The Ikea Museum in Sweden’s Smaland, where it all began

Yes, the Ikea Museum in Almhult does serve Swedish meatballs. Some people say they’re the best ones, says Pontus Johansson, the museum’s event coordinator.

“We’re not kidding ourselves either: Ikea is simply connected to food,” says Johansson, stressing they are produced according to the same standards as everywhere else in the world. “In some countries, you go to the market to eat and not to shop.”

The town of Almhult, in the southern Swedish region of Smaland, is where Ingvar Kamprad (1926-2018) opened the first Ikea, now the home the furniture giant’s headquarters.

In the Smaland region there is always time for fika — a coffee break with a cinnamon bun. And the Ikea Museum has more to offer than just Kottbullar.

The first Ikea market in the Swedish town of Almhult is now the site of the fun Ikea Museum. Photos: dpa

Especially for families visiting Sweden, the Ikea Museum can be entertaining stop.

Sweden is famous for Ikea and its meatballs.

Its restaurant focuses mainly on regional specialities made with local products such as croppkakor, potato dumplings stuffed with bacon, and the salmon, always a must in Sweden.

The museum itself is more than just a showcase for the company, it’s about Sweden’s history as well. The rise of Ikea is closely linked to local economic development, and the museum’s permanent exhibition is not dull at all.

Ikea demonstrates humour, especially in the way it shows off its artefacts and lets you immortalise yourself in an Ikea catalogue cover.

One showcase contains only one of the small, angled Allen wrenches used to assemble furniture. One display case further shows only a fork with a meatball.

Everything shown here represents the brand well — you have to expect a lot of corporate philosophy and advertising in such a tour.

Nevertheless, a visit to the Ikea Museum is a fun holiday trip, especially for families, especially if coming from Copenhagen, which is closer to Almhult than Stockholm.

Children can romp about in the colourful, cheerful museum and are playfully occupied. Adults can even get some shopping done and many of the products in the gift shop are unique. – dpa