Östersund can hardly be called the main tourist center of Sweden, but it’s easy to call it a sports center. A small city of 60,000 is considered the capital of winter sports. It is the Östersund stage that traditionally opens the Biathlon World Cup, which attracts fans from all over Europe. After shooting skiers, snowmobile masters, skaters and hockey players also compete here. In addition to stadiums, ice palaces and cross-country skiing tracks, Östersund has, of course, the attributes of a typical Scandinavian town: small squares, narrow paved streets, neat houses under a tiled roof. And given that a significant part of the population is students, tourists can count on a large selection of entertainment and affordable prices in local establishments.
How to get to Östersund
According to wholevehicles, the easiest way to get from Russia to Östersund is with a change in Stockholm, from where you can get to the city in two ways: by plane or by train. Moreover, a trip by railway transport will cost the same amount as by air, and the trains depart directly from Arlanda Airport and take 6 hours without transfers. You can check the schedule at Swedish Railways website. From Ore-Östersund Airport (off. site in English) to the city can be reached by bus in 25 minutes.
Public transport in Östersund is represented by buses. It should be borne in mind that after 19:00 and on weekends they run very rarely: night flights leave the route. There is an inexpensive bicycle rental in the city, the largest station is at the entrance to the railway station.
There are not very many hotels in Östersund, but their prices are quite reasonable. A double room in a neat two-star hotel costs 500-600 SEK per day. A little more expensive night in a 3 * hotel – 900-1000 SEK. During sports competitions that begin in the city with the onset of winter, hotels fill up and locals rent out rooms in their houses for 600-700 SEK.
Cafes and restaurants
The purest fresh air and walks whet the appetite. You can have a hearty meal and enjoy the wonderful quality of Swedish products in one of the many city cafes. A full dinner of beef steak with vegetables without alcohol per person will cost 200-300 SEK. The restaurant will be a little more expensive: about 400 SEK per person without alcohol.
Fast food is represented mainly by pizza and kebab: the first costs 100 SEK, and a plate with meat, french fries and vegetables costs 80 SEK.
Sights in Östersund
Östersund stands on the shores of Lake Storsjön, one of the largest lakes in Sweden. The reservoir is famous not only for its size, but also for the legend about the monster living in it. Naturally, the townspeople believe in the existence of a mythical beast, and therefore sell a lot of souvenirs with his image. On the embankment there is even a small monument to the Swedish Nessie with a runic amulet stone – to protect residents from the monster.
If the mysterious inhabitant of Storsjön still exists, then he definitely does not get lonely in the lake. The reservoir is rich in fish – several dozen of its species live here. To fish, you need to purchase a license, it costs about 60 SEK. Representatives of valuable fish (char and salmon) can be caught in a limited number (usually no more than 5 pieces), but, for example, perch – as much as you like (but without fanaticism).
With the beginning of February, when a decent ice crust forms on the lake, the winter park begins to work. Citizens and tourists go skiing and skating (there are rental shops), relax on sun loungers installed on the shore. Here you can ride a dog sled or snowmobile.
Another well-known attraction of the city is the ethnographic museum “Yamtli” (off. site in English). The exposition of this Östersund “Skansen” is divided into two parts. The first one houses a regular museum of local lore, which tells about the life of the Vikings and the Sami, the life of peasants in the 17th-19th centuries, and the nature of Sweden. And the second is a huge open-air area with authentic residential and outbuildings. In the summer, museum staff and actors dress up in historical costumes and turn Jamtli into a real city: with schools, farms, dairy markets and butchers.
Östersund is home to one of the oldest churches in the Frozokirk country. The walls of the 800-year-old temple annually host hundreds of couples from all over Sweden who come here to celebrate the most important day in life within the ancient walls. And along the way, hold a photo session, since the landscapes surrounding the church are amazingly beautiful.
The climate of Östersund is not as changeable as in other regions of Sweden due to its relative distance from the sea coast. Thanks to this, the city and the surrounding area are part of the northernmost agricultural region in the world.