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Things to do in Helsingborg - Including where to stay

The historic seaside city of Helsingborg is home to just over 100,000 people, and sits along Sweden’s south-west coastline about 45 minutes north of my home, Malmö. Despite it’s close proximity, until recently, I hadn’t spent much time in Helsingborg. So when the local Helsingborg tourism board reached out to invite me for a weekend visit, I was so excited to learn more all the things to do in Helsingborg (hint: it’s a lot!).

A bit of a fun fact: Helsingborg was actually the first place that I ever visited in Sweden. When I first came to visit Sebastian here in 2017, he was living and working in the city at the time. It was the middle of December, which meant it was very cold and dark, and I never really had the chance to experience the city.

Now, after spending three full days exploring Helsingborg, I can confirm that this walkable city is full of charm and fun things to do. Here are some of my favourites!

Rapeseed fields in Helsingborg

Here's 10 things to do in Helsingborg to have the perfect weekend getaway in Sweden

1. Climb the steps up to Kärnan watchtower

Sitting high a top the city of Helsingborg, this watchtower is one of the most popular places to visit in Helsingborg. It dates back 700 years to when Helsingborg still belonged to Denmark and is perhaps the most famous symbol of the city. From the 35-metre high tower, you can enjoy the most beautiful views of the city, waterfront – and even Helsingør, Denmark in the distance. You can also learn more about the city’s history during the Middle Ages.

Best view in Helsingborg

2. Step back in time at Sofiero Palace and Gardens

Located on the outskirts of Helsingborg, Sofiero Palace is perhaps the most famous place in Helsingborg – and I’d argue the most beautiful, too. Sofiero Palace was built in the mid-1800s as a summer house for the Swedish royal family, and other nobility across Europe. 

The castle is beautiful, but the main attraction of Sofiero Palace is the gardens, which has actually been named Europe’s most beautiful garden. The 15-hectare waterfront property is filled with beautiful gardens, a ravine, and northern Europe’s largest collection of rhododendron. In fact, the garden features over 10,000 rhododendron shrubs and over 450 species collected from all over the world, which bloom throughout May and June.

Princess Margareta’s perfectly curated flowerbeds are another highlight of Sofiero Palace. I’d recommend taking a tour of the property to learn more about the history of the palace and gardens.

And if you have time, the castle restaurant is a can’t miss. We had a wonderful seafood lunch here overlooking the sea.

Sofiero Palace
Sofiero Palace
Sofiero Palace
Sofiero Palace

3. Explore the city by bike

My favourite way to explore a new city is always by bike. And luckily, Helsingborg is very bike-friendly. Both the city and countryside are mapped with bike trails, so you can rent a bike and take it to the countryside locations in this itinerary, like Sofiero Palace or Wallåkra.

If you’re planning on spending several hours biking like we did, I really recommend renting an electric bike – speaking from experience, the countryside wind is no joke. You can rent a variety of bikes from the Helsingborg Travelshop.

Biking in Helsingborg
Biking in Helsingborg rapeseed fields

4. Go beer tasting at a local brewery: Barski

If you’re looking for the best beer in Helsingborg, I’ve got you covered. Barski brews their own assortment of beers, affectionately called ‘Brewski,’ and offers beer tastings at their location in central Helsingborg. In addition to their own beers, they often feature beers from other breweries, which is served alongside huge bowls of ramen soup.

Sebastian opted for an assortment of lagers which he said were fantastic, while I tasted four different sour beers with unique flavours including hints of mango and coconut. We collectively tried eight different beers and weren’t disappointed by a single one … which, I mean, says a lot.

Book a table at Barski here.

Beer tasting at Barski Helsingborg
Beer tasting at Barski Helsingborg

5. Take a pottery class at Wallåkra Stenkärlsfabrik

A highlight of my time in Helsingborg and an absolute must visit is Wallåkra Stenkärlsfabrik for a pottery tour and class. During your visit to Wallåkra, you’ll take a tour around the facility and learn how the famous stoneware has been made since the 1800s. The process is completely unique to the region, and involves burning goods made of unique centuries-old clay at 1300 degrees Celsius.

If you opt to take a class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of pottery local pottery making, and why it is so important to preserve this local tradition.

