Visit Marstrand on the Swedish riviera

Marstrand is a beautiful little island less than 1 hour outside Gothenburg, on the West Coast of Sweden. With beautiful beaches and a spectacular landscape of polished rocks into the open blue sea, nostalgic Scandinavian tree houses and impressive fortress, a variety of cafes and restaurants, charming small independent shops in the tranquil cobbled streets, regattas and entertainment, it’s easy to understand why Marstrand is regarded as one of the most desirable holiday hot spots for centuries.

Marstrand by Svenske Turistmyndigheter ©

Marstrand has a rich and very interesting history; Malstrand, Masstrandir, Måsestrand -Marstrand has had many names throughout its long history, since it was founded in the 13th century by a Norwegian king, and has since also been under Danish hegemony. The Roskilde Peace Treaty of 1658 made Marstrand Swedish and this was when the foundations of the fortress were built. The institution of Porto Franco at the end of the 17th century meant that Marstrand became not only a free port, but also a haven for criminals. Total religious freedom was also instituted on the island, and Scandinavia’s first synagogue was founded here.
With it’s beautiful landscape Marstrand became a popular bathing resort in the 19th century, attracting the upper class, who wanted to enjoy a royal lifestyle at the newly built Societetshuset and hot baths establishment known as Båtellet. Royalty themselves also enjoyed themselves here (and still do!). When King Oscar II sailed into Marstrand on his ship Drott, there were parties and jubilation on the quay.
Societetshuset Restaurant Marstrand is today one of the most sought after venues and a popular restaurant during the warm summer months.
Marstrand is the perfect place for a summer holiday with all the family friendly beaches, all the walks where you can explore secret caves on the island, visit light houses and admire the view from the top of the rocky island after only a short stroll. The Fortress, Carlstens Fästning, offers guided tours, plays and lots of activities and is Marstrands main attraction.
Where to stay? There are several hotels in Marstrand; The Grand Hotel Marstrand, Villa Maritime and Marstrand Havshotell.
Or why not become a lodger at the old Fortess for a few nights? I might actually try to persuade the Scandinavian Dad, that we should take the girls and spend a night at the old fortress in August, on our way from Copenhagen to Oslo. I’m sure the girls would absolutely love it!

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