Vimmerby, the home of Astrid Lindgren, the beloved author of many favourite children’s books such as Pippi Longstocking, Emil of Lönneberga and the Children from Noisy Village. A picturesque town with a lot of cute old wooden houses. So pretty it deserves a visit even if you are not interested in Astrid Lindgren! To be honest, Småland overall was in my opinion super charming, tidy, pretty and loaded with cute little towns and cafes.
We, like most tourists in Vimmerby, went there to experience the World of Astrid Lindgren. The entrance fee for our family of 2 adults and 2 children was about 140 euros, so clearly not free but to me worth every euro. Inside you only paid for food and drinks, everything else was included in the entrance fee. I was surprised to see that everything inside the theme park (food, coffee) was cheaper than it would be in such a place in Finland. Also, there was proper food, mostly organic, not the typical junk food you mostly get in these places.
I was impressed by how the park was built. It was packed with people but still felt spacious. We all loved to see short plays from our favourite stories and explore the houses we so well know, Katthult, Vila Villekulla and many others. There was also space for kids to roam, great playgrounds, obstacle courses etc. Our kids loved the castle home of the robbers, “Mattisborgen”, so much that we bought the Ronja the Robbers Daughter story, and have read it almost nonstop. Even though it contains mainly text and complicated language. I love it!
But there is more to Vimmerby than its main attraction. The whole town was more or less about Astrid Lindgren though. But one can get a feel for the stories for free as well by walking in her foot steps. We found places where famous scenes from the movies have been filmed, her real life sized statue, paid respects to her grave and played in a pirate (?) ship and the miniature houses of Noisy Village on the market square. One could also have driven 20-30minutes to see the real Katthult and Junibacken just outside of Vimmerby.
There was a detail in Vimmerby I especially loved: the phone booth on the market square, thst by the town library had been turned into a book kiosk!
This visit to Vimmerby was a part of our, by now, annual camping trip. Opposed to last year in the far north, this year we had fantastic summer weather. The sun and warmth made sleeping in a tent pleasant. Even more so, Vimmerby camping, where we stayed the first two nights after the ferry from Finland, was by a lake. Is there a better way to spend the summer evenings than swimming in a lake and playing on the beach?
As for the campsite, it was all right but nothing much more. The play areas are small and seem pretty worn out and kitchen facilities could have been cleaner. There was another campground close with more facilities, pools and slides (and probably more expensive), but having only a couple of evenings there, we wanted the lake.