6. Eat famous tomato pie at Miss Alice Krog & Delikatesser

Miss Alice Krog & Delikatesser is a countryside cafe and restaurant that has become very famous for a specific dish: Tomato pie. Many people have tried to recreate the secret recipe with little success, so it is absolutely worth the trip here to experience it for yourself.

After lunch, make sure you head across the street to Tomatens Hus (Tomato House), where Miss Alice sources their tomatoes from. Here you can shop for a large assortment of tomatoes, plants, peppers, baked goods, and other delicacies. 

Tomato pie at Miss Alice
Miss Alice Helsingborg

7. Take a walk along the water at Groningen (+ go swimming if you dare!)

The Helsingborg waterfront is really beautiful, especially in the warmer months. If you’re looking for the perfect seaside walking path, head over to Groningen. Here you’ll find the best spot to watch the Helsingborg sunset, or go for a swim – which you’re bound to see brave locals doing all months of the year.

8. Enjoy a seaside dinner with a view at Sillen & Makrillen

If you’re looking to eat at one of the best restaurants in Helsingborg, you must book a table at Sillen & Makrillen. It is located along the water with the most beautiful views – you really can’t get much closer to the sea than this!

Helsingborg is quite famous for seafood, and this restaurant in the best place to enjoy fresh fish. The quality is exceptional, using local ingredients to craft well thought-out dishes.

In the warmer months, you can sit out on the terrace with a view of the sea. But, even if the weather is a bit chilly, the views from inside are spectacular with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Book at table at Sillen & Makrillen here.

SIllen och Makrillen Helsingborg
SIllen och Makrillen Helsingborg

9. Chocolate-tasting at an award-winning chocolatier: Chocolatte

Chocolatte is an award-winning chocolatier in Helsingborg, having been awarded several medals in the International Chocolate Awards. It is a great place to enjoy a Helsingborg fika, or you can take some chocolates home as a souvenir.

There are so many options to try ranging from chocolate bars, to pralines and fudge. I can personally really recommend salt kola + lakrits (salted caramel and licorice), kolacreme + brynt smor (caramel cream + burnt butter), and virgin mojito.

Chocolatte Helsingborg

10. Take the Helsingborg to Helsingør ferry to visit the famous Hamlet castle in Denmark

If you’re spending a bit more time in the city and are looking for a day trip from Helsingborg, take the Helsingborg to Helsingør ferry to Denmark for the afternoon. Here you can visit the famous Kronborg Castle, which inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet. While in Helsingør, you should also try Danish open face sandwiches, called Smørrebrød. You’ll find plenty of cozy cafes serving these open rye bread sandwiches, which the Danes traditionally pair with a beer and a shot of aquavit.

The Helsingborg to Helsingør ferry is a fun experience in itself. Because the cost of alcohol is significantly cheaper in Denmark compared to Sweden, it is common to see local Swedes riding the ferry to purchase beer on the Danish side of the border. In fact, once the ferry crosses the Swedish-Danish border, a bell goes off and Swedes flock over to the Duty Free Shop to make their purchases. It’s a fun cultural experience!

Where to stay: The best Helsingborg hotel

The Elite Hotel Mollberg is located centrally at Stortorget in Helsingborg, inside a beautifully preserved historic building that dates back to the 14th Century. The hotel itself has been newly renovated, with modern rooms and all the amenities you could need.

Elite Hotel Mollberg
Elite Hotel Mollberg

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Things to do in Helsingborg including the best restaurants, fika, hotel, and more.
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Österlen

Tucked away in the southeast corner of Skåne, in southern Sweden, Österlen is a little Swedish paradise that embodies absolutely everything I love about living in southern Sweden. A popular summer haven for city dwellers, Österlen is a place where creatives and artists live and congregate. It is a region full of century-old cottages, antique shops, art galleries, incredible restaurants and farm hotels, hiking trails, quaint fishing villages, and the most beautiful Swedish beaches.

When I first visited Österlen I fell in so in love. I was completely wrapped up in the charm of it all – I understood the hype. What amazes me is that this little Swedish paradise remains largely off the radar of international tourists. But then again, I can totally understand why Swedes want to keep this spot all to themselves.

Ready to have the absolute best time in Österlen? Here’s everything you need to know!

