Västerås – an industrial city with its own charm

Västerås – an industrial city with its own charm

Year 2020 is over. It was a weird and different year that no one expected. Most of the world is still fighting with the pandemic and more countries are setting up more local restrictions and even full lockdowns.

I can say that I have luck living in Sweden, where we have not had tough restrictions nor have we had any lockdown. We can still travel around home as long as we keep distance from others and try to not travel during rush hours.

We took that possibility and decided to visit a nearby town, where Carlos used to work before, and hometown of a friend of mine. The industrial town with its own charm – Västerås

Västerås – where to find it

Västerås is a city located in central Sweden, on the shore of lake Mälaren around 100 km from Stockholm. The city is well connected with the capital by trains operated by SJ (company operating trains in Sweden), which gives a good possibility for people to commute between the two cities. A train trip takes around 1 hour and in rush hours there is a train departing every half an hour.  As I mentioned in the introduction, we tried to travel there while avoiding rush hours, but it was still easy due to trains departing once per hour.

Where to stay

As we live within an one-hour train trip from Västerås, we did not need accommodation there. However, as there are many big companies there like ABB, Hitachi, or Bombardier, you can find many accommodation options. I would even say that for the size of that city there is surprisingly many hotels there. You can easily book your accommodation here. (link to booking.com)

Due to the pandemic situation, before booking any accommodation check if it is open. Most people who need accommodation in Västerås are business travellers, which are not so common right now, resulting in some hotels being closed.  

Where to eat

I have been twice in Västerås until now, and we have visited four different places. Two restaurants for lunch, one café for coffee break and one for some drinks with a friend.

Kajens Café, Mälargatan 4Dl Västerås

Being first time in Västerås Carlos invited me to a place where he went before with his colleagues. It is a small café/restaurant with a beautiful view to the lake and tasty food. You can choose between Swedish cuisine like me or something more conventional like pizza or grilled panini.

I like this place. The food we ordered was tasty, the portions were more than enough, and the price was ok. We went there during lunch time, in which most restaurants have a special deal and most of the time coffee is included in the price.

Choys Garden, Smedjegatan 2 

During our second visit to Västerås Kajens Café was closed, so we needed to find another place. We decided to have some Asian cuisine at Choys Garden.

The place was ok, but I do not think that we will come back there. The food was cheap for Swedish standards. We paid around 100 SEK per person and it was a buffe, so you can eat as much as you want. However, as I am a person with small stomach and appetite, it is not a big deal for me. 

The biggest no, and the reason why we will not come back there, is that the place was a little bit dirty. I think it was due to few personnel, and at the time of our visit they had many customers. Maybe in different circumstances my impression would be different.

In Sweden Asian Buffe restaurants are commonand you can find minimum one in each city. After visiting one in Västerås during the pandemic, I think that these type of restaurants could have problems to adapt to a new ¨keep distance¨ restrictions.

During our visit there I saw a lot of people coming at the same time to the buffet, even though signs showed that maximum 4 people should be at the same time. The problem is also that everyone is serving food with the same spoons, so there is a risk of getting sick if some guests does not put attention to disinfecting their hands and keeping distance.

Global Living, Smedjegatan 13, Västerås

Global Living is a charming coffee break/lunch/evening drink place. We went there twice for FIKA 😊, so we tried only sweets and coffee. I can recommend the hot chocolate, which was one of the best that I have had in Sweden.

This place is special. You can find there ¨avant-garde design¨ and it is possible to purchase many of the furniture and accessories you see there as well. So, if you like any painting there it is only a matter of asking the staff about it 😊.

Bistro Gränden, Smedjegatan 7,

Bistro Gränden looks like a nice restaurant for a romantic dinner with your partner, or a place for evening drinks with friends. We visited it to spend time with a friend and wait in a warm place until it was time to take  our train back.

The place is nice and warm with a wide selection of food and drinks. We ordered 3 mojitos and some French fries. It was tasty and the price was good for Swedish standards. As I live in Stockholm, and I compare the price in Bistro Gränden to a similar restaurant in Stockholm, I would even say that the price there was surprisingly low.

I highly recommend this place and we will come back in the future. Maybe next time it will be for a romantic dinner 😊.

What to visit

Västmanland County Museum, Karlsgatan 2

The first place we visited in Västerås was the Västmanland County Museum. You can learn there about the region and city´s history, about how big impact the ABB Company had in the development of the city and much more.

We had the chance of seeing a special exhibition about the music band KISS, which for me was interesting and I had a lot of fun there.

It is an interesting museum with free admission, so of course I can recommend it. Remember that due to COVID-19 restrictions museums in Sweden are closed to the public until January 25th 2021.

Aviation Museum, Hässlögatan 16

I learned about this museum while writing this post for you, and I have not had the chance to visit it yet due to COVID-19. As soon as the museum opens, I will visit it and share my experience with you.

It is an aircraft museum with most of its exhibitions in airworthy condition. I have been in many aviation museums and I really like them, so this one stays on my list 😊

Admission fee: 100 SEK

You can find more information about the museum here 

Djäkneberget, Djäknebergsgatan 10

I think this is my favourite place in Västerås. One of the highest points in city, with a beautiful view over the old town and lake Mälaren.

If you like to spend time outdoors, it is a great place for a walk, picnic or even a date with a sunset. It is a city park in which you can find a restaurant, a mini golf, and a playground for children. I know from my friend, who lives in Västerås, that this is a popular place for celebrations like Valborg or Midsommar.

I recommend you a game of finding all runestones in the park and read the inscriptions on them 😀 Reserve a lot of time, because they are around 500 of them.

You can also visit more places like:

  • Kokpunkten – Aqua Park
  • Birdsafari Sweden,
  • Botaniskaträdgården,
  • Anundshög

Västerås is  one of the towns that has stolen my heart even during a rainy day, which does not happen often. I am sure that we will visit it again as soon as the weather allows it and when the museums will be open again.  I would like to visit the Aircraft museum as well as Anundshög next time.

I hope you enjoyed the post and found interesting information here.

Stay safe and see you on the road!

Kaja