Situated by the river Gota Alv by Trollhattan Falls in Vastra Gotaland County, Trollhattan is located 75 km north of Gothenburg and is well known among film aficionados for its film production complex with the informal name Trollywood.
Since 1997, the movie studio Film i Vast in Trollhattan has co-produced more than 300 feature films, many of them the biggest cinema successes in the country, hundreds of short- and documentary films, and a number of TV-dramas. In recent years, about half of Sweden’s full-length movies were co-produced by Film i Vast. Some of them include Lukas Moodysson’s Fucking Åmål (with the English title Show Me Love), Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the dark with Björk, Dogville and Manderlay with Nicole Kidman, Josef Fares’ Jalla Jalla, and Snabba Cash, based on the Swedish novel by Jens Lapidus.
You can see the presence of Trollywood on several places in town.
Trollhattan’s Walk of Fame
The Walk of Fame is situated on Trollhattan’s main street Storgatan and includes Swedish and international movie stars who have either had a prominent role in a film shot in Trollywood, or shot a film outside of town but have another connection to Trollhattan. So far, the names include Stellan Skarsgård, Mikael Persbrandt, Lena Olin, Michael Nyqvist, Rolf Lassgård, Pernilla August, Lena Endre, Helena Bergström, Fares Fares and Nicole Kidman. In the middle of Storgatan you’ll find Park of Fame, or Betty Backs Park, an honor to the people from Trollhattan who have helped spread the name of Trollywood in Sweden and abroad.
Ritz Theater Café
Ritz Theater Café is situated by the entrance to the central culture facility Folkets Hus Kulturhuset, which also has a cinema, theater stage, concerts, and library. Here, you can enjoy home-baked treats, light lunches or a cup of coffee in a space where pictures of movie stars cover the walls. Outdoor café when the weather allows.
Pizzeria Hollywoodis situated on Drottninggatan 15 and offers tasty pizza in an environment dedicated to the stars of Hollywood.
Where to Stay
For a break from Trollywood for the night yet still stay like a star, book a room at Scandic Swania. The hotel is centrally located by the river on Storgatan 47-49 close to sightseeing, cafés and restaurants.
Of the 201 rooms, almost all non-smoking, the room categories include Standard at 14-20 sqm, followed by Superior, Family Superior and Superior Extra with more amenities. All rooms have a desk and an armchair, private bathroom with shower, hairdryer, TV with movie channels and wireless Internet access.
Besides all of the standard room features (except private bathroom with bathtub instead of shower), each Junior Suite at 25-28 sqm has a larger living area with sofa, armchair and table plus an iron and ironing board. I loved the minimalist interior, choice of color, the extra space and the view over the river. The only downside was the lack of space for my laptop on the desk because of the TV placed on the wall above the desk. Fortunately, the small sofa table and a comfortable sofa compensated for that.
Apart from my spacious room, I loved the relax area with showers and sauna (separate for ladies and gentlemen) in the cellar. The gym with pool was closed for renovation at the time of my visit.
In the evening, Scandic Swania’s restaurant serves Mediterranean-influenced food of tapas and grilled dishes. Vegetarian options are available. There’s also a bar and lobby bar by the reception.
First Hotel Kung Oscar
For a Trollhattan visit entirely with a star theme, First Hotel Kung Oscar offers rooms with names dedicated to famous actors and musicians, including Nicole Kidman, Elvis, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
The hotel is the town’s only four-star hotel with a central location at Drottninggatan 17 (near Pizzeria Hollywood). Every floor plan features a certain color theme; for instance, blue for the fourth floor with Marilyn Monroe’s rooms and red for the fifth floor with Nicole Kidman’s rooms, which were renovated in 2008/2009, and every floor plan has a larger image of a star by the stairs. All rooms, whether Moderate, Standard or Superior, are just as elegantly decorated as the second-floor lobby, although more modern.
I stayed in a Charlie Chaplin room on the third floor. Most of all, I appreciated the calming atmosphere, the bathroom door in glass next to the bed, and how the green tones in the room complemented the colors of the art work and the trees outside the window.
All paintings in the hotel were created by Swedish artist Lars-Göran Blom, whose work never fails to make an impression.
There’s a nice relax facility with sauna and solarium downstairs and a complimentary evening buffet Monday to Thursday gives guests a good reason to spend dinner time in the hotel. I liked that the buffet included several vegetarian dishes (pasta with chilli sauce, a couscous dish, and a veggie pie), plus cold salads. For those who wish to move on after dinner, the hotel can offer suggestions of what to do where (restaurants, pubs, live music, standup comedy, disco bowling).
Before dinner, the breakfast room is open for tea and coffee as well as snacks, sandwiches and drinks. There’s a lobby bar with a menu including pancakes with jam and whipped cream for kids. Kung Oscar’s breakfast buffet with bread from Trollhattan’s renowned Ritz bakery also satisfies.
Another highlight is the hotel’s own rental bikes with signs that say “I heart kung oscar”. Guests have all reasons to agree.