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Sundsvall

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Sundsvall is the seat of Västernorrland County, and the only city in the Medelpad province of Sweden. The city population is about 55,000 but including suburbs the total is close to 100,000. It is located in a hilly area by the coast and its main industries are pulp and paper factories, sawmills, aluminium smelting, and hydroelectric power generation. Sundsvall also houses a campus of the Mittuniversitetet (Mid Sweden University), which gained university status in 2005.

Understand

The wooden city was repeatedly destroyed by fire, so after the great fire of 1888 it was rebuilt as a Stenstaden - a stone city. Sundsvall was prosperous at the time, so the central area was rebuilt in art nouveau style, with grand city blocks and lavish exteriors. Most sites of interest are in this central area, including the 1 Tourist Information Bureau (Sundsvalls turistbyrå), Stora Torget, ☏ +46 60-658 58 00, ✉ info@visitsundsvall.se. M–F 11:00–18:00; Sa 11:00–15:00.

Get in

By plane

  • Sundsvall-Timrå Airport (SDL IATA) (21 km north of the city). There are daily flights from Stockholm (both Arlanda and Bromma).

The airport shuttle bus no longer runs, so either take a taxi to city centre (45 min), or somewhat cheaper is a taxi to Timrå and then a local bus to Sundsvall (takes 30 mins, runs every 30 mins).

Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN IATA) has extensive international connections. It's 30 km north of Stockholm and there's no need to travel via the capital: you can take a northbound train from Arlanda Central station within the airport. (Not from Arlanda South or North: these only have expresses to Stockholm city.) You'll probably have to change at Uppsala or Gävle. Alternatively take UL bus 801 from the airport to Uppsala and change to a northbound train or express bus. The UL bus runs twice an hour, 3 am to midnight, and takes 25 mins.

By rail

There are six direct express trains per day from Stockholm, reaching Sundsvall in 3½ hours, for a standard fare of 200-900 kr. Other connections are possible by changing at Gävle to the X-Tåget regional trains. Norrtåg services link Östersund (for connections to Trondheim) and Umeå. The main railway station is 2 Sundsvall Centralstation: all trains stop here, and it's close to the centre. There are ticket machines but no staffed ticket kiosk. There's a newsagent, an American Diner, and left-luggage lockers.

Regional trains may also call at 3 Sundsvall Västra station 1 km west. Visitors are only likely to use this to reach the university campus.

By bus

Swebus runs from Stockholm to Sundsvall (six per day, 6-7 hours) and continues north to Umeå and Luleå.

4 Sundsvall Bus Station is at the north end of Esplanaden in city centre. There are lots of food & drink outlets nearby.

Get around

With local buses operated by Din Tur or taxi.

See

The central Stenstaden is mostly pedestrianised. The main square is "Stora Torget", a pleasant space with building styles ranging from red-brick "Midland-Railway-Belle-Epoque" to concrete brutalist. The main church, Gustav Adolf Lutheran church, is just west.

  • Kulturmagasinet, Packhusgatan 4 (In the city near the harbor), ☏ +46 60 19 18 00. M-Th 10:00-19:00, F 10:00-18:00, Sa Su 11:00-16:00. Museum over 3 floors of two linked warehouses. Free.
  • 2 Norra Berget Friluftsmuseum, Gustaf Adolfsvägen 18 B (On hillside 2 km north of city centre). Daily; most attractions 11:00-17:00. "Skansen" or open-air museum of country life.

Do

  • Sundsvall Street Festival is held in the first week of July. It's a street party with a lot of great artists.
  • 1 Casino Cosmopol Sundsvall, ☏ +46 60 141150, ✉ sundsvall@casinocosmopol.se. M-F 15:00-03:00, Sa Su 13:00-03:00. One of only four casinos in Sweden - the others are in Stockholm, Goteborg and Malmo, all run by Cosmopol. Check their website for games, stakes, dress code, house rules etc.
  • 2 Södra Berget, Södra Stadsberget 1, Sundsvall, Sweden, ☏ +46 60-67 10 00, ✉ reception@sodraberget.com. Leisure complex on South Hill overlooking the city, with a hotel, bowling alley, spa and restaurant.
  • Ski: two small ski areas are just south of the city, Slalombacke on Södra Berget and Sidsjöbacken a few km east. Two others lie 10 km south.

Buy

Eat

Sundsvall has more than 60 restaurants, bars and pubs, mostly in the central area. Most international cuisine is represented and of course Swedish traditional husmanskost.

  • 1 Brandstation Bar & Matsalar, Köpmangatan 29, ☏ +46 60 12 3936, fax: +46 60 12 0506, ✉ brandstation@telia.com. M-F 11:00-13:30. All-you-can-eat buffet lunch, in city centre.
  • 2 Invito, Storgatan 6-8, ☏ +46 60-153900. M-F 11:00-14:00 & 17:00-23:00 (F to 01:00), Sa 17:00-01:00, Su closed. Popular Italian restaurant and bar
  • 3 Tant Anci & Fröken Sara, Bankgatan 15, ☏ +46 60 785 5700. M-Th 10:00-21:00, F 10:00-20:00, Sa 11:00-18:00, Su 12:00-16:00. A café with focus on ecological and locally sourced produce.

Drink

Almost all bars are in the "Stenstaden" area.

Sleep

  • 1 Elite Hotel Knaust, Storgatan 13, ☏ +46 60 6080000, fax: +46 60 6080010, ✉ info.knaust@elite.se. Built in 1891 and extensively renovated 2002 this hotel is a landmark in itself, and ranks among the best in town. From 950 kr per night.
  • 2 Best Western Hotel Baltic, Sjögatan 5 (600 m from Central Station), ☏ +46 60 14 04 40, fax: +46 60 12 45 60, ✉ info@baltichotell.com. Three-star hotel opposite the Kulturmagasinet complex, with views of the waterfront.
  • 3 Södra Bergets Vandrarhem, Regementsvägn 5 (From rwy stn walk N 1 km), ☏ +46 70 815 5691, ✉ info@sodrabergetsvandrarhem.se. A small hostel with 16 rooms 1½ km from the city centre. Dorm from 185 kr, single rooms from 255 kr.

Go next

The choice is southwards to Uppsala and Stockholm, inland to Östersund and Trondheim, northwards to Umeå with a ferry route to Vaasa, and further north towards Luleå and Narvik.



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