Eskilstuna is a city in Södermanland county, Sweden. With an approximate population of 100,000 inhabitants in Enköping Municipality, out of which 70,000 live in the city proper, it is the biggest city in Södermanland County. The town is situated close to Lake Mälaren about 100 kilometers west of Stockholm.
Eskilstuna is located along Eskilstunaån (Eskilstuna River) which flows from lake Hjälmaren in the south to lake Mälaren in the north. During the Viking era the area this became an important trading place known as Tuna. In the 11th century the Anglo-Saxon missionary and bishop Eskil founded a church in Tuna, and turned it into his diocese. Initially Eskil's missionary was under the protection of the christian King Inge the Elder, but in 1080 the apostate pagan Blot-Sven seized power and had Eskil stoned to death in Strängnäs. Eskil eventually became considered a saint with a strong cult following in Tuna, which thus became known as "Eskil's Tuna", or Eskilstuna. About a century after Eskil's death the Knights Hospitallers established a monastery in Eskilstuna in his memory, preserving his relics and turning Eskilstuna into an important destination for pilgrims.
During the reformation Sweden became protestant, abolishing monasteries and the worship of saints. Eskilstuna Monastery was turned into a royal castle known as Eskilstuna hus, and Eskilstuna developed from a religious site to an industrial town. The most notable industry was Rademachersmedjorna (the Rademacher Smithery), initially producing small arms and artillery for the Swedish Empire. In 1659 the city was granted its first privileges under the official name Karl Gustafs Stad ("City of Karl Gustav"). This new name didn't catch on, and eventually the city regained the official name Eskilstuna.
In 1680 Eskilstuna hus is destroyed in a fire and never rebuilt, but Eskilstuna remains an important industrial site. During the era of industrialization Eskilstuna grew rapidly, producing machinery tools, precision instruments, cutlery, and keys, earning the nicknames Stålstaden (the Steel City) and the Sheffield of Sweden. To staff these industries Eskilstuna attracted a large number of Finnish immigrants, a group which today make up about 10-20% of the population. Like many other industrial cities Eskilstuna experienced a setback during the western de-industrialization of the 1970s, but industry remains an important part of Eskilstuna's economy and identity.
Today many Swedes think about Eskilstuna mostly as the hometown of "Sweden's most successful rock band" Kent.
- 1 Destination Eskilstuna, Fristadstorget 1, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10.00-17.00. During the main season (Jun-Aug) they are available on site, but off-season (Sep-May) they are only available per phone, e-mail or social media. In addition to the main tourist office many points of interests also serve as "InfoPoints", with trained staff and basic brochures.
You can also get in by car; the E20 highway passes just north of Eskilstuna. Eastwards it continues to Södertälje and Stockholm, and westwards to Arboga, Örebro and Gothenburg, or towards Karlstad and Oslo as E18. West of Eskilstuna E20 branches into road 56, which continues to Västerås, and east of Eskilstuna it branches into road 55, which continues to Enköping and Uppsala. The smaller road 53 connects Eskilstuna with Nyköping and highway E4 in the south.
- 1 The Rademacher forges (Rademachersmedjorna), Rademachergatan 42-50, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The open-air museum is open 24 hours daily. Since the houses are operated by independent craftsmen their opening hours vary. The museum and restaurant buildings are only open during summer.. The Rademacher forges were built in the 1650s. The red wood buildings are well preserved and serve as an open-air museum. While some buildings are used as museums or restaurants, most of them are still used by various craftsmen manufacturing and selling their own goods. Free.
- 2 Eskilstuna stadsmuseum (Eskilstuna City Museum), Faktorigatan 4B, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Su 11:00-16:00. A museum of local history. Free.
- 3 Munktellmuseet (The Munktell Museum), Pråmskjulstorget 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 10:00-16:00, Sa Su 12:00-16:00. An industrial heritage museum operated by the manufacturing company Volvo. It is named after Theofron Munktell, a local 19th century industrialist whose company became a part of Volvo in 1950. The museum is in the old factory and exhibit objects such as steam locomotives, engines and tractors. Adults 50 kr, children 10-16, students and seniors 30 kr, and children 0-9 free..
