Home to sparkling lakes, forested mountains and flower-filled meadows, Dalarna is a scenic county in central Sweden. It has been described as “Sweden in miniature” and is the birthplace of the ornately decorated dalahäst (Dala horse). In addition to its picturesque towns and villages, Dalarna offers a wealth of outdoor pursuits that include hiking, fishing and kayaking.
Things to do in Dalarnas Lan
Artist-owned farmhouses, spectacular national parks and UNESCO-listed sites - Dalarna is one of Sweden’s little-known gems.
Explore the UNESCO-listed Falun Mine. One of Dalarna’s most important industrial landmarks is the Falun Mine, which operated from the 10th century until 1992. Explore the on-site museum to learn about the lucrative copper that was extracted here, helping to fund several of Sweden’s 17th-century wars. Guided tours include stories of the naturally mummified miner who was found here in 1719. En route to the mine, take note of the wooden miner’s cottages painted with a unique pigment sourced from the mine.
Visit the Carl Larsson Gården. Once home to Carl and Karin Larsson (two of Sweden’s most renowned artists and designers), this charming farmhouse offers insight into their creative life. Not only is the house decorated with Carl’s iconic paintings but it is adorned with rustic furnishings and bold textiles designed by Karin. After your tour, you can dine on locally sourced produce at nearby Restaurant Hyttstugan.
Shop for dalahäst at Nils Olsson Hemslöjd. The Nils Olsson Hemslöjd workshop in the village of Nusnäs is famed for its production of Dala horses, which are decorated with a unique folk painting style known as kurbits. Not only can you watch the artisans at work but you can try your hand at painting your own horse. To see the largest Dala horse in the world, head to the town of Avesta in Dalarna’s south.
Getting around Dalarnas Lan
Dalarna is around three hours’ drive from Stockholm and 2.5 hours from Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Buses connect towns and villages throughout the county while having your own vehicle gives you greater freedom to explore.