Talldungen Gårdshotell in Österlen

Where to Stay: Österlen Hotels

There are so many fantastic hotels to stay at in Österlen, ranging from spa resorts to cozy farm hotels, and everything in between. I would just love to hotel-hop around the region because there are so many hotels I’m interested in staying at. But, here’s three of my favourites that I have been to so far:

Talldungen: I have written about this special hotel in other blog posts. In fact, I have a whole blog post dedicated to this Brösarps backar hotel here. This spot is really, really special. It’s eclectic and fun. The owners are such wonderful hosts. And they serve some of the best food and wine I’ve had in all of Sweden. Talldungen is located in Brösarps backar, a beautiful region of rolling hills in northern Österlen. This is a great hotel to base yourself at if you’re exploring north Österlen.

Talldungen Gårdshotell in Österlen

Örum 119: This hotel is all about aesthetic and it is seriously beautiful. The rooms are comfortable, and the common areas feature floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the farm fields. Onsite they have a pizza restaurant, homemade ice cream shop, and farm shop. If you’re in southern Österlen, you must spend a night or two at Örum 119.

Örum 119 in Österlen
Örum 119 rooms in Österlen

Ystad Saltsjöbad: If you’re looking for an Österlen spa, Ystad Saltsjöbad is located on the southwest coast of Österlen and offers a premium spa experience. 

Things to Do in Österlen

Nordic Sea Winery: Wine may not be the first thing you think of when you think of Sweden, but there have been plenty of wineries popping up around southern Sweden in recent years. Nordic Sea Winery is a great spot to learn about local wine, and to do a tasting. 

Brösarps Backar: The hilly region of Brösarps backar is one of my very favourite places to hike in Sweden. The rolling hills are reminiscent of Tuscany, offering some of the best hiking views in all of Sweden. To read my tips for visiting Brösarps backar, check out my Skåne hiking guide.

Brösarps backar
Brösarps backar

Knäbäckshusen: This beautiful beach has trees that follow the coastline and hang over the water, and is absolutely beautiful. It is also common to see surfers at this beach, as the water can get a bit rough.

Knäbäckshusen beach in Österlen
Knäbäckshusen beach in Österlen

Sandhammaren beach: This is my favourite beach in all of Sweden. The long white sand beach will make you feel like you have been transported to the Caribbean, and the sand dunes that line the coastline are dramatic. Read about my other favourite Swedish beaches here.

Simrishamn: The artsy village of Simrishamn is a place where creatives meet. You’ll find art shops, live music, and charming cobblestone streets lined with historic homes. Make sure you head down to the seafront, where you’re likely to see locals fishing.

Kiviks Musteri: Kiviks Musteri is well-known across Sweden as the leader in all things apples. They own a large orchard in Österlen, and produce products made from their own apples, berries, and other plants. You can visit the Musteributiken, a farm shop where they sell all their goods, take a tour of the facilities, or attend a cider tasting. While you’re in the area, head into the fisherman’s town of Kivik too.

Simrishamn
Simrishamn
Kivik

Ales Stenar: This is Sweden’s version own version of Stonehenge. Ales stenar is an oval-shaped ring of large boulders that sits high above sea level, and is believed to be over 5000 years old. The story of the stones is unclear; some have predicted to be a Viking ship, and others a sun dial. It is an absolute must-visit.

Kåseberga: A charming little fishing village located along Sweden’s southernmost scenic coastline, locals flock here to buy freshly caught fish (most famously at Kåseberga Fisk). Here you’ll find red-sided fisherman’s huts and a really beautiful coastline. I’d recommend walking east from the town along the coast for some really beautiful views.

Kåseberga

Österlenkryddor: Tucked away in the Österlen countryside is this little farm shop selling homemade spices, herbs and more. In June/July, they grow their own lavender and sell many lavender products – including their award-winning lavender ice cream.

Österlenkryddor

Stenshuvud National Park: This coastal national park is a great stop for an easy hike along the eastern coastline. Read more about Stenshuvud here.

When in doubt, just drive. Some of my favourite places in Österlen have been the spots I have stumbled upon. The region is littered with flea markets and antique shops (keep an eye out for signs that say ‘loppis‘) and art galleries. There is so much to be discovered!

The Best Österlen Restaurants: Where You Must Eat!

