Due to its strategic location on the isthmus between the lakes Siljan and Orsan, with the Dalälv river as a major communication route, the area has been populated as early as the 7th century AD. Several archaeological discoveries from around 1000 AD tells of a rich Viking-era culture built around fur hunting, fishing and iron processing.
The name "Mora" is first used in written sources in 1325. The word itself is the plural user of the dialectical word 'mor', meaning "dense forest on damp land". Mora became an important place in Swedish history during the 16th century, when it supported Gustav Vasa in the Swedish war of independence from the Kalmar Union, 1521-1523.
Mora became industrialized during the latter part of the 18th century with the production of Mora clocks. During the 19th century Mora instead became a producer of knives, faucets and ice drills.
The easiest way to reach Mora is by road or by train. 1 Mora Central Station is about four hours from the capital Stockholm. Bus is in general the cheapest way of reaching Mora from other cities. The biggest intercity bus company is Swebus Express. Mora is the final station of Dalabanan, which continues towards Stockholm. Railway tickets can be bought at the website of the Swedish railway company SJ. Regional trains are operated by Tåg i Bergslagen. Buses and trains both stop at the railway station which is a short walk from the city centre and the hotels there. Mora is an important stop on Inlandsbanan
Highway E45 (also known as Inlandsvägen) from Gothenburg passes by Mora, continuing north towards Karesuando. Mora is connected to E45 via route 26, which meets the E45 by Johannisholm, some 40 km (25 mi) south of Mora.
Route 70 leads from Mora to Rättvik, where it is branched into route one route which keeps the name 70, and continues towards Enköping, and route 69 which will take you to Falun. From Enköping you can continue toward Stockholm via the highway E18, and from Falun you can easily continue towards Gävle and Uppsala.
Mora is small enough to be explored on foot, however there is a local bus network handled by Dalatrafik. The price for a bus ticket is 17 kr. If you drive a car, parking is free on many streets.
Taxis are pricey, as always in Sweden. Mora Taxi is reached on +46 250 15000.
The Dalarna province is by many considered to be the very essence of Sweden, and Mora is a strong contributor to that fact. This is the home of the Dala Horse, the most famous Swedish souvenir there is.
- Nusnäs (10 km south-east of Mora. To get to Nusnäs from Mora, take bus 108 from the railway station in Mora) The village of Nusnäs is the place where the Dala Horse is made. These small wooden horses have been around since the 17th century. They are normally painted orange or blue with symmetrical decorations known as kurbits painting. The horses are carved and painted in workshops open for tourists, and you can buy a carving kit of your own or even try to paint one yourself. Dala Horse workshops in Nusnäs:
- 3 Siljansfors Skogsmuseum (By the route E45, some 18 km South-West of central Mora), ☏ . An open-air museum about forestry and Mora's industrial heritage.
- 4 Tomteland (Santaworld), Gesundabergsvägen 80 (By "Gesunda" 17 km south of central Mora), ☏ . Mora is, along with for instance the North Pole and Rovaniemi in Finland, claimed to be the home of Santa Claus. The Santaworld theme park is 17 km south of Mora by the Gesunda Mountain. It is a village of wooden houses with actors dressed as Santa, his helpers, trolls and the like. No Disney-style park based on a lot of rides. During high season, which means summer and the weeks before Christmas, the entrance fee is around 140 kr. During low season there are fewer actors present (sometimes none at all) and tickets are cheaper.
- 5 Vasaloppsmuséet (The Vasaloppet Museum), Vasagatan 30 (Vasaloppets hus) (next to the goal portal), ☏ . A museum dedicated to the race. It has exhibitions about great skiers and interesting events during the 80-something years the race has taken place. Entry for adults is 30 kr, and that includes blueberry soup - the energy drink of choice for Vasaloppet racers.
