Linköping is one of the largest cities of Sweden and hence when we decided to visit it as a day trip we wondered if we had enough time to explore the place. But at the end of the day I had some pretty decent memories of the day. If you are in hurry then you can just watch this short video of our day in Linköping.
We took the regional SJ train from Stockholm to Linköping. I think the entire train had two level carriages, double level ones, which are something different like a double decker bus. Just remember to take one of the exact class vagn (carriages) be it first or second. Seats are not specifically allocated sometimes, hence we secured ourselves top level seats. A direct high speed train will take 2 hours to reach Linköping from Stockholm. It was pretty straightforward and pleasant journey. Usually on these journeys food needs to be carried on our own. Long SJ trains usually have a cafe/canteen carriage attached in them.
After reaching Linköping we quickly headed out to explore the place. Immediately outside the station was a main road, yet one has to walk for about 10minutes to reach the main square of Stortorget, not before making a stop at the first church of the day.
Why churches? Because Europe has lot of them and many are cute hence a quick peak inside never hurts anyone. It is generally the love of architecture, stained glasses installed, candles, quiet feeling and relief from sunlight that makes we want to visit them.
Sankt Lars Kyrka
This one was more of the recent times, very simple approach of decor inside the church. Hence if you don’t have time you might even skip visiting this church. The premises around the church had ample space to relax, walk, and plan your route.
As are all the Stora torgets of cities in Sweden, a commercial square which opens up to many small lanes with smaller cafes, restaurants and shops. A large space in between for small events I guess.
Linköping Domkyrkan has a long history starting from 11th century and it has undergone numerous restorations, reconstructions and development after fires, change of architectural styles etc. It is Sweden’s second tallest church after Uppsala Cathedral.
I really liked the Cathedral as it was quite pleasant and calm inside. We spent about half an hour in and around the premises. Even though the castle is near by we decided to go to flygvapenmusrum as it would take lot of our time.
Air Force Museum – Flygvapenmuseum
Air force Museum is not situated exactly in Linköping , but just outside the city at Malmen Airbase in Malmslatt. We reached the museum by taking a bus from nearby stop. We bought a local travel card but not a 24 hour pass as we needed it for only two journeys. This is the first ever museum with air force and air crafts as their main theme that I had ever visited and it was a revelation to me about Swedish air history. There are nine aerospace museums across Sweden and after major renovations in 2010, It was the winner of Swedish museum of the year in 2011.
Besides the Swedish aviation history, museum has a huge collection of aircrafts, engines,instruments and uniform. It will be super interesting for kids and perfect place to spend time with family. Museum also describes the role of Swedish aviation industry during war and after it. There are simulations as well to understand how it feels to fly. You can see that in the above video. We easily spent the entire afternoon in this museum and still kind of hurried at the end because we had to see gardens, have dinner and catch our train back home. There is a canteen as well to enjoy and have food, but by the time we reached not many options were available in food. Also there are lockers to store your luggage and coats if needed. What was especially fun that these life sized aircraft can be experienced so easily and to experience the journey
After roaming in the air force museum, we needed a break and wanted to spend sometime in nature and we were glad to visit this park. We took a bus back from the museum to the center as this park is quite centrally located. As we were there in very early spring, you can see not many green trees, but I can imagine it’s beauty during spring. We spent some time in this park soaking up some sunlight and exploring the area. It is actually a 13 hectare huge park with lot of playing area for kids and a lookout tower at one end which also has a cafe. You can reach the tower by climbing a staircase or a simple climbing walkway. Close to the watch tower is also the Linköping University and hospital. This map will be super useful and other information can be found on their website.
After this we had dinner at a nearby restaurant and headed back to Stockholm. It was quite a fulfilling introduction to this city. Though much more can be seen in future, we loved visiting the museum and glad we spent maximum time over there.