Often referred to as The Pearl of the Lake, Jonkoping lies on the southern shore of Vattern, Sweden’s second-largest lake. It’s also home to a multitude of churches representing many different denominations and religions, earning Jonkoping its second nickname: the Jerusalem of Sweden.
One of the most famous churches in Jonkoping, the Sofia Church was named after Sofia, a Queen-Consort of Sweden in the late 19th century. Entering the church's neo-Gothic interior is a good place for a moment of quiet contemplation and also a chance to see a copy of Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus.
The Jonkoping County Museum houses around 5000 works of art, most notably that of local boy John Bauer, the famous children's book illustrator. Take the kids to see his exquisite representations of fairies and gnomes and then let them raid the fairy tale wardrobe to dress up as princes and princesses or trolls and goblins.
Also for the kids is the Granna Adventure Miniature Golf course. This home-built, fully-fledged miniature golf course includes scale models of local landmarks and vintage cars, all made from wood by hand. Located just 40 km north of Jonkoping, it also has a sister course in the city itself.
For the adventure-minded, guided kayak tours set out from Jonkoping every day. The tour winds through many of the local lakes and creeks and beginners are welcome. The tours are a great way to see the unspoiled wilderness around Jonkoping as well as some local wildlife.
Another way to see the lake is to relax on the Vatterstranden beach, right in the middle of Jonkoping. Looking out across Lake Vattern, the beach has many nearby cafés and restaurants and is only a five-minute walk from central Jonkoping.