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Places

The best of Östersund

Beautiful Östersund – or “Sweden’s midpoint” – is not simply a bullseye from a geographic perspective. It’s also the perfect place for anyone who loves food, football and living history.

One common misconception is that Östersund, which was founded in the 18th Century, is in the north of Sweden. In actual fact, the city is the most centrally located part of the country – and has therefore also been dubbed the midpoint of Sweden. Another nickname is the Winter City, which reflects the fact that the city is rich in winter sports traditions. Östersund is beautifully located, very close to both huge forests, high mountains and deep lakes (the city grew around Storsjön, the fifth largest lake in Sweden, in which legend says a monster lives. The 60,000 inhabitants also host an annual summer festival, Storsjöyran, and hero worship the soccer players of Östersunds FK. However, in recent years, Östersund has perhaps become best known as a region for food lovers – there are more artisan food producers here than anywhere else in Sweden. And a number of award winning restaurants. 

Here are 7 recommendations to discover the best of Östersund during a visit.

Watch the city’s soccer stars in their home stadium

In recent years, Östersunds FK has become the pride of the city. In 2015, the club was promoted to the top division in Sweden. A couple of years later, the club won the Swedish Cup and qualified for the Europa League. ÖFK qualified from the group stage and reached the last 32, beating several top European teams along the way. You can watch ÖFK play home matches at the Jämtkraft Arena in central Östersund in the Swedish premier league, Allsvenskan, that runs from spring to fall.

Jämtkraft Arena

Arenavägen 23, Östersund

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Photo: Frösö Handtryck

Historic craftwork

Fabric printing by hand calls for patience and precision. For the past seventy years, Frösö Handtryck – and carefully selected Scandinavian graphic designers – have created patterns and hand printed fabrics for private homes and public spaces around the world. The master printers work by hand on 25m long printing tables. The process looks very largely the same today as it did in 1946. Seamstresses then transform the fabric into curtain lengths, cushions, table cloths and bags. Frösö Handtryck also opened a store in the center of Östersund in 2017.

Frösö Handtryck

Frösö Park, Byggnad 114, Östersund

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Butiken ligger på Storgatan 19.

Birthplace of the Smörgåstårta

Classic patisserie Wedemarks has been serving sweet toothed customers in the city center since 1924. They have a delicious choice of cakes and pastries to go with a cup of coffee. And don’t miss trying a piece of Smörgåstårta. It was namely here that the very first Smörgåstårta was created in the early 1960s. The then owner, Gunnar Sjödahl, was the man behind this delight, which is still one of the most popular cakes in the Wedemarks range.

Wedemarks Konditori

Prästgatan 27, Östersund

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Photo: Arctura

Locally produced beef, landmark and stunning views

On the northern outskirts of the city, you can eat locally slaughtered beef with roast potatoes – at 55m above ground. Arctura offers panoramic views over the city and mountains that are as breathtaking as any hang gliding flight. The shining façade and sky bar with lunch restaurant are housed in an accumulator tank (the locals liken the building to a giant thermos flask). The bottom line is that Arctura has become both a landmark and a popular place to meet. If you want, and you will want to, you can also book the sky bar for larger parties in the evening.

Arctura

Ösk-vägen 13, Östersund

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Experience living history

Hear what the maid has to say about the famine year of 1785 or sample thick bacon pancakes with forestry workers in the 1940s. In 1984, Jamtli became the first living history museum in Sweden. The museum has areas set in different time periods, with actors playing the part of everyday characters from that time. The project was named Jamtli Historieland, and the venture has blossomed into a museum that is open all year and has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. In addition to the living history areas, there’s also an indoor museum with varying exhibitions.

Jamtli

Museiplan 2, Östersund

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Photo: Take Mikado

World renowned Japanese restaurant

Upmarket restaurant Take Mikado is a bit hidden away. In an old guard building at a former military base on the northern outskirts of Östersund, Tsukasa Takeuchi has run his exclusive life’s work for over 30 years. Mikado has been called the best Japanese restaurant outside Japan by US magazine Newsweek. Its reputation has persuaded both foodies and Hollywood celebrities to head to Östersund. One of the culinary works of art consists of sashimi, made from five types of fish, served in a wooden ship.

Take Mikado

Infanterigatan 12, Östersund

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Tre dagars förbeställning, tio för större sällskap.

Photo: Tina Stafrén

When you want more than just good enough

Jazzköket is to food as Miles Davis is to the trumpet. It is playful, genuine and never a note too much. The friendly atmosphere and perfectly executed dishes have transformed Jazzköket into the most hyped restaurant in Östersund. The chefs work with seasonal produce and make use of every bit of the animal and vegetable. The menu is always changing. “It can seem unnecessarily complicated to work like this,” say the owners, “but we're never satisfied with just good enough.”

Jazzköket

Prästgatan 44, Östersund

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