Jönköping: why and what to visit

Jönköping lake stroll


Jönköping is a small city in southern Sweden, approximately half way between Stockholm and Göteborg. “Köping”in Swedish means market town, (this according to Swedish Language Blog, as I don’t speak the language I’m afraid). There are indeed a few cities with similar names like Linköping and Norrköping.

The map here shows the top places I’ll be talking about in this post, so that you can familiarize with it.

Jönköping map
Look at the baggage icon!

Why Jönköping made history

You may be surprised to learn that this small, not so famous city has secured its place in history. The reason is that matchsticks were invented here! There is indeed a match museum (entrance free during winter months).

Jönköping matchstick museum
Matchstick museum

Two lakes of Jönköping

Jönköping is a very nice and quiet city with two lakes. One is lake Vättem, a huge lake whose name simply means water (this I read in a book about Sweden!), and the other, much smaller, is lake Munksjön.

The small one has the best stroll. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants and you can take a break trying the famous Fika. In case you don’t know, Fika is the traditional Swedish coffee break, and in Swedish cafes you can find all sorts of sweets and cakes to accompany your coffee. Be careful – it becomes addictive!

fika time
Fika time

Try traditional food

If you want to try something local, then you should go for the Kanelbullar, or cinnamon bun, but the choice is always very wide. If you are heading to lunch or dinner time, then you may want to try the national dish, meatballs with smashed potatoes and lingonberry jam. It’s delicious but a very heavy meal. Besides, Swedish have to survive the cold, don’t they? Another thing I learned staying there is that Swedish are in love with lingonberry jam, which they use like a sort of ketchup, and it’s very good!

Where to get the best view

Walking away from the city centre you’ll find a huge park, the Stadspark. You just have to go up the hill, which takes about 15-20 minutes. Once at the top, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city and the lake Vättem. I was there in autumn and the colours of the leaves were simply amazing!

View of Jönköping
Goodbye from Jönköping!

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