- 4 Klosters kyrka, Strandgatan 20, ☏ . Tu, Th, F, Sa: 11.00-15.00, W: 13.00-15.00, Su: 10.00-14.00. Constructed in 1929, it is the largest and second oldest church in Eskilstuna.
- 5 Fors kyrka, Kyrkogatan 16, ☏ . Tu, Th, F, Sa: 11.00-15.00, W: 13.00-15.00, Su: 10.00-14.00. Built during the 11th century by Saint Eskil, this is the oldest and second largest church in Eskilstuna. It got it current appearance during the 17th century.
- 6 Sörmlandsgården (Djurgården), ☏ . The are can be accessed 24 hours daily around the year, but the indoors can only be accessed Jun-Aug Sa Su 12.00-16.00, W 18.00-20.00. An open-air museum showing how a typical central Swedish 19th century farm. The on site inn "Pilkrog" serve well made lunch.
- 7 Eskilstuna konstmuseum (Eskilstuna Art Museum), Portgatan 2, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-F 11.00–16.00, Sa Su 12.00–16.00. A local art museum with art objects from the 17th century to today, with a special focus on 20th century Swedish art. Free.
- 1 Parken Zoo, Flackstavägen 13 (15 minutes walk from the central station), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. May-Sep. Part of several projects to protect endangered species, including a few extremely rare, like the Mountain chicken frog. It's quite big by Swedish standards, with around 50 different species, has interesting animals and has a part that is an amusement park. Adult tickets; 280-380 kr, children's tickets; 180-330 kr; prices depending on the season and what venues are open.
- 2 Eskilstuna Biljardhall, Torggatan 44, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Su-Th 11:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-03:00. A billiards club which also offers a small restaurant/sports bar.
- 3 Munktellbadet, Holger Lindmarks plats 4, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M 06:00-20:00, Tu Th 09:00-20:00, W 06:00-21:00, F 06:00-19:00, Sa Su 08:00-18:00. A 10,000 m2 (110,000 ft²) public bath inaugurated in 2016, with a family bathing area, swimming pools, a relaxation area and a gym. Ages 0-2: 30 kr, 3-6: 75 kr, 7-17: 95 kr, 18+: 125 kr, seniors and students: 95 kr. Discounts for those entering before 14.00 M-Th.
There are several food trucks on the central square "Fristadstorget" selling budget priced street food.
- 1 Biografbaren, Järntorget 2, ☏ . Tu-Th 16:00-23:00 F Sa 16:00-01:00. A movie theatre themed restaurant, café and bar.
- 2 Grekiska kolgrillsbaren, Fristadstorget 6, ☏ . M-Th 11:00-22:00 F 11:00-23:00, Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 12:00-21:00. A chain restaurant specialized in Greek charcoal grilled cuisine. Mains 135-270 kr.
- 3 Papas Tapas, Kribsensgatan 9, ☏ . M-F 11:00-00:00 Sa 12:00-00:00. A Spanish-Mexican tapas restaurant. Tapas 35-85 kr, mains 130-225 kr.
- 4 Western Grillhouse & Burgers, Kungsgatan 11, ☏ . M-Th 11:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-01:00, Su 12:00-22:00. An Old West themed bar and restaurant.
- 1 Eskilstuna Ölkultur, Faktorigatan 1, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Brewery shop: M-F 09.00-16.00; pub: W 16:00-21:00, F 15:00-22:30 Sa 17:00-23:30. Sweden's first brewpub is located in a pretty old industrial building. The bar is tended by volunteers serving their locally made brew.
- 2 Konditori Amarant, Eskilstunavägen 5 (Torshälla, 6 km north of central Eskilstuna), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 05.00 - 18.00, Sa 06.00 - 17.00, Su 09.00 - 17.00. A café listed in the national restaurant guide "White Guide". They have got branches in Eskilstuna at Cityhuset köpcentrum (Kungsgatan 24) Tuna Parks Köpcentrum (Gunborg Nymans Väg 2) and Kungsgatan 66.