The Smaaland area about 225 mi/360 km southwest of Stockholm is often called the Glass District or the Kingdom of Crystal. Its several towns, all in a fairly compact area, have glass-making plants. About 20 of the factories, all within a short drive of one another, offer free tours. Most have shops selling their wares (including inexpensive, irregular pieces).

The most recognized producers are Orrefors ( and Kosta Boda. In addition, the town of Vaxjo sponsors a glass museum and an emigration museum, which depicts Swedish emigration to the U.S. in the 19th century.

Nearby, the coastal town of Kalmar has a fortress, where old maritime artifacts are displayed, and Jonkoping, once the center of the matchstick industry, has the offbeat Museum of Matches. If you're interested in learning about handmade paper, visit the town of Lessebo. Buyers and browsers may want to spend two days in the area.

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