Sweden is famous for having a medieval charm that wraps itself around you, both in Swedish cities and the countryside. The stately castles of Sweden played a significant role in preserving the power and honour of the country and are impressive architectural structures. Sweden’s monarchy is one of the world’s oldest and has been in existence for over a thousand years.
Sweden’s royal rulers are fascinating, from Erik the Victorius to Olaf Skötkonung, the Viking from Västergötland who proclaimed himself ruler of Sweden from the early 11th century to 1397 to Queen Margrethe of Denmark who united Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The country has been ruled by three queens: Margarethe (1389 to 1412), Christina (1632 to 1654) and Ulrika Eleonora (1718 to 1720). King Gustav Vasa, who became king in 1521, founded the modern Swedish state in which five royal dynasties have ruled. Step back in time by visiting fairytale castles in Sweden that these kings and queens once called home.
- Swedish Castles
- 21 Fairytale Castles In Sweden
- 1- Vittskövle Castle
- 2- Trolle-Ljungby Castle
- 3- Kalmar Castle
- 4- Trolleholm Castle
- 5- Örebro Castle
- 6- Drottningholm Palace
- 7- Läckö Castle
- 8- Kronovalls Castle
- 9- Gripsholm Castle
- 10- Tjolöholm Castle
- 11- Teleborgs Castle
- 12- Vadstena Castle
- 13- Sofiero Palace
- 14- Trollenäs Castle
- 15- Ekenäs Castle
- 16- Örenäs Castle
- 17- Marsvinsholm Castle
- 18- Borgeby Castle
- 19- Bogesund Castle
- 20- Hjularöd Castle
- 21- Malmo Castle
- 21 Fairytale Castles In Sweden
21 Fairytale Castles In Sweden
1- Vittskövle Castle
Located in southern Sweden, Vittskövle Castle is one of the best-preserved Renaissance castles of the Nordic countries.
Jens Brahe erected the present building in the 16th century as the defence structure.
It is the largest castle in Skåne, with almost 100 rooms.
Beside the castle is a lovely garden, created by the architect Adolf Fredrik Barnekow in the 18th century.
Currently, Vittskövle Castle is the private residence of the Stjernswärd family and is closed to the public. However, its 19th century English park is open to the public.
Vittskövle Castle is at Vittskövlevägen 100, 297 91 Vittskövle, Sweden.
2- Trolle-Ljungby Castle
Trolle-Ljungby Castle is among the most magnificent Renaissance structures in the country.
Surrounded by a moat, the present building went up in 1629 on the grounds of the former castle, which burnt down in 1525.
The west and the east wings were added later in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Today, this castle is under the private ownership of the Wachtmeister family and is not open to the public.
Visitors can explore the gardens every Wednesday and Saturday during summer.
Trolle-Ljungby Castle is at Trolle Ljungbyvägen 267, 290 34 Fjälkinge, Sweden.
3- Kalmar Castle
Scandinavia’s best-preserved Renaissance castle was constructed in the 12th century in Kalmar, one of Sweden’s oldest cities.
It was an important fortification known as the key to the kingdom due to its strategic location.
The castle’s most significant political event was the creation of the Kalmar Union in 1397, when Queen Margarethe unified Sweden, Norway and Denmark through a joint foreign policy and monarch.
After the 1523 coronation of Gustav Vasa, the union dissolved.
The castle’s current design was created during the 16th century by the Vasa kings, who rebuilt the medieval castle into a Renaissance palace.
These days, you can visit Kalmar Castle to learn about its history by visiting the Governor’s Apartments and Grey Hall within the property or through the touchscreen installations in the Kalmar Castle itself.
Kalmar Castle is at Kungsgatan 1, 392 33 Kalmar, Sweden.
4- Trolleholm Castle
Trolleholm is another beautiful castle in southern Sweden, which looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale.
It was known as Katty Abbeville when it operated as a monastic estate in the late Middle Ages.
It was converted into a fortress during the Renaissance before becoming Trolleholm Castle.
The estate is spread over 12300 acres and consists of 110 houses, a library with thousands of books, and beautiful gardens that take the people back to the Victorian Era. It is still privately owned by the Trolle-Bonde family, who renewed the entire castle in 1887, and the great garden is open to the public.
Trolleholm Castle is at 268 90 Svalöv, Sweden.
5- Örebro Castle
Örebro is an ancient castle on an island in the river Svartån.
It was initially constructed as a defence fortification during the 14th century by King Magnus Eriksson.
The State of Närke acquired the castle and it became a state building monument in 1935.
Today, visitors can tour the medieval castle and explore its rooms, cellar vaults and towers while learning about the nobles and serving folk who lived and worked here.
