Overlooking the fresh waters of Lake Vättern, Vadstena is a historically rich town in Sweden’s Östergötland County. Its beautifully preserved old town is home to a monastery that was founded by Saint Bridget of Sweden in 1350, as well as a Renaissance castle framed by a rectangular moat.
Things to do in Vadstena
Stroll through the heart of Vadstena to explore its atmospheric old town, which is clustered with buildings that date back to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Stop by the Vadstena Town Hall, which is the oldest of its kind in Sweden, and admire the collection of locally-made laces at the Vadstena City Museum. Also of note is the Vadstena Hospital Museum, which is housed in an 18th-century psychiatric hospital.
In the heart of town is the Vadstena Klosterkyrka, which was built in the 15th century adjacent to a Bridgettine monastery. It’s often referred to as the “Blue Church” due to the shimmering blue colour of its stonework and features a Neo-Gothic interior that dates largely from the 1890s. Wooden sculptures, centuries-old altars and textiles are on display in the Sancta Birgitta Klostermuseum.
One of Vadstena’s most striking architectural landmarks is its 16th-century castle, which was constructed by King Gustav I to protect Stockholm against enemies approaching from the south. Join a guided tour to marvel at its Renaissance-style stone walls and grand halls where period furnishings and artwork are exhibited or coincide your visit with one of the cultural events that are held at the Vadstena Castle throughout the year.
Getting around Vadstena
Vadstena is a 20-minute drive from Motala and 45 minutes from the centre of Linköping. Stockholm Arlanda Airport is three hours away. Buses are the main means of getting to Vadstena and the town is compact enough to explore on foot.