Falun was built around the old copper mine, which was operational as early as the 11th century. The mine was an important resource during the years of the Swedish Empire and made Falun Sweden's second largest city around mid-17th century.
The mine was depleted by the beginning of the 1990s, and now it has become a tourist attraction and made it to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Stora Kopparberg (now Stora Enso), the mining company, is still active, although nowadays in the forest industry. It claims to be the world's oldest company, having supposedly existed more than a millennium.
The Dalarna province is by many considered to be the very essence of Sweden, with Dala Horses (see below) and traditional midsummer festivities. Falun has made some contributions to the Swedish heritage as well. Prime examples, and memories of the mining, are Falu Red Paint (Falu rödfärg) and the Falu Sausage (Falukorv). The red colour of the copper was used to make a brownish red paint that has become hugely popular in Sweden. The archetypal image of idyllic Sweden seems to somehow always include a Falu red wooden cottage with white corners. The Falu sausage, thick and ring-shaped, is one of few food products protected by the EU through a "certificate of special character" which states what ingredients must be in a Falu Sausage. The sausage was originally made by meat from the thousands of oxen whose hides were used to make ropes for the copper mine. Today, pork as well as beef is used in the sausages.
phone: +46 480-41 77 00address: Trotzgatan 10–12
If you're in a hurry there is an airport at the neighbouring city of Borlänge, about 20 minutes from Falun, serving Gothenburg, Malmö, and Oslo in Norway.
The is a 5-minute walk from the city centre and is served by the main train company SJ for connections to Stockholm. The local/regional connections are served by Tåg i Bergslagen/Tågkompaniet. Railway tickets can be bought at the SJ website or Tågkompaniet (only in Swedish) All tickets are available on both sites.
You have to be prepared to change train or to a bus from the city of Borlänge for the last few kilometers.
There are very few bus connections from other cities.Swebus Express has 1-2 connections a day with Stockholm and Gothenburg. Buses stop at the railway station which is a five minute walk from the city center and the hotels there. Unless your bags are very heavy, save the taxi money and walk instead.
Falun is small enough to be explored on foot, however there is a local bus network handled by Dalatrafik. The price for a bus ticket is 22 kr for adults and 17 kr for children. Infants travel for free.
Bicycle is good way of getting around except for during snowy winter. Bikes for rental are available at:
phone: +46 23 638-62address: Rådhustorget Slaggatan 11
Taxis in Sweden are pricey. If you want to take a cab in Falun, you will most likely have to phone and ask for one to pick you up – you'd be extremely lucky to catch an available one on the street. Exceptions are the railway station where there is a taxi stand, and weekend nights in the centre. Major taxi companies in Falun include:
Parking is free on many streets and when there's a fee it rarely exceeds 6 kr/hour. Count on getting fined if you ignore the fee.
phone: +46 23 78-20-30address: Gruvplatsen 1The mine and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in December 2001 – a must-see when in Falun. The mine was an important source of copper for an entire millennium until mining ended December 8, 1992. Part of it is still open for visitors with a guide. The interesting tour, with English translation available upon request, takes about an hour and visitors are taken 65 m underground. Tickets are bought in the souvenir shop, and helmets and raincoats are handed out before the tour. Do not wear your best shoes or trousers, since the red, copper-rich mud in the mine causes stains. Shoe protection is available in the souvenir shop for 5 kr.
Mining MuseumIt has exhibitions about the history of the mine and of coins in Sweden (including the largest coins in the world), and scale models of mining inventions by medieval tech genius Christoffer Polhem. Also an exhibition on minerals. Much of the museum is child friendly. Accessible by wheel chair (ask for instructions). Texts in Swedish and English.
The Great PitThis can be seen from the surface for free. It's the result of an enormous collapse in the mine in 1687, and with a depth of 95 m and a diameter of 400 m, it's an impressive sight. Miraculously nobody was killed in the collapse since it occurred on Midsummer's Day when the miners were free from work!
|Tours of the mine|
|May–September except July|
|October - April|
phone: +46 23 76-55-00address: Stigaregatan 2–4Has several exhibits about the province and its history. Its main attraction is the reconstructed 1910 library and study room of famous writer Selma Lagerlöf, portrayed on the Swedish 20-kroner bill.
Kristine Churchaddress: Kristinegatan 11Built in 1655 and was one of the prerequisites for Falun to get city rights. The renaissance church has two organs, from 1906 and 1982.
Church of the Great Copper Mountainaddress: Kyrkogårdsgränd 2The oldest building in Falun. It was most likely built during the 12th and 13th centuries. In the cemetery outside rests Fet-Mats Israelsson, a miner who was killed in a cave-in at the mine in 1677. He was discovered 42 years later, and since the conditions in the mine had preserved his body, his former fiancée immediately recognized him. Fet-Mats' corpse was put on display as an attraction for visitors – it wasn't until 1930 that he was finally laid to rest.
phone: +46 23 128-25address: Östra Hamngatan 16-18Movies are normally in English with Swedish subtitles, except for children's films which are dubbed.
phone: +46 23 243-20address: Svärdsjögatan 51The town's bowling alley is on the bottom floor of Scandic Hotel Lugnet (see under section Sleep). Preferably book in advance. Friday and Saturday nights the place adds music and disco lights to make it all more fun.