Orebro Castle is at Kansligatan 1, 703 61 Örebro, Sweden.
6- Drottningholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace is a majestic palace lined with royal gardens on the island of Lovön near Stockholm.
It’s the country’s royal palace constructed in the 17th century, the permanent residence of the Swedish Royal family and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.
The property is a mosaic of gardens and structures, including the palace, palace theatre, a Chinese pavilion and Canton Village.
Designed by Nicodemus Tessin (1615 to 81), the palace has French Baroque, Italian Classical influences and a Nordic sateri roof.
There are around 220 rooms in the palace and the Swedish royal family uses 20 as the royal residence.
Besides the southern wing, the rest of the palace and grounds are open to the public throughout the year.
Drottningholm Palace is at 178 93 Drottningholm, Sweden.
7- Läckö Castle
Läckö Castle is a 17th-century lakeside castle located in the north of Lidköping in Västergötland, Sweden.
Originally a fort consisting of three houses, the castle was acquired by Count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie, who ordered a major reconstruction of the property.
The castle has 240 rooms, of which the most impressive is the King’s Hall featuring angels hanging from the ceiling and paintings of the Thirty Years War.
Take a tour or wander around the kitchen, armour chamber, chapel, dungeon and castle gardens overlooking the lake.
Opera and classical-music events are held in the courtyard in July and August.
Läckö Castle is at 531 99 Lidköping, Sweden.
8- Kronovalls Castle
This fairytale-like castle is a beautiful Baroque-style building in Scania.
It is a well-preserved, historic castle built in 1760 and reconstructed into French Baroque style during the 1890s.
Kronovalls is the only wine castle in the country and has a cellar with thousands of bottles of wine.
All rooms are named after and decorated according to wine grape varieties.
Now, a restaurant, wine café, hotel and conference rooms operate on the site.
Kronovalls Castle is at Kronovall Långahuset 101, 273 92 Tomelilla, Sweden.
9- Gripsholm Castle
On the banks of Lake Mälaren, Gripsholm Castle is almost 60 km (37 miles) away from Stockholm but well worth a day trip.
This romantic red-brick castle was constructed in 1537 and remained the residence for the Swedish Royal Family until the 18th century.
The castle houses antique handicrafts and furniture dating back to four centuries.
Visitors can take a stroll through the romantic grounds, see the theatre in the tower built by King Gustav III, or meet the royal deer at the Hjorthagen nature reserve.
Today, Gripsholm functions as a museum and houses the National Portrait Gallery, displaying one of the oldest portrait collections worldwide.
Gripsholm Castle is at 647 31 Mariefred, Sweden.
10- Tjolöholm Castle
Tjolöholm Castle is Sweden’s top Arts and Crafts property located on the peninsula in the Kungsbacka Fjord on the Kattegat coast.
The mansion was constructed between 1898 and 1904 and designed by architect Lars Israel Wahlman in Tudor architecture.
The beautiful castle gardens have relaxing south-facing views of the sea.
Public tours take place daily during summer and weekly during other times of the year.
Visitors are shown around all 36 rooms to discover the history of the castle.
The property also operates as a hotel and event venue.
Tjolöholm Castle is at Tjolöholms Slott, 439 74 Fjärås, Sweden.
11- Teleborgs Castle
Teleborg Castle is a medieval castle in Sweden near Lake Trummen, about five kilometres south of the city centre of Växjö municipality.
The castle was constructed in 1900 by Lindvall & Boklund architects as a wedding gift from Count Fredrik Bonde af Björnö to his wife, Anna Koskull.
After the couple passed away, the castle became a girls’ school and was used as rental accommodation.
Later, in 1964, the municipality purchased this property from the Bonde family, including the surrounding park.
Today, it’s an entertainment, wedding and conference venue.
Teleborg Castle is at Slottsallén, 351 96 Växjö, Sweden.
12- Vadstena Castle
In 1545, King Gustav I constructed this structure as a fortress to keep the Danes out of Sweden.
The king also married his third wife, Catherine Stenbock, in Vadstena Abbey. Catherine, the niece of the former queen who had died, was crowed the day after the wedding.
Since 1620, the castle has been well preserved and is one of Sweden’s best examples of Renaissance architecture.
It remained a royal palace until 1716 and became the cereal warehouse and weaving factory later.
Today, visitors can visit the castle’s museum to see 16th- and 17th-century paintings, furniture and portraits.
During summer, the courtyard comes alive when it hosts concerts.
Vadstena Castle is at Hamngatan 4, 592 30 Vadstena, Sweden.
13- Sofiero Palace
Built in 1865 in the Dutch Renaissance style, Sofiero Palace and its 15 ha park are among the most visited attractions in Sweden.
