Previously a village with the name Oscarsstad, Arvika celebrated one hundred years as a town in 2011. Known as a host for the Arvika Festival, a yearly music festival from 1992-2010, Arvika is situated by a bay of Glafsfjorden, the only inland fjord in Sweden.
Here are a few sights to see during a visit.
Arvika Town Park
Founded in 1913, the town park in Arvika is beautifully located by the waterside. In the center of the park is Christian Eriksson’s famous sculpture “Sommardopp” (“Summer dip”). The park is home to pergola, flourishing flower beds, a bird pond, and a play ground.
Arvika Art Hall
The small gallery in Arvika, Arvika Konsthall, has multiple temporary exhibitions during the year and proves that it’s not the size of a gallery that matters but the quality of the art work inside it. Neighboring Arvika Konsthantverk is Sweden’s oldest shop for local handicraft. For other art in Arvika, lend a map at the tourist info center to see the many sculptures throughout town.
Arvika Fordonsmuseum, located in an old restored factory outside the center of town, has three museums in one place; around 120 veteran cars, wagons, motorcycles and bicycles from the beginning of the 19th century until today.
Rackstad Museum and Oppstuhage
The former childhood home of sculptor Christian Eriksson is located in Taserud and now serves as the entrance and café of the Rackstad Museum. Of the two extended wings, one features works by the Swedish artists who settled around lake Rocken at the turn of the 20th century, while the new hall houses temporary exhibits. Outside, sculptures by Eriksson and his son offer a reason to stroll on the park-like grounds. Nearby Oppstuhage is where the sculptor himself lived and worked.
Situated on the border area between Arvika, Arjang, Saffle and Eda in Western Varmland, Gla Forest is a 28,000 hectare nature reserve with 300 km of hiking trails, almost 80 lakes and several canoe routes.
Photos above courtesy of Arvika Tourist Bureau.
Where to Stay
With a building dating back to the 18th century, history remains inside the walls of Scandic Arvika. This eco-labelled spa hotel is located on Torggatan within a few minutes walk from the train station, by the pedestrian shopping area in town.
There are a total of 88 non-smoking rooms and guests can choose between the room categories Standard, Economy, Economy Plus, Superior, Superior Extra and Junior Suite. My room on the highest floor had bathroom with shower, desk, two armchairs, and a TV fixed on the wall opposite the bed. Wooden floors and an inclined roof gave the space a cozy feel.
A glassed corridor leads from the reception to the hotel’s modern gym with gym balls, weights, crosstrainer, exercise bike and rowing machine. Should you prefer fitness sessions in group, the hotel offers 50% discount on sessions at a 1,400 sqm health center 1 km away.
Next to the gym, Scandic Arvika spa and relaxation center guarantees relaxation with its pool, Jacuzzi, wet sauna, steam sauna, and available treatments. A spa shop sells everything to please your body.
Scandic Arvika’s restaurant “Stefan på Statt” serves breakfast, partly organic with Fairtrade coffee, lunch and dinner and the hotel’s bar Bakfickan offers a pleasant milieu for drinks, bar food and conversations.