Home World The beautiful but underrated European city that's just like a 'little Manchester'

The beautiful but underrated European city that's just like a 'little Manchester'


A Scandinavian city has been likened to Manchester due to its thriving music and cultural scene.

Manchester has produced a plethora of innovative bands, many of whom went on to achieve worldwide fame.

In the late 1980s, it became the centre of a musical and cultural phenomenon that was dubbed “Madchester”.

Some of the most famous groups emerging from the scene were the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans and James.

Norrköping in eastern Sweden has acquired the moniker “Sweden’s Manchester” on account of its vibrant musical heritage, as well as cultural institutions.

Along with its British counterpart it also shares a rich history as a textile powerhouse.

Its well-preserved industrial landscape now houses museums, galleries, and concert halls.

It tells the story of the city’s evolution from a manufacturing giant to a centre of cultural and educational excellence.

Music and arts have been at the heart of its cultural life and a part of the city’s identity for hundreds of years.

Today Norrköping caters for all musical genres, allowing an interesting mix of creative, indie music communities to thrive.

The city has become home to a growing number of producers within genres such as techno/electronic music, reggae, jazz and heavy metal.

Perhaps one of the city’s most famous music producers is Michael B Tretow, who worked closely with the Swedish pop sensations ABBA.

Norrköping has been a UNESCO City of Music since 2017 – a testimony to its unique creative traditions.

Visitors to the city have raved about its distinctive charms on online forums such as Tripadvisor.

Anita P from Texas wrote. “I was blown away by the industrial landscape – numerous textile mills & related industries clustered around powerful water raging through multiple canals.

“After the collapse of the local textile industry, buildings have been / are in process of being adapted & repurposed for contemporary use: cafes, work spaces, museums, university. Fabulous to wander.”

While ApophisNZ from Stockholm said: “I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed just walking around the centre of Norrköping!

“The centre is packed with beautiful architecture set against the artificial waterfalls which are formed from the differing levels of the Motala River.”

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