Set on Lake Mälaren in Sweden’s scenic Lakeland region, Sigtuna is Sweden’s oldest town and was originally populated by Vikings. While strong remnants of the town’s Viking origins remain, Sigtuna is now full of brightly painted wooden townhouses, narrow streets, restaurants, and hotels.
Stroll through the town to admire ancient Viking churches and visit Sigtuna’s main street (Stora gatan) to peruse shops, galleries, and a museum containing Viking artifacts excavated from around town. Families with kids can also enjoy exploring the children's library at Märsta.
Due to the town’s rich Viking heritage, many Sigtuna tours focus on the area’s history. Day trips from Stockholm provide round-trip transportation and typically allow you to explore Viking ruins on the route between Stockholm and Sigtuna, such as ornately carved rune stones that once acted as medieval directional signs and the ancient Viking causeway of Jarlabankes bro at Täby.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Sigtuna is a must-see for history buffs.
- Although Swedish is the official language, most Sigtuna residents speak English.
- Sigtuna's main street (Stora gatan) is accessible to strollers and easily explored on foot or by bicycle.
How to Get There
Sigtuna lies just 31 miles (50 kilometers) north of Stockholm. While guided tours provide easy transportation, it’s also possible to arrive by car via the E4 highway. Train and bus transportation is also available, and several ferry routes operate during summer.
When to Get There
Summer is the most popular time to visit Sigtuna, when the weather is ideal for exploring on foot, picnicking by Lake Mälaren, and searching out Viking rune stones.
Sweden's first coins were minted here in the 10th and 11th centuries, and Sigtuna also served an important role in the creation of the Church of Sweden. Sigtuna was the center of Christianity in medieval Sweden and has seven churches clustered close together—although they are now in various states of disrepair, the Viking inscriptions in the churchyards can still be clearly seen. The town’s gridded layout also belies its origins in the Viking age.