VimmerbyCopyright: Astrid Lindgrens Värld/Vimmerby Tourist office
VimmerbyWhat do you think of when you hear the name, Vimmerby? Do you think of Astrid Lindgren? Do you think of Småland? Most people know of Vimmerby because of Astrid Lindgren, since this is where she was born and grew up. She has put her mark on the whole area, and today Vimmerby is the place where families find adventures and the very best experiences. The award-winning Astrid Lindgren's World, Virum Moose Park, and the beautiful countryside are examples of the sort of outings that provide every opportunity for a fun-filled holiday.
The CityAlthough its exact year of foundation is unknown, what we do know is that Vimmerby is one of the oldest towns in Sweden. Vimmerby Old Town is best experienced by taking a stroll along Storgatan. Still today, it’s not just the historical centre of Vimmerby, but also the heart of the modern town centre. This is a street brought to life by people and for people, with carefully restored living quarters painted blue, red, green, yellow, and terracotta, shops with leaning floorboards, asymmetrical walls and low ceilings but with the variety of goods of the modern world. Storgatan – in the same location since the Middle Ages – is a shining example of how conservation and renewal can unite and complement each other. Each summer a “Summer Square” is set up where many people gather to enjoy sunny outdoor cafés, games, shopping and entertainment.
Astrid LindgrenAstrid Lindgren 1907 - 2002 Astrid Lindgren was born 14 November 1907 in Näs, on a farm on the outskirts of Vimmerby. Astrid had three sisters and brothers. Astrid's father, Samuel August, was a farmer. Her mother was called Hanna. Perhaps the most important thing when writing about Astrid's happy childhood is the fact that her mother and father loved each other deeply. Samuel was only 13 years old when he saw Hanna for the very first time; he fell in love straight away; a love that lasted the rest of his life. Astrid says that it felt so safe having them as parents, knowing they cared for one another so much and that they were always there for the children. They let them play happily and freely and were always around when they were needed. Both of Astrid Lindgren's parents were nice and unusual people. But her father was very special. He was not only a warm and caring human being who was liked by everybody, but he was also a happy person especially when he was with his Anna. To be able to live so very close to such a person, filled with warmth and joy, can provide a child with a fundamental belief that life is wonderful. And that is what Astrid Lindgren shows us in nearly all of her books. Astrid Lindgren collects almost all her narrative desire and her happiness from her childhood. In those days there was no TV or Radio, you socialised with people who lived in the neighbourhood. It was in Vimmerby where Astrid found most of her inspiration. This is where police constable Björk walks the misty summer streets in Master Detective Blomkvist. This is where Mardie and Alva go shopping. This is where Pippi Longstocking goes from one shop to the next with her bag full of gold coins. This is where Emil goes to the market and gets himself a horse. This is where the battles between the Red and White roses take place. In one book after another Astrid Lindgren has thought of this picturesque town with its wooden houses, steep alleys and tiled streets. And her books show how much she likes it. Because it is when she begins to describe the small undulating alleys, a special atmosphere builds up in her narrative. But what kind of little girl was Astrid? She was very lively and inventive, people who knew her back then tell us. It was fun playing with her because she always thought of games to play. One of her best friends she describes in the Mardie books. Ann-Marie is Mardie. Ann-Marie describes Astrid as a very nimble person who when little loved to climb trees. When they had their P.E. classes Astrid could climb up to the roof like a monkey. Mardie and Mia dare each other to climb the roof of the schoolhouse. And in the book Katy in Italy Katy has to walk the gutter as she has forgotten the door key. When she was 18, her childhood and adolescence were ended because of her pregnancy. In those days it was a scandal to become pregnant without being married. And Astrid had no wish to marry the father of the child. To escape the gossip she left her home and went to Stockholm. She took courses to become a secretary and started to work in an office. But being a single mother back then was extremely difficult. There were no day-care centres. Astrid had to send her son to a foster home until she could take care of him. When Astrid was 23 years old she had found the man she wanted to marry. His name was Sture Lindgren and he was her boss. In the spring of 1931 Astrid Ericsson became Mrs. Astrid Lindgren. Three years later when her son Lasse was 4½ years old, they got a girl, Karin. When Astrid was 41 Lasse got married and moved away from home. When she was 44 her husband, Sture, died. Astrid continued to work at Rabén and Sjögren for many years as editor and soon started to work with children's literature even from a publishing point of view. Her first break as a writer came with her book about Pippi Longstocking, and the rest is as you know, history. "In Vimmerby, we are extra proud that Astrid came from here. Nobody can take that away from us. What would Vimmerby be without Astrid? What would Astrid be without Vimmerby? Thank you Astrid." Christina Thorstensson, Vimmerby Turistbyrå
Do & See
Astrid Lindgrens Vimmerby is perhaps "Sweden's most playful destination", and for good reasons too. One of the many places you'll find here is Astrid Lindgren's World, where Astrid Lindgren's characters come to life. Just outside of Vimmerby, you'll also find the real Katthult as well as Bullerby where the films were made. Why not make a visit to her childhood home situated just a short walk from the town centre? There is, of course, a whole lot more to discover, for both young and old. We have listed some of our most popular attractions. On our website you can find a complete list of all our attractions.
What comes to mind when we mention Småland's traditional food? Emil in Lönneberga's "Tabberas", perhaps? Maybe it's cheescake from Frödinge? Perhaps, you've even tried Småland's own isterband (smoked sausage), raggmunk (potato pancakes), or kroppkakor (stuffed potato dumplings)? A diverse array of restaurants, cafes, and bistros cater to every taste. Many of our holiday memories are connected to food. We believe you will take many fond memories home with you, and that some of them will have to do with your taste buds and the congenial atmosphere.
Vimmerby has several year-round open cafes. When summer comes, there are many more options available, and at a closer look, you will notice that each one has its own specialty and they complement each other in an exemplary manner.
Despite being only a small town, Vimmerby is a real pearl for the avid shopper. Surrounding the main square, there is a fine selection of stores. You'll find small branches of the larger chain stores with well-known brands, but above all many unique and genuine small boutiques with gadgets, crafts and antiques that you’ll find nowhere else. Discover your favourites and find some bargains.
Vimmerby lies at the intersection of Swedish National Roads (SNR) 23/34 and 40 and is about 300 km from Stockholm-Gothenburg-Malmö. The most common and easiest way of getting to Vimmerby is by car. Bus and train are also options but requires a little extra planning. Below you find practical information to help you plan and enjoy your visit to Vimmerby. For additional help, please contact the Tourist Office in Vimmerby.