With its beautiful lakeside setting, VADSTENA, which once served as a royal seat and important monastic centre, is a fine place for a day or two’s stay. Sixty kilometres north of Gränna, the town’s main attraction is its moated castle, designed in the sixteenth century by Gustav Vasa as part of his defensive ring protecting the Swedish heartland around Stockholm. The cobbled, twisting streets, lined with cottages covered in climbing roses, also contain an impressive fourteenth-century abbey, whose existence is the result of the passionate work of Birgitta, Sweden’s first female saint.
While Vadstena boasts numerous ancient sites and buildings, each with an information plate (in English), the two outstanding attractions here are the castle and the abbey. Vadstena is also made for romantic evening strolls, with wonderful lakeside sunsets and attractive streets of irregularly shaped houses.