It was one of the Swedish royal family’s country mansions, located five kilometres north of Helsingborg.
The castle park is best-known for having nearly 10,000 colourful rhododendrons in 500 different species.
The park remains open to visitors all year round, but you can only visit the castle in summer, from April to September.
Besides permanent exhibitions in the castle, the site hosts shows and music events in the summer.
There is a café and an excellent restaurant, which serves the most delicious food in the country.
Sofiero Palace is at Sofierovägen 131, 252 84 Helsingborg, Sweden.
14- Trollenäs Castle
Originally called Näs Castle, Trollenäs is a 14th-century castle in southern Sweden.
Two families have owned the castle, the Trolle and Thott families.
The present structure dates back to the 16th century and the castle was renovated in the late 19th century by architect Ferdinand Meldahl to resemble the French Renaissance fortification it is today.
This Swedish castle is open to the public, offering facilities for conferences, festivities, weddings and other events.
There is also a café in the park and a medieval church near the castle.
Trollenäs Castle is at 241 92 Eslöv, Sweden.
15- Ekenäs Castle
Located outside Linköping in Östergötland, Ekenäs Castle is a three-story castle built in 17th century over the foundations of the medieval fortification from the 14th century.
The Renaissance castle’s interior is well preserved, with antique decor and furnishings in good condition.
You can visit the castle as part of the guided tour, offered daily during summer.
Towards the end of May, it’s the venue for the annual knight tournament and a Christmas Market takes place here in November.
During the festive period, opening hours are extended, and additional guided tours are offered.
Ekenäs Castle is at Ekenäs slott, 585 94 Linköping, Sweden.
16- Örenäs Castle
Örenäs Castle is a manor located 8 km from Landskrona.
The building was constructed between 1914 and 1918 by Swedish industrialist Carl Tranchell, making it the newest castle in Sweden.
Architect Fredrik Sundbärg designed the castle to resemble a Baroque-style castle.
During WWII, the castle was a haven for Estonian and Danish refugees.
These days, the castle and surrounding buildings operate as a hotel and conference centre with a restaurant.
Örenäs Castle is at Ålabodsvägen 193, 261 63 Glumslöv, Sweden.
17- Marsvinsholm Castle
Marsvinsholm is a 17th-century castle near the village of Skårby.
The structure sits on stilts in a small lake where you can see lovely reflections of the castle in the water.
During the 19th century, the castle got its beautiful appearance after massive remodelling.
Visitors are not allowed inside the castle, but the park is open to the public and hosts an annual sculpture exhibition.
Marsvinsholm Castle is 10 km northwest of Ystad.
18- Borgeby Castle
Located on the banks of the River Kävlingeån, Borgeby Castle sits on the site of an 11th-century fortification.
The castle was rebuilt during the 12th century with Trelleborg design, popular during the Viking Era.
The structure underwent many renovations over hundreds of years and hosted several aristocratic families.
This once-mighty castle with its over 1000-year history also houses the Norlindmuseet, an art museum with the studio and gallery of a famous artist Ernst Norlind.
Borgeby Castle is at Borgeby Slottsväg 13, 237 91 Bjärred, Sweden.
19- Bogesund Castle
It is a magnificent four-storey castle built in the municipality of Vaxholm, in the Bogesundslandet nature reserve.
The castle was built in the 1640s as a project of Per Brahe the Younger (1602-1680).
The castle changed hands many times, ending up in the hands of Nils von Lantingshausen, who remodelled the building in the Norman style in 1774, adding a dining room, chapel and a conservatory.
Today, the government operates this castle as a wedding and event centre, while guided tours allow visitors to admire design styles of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Bogesund Castle is at Per Brahes väg, 185 93 Vaxholm, Sweden.
20- Hjularöd Castle
Hjularöd is another fairytale castle of Sweden, located in the Eslöv Municipality in Scania.
It’s a beautiful red-bricked castle surrounded by 1,200 ha of fields, lakes and forest.
The castle’s structure was built between 1894 and 1897 on the site of a 13th-century castle.
Also known as Wheel Red, the castle was built in the French medieval style and was the backdrop for the Swedish television series Mysteriet på Greveholm (The mystery at Greveholm).
Since 1926, the castle has been privately owned by the Bergengren family and is not open to the public, unfortunately.
21- Malmo Castle
Malmö Castle is a state-owned fortress in Malmö and is part of Malmö Museums.
The was built from 1537 to 1542 atop ruins of an old fort, making it an ancient Renaissance castle in Scandinavia.
After 1658, a Dutch defence system was put in to defend against a Danish siege and in subsequent years, the castle was used as a granary, an arsenal for the Swedish army and prison.
Malmo Castle is at Malmöhusvägen 6, 211 18 Malmö, Sweden.