"Capital of Roslagen" Norrtälje by Sjalen

Norrtälje Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 81 photos

Norrtälje is vastly overlooked by tourists, apart from those arriving by ferry from Finland and Estonia to the little Baltic ports outside town. The Stockholmers come in greater hoardes though, as 25 000 or so have their summer houses here. For this is the capital of Roslagen, the northern part of the outer Stockholm archipelago and its big chunk of mainland. I cannot recommend it enough. It's thousands of skerries and islands, its rural farms, its vast forests full of moose and not least pretty, wooden Norrtälje itself which is relaxingly quiet in winter and buzzing with restaurant life in summer. There also seem to be things to see everywhere you go, whether it be an island fortress or St Bridget's birthplace. I haven't seen a third of all the things I want to see here so be sure that this is one of those pages that will grow in the coming years, as I discover more and more, including a cholera quarantine island where my dad fished for herring when he was young and which now has a famous hostel, Astrid Lindgren's film island and her summer house area, viking runestones, industrial heritages and medieval lighthouse sites.

Norrtälje town itself was founded in 1622 but the site has been inhabited since at least the 13th century. It finally got its town charter in 1622, as King Gustav II Adolf decided that he needed a gun factory for the many wars Sweden was involved in, and it was to be placed here in "Norr Telje" which had a good factory position by a stream and had good distribution channels. The gun factory was set up with skilled German workers which meant that the northern side of the river was all German speaking, something that caused some hostility as the southern side was all Swedish. The two nationalities only joined forces when the town was burnt down by the Russians in 1719 and there was a need to rebuild it with the help of all available.

The official tourist site is: http://www2.norrtalje.se/turist/evenemang/ but if you read Swedish, this one is also interesting: http://www.roslagen.se/

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Hundreds of islands, pretty town, good restaurants
  • Cons:Quiet in winter
  • In a nutshell:Give me a job and I'll move here!
  • Last visit to Norrtälje: Jul 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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