- 6 Zorngården, Vasagatan 36, ☏ . It's the former home of one of Sweden's most famous painters, Anders Zorn (1860-1920). Together with Carl Larsson (whose home can be visited in Falun) he is the artist who has had the strongest influence on the image of Dalarna and Sweden. The main part of Zorngården consists of Zorn's home and a museum with his art, but there are two other museums that also are part of the Zorn Collection. Gammelgården is in the southern part of Mora and consists of 40-something timber houses that Zorn bought to make sure that the old art of building such houses wasn't forgotten. Gopsmor, Zorn's refuge when the pressure got too high, is in the municipality of Älvdalen and is only open for visitors in July.
- Ice hockey is popular in Mora. The local team Mora IK remains the arch rival of Leksand, the traditional hockey superpower in the lwague. The two teams have rollercoasted in and out of the top league, SHL. After failing the 2019 SHL qualifiers, Mora has been relegated for play in the second-tier league, HockeyAllsvenskan. During the hockey season (September-March) you can join the crowds in FM Mattsson Arena. Tickets can be purchased at the tourist agency. If you want to stand with the hardcore fans a ticket is 125 kr, if you prefer sitting down prices range from 180 kr to 295 kr.
- Vasaloppet. The world's third longest cross-country skiing race, takes place every year on the first Sunday of March. It is a memory of how Swedish king-to-be Gustav Vasa went on skis between Mora and Sälen, where he was talked into staying in Sweden and lead the fight against the Danes. The memorial race goes in the opposite direction and around 16,000 skiers try to make it from Sälen to the goal in Mora, a distance of 90 km. The goal now stands in the middle of Mora (Vasagatan, near the corner with Björnramsgatan) all year round, a portal consisting of two red pillars and a banner with the classical inscription "I fäders spår - för framtids segrar" ("In fathers' tracks - for future victories"). The event itself has grown into Vasaloppet's Week (Vasaloppsveckan), an entire week in late February filled with ski races and other activities.
- Might as well get that Dala Horse immediately. You can run but you can't hide.
- A more useful memory of Mora would be a Mora knife, the weapon of choice for Swedes whatever task needs to be fulfilled. You will for instance never see a Swedish soldier or construction worker without a Mora knife in his belt. Old style Mora knives have handles made of wood, but cheaper versions with plastic handles are available as well. The knives are made by two Mora companies: Frosts and Mora of Sweden. Mora of Sweden has an outlet store.
- 1 China House, Moragatan 1, ☏ . A restaurant with Chinese food.
- 2 Lilla Krogen Pub & Restaurang, Strandgatan 6, ☏ . General Swedish cuisine, along with pizza and a variety of different meals.
- 3 MC Donald's, Skålmyrsvägen 35, ☏ . By the Siljan shore line.
- 4 Strand Kök & Bar i Mora, Strandgatan 19, ☏ . By the Siljan shore line.
- 1 Mora Brewery (Mora Bryggeri), Tallvägen 10, 792 52 Mora, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the few small family owned breweries in Sweden. It makes beer, cider, soft drinks and svagdricka. Some of their beers can be purchased at Systembolaget stores, the other products are sold in Dalarna and the adjacent regions, but are quite hard to find in other parts of the country. It is possible for groups to book a visit at the brewery.
- Hotel Fridhemsgatan (Hotell St. Mikael), Fridhemsgatan 15, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 1 Hotel Kung Gösta, Kristinebergsgatan 1 (In Vinäs, 6 km from central Mora), ☏ .
- 2 Hotell Siljan, Moragatan 6, ☏ .
- Mora Hotell & Spa, Strandgatan 12, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. An old hotel in central Mora, dating back to 1830.
- Mora Parken, Parkvägen, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Offer hotel rooms, cottages and apartments.
- 3 Mora Vandrarhem & Gästhem, Bärsgardsvägen 5 (In Vinäs, 6 km from central Mora), ☏ . A hostel in an old teacher's home from the 1920s.
- 4 STF Vandrarhem Målkullan, Björnramsgatan 2, ☏ . A hostel runned by the Swedish Tourist Association STF.