Lugnet sports areaoffers many possibilities for sports, including in- and outdoor swimming pools, hiking and cross-country skiing. There is also a sports museum on the premises. The National Ski Stadium is in Lugnet. Its ski jumping hills can be seen from far away and have become a symbol of Falun. The hills area offers a café, a nice view of town, and a hint on just how insane you need to be to become a ski jumper. To get to the hills, keep going straight ahead after the Lugnet roundabout and follow the "Hopptorn" signs.
Lake RunnProvides many places to swim. With its many islands it's also popular among boat owners. During winter you can instead rent skates and go tour skating, a popular winter activity.
phone: +46 73-990-74-22, +46 73-987-47-01Canoes and kayaks can be rented.
- Another option is Främby Udde Camping, see the Sleep section.
The Runn DaysOn and around lake Runn. Has a winter edition one weekend in mid-February, with tour skating, curling and other ice activities. The summer edition takes place on a weekend mid-August and features boat trips, music and general fun.
The Swedish Ski GamesWorld Cup competitions of cross-country skiing.
The Falu PartyTurning the centre of Falun into a large market with vendors, carousels and entertainment.
- The Copper Meet (Kopparträffen). Big meeting for motorcycle enthusiasts, around 500 riders gather every year. Includes a motorbike cortège through town, down into the Great Pit at the mine (no, it's not a lemming suicide; there are roads down to the bottom). Held late July every year.
- Falu Cruising. A vintage car procession through town, bringing car enthusiasts and almost everybody else out to watch the cars and the people in them. Arranged late July every year. Starts at 18:00 and goes on until 00:00.
- Falu Autumn Market (Falu höstmarknad), again turning the central parts into a market. Held late August/early September.
- Sabaton Open Air Metal Music Festival in the Lugnet Area. Held Mid-August
The most common souvenir from Falun and the Dalarna province is the Dala Horse (Dalahäst), a symbol of Sweden. This small wooden horse has been carved since the 17th century. It is usually orange or blue and decorated with kurbits painting, a symmetrical type of decoration. If you want a genuine one, expect to pay at least 100 kr for the smallest kind.
If the Dala Horse feels too mainstream and you want a symbol of the town of Falun rather than a symbol of Dalarna, look for a Falu Maiden (Falujungfru). This lady is far from the fame of the Dala Horse and is not as easy to find in the shops. Look for the dress and the hat.
A third option is to buy a Kåre Goat. According to legend, the copper mine in Falun was discovered when the goat Kåre one day showed up at home with reddish dirt on his horns. Kåre's owner followed the goat into the woods the next day and saw him rub his horns in the ground, and thus the copper was found. A large wooden Kåre Goat stands on the mining area, overlooking road 50 towards Borlänge.
BudgetSelf-catering is always the cheapest way to get a meal in Sweden and there's plenty of food stores in Falun where it's possible to stock up. If you're starving in the middle of the night, run to the Statoil gas station which is open 24 hr daily and offers hot dogs and groceries. Fast food is also available at the many pizzerias, at the Swedish fast food chain Sibylla, at McDonald's near Lugnet or at Gandhis Gatukök at the main square.
Close to the train station, you can find a 7-Eleven gas station, that also offers some food and MAX Burgers.
Mid-rangeFor fairly cheap restaurant food, catch "Dagens rätt" ("Dish of the day"), available weekdays at lunchtime in most restaurants. Price around 65 SEK. Check if the price includes drinks; if not, you can save money by asking for tap water instead. A daily overview in Swedish of what dishes are served in the different restaurants is found here. Most of the listed restaurants here are also open in the evening with à la carte prices around 100 kr for a meal.
phone: +46 23 288-50address: Nybrogatan 23Asian restaurant with a popular lunch buffet.
phone: +46 23 711-923address: Gruvgatan 55The place to go if you suddenly get hungry while visiting the area around the mine. It shares management with the Banken restaurants. Make sure you get a seat outside if the sun is shining.
phone: +46 23 268-68address: Holmgatan 26Chinese restaurant, specializing in real Chinese food and Hong Kong cuisine.
phone: +46 23 390-39address: Åsgatan 28Italian kitchen. Worth a visit just to see the cozy interior of the building which was built in 1776. They serve lunch with vegetarian alternatives and à la carte Italian food.
phone: +46 23 711-344address: Falugatan 3Downtown pub/restaurant with good food.
phone: +46 23 19-169address: Stigaregatan 2In the Dalarnas Museum, serving local and international cuisine.
phone: +46 23 254-00address: Slaggatan 2Offers Dish of the Day in the town hall cellars. Summertime it moves outside and is one of the nicest places to eat lunch if the weather is good.
phone: +46 23 109-80address: Myntgatan 33BGreek restaurant, specializing in coal-grilled food.
