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Photographer: Ateljé Clas

Welcome to Vänersborg

Vänersborg is beautifully located on the southern tip of Lake Vänern, offering both small town charm and a rich array of attractions and activities. Hike along the the edge of Lake Vänern, visit the unique Vänersborg museum or shop in one of the city's unique shops – these are just a few of the choices that you have when visiting Vänersborg.

Vänersborg was granted city rights in 1644 and ever since it has had an important strategic location on the southwestern tip of Lake Vänern. In 1680 Vänersborg became residential city in Älvsborg County, a title the city no longer holds, but the bulk of the Västra Götaland region’s administration is located here and Vänersborg formally became the regional capital in 1998. Throughout history, handicraft, trade and shipping have been central components in the development of Vänersborg.

The famous Swedish poet Birger Sjöberg was born in Vänersborg and at the end of the 19th century he called the city “Lilla Paris” (Little Paris) – a name that is still used today.

What to See and Experience in Vänersborg


Skräckleparken (the Skräckle Park) is for many people their favorite place in Vänersborg. The beautiful park is right on the edge of Lake Vänern and here you can enjoy a relaxing walk or bike ride. Here, you can also meet Frida, Birger Sjöberg’s muse, looking out over Vänerviken towards Dalbobergen (the Dalbohills) where Birger Sjöberg and his friends often spent time together. During the summer months, the popular Skräcklestugan is open where you can have a snack or a light meal and at the same time enjoy the beautiful views of Sweden's largest lake. Next to Skräcklestugan is also the most popular playground in Vänersborg located.

Kulturaxeln (The Culture Axis)

The poet Birger Sjöberg called Vänersborg “Little Paris” and one can tell where he got his inspiration from when walking around in the central parts of Vänersborg. Along Kulturaxeln (the culture axis) in Vänersborg you will find several impressive buildings. Here the residence is located, a building that dates to 1754; the Vänersborg market square, where open-air markets and events are held every month; and the Vänersborg Museum - Sweden's oldest museum -, a miniature British museum. 

Karls grav, Brinkebergskulle sluss (lock) and Restad Gård

South of the city center of Vänersborg is Karl’s grave located, a 3.6 km long canal for ships travelling between Vassbotten and the river Göta Älv, to circumvent the rapids in Vargön. There is nice walking- and bicycle trails along both sides of the canal. Here is also Brinkebergskulle sluss, the top of six locks that regulate the waterway between Lake Vänern and the North Sea. Around the lock area there are beautiful walkways and a café that is open during the summer. Just south-east of Brinkebergskulle sluss is Restad Gård located, a growing neighborhood, beautifully situated along Göta Älv. There is a Kulturpark (culture park) which offers rich history and a Skulpturpark (sculpture park), a 50-acre park with sculptures by internationally recognized artists.

The City Center of Vänersborg

The city center of Vänersborg offers unique shopping and cozy restaurants and cafés. Here you can choose from 60 shops and restaurants. When you walk along the pedestrian street and on the smaller streets you will find some unique stores, with a wide variety of things, such as: interior design items, clothing, delicatessen, books and much more. When you are in the city center you are only a short walk away from several of Vänersborg's tourist destinations: Skräckleparken, the Vänersborg Museum and Vattenpalatset (indoor water palace). On the last Monday of the month (except in December), there is an open-air market on the market square.

Read more about shopping in Vänersborg city center here. 

The proximity to Lake Vänern

The area surrounding Vänersborg offers many opportunities to discover Sweden's largest lake. There are several long sandy beaches to choose from and if you want to go on your own adventure, you can rent a canoe, a kayak or a small motorboat. In Lake Vänern you do not need a fishing license, although certain rules must be followed. Therefore, the lake is an eldorado for people who like to go fishing.

Read more on our Lake Vänern page.

Read More about What to See and Do in Vänersborg

For those of you who want an overview of what this area has to offer this is where we have gathered all the information about the attractions and activities in Vänersborg. If you are looking for a place to have a nice dinner or a cup of coffee, please visit our Food and Beverage page for Vänersborg and if you are looking for accommodation, please visit our Accommodation in Vänersborg page.

Day trips close to Vänersborg


Only about a 15 minutes’ drive from Vänersborg the city of Trollhättan is located. This is where you can find exciting attractions such as the magnificent Trollhättefallen (Trollhättan waterfalls), the Trollhättan lock system, the Innovatum District with the Saab Car Museum and the Innovatum Science Center which offer exciting experiences for the whole family. If you want to leave your car in Vänersborg you can easily catch a train or bus between the two cities. Read more about Trollhättan here.

Ecopark Halle- and Hunneberg

Discover the unique scenery of Halle- and Hunneberg - only a 20 minutes’ drive from Vänersborg. The twin mountains are excellent to discover on foot or by mountain bike. There are many trails to choose from. If you want to know more about nature, wildlife and history of the mountains, visit the Kungajakt Museum Älgens Berg, an experience center for all ages on Hunneberg. Read more about Ecopark Halle- and Hunneberg here. 

Contact Vänersborg Tourist Information Center.