Named after King Charles IX of Sweden, Karlstad is built on an island where the Klaralven river, Sweden’s longest river, flows into its largest lake, Vanern. Known as one the sunniest towns in Sweden, Karlstad even has a statue of a friendly local waitress known as Sola i Karlstad, or the Sun in Karlstad.
The Brigade Museum is an interactive military museum known especially for its exhibit on what it was like to live in Sweden during the height of the Cold War, with Russia barely a stone's throw away. Simulations of military target practice and tank battles allow visitors to really get a sense of what it was like to fight in a war.
For the artistically-minded traveller, the Sandgrund Lars Lerin art gallery contains a massive collection of watercolours, oils, collages, and photographs by Lars Lerin. Lerin is one of the most famous artists in the Scandinavian countries and is still making art today.
The Sundstabadet Adventure Pools are a must for families with children. Waterslides, climbing walls, and heated pools will keep the little ones busy while parents enjoy a cup of Fairtrade coffee in the relaxation section.
Karlstad Cathedral was built in 1730 after the original was burned down along with most of the city. Built from natural stone and brick, it took nearly sixty years to complete. Its baroque style and light interior are a fantastic architectural attraction.
Karlstad is home to many, many golf courses. Thanks to the sun barely ever setting during summer, you can play a full nine holes at midnight in complete daylight. The challenging courses are set in the middle of the southern Varmland wilderness and are absolutely breathtaking to play on.