Åhlens Café & Restaurangphone: +46 23 711-427address: Åsgatan 21Convenient for shoppers since it's on the top floor of the Åhléns department store. Dish of the Day available.
phone: +46 23 794 888address: Åsgatan 18Sports Bar, American food, Irish Pub inspired style
Blackstone Steak Housephone: +46 23 122 22address: Hälsingtorget 1Steakhouse
phone: +46 23-193 00address: Vattugränd 6Steakhouse
phone: +46 23 260-25address: Stadshusgränd 2The most expensive restaurant in town. Make sure to book your dinner table in advance and be prepared to pay at least a couple hundred kroner per dish. It is run in close cooperation with neighbouring Banken Bar & Brasserie (see below), but it has its own entrance from Stadshusgränd.
phone: +46 23 141-42address: Åsgatan 18A surprisingly high-end restaurant, serving sushi and teppanyaki. Open for lunch and dinner.
phone: +46 23 123-00address: Åsgatan 19Not a bar but the only alcohol store in town, due to the Swedish government monopoly on alcohol. If you want to do it the Swedish way and save some money by having a pre-party before going to the bar, this is where to shop.
phone: +46 23 711-911address: Åsgatan 41If you prefer sipping on a beer in a somewhat more quiet area, Banken is a good choice.
phone: +46 23 631-31address: Holmgatan 22Downtown restaurant and night club. Look for the sky tracker lights in the sky and you'll find it.
CampingFalun, like all of Sweden, has the Right to access rule which allows anyone to camp for one night almost anywhere in the woods.
phone: +46 23 197-84address: Främby Udde 20Lakeside campsite with swimming, boat trips, miniature golf and canoe/kayak rental.
phone: +46 771-101 200address: Lugnetvägen 38For those who prefer their camping a bit more organized. It offers tent sites, camp sites with electricity and even well-equipped cabins.
phone: +46 23 830-50For those who prefer the countryside and plan to stay at least a few days. During high season (late June, July and early August) minimum time of rental is one week, from Sunday to Sunday. Only consider this option if you have access to a car.
phone: +46 23 795-575address: Villavägen 17The former town prison has been modified and is now a hostel. It is in a quiet part of town, walking distance from the centre.
phone: +46 23 430-30address: Lindsberg 10Ecological hostel and course centre in the Bergsgården World Heritage area a few kilometres from the city centre. Free wireless internet in rooms, lobby and library.
phone: +46 23 105-60address: Vandrarvägen 3The STF hostel in town is about 3 km east of the town centre, which makes it a not-so-attractive option if you don't have a car or a bike.
phone: +46 23 701-700address: Bergsskolegränd 7Centrally located in the same area as Hotel Falun and First Hotel Grand.
phone: +46 23 291-80address: Trotzgatan 16Family run hotel with 24 rooms featuring cable TV, phone, WC and a sink. Some have their own shower, the others have showers in the corridor. Some rooms have cooking equipment.
phone: +46 23 794-880address: Trotzgatan 9Downtown four-star hotel with direct access to the night club Harrys.
phone: +46 23 669-22-00address: Svärdsjögatan 51Near the Lugnet sports area about 10 minutes walk from the city centre. The building itself has an interesting design with windows made to resemble a ski jump ramp.
PhoneThe country code for Sweden is 46. The area code for Falun is 23, or 023 if you're calling from a Swedish phone. Mobile phones have numbers that start with 70 or 73, that is 070 or 073 if calling from a Swedish phone. When making international calls from a Swedish phone, dial two zeroes, 00, before the country code.
The emergency number is 112.
InternetSweden is one of the most online countries in the world. The catch for visitors, however, is that there's a slight shortage of internet cafés since most people have good connections at home. An internet café/pool hall is on Falugatan 4, but it's a dark, dingy place.
phone: +46 18-727-17-00address: Östra Hamngatan 24The best place to get online in Falun, and in many other towns, is the library (bibliotek).
Dalarna has many attractions. While the south-eastern part (Dalabergslagen) has the industrial heritage, Siljansbygden has the iconic folk culture, and Västerdalarna is great for outdoor life.
- In Sundborn, 10 kilometres from Falun, you'll find Carl Larsson-gården. The 19th-century home of national painter Carl Larsson and his artisan wife Karin is very popular among tourists, and the house and its surroundings is what inspired the famous painter as he created idyllic images that have come to symbolize Sweden. Guided tours are available daily between 10:00 and 17:00 in high season (May–September) and weekdays at 11:00 in low season. Entrance for adults is 100 kr.
- If you're into downhill skiing Falun is about 33 km from Romme Alpin outside Borlänge. The Bjursås Ski Center, some 30 minutes from Falun, also has very nice ski-slopes. The huge ski resort Sälen is one of the most popular in Sweden. It is 200 km from Falun. The second major ski resort in Dalarna, Idre, is in Älvdalen about 240 km north of Falun.