I have said it 1000 times, but I will say it again, because the local culinary scene here is truly world-class. Copenhagen paved the way over a decade ago when world-famous Noma was named the “best restaurant in the world” for it’s take on new Nordic dining. Using primarily locally-sourced ingredients and curating a menu based on what’s in-season is no easy feat, especially in the Nordics where the growing conditions aren’t exactly optimal year-round. But there is something about this experimental yet simplistic dining culture that has everyone buzzing – myself included.

New Nordic dining has expanded across the Baltic sea to southern Sweden, where many restaurants have adapted the concept, and made it their own. In Österlen, you can find some of the very best restaurants in all of Sweden. Here are some of my favourites.

Pastafabriken in Ingelstorp Österlen
Pastafabriken in Ingelstorp Österlen
Show above: Pastafabriken in Ingelstorp, Österlen

Talldungen: I already mentioned this as a place to stay, but it is also one of the best places in Österlen for dinner. The use local ingredients from Österlen to curate a seasonal menu that changes regularly. They also have one of the best wine selections I have come across in Skåne. Make sure you book a table!

Pastafabriken: Homemade pasta in middle-of-nowhere Österlen? After moving to Sweden from a Canadian city with a huge Italian population, I have been really critical of Swedish Italian food. It’s just generally not very good. But this spot changed my mind. Located in Ingelstorp, a small village in south Österlen, you’ll find impeccable handmade pasta, wine, and authentic desserts like tiramisu. 

Hörte Brygga: Serving up food from local farmers and growers in the area, Hörte Brygga is “inspired by their surroundings.” The menu is simple, and leans of the flavours of premium produce. This seasonal restaurant is wildly popular, and people have known to cue down the street in their car to visit this drop-in-only spot. But trust me, the wait is worth it.

Örum 119: I also recommended Örum 119 as a play to stay, but this is also an amazing place to eat. Onsite, you’ll find a pizza restaurant serving up wood-fire-based sourdough pizza, a homemade ice cream shop, and on Sundays, a 7-course “långfrukost” (long breakfast). I can really recommend all of it.

Kronovalls Vinslott: Kronovalls is a beautiful castle located in the middle of nowhere. But it is also a really great spot to grab pizza! If you’re roaming around northern Österlen and are looking for lunch, you can sit on the terrace and enjoy pizza with a view of the castle.

Bella på Österlen: Using influences from Italian cuisine, this is another spot that changed my mind about Italian food in Sweden. Like many chefs in the region, the owner moved down from Stockholm for a quieter life in Österlen. And the food here is really amazing.

Madame Blå Creperie: If you’re looking for a quick lunch, this is a great spot for French-inspired crepes. Located in a historical home with ceilings so low that Sebastian had to bend down, they serve sweet and savoury crepes suitable for every palette.

Talldungen Gårdshotell breakfast
Örum 119 breakfast
Örum 119 pizza
Talldungen Gårdshotell breakfast
Shown above: Talldungen and Örum 119

The Best Österlen Fika Spots + Cafes

If you’re roaming around Österlen, stopping at one of Österlen’s best cafes for fika is an absolute must. And thankfully, there is no shortage of cafes for a coffee and sweet. But here are some of my favourites.

Olof Viktors: No fika list would be complete without this spot – it is an Österlen institution and has received countless awards as one of the best bakeries in Sweden. They use all-natural ingredients and bake using a wood-burning stove oven, and in the summertime, you can sit outside and have your fika on their terrace overlooking the surrounding farms.

Backagården: Here you can have your fika in a beautiful greenhouse. They also have a really charming shop filled with home goods and art.

Österlenchoklad: Österlen’s very own little chocolate factory. The chocolate shop and cafe is located in an old school in Skåne-Tranås and they curate incredible chocolates. You can sit in the cafe and have a fika, and purchase chocolate to-go at factory prices.

Kiviks Musteri: The cafe at this famous apple orchard serves all kinds of delicious apple-flavoured baked goods (and other things, too). You can also try many of Kiviks other popular products, like ciders and jams.

Österlenchoklad
Backagården Österlen
Shown above: Österlenchoklad and Backagården

When to Visit Österlen

Despite being largely unknown outside of Sweden, Österlen draws huge crowds in the summer months. It isn’t unusual to see people cuing in their cars to get a parking spot at a trendy cafe, or waiting outside ahead of their favourite antique shop opening.

I can confirm that summer in Österlen is pure magic, but that isn’t the only time to visit. Österlen is just as beautiful in the shoulder season, in the spring or autumn. And there will be significantly less crowds, making it easier to make reservations at the many of the spots I talked about in this post.

