With its spires and towers reflected in Lake Vänern, Läckö Castle feels almost like a castle in a storybook. In the 17th century, Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie designed the castle according to the baroque ideals of the time, and today visitors can travel back in time in their minds while strolling through the beautiful rooms.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Läckö Castle led a dormant existence. When De la Gardie was stripped of the castle in the late 17th century, due to the state withdrawing property it had previously distributed, the castle was leased to people who could not afford to maintain it.
Although it was sad that the castle fell into disrepair, in a way it was lucky that no one could afford to rebuild it. For this reason, it is now preserved in its 17th century form.
Läckö Castle is located on Kållandsö island at the southern end of Lake Vänern, just north of Lidköping.
Parking at the castle - and a bike ride
We arrived at Kållandsö in the evening, together with our friends Britt-Marie and Lars, and parked our caravans in the caravan park outside the castle. Here you pay 130 SEK / day, and then you also get access to toilets. As soon as we parked, we cycled down to Spiken's fishing harbour, which is less than 3 kilometres from the castle, if you take the cycle path. On the way, we found a tree that looked like it had been there for a while!
Spikens fishing harbour
Spiken's fishing harbour is a lake fishing harbour that is fantastically cosy in the summer. There are plenty of boats in the water here, and right next door there is a caravan park for motorhomes.
In the small red shacks on land you will find shops selling fresh and smoked fish, or perhaps local crafts, and restaurants serving fish by the pound.
We strolled along the small street and couldn't resist buying a smoked whitefish. Then we had an evening meal overlooking the water - prawn sandwich or hot smoked salmon with potato salad and a cold beer. What a fantastic evening!
The Viking ship Sigrid Storråda
The next day it was time to check out the castle, and we started by looking at the Viking ship Sigrid Storråda which is just outside. According to legend, Sigrid Storråda was a beautiful, rich and powerful woman who lived in Västergötland in the 900s. The story is controversial and somewhat unclear, but she is said to have been married to two of the most important kings of the Viking Age, Erik Segersäll and Sven Tveskägg, and was the mother of Olof Skötkonung and Knut the Great.
The Sigrid Storråda ship is based on the Gokstad ship from Norway and is one of the largest seagoing Viking ships in the world with a full passenger licence. In the summer it is possible to experience tours on the ship. More information can be obtained from the Tourist Office in Lidköping or the Victoriahuset Naturum at Läckö Castle. We were content to admire. Isn't she beautiful?
Visiting Läckö Castle
Then it was time to visit Läckö Castle! We arrived on a sunny day in July and there was a pretty long queue outside the ticket office, but it didn't take too long to get in. In the summer of 2020, all guided tours have been cancelled due to the pandemic and you can instead discover the castle on your own. However, there are guides in several of the rooms who are happy to tell you about the castle or answer questions.
The castle is stunningly beautiful on the outside, but you won't be disappointed when you discover it inside. On the contrary! The castle is large with courtyards, lots of rooms, a church, a cellar and even a garden.
Läckö castle - with ancient origins
Läckö Castle was built in 1298. At this time, the fastest way to travel was by water, so the location by Lake Vänern was good. By placing the castle on a headland, it was also easy to defend.
At the Reformation in 1527, Läckö ceased to be a bishop's castle and soon became the property of the De la Gardie family. It was in the 17th century, when Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie was lord of the castle, that it took on its current appearance.
De la Gardie was one of the richest men in the country (he owned nine other castles and thousands of farms) and had a number of prestigious titles, such as field marshal, count, councillor and knight. However, he was not as well-off as his wife, Princess Maria Euphrosyne of the Palatinate, which is why she has been depicted with a larger bust than his.
There are lots of different rooms and exhibitions in the castle. In the Treasury, you can see old exclusive artefacts such as drinking vessels, porcelain and ornaments.
The penthouse at Läckö Castle
Perhaps the most interesting thing is to see the different rooms, especially the parade floor. Here you can see amazing ceiling paintings, decorations and furniture.
All the rooms are impressive, but when you enter the King's Hall, it's easy to lose your jaw and stand there gaping for a while. This was once the palace's main banqueting hall, and there are drinks bars and space for an orchestra. The ceiling and walls are decorated with the theme of Swedish successes during the 30 Years' War.
The life of servants
Not everyone at the castle lived in luxury, of course, and you can also learn about life as a servant. Running the castle required a large staff of people, such as butlers, bookkeepers, bakers, horse masters, housewives, farmhands, laundresses and soup girls.
However, being soupy was not the worst fate. By far the worst must have been ending up in the dungeons of the castle.
