love – Linköping”.
My title, “Linköping, You Got Me From the First Hello” is a play on the line from Jerry Macquire, when Renee Zellweger’s character tells Tom Cruise, “You had me at ‘hello”. Kenny Chesney got his song, “You Had Me from Hello” from the movie. In my case the first “hello” was mine.
The typical greeting in Sweden is “Hej, hej” (hey, hey). You can greet in likewise manner, or if you want to have conversation, just say “hello”. They will switch to fluent English immediately. Also, most love speaking in English, and understand most slang, and humor in English. They speak and read in English.
But, a word of warning, signs and many restaurant menus are in only Swedish. In restaurants, you can ask and it will be translated, or use your smart phone and a language translator program. Also if you see a sign that says “slut”, it’s not what you think…it means “end”. The phrase “fri fart” is not a place you can fart on Friday… but a place you can “freely exit”.
2. GETTING AROUND – I PREFER WALKING
Walking allows you to explore and discover, without having to find a place to park the car, or bike. The terrain is fairly level. Don’t walk at a marathon pace, but slowly and leisurely, with good walking shoes. Walking is a very Swedish way of life. Walking paths, and biking paths are side by side, or sometimes share the same path. A laid cobblestone brick path is a walking path. Some of the narrow European streets are for walking only. The temperature is mild in Linköping during the summer. It is very comfortable to walk.
Riding a bicycle is probably the most popular form of transportation, but as a tourist you probably won’t have one. If you get tired you can get a taxi as long as you know the address of where you are going, and have it written down, because you won’t pronounce it right.
3. WHAT TO DO AND SEE – Gamla Linköping A+
Gamla Linköping is a must see! It is Old Linköping, from the 19th century, and is west of the center of town. Wooden buildings that were downtown were moved instead of torn down. The little town is an “open air” museum, and there is no admission charge. Some places are only museum, and some are combination museum, and retail store.
As soon as you enter the cobblestone square you know you have stepped back in time. People who work there are dressed in period costume. The mission is to keep it in period of the 19th century as much as possible. You won’t find any souvenir shops. You will find a woodcarving shop with items for sale, a flower shop, toy shop, general store with candy, a textile boutique with handcrafted items, and more. There is a café and restaurant in Gamla Linköping fitting with the period.
- Barn and Carts Still Used Barn and Carts Still Used Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Buildings at Gamla Linkoping Buldings at Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Building With Tunnel Building Wih Tunnel Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Buildings at Gamla Linkoping 1 Buildings at Gamla Linkoping 1 Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Crafting Dolls at Gamla Linkoping Crafting Dolls at Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Farm Machinery Farm Machinery at Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Gamla Linkoping Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Gamla Linkoping Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- General Store and Candy at Gamla Linkoping General Store and Candy Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Guests Dressed in Period Costume at the Cafe Guests Dressed in Period Costume at the Cafe
- Handmade Paper in Print Shop Handmade Paper in Print Shop Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Items for Sale at Print Shop Items for Sale at Print Shop Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Lace Shop at Gamla Linkoping Lace Shop at Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Antique Printing Equipment Antique Printing Equipment Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Outdoor Dining at Cafe Outdoor Dining at Cafe at Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Phone Used Until 1893 Converted to Dial Phone Used until 1893 converted to dial Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Sample of Old Print of Local Publications Sample of Old print of local Publications Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Some Handcrafted Items in Textile Boutique Some Hndcrafted items in textile boutique Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Weaving Loom Weaving loom at Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Spinning Wheel and Loom Spinning Wheel and loom Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Cobblestone Square and Buildings Cobblestone square and buildings at Gaml Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Train Shuttle at Gamla Linkoping Train Shuttle at Gamla Linkpong Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Showroom of Wood Carving Shop Showroom of wood carving shop at Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
- Working Post Office and Postmaster Working Post Office and postmaster at Gamla Linkoping Photo by Daren R. Couch
In the Valla area next to the village is a petting farm, and sometimes a demo of old farm tools. Leading from the farm area is a trail through the woods to enjoy nature.
At times you may see a bobbin lace demo, carding and spinning, printing techniques in the working print shop, and special craftsmen, or musical entertainment brought in to perform in Gamla Linköping’s square. In the apartments above the shops, people are living there. But part of the rental agreement is to not have any computers or TV that would show from the windows. Step back in time in Gamla Linköping, you will start to feel you are a resident in a town with a simpler way of life.
These three things are what I love the most about this town. So if you want to get a real feel for Sweden, put Linköping in your plans.
So while you are making arrangements to include Linköping, Sweden in you travel plans, here is a little love song by Kenny Chesney, since I mentioned it. Enjoy!
Globe Trottin Granny
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