county (län) in Sweden

Dalarna, latinized form Dalecarlia, is a province and county in the region Svealand, in Sweden. It has a population of almost 280,000; nearly half of them in the southeastern twin cities Borlänge and Falun. Except those cities, most villages and towns of Dalarna are small, and known for being an archetype of Swedish folk culture; especially around lake Siljan. Northern and western Dalarna have vast forests and tall mountains for outdoor life.


Map of Dalarna

Dalarna is Svealand's largest province, where the scenery differs a lot between the mountainous wilderness in the northwest, and the flat southeastern farmlands.

  Västerdalarna (Vansbro, Malung, Sälen and Älvdalen)
The forested, mountainous border to Värmland and Norway contains ski resorts and wildlife.
  Siljansbygden (Mora, Orsa, Rättvik, Leksand, Tällberg, Gesunda and Gagnef)
The towns and villages around Lake Siljan are known for many icons of Swedishness.
  Dalabergslagen (Avesta, Borlänge, Hedemora, Falun, Ludvika, Smedjebacken, Säfsen, Säter)
A mining and metalworking district in southern Dalarna, with most of the population.


  • 1 Avesta, small town where you'll find the largest Dala Horse in the world
  • 2 Borlänge, a blue-collar town and friendly rival of its sibling Falun
  • 3 Falun, known for its copper mine, and two of its by-products: red paint and sausage.
  • 4 Leksand, famous for its Midsummer celebrations and ice hockey team
  • 5 Mora, home of the Dala Horse
  • 6 Orsa, with nice small-scale skiing and Europe's largest bear park
  • 7 Rättvik, with great views over lake Siljan
  • 8 Vansbro, known for its annual river swimming contest

Other destinations

  • 1 Säfsen — a popular ski resort
  • 2 Sälen — an even more popular ski resort
  • 3 Tällberg — A small village, but a major tourist resort in Siljansbygden, known for its Midsummer festival.

National parks

  • Färnebofjärden
  • Fulufjället - in Älvdalen in northwestern Dalarna.
  • Hamra National Park
  • Töfsingdalen


One of many lakes in Dalarna surrounded by summer-houses

Dalarna is an important province in Swedish history. In contrast to many other provinces, Dalarna was devoid of a noble elite, and foreign influence was small. Several uprisings against foreign and domestic rulers started in Dalarna. The most famous is the Liberation War of the 1520s, in which Gustav Vasa travelled to Dalarna to stage an uprising against the Danish rulers of Stockholm. The truth of his legendary adventures in Dalarna is disputed; nevertheless, they are commemorated by Vasaloppet, an annual ski race.

In the 19th century, Sweden's nationalist movement sought to define a Swedish identity. They perceived the folk culture of Dalarna, especially in Siljansbygden, to be purely Swedish, and it was elevated into an archetype (and, in some cases, stereotype) of Swedish national identity. Falu Rödfärg (the red paint typical to Swedish farmhouses) and Midsummer celebration are some Swedish icons originating from Dalarna. While the Dala Horse, dalahäst, has been a handicraft object since the 17th century, it became a symbol of Sweden only in 1939, at the New York City World Fair. This phenomenon can be compared to Bavaria, which is the origin of many icons of German culture.

Dalarna has a thriving pop music scene, with the Peace and Love festival in Borlänge, and acts such as HammerFall and Miss Li.



As in the rest of Sweden, everyone, except the elderly, speaks some English. When it comes to local language, Dalarna has a special-sounding dialect. The dialect of Älvdalen is usually considered a language distinct from Swedish.

Get in


Resrobot is a search engine for all public transport inside Sweden.

By plane


The Borlänge and Mora airports do not have any scheduled flights any more.

By train


Most cities are reachable by rail, either operated by SJ or by the regional company Tåg i Bergslagen. Tickets for both can be bought at the website of the Swedish railway company SJ.

By bus


Going by bus is usually slightly cheaper than by train. You can buy tickets at the website of MasExpressen (Available in English).

Get around


Travelling inside Dalarna is by train (Tåg i Bergslagen. Ticket purchase in English on or by bus (Dalatrafik). Ticket purchase can be done onboard.

Travelling within cities is by bus, and the ticket can be used multiple times in one hour.

Dalarna is great for outdoor life; especially winter sport, as the province is usually snowier than southern Sweden, and has many mountains.

  • Canoeing: In the region of Tyngsjö is one of the nicest things to do in the Swedish summer.

Information and rental addresses are found in this region south of Malung

  • Winter sport. In the northern part of the province there are several popular ski-resorts, such as Sälen and Idre. There's also a pretty big alpine resort i Borlange, called Romme Alpin.
  • Vansbrosimningen in Vansbro.
  • Dalhalla, in an old quarry outside Rättvik, ranks as the fourth best outside-arena in the world (by Austrian Magazin Festspiele). During the warmer half of the year lots of concerts and theatre plays are shown here.
  • Hiking; Södra Kungsleden is a route from Sälen to Storlien.
  • Kupolen. The largest shopping-mall in the province with over 80 stores and several more nearby, located in Borlänge.
  • Dala Horses in Nusnäs, Mora.
  • Mora knives.

There are dishes from all over the world available at restaurants. Domestic and international fast-food companies are well established.

A local specialty of Falun is the falukorv, a big sausage. Hard bread, knäckebröd is made around Dalarna, more famous for its role as a cornerstone of Swedish cuisine, than its taste.

The forests provide game and berries, and there are many places for foraging.

Stay safe


See cold weather and driving in Sweden.

In the mining districts, abandoned mining holes are a serious risk factor, as they have blended into nature.

Go next


This region travel guide to Dalarna is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.