Previously a residence town in Skaraborgs county, Mariestad is a town in Mariestad’s municipality with over 20,000 inhabitants. Thanks to its beautiful location in the Vastergotland province by lake Vanern, Mariestad is visited by many tourists in summer.
Here are three popular sights to see in the Mariestad area.
The Old Town
One of the most well-preserved old towns in Sweden has 18th and 19th century wooden houses, cobblestone streets, a striking cathedral, and an attractive location near the waterside.
Situated in the wings of the Marieholm county governor’s house, Vadsbo Museum shows the history of the district and the town until the 20th century. Temporary exhibitions and programs are arranged throughout the year and the art association in town organizes several art displays. The Eastern Stable features the Industrial Museum of Mariestad’s four-century industrial development.
Surrounded by Sweden’s biggest lake archipelago, Mariestad was awarded the title “The Boat Municipality of the Year 2011” by Swebota and appeals to boating and sailing enthusiasts from all over the country. The main islands Torso and Brommo, which is car-free, offer bathing-friendly beaches, harbors, walking and bicycle trails, and postcard-perfect scenery.
Photos above courtesy of Mariestads Turistbyrå.
Where to Stay
Located along Viktoriagatan a short walk from the train station, Hotell Aqva is a small, three-star hotel and member of the hotel chain Sweden Hotels. I appreciate the hotel’s clear stance on a positive greeting for all with wheelchair-friendly access, free parking on site, as well as complimentary coffee, cookies or fruit by the front desk (and at the coffee station on the first floor). There’s also a telephone in the hotel’s entrance to use at no cost, should the need arise.
With only 19 rooms, all modern with unique designs, the hotel maintains a personal feel. I fell in love with my first-floor single room at once. Although not spacious, the interior of wooden floors, natural colors, a striped wall by the bed, comfortable bed space, bed lamp in silver, photos of stones with the messages FAITH and HOPE, and view over colourful rooftops contributed to a cozy atmosphere and won me over in an instant. As all guests, I also had free wireless internet, shower with WC and cable TV (despite small), and more than okay drinkable tap water from Lake Vanern.
The owner Sofia knows the importance of a genuine welcome and treats every guest with the same warmth and hospitality.
On weekdays, Hotell Aqva serves a home-cooked meal in the ground floor restaurant between 6-8pm plus a lighter bar menu. During my stay, Sofia had prepared a tasty taco buffet and offered to cook a vegetarian alternative as well.
The bar has an inviting display of offers and a large selection of drinks, including the town’s own label Mariestads beers.
The international breakfast, which is served in the restaurant, includes plenty of choices for a filling first meal of the day.
Of all hotels in Mariestad, Hotell Aqva stands out in the best possible way and makes the town worth a visit for the sole purpose of a hotel stay there.