If you’re looking to visit Österlen in the winter, keep in mind that many local businesses close in the winter months. Most local businesses open for the season around Easter weekend and stay open during the autumn. Just make sure you check the opening hours at your must-visit attractions and restaurants before booking the trip.

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One of my very favourite things about southern Sweden is all the nature. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll know that there is no shortage of beautiful nature in Skåne – the southernmost part of Sweden that I call home. Sweden is a big county (surface area-wise), but is home to only 1 million people. This means, it is largely uninhabited – and there is tons of space to roam. Throughout the empty diverse landscapes of southern Sweden, the Skåne region has mapped trails for locals to get out and enjoy nature. In fact, there is over 1300 kilometres of hiking trails all over the Skåne region, called the Skåneleden trail.

Now, 1300 kilometeres is a lot of hiking … and it’s safe to say I still have a long way to go to explore all of it. However, I have spent a lot of time on various segments of the Skåneleden trail, and I’m here to share with you a few of my favourite segments of the trail.

My top Skåneleden trail hikes feature everything from rolling hills, forests, unique coastlines – and, my favourite, lots of cute farm animals.

A quick tip for locating the Skåneleden trail markers: Keep an eye out for orange! All Skåneleden trails are marked with orange markers with a photo of a hiker, and the word "Skåneleden."
1. Glumslövs backar (Glumslövs hills)
Glumslövs backar - best Skåneleden hikes
Difficulty level: Easy

Located just outside the town of Glumslöv along the coastline, you’ll find Glumslövs backar (the area can also be called Hilleshögs dalar). True to its name, it is a region of hills, valleys, and a rocky cliff-lined coastline. The landscape is very similar to the popular tourist island of Ven, which you can see across the distance in the sea. However, it is much more accessible since you can easily get there by train or car.

The hike starts through the valleys of Glumslöv, where you’ll walk through cow pastures surrounded by rolling hills. Once you hit the coastline, you can turn left or right and follow the trails along the water. Here you can see the cascading cliffs, abandoned WWII bunkers, and – my favourite part – the very unique coastline.

What is so unique about the coastline? It’s full of multi-coloured rocks (and bricks)!

Historically, there used to be several brick factories along the coastline between Helsingborg and Landskrona. Many colourful bricks still lay along the coastline, and the residue has changed the colours of the rocks as well to hues or red, orange, and yellow. You can read more about the history here.

How to get to Glumslövs backar

If you have a car, enter “Glumslöv” into your GPS as your destination. Once you have arrived in the small town, head just outside of town, south down Glumslövsvägen. Keep an eye out for the orange trail markers and parking alongside the road. Once you park your car, you can start following the trail markers toward the sea.

If you are travelling to Glumslöv by train, get off at Glumslövs train station and walk south down Glumslövsvägen until you hit the trail head.

Best time of year to visit Glumslövs backar

This hike is worth doing any time of the year, because the unique coastline is beautiful in any season. I’ve been in both the autumn and winter.

Looking for similar landscapes? See also: My guide to visiting Ven island.

2. Brösarps backar (The hills of Brosarp)
Difficulty level: Easy

If you’ve read some of my other Skåne posts, you’ll know how much I love the Brösarps backer area. This region of Skåne, located just outside the town of Brösarp, is very reminiscent of the rolling hills of Tuscany. The hiking trails in this region will take you through pastures and forests, up-and-down hills, and even along some abandoned train tracks. 

How to get to Brösarps backar

To do my favourite hike of the region, you’ll actually want to follow two hiking trails: Skåneleden and Backaleden.

You’ll start on the Backaleden trail through Brösarps southern hills. Here you’ll be able to hike to the top of the hills for the very best views. To get here, park in the town of Brösarp and head past Talldungen gårdshotell to the trail head. You’ll want to keep an eye out for yellow markers.

Follow the yellow Backaleden trail markers until you reach the train tracks. From there, you will turn left and walk about five minutes along the abandoned tracks until you see the orange Skåneleden trail markers. You’ll then follow the orange trail markers through the forest trails back to Brösarp.

The best season to visit Brösarps backar

I have been here in both summer and autumn, and the autumn was an easy favourite for me. The colours in this region around late October and early November are stunning. If you’re visiting this area, I can also really recommend spending a night at Talldungens gårdshotell (which just so happens to be my favourite hotel in Sweden – read a blog post about that experience here).

