Alingsås – The capital of fika
Just half an hour from Gothenburg lies the natural destination for anyone who loves ‘fika’. We’re talking about Café town Alingsås – the capital of Swedish Fika.
In Sweden’s fika capital small cobblestone streets are lined with pretty wooden houses, and there’s a patisserie or bakery on virtually every corner. The choice of freshly baked delicacies is impressive – everything from classic cinnamon buns to contemporary creations. It’s a quaint little town with just under 30 000 inhabitants, and a history that’s worth exploring.
Photographer: Ulf Svane Photography
How to get there
Alingsås is near Lake Mjörn, around 50 km north east of Gothenburg. The quickest and easiest way to get there is by train. You can get to Alingsås in less than 30 minutes on the Västtåget train from Gothenburg’s Central Station.
Visit the town’s best cafes
Not unexpectedly, it’s precisely that fika tradition that attracts many people to Alingsås. There are around thirty cafes in the town, the oldest of which dates back to the end of the 1800s. Ekstedts Bageri & Café is a hot tip if you want to try one of the more historic cafes. Their cake and pastry selection is the absolute epitome of Swedish patisserie tradition.You’ll find gateaux, Danish pastries, buns and biscuits in abundance.
Photographer: TINA STAFREN
If you prefer something a bit more modern we recommend Nygrens Café, where you can get a filling sandwich or Swedish-American sweets, like Sticky Bun Cake, cookies and fruit pies.
20 minutes walk from the town centre lies Nolbygårdens Ekobageri & Café, where baker Lasse really puts concepts like organic and recycled to the test. He’s also a train enthusiast, and if you want, you can pack a picnic basket and sit in the charming railcar that stands in the garden.
Photographer: Tina Stafren
Tip! If you want to explore the fika town with a local, then book a meet up with fika nerd Gunilla, and let her show you her Alingsås. Read more about Gunilla and all the other locals on Meet the Locals.
- Guided fika tour in the town centre. Explore the fika culture in depth. During the walk a knowledgeable guide will explain the fascinating story of how Alingsås became the fika capital for all Swedes. And of course you’ll stop at some of the best cafes to sample both cakes and coffee!
- The Potato Festival. Did you know that it was fromAlingsås that the first potatoes (or “nolor” as they were called here then) subsequently spread across the whole country? This is celebrated with an annual summer festival. From 14-16 June the whole town centre becomes an exuberant festival venue, with music, dance, activities and demonstrations for all.
- Alingsås’s big anniversary party. In addition, in 2019 Alingsås will be celebrating its 400th anniversary, no less, which is being marked in various ways all year long. The main celebration, Jubilee Weekend, will be from 20-22 September.
- Lights in Alingsås. If you can, visit the town during autumn to experience the Lights in Alingsås event. Leading lighting designers from all over the world light up public spaces across the whole of the town centre with colourful light installations.
Photographer: Robert Persson
More to see and do
Alingsås is a pretty town of wooden houses, where many of the old buildings have been preserved. The river Lillån runs through the town, and in the centre, which is perfect for strolling around, you’ll find many quaint courtyards and shops to visit.
To the west of the centre lies Nolhaga Manor Park, a leafy green oasis, with lovely sculptures and pretty picnic areas. The jewel in the crown is Nolhaga Manor, built in Italian neo renaissance style in 1880. Have a peep at the animals in the children’s farm, which is free to visit and contains some endangered native species and lots of different kinds of birds. Also found here is the recently opened Nolhaga Parkbad – a water palace with pools, a water park, spa area and café.
Having a trip on the listed steam ship Herbert is a real summer classic forAlingsås residents. Herbert departs from the steamship wharf on Lövekullevägen 13, and takes passengers out onto Lake Mjörn. It’s a lovely feeling to climb onboard this boat that was being used as a tug on nearby waterways as early as 1905. You might want to land on the island of Risön , which is a republic of its own, with a president, currency and national anthem. Sounds exciting doesn’t it!
Another interesting historical attraction is Gräfsnäs Castle Ruins and park, which is situated 20 km north of the town. In summer the place is full of markets, festivals and music events. The café is also open then, and the adjacent lakeside swimming areas are a popular family friendly destination. If you want to see more of the surroundings you can take a ride on a steam train along the Anten -Gräfsnäs museum railway. The 12 km long journey is a real delight, with scenic views of the countryside and lake Anten. When the train stops to fill up with water in Kvarnabo you can take the opportunity to have a closer look at this almost 100 year old steam engine.
If you want to stay over
If you want to stay the night we recommend Grand Hotel Alingsås, right by the railway station.
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