Castle church and garden
The castle also houses a castle church and a castle garden. The garden was originally laid out both for spiritual purposes and to grow crops in the shelter of the walls (the 17th century is known as the "little ice age"). In the early 1990s, the little garden was recreated, and is wonderfully green and lush.
Naturum Vänerskärgården - Victoriahuset
Right next to Läckö Castle is the Naturum Vänerskärgården - Victoriahuset. The centre serves as a starting point for the nature area Vänerskärgården, and here you can learn more about animals, nature and cultural history. There is also the restaurant Hvita Hjorten and overnight accommodation. We missed this place, but maybe it's still worth mentioning!
See more in the neighbourhood
In the neighbourhood of Läckö Castle you will find Lidköping, and also Mariestad with our 10 tips, Vänersborg with 5 experiences not to be missed and Trollhättan with 10 great attractions. If you like historical buildings, you can also visit Varnhem Abbey Church and Gudhem monastery ruin.
Guest writer: Hannah Lates We had a fantastic weekend in Gothenburg in collaboration with Göteborg &...
Karlsborg Fortress was supposed to be built in 10 years, but the construction took...
Gunnebo Castle and Gardens is located just south of Gothenburg and can be visited all year round. Here...
First Camp Hökensås - Tidaholm is a campsite for those who enjoy fishing and outdoor life....
Trollhätte Canal by motorhome, how does it work and what can you see along the way? I...
What can you do in Trollhättan as a tourist? We came here by motorhome right after...
Sjötorp is located on Lake Vänern and is the place where the Göta Canal begins or ends, depending on...
Forsvik is a small community in Västergötland that is known for two things in particular:...
Habo Church and Bottnaryd Church are two fantastically beautiful wooden churches in Västergötland and Småland respectively....
Töreboda is a small town in Västergötland, located along the Göta Canal. Here you will find...
Varnhem is located in Västergötland and here you will find Varnhem Abbey Church and the ruins of Varnhem Abbey,...
Looking for camping in Mariestad? We have spent a day at First Camp Ekudden -...
What to see and do in Borås? Borås is an exciting city that offers...
Bruket Street Art is a large area of graffiti and street art at the disused Wargön mill....
Abecita Popkonst & Foto is an exciting art museum that you won't want to miss if you're...
What a nice homestead by Lake Vättern! We have visited Brandstorp's local history association, which was surprisingly interesting and...
What to do in Hjo? This pretty little wooden town by Lake Vättern is a real...
What can you do in Vänersborg? We came here by motorhome after following the...
This weekend we spent a hotel night at Gothia Towers in Gothenburg. We can...
Located in Västergötland, Gudhem Abbey ruins tell the story of one of Sweden's first monasteries. Perhaps...
Wassbackens camping in Töreboda has a fantastic location by the Göta Canal. The canal runs right next to...
Göta Canal by motorhome, how does it work and what can you see along the way? I...
Tiveden National Park offers wonderful nature experiences in wild forests with dramatically large boulders. Here there are ...
Have you been to Läckö Castle? How was your experience? Have you perhaps visited the naturum, which we missed?
Facts about Läckö Castle
- Location: Kållandsö
- Municipality: Lidköping municipality
- County: Västergötland
- Founded: 1298
- Style: Baroque
- Material: Limestone
- Owners: State Property Agency
- Read more: You can find more information at the castle's website
Opening hours and prices
- Opening hours: In summer 2020 (13 June - 30 August) the castle is open daily 10:00 - 18:00. For opening hours during the rest of the year, see the castle's website.
- Prices: Admission during high season (including garden and exhibitions) is 120 SEK for adults. Children and young people under 26 have free admission. In the low season, the ticket costs 8o SEK.
- Payment: Läckö Castle is a cashless destination.
service and practical information
- Food service: Restaurant Vita Hjorten (Naturum Vänerskärgården - Victoriahuset) and Café Stallet (by the beach).
- Accommodation: Overnight stay at Naturum Vänerskärgården - Victoriahuset, Läckö castle campsite, Läckö guest harbour and parking space in the car park outside the castle.
Tours and activities
- Views: In summer 2020, due to the current pandemic, guided tours will be cancelled and the castle will be shown in a different way. You can see the castle on your own, and there are guides in several of the rooms who can tell you about the castle.
- Events: Concerts, family activities, exhibitions, walks, courses, opera, ghost night and more. See the castle's event calendar for more information.
- Package: Packages with various activities such as golf, kayaking, opera and more.
- Conference: Conference and meeting rooms in a historic setting and the possibility of various conference activities.
Finding Läckö Castle
- Car: Läckö Castle is located just under 25 km north of Lidköping. Take road 44 to Lidköping and then turn north towards the castle.