See also: 7 Places to Experience Autumn in Sweden. 

Brösarps backar
Brösarps backar
3. Söderåsens nationalpark
Difficulty level: Easy

Söderåsens nationalpark is a very popular hiking spot in Skåne, so it has been a bit more commercialized. The trails are likely to be busier than some of my other recommendations, but it is popular for a reason and worth checking out for the beautiful views. The national park is home to dense forests, lakes, and an incredible lookout point over a deep valley of trees. It has been affectionately called “Skåne’s Grand Canyon.”

Which Söderåsens nationalpark hike is the best?

The park has mapped out many trails, so you might be wondering which one you should choose. I haven’t hiked all the trails, so if you want details on all of them, you should check out this link. The most popular Söderåsens nationalpark hike is to Kopparhatten, which is home to the canyon-like views. This is guaranteed to be the busiest trails.

I can also really recommend the Härnsnäsrundan loop, which brings you to beautiful lakes and through dense forests. In the autumn it is a canopy of red, orange and yellow, and you will rarely encounter other hikers around this area.

How to get to Söderåsens nationalpark?

Since this is such a popular spot. Skåneleden has mapped out in detail everything you need to know about getting to this national park. Read it here.

Best time of year to visit Söderåsens nationalpark?

Easily the best time to visit is in the autumn, although it is beautiful all year round. If you plan to go in the busy summer or autumn months, go early. The parking lot has been know to get full (especially on weekends) by late morning.

Söderåsens nationalpark
Söderåsens nationalpark
4. Romeleåsen Ridge
Romeleåsen Ridge - the best Skåneleden trail hikes
Difficulty level: Medium

Romeleåsen Ridge is a hike located about 20-30 minutes from Malmö, near Dålby. It is most known for it’s beautiful lookouts over the surrounding hills, but the trails are very diverse taking you through pastures, forests, and up-and-down hills.

I have rated this one as medium, because there are a lot of steep, rocky inclines. As a result, make sure you bring some good shoes. We also noticed many hikers bringing along full picnics to cook food at the fire pits in the area, so this could also be a really cozy option for a break.

How to get to Romeleåsen Ridge

Skåneleden shares a 12 km route, but this 12 km hike would be quite difficult. If you’re looking for a shorter 6 km hike, you can instead put “The Lodge Resort” as a starting point, park your car there, and follow the trail markers from the hotel. From here you’ll still be able to experience the best views from the highest points in the region.

Best time of year to visit Romeleåsen Ridge

I may be a bit biased, but this is a fantastic winter hike. Temperatures rarely dip below 0 degrees Celsius in southern Sweden, but if they do, you must visit Romeleklint. The trees were covered in ice and it looked like a winter wonderland. My best advice is to go early, because as the day progressed the ice began to melt. And also make sure to have a waterproof jacket on, too. That being said, I imagine it would be beautiful here in the summer.

Romeleåsen Ridge
Romeleåsen Ridge
5. Kullabergs naturreservat (Kullaberg Nature Reserve)
Kullabergs naturreservat - the best Skåneleden trail hikes
Difficulty level: Easy-Medium

Kullaberg is another one of the most popular hiking spots in Skåne – and it’s easy to see why. It’s beautiful! Located in the Höganås municipality, Kullaberg is a nature reserve that protrudes out of the western coast of Skåne. The region is full of cutesy villages and beautiful coastlines, which I found to be very reminiscent of the California coast.

The rocky cliffs that line the coastline lead down to grottos and caves that you can explore. But be careful when heading down to these caves, some of the pathways are very steep and slippery. Most people head out to the tip of the peninsula, but I recommend stopping at Josefinelust along the way. This particular grotto was an easy favourite for me.

For a really great hike, park at Josefinelust and explore the grotto, and then head west toward the tip of the peninsula. Once at the tip, make sure you hike along the southern coast for the most beautiful views.

How to get to Kullaberg

Kullaberg is a popular spot, so if you’re arriving by car, I’d recommend getting there early. There are a few parking lots in the region. The most popular spot to park is “Parkingplatz Kullaberg,” which is near the tip of the nature reserve. However, if you want to hike the loop I described above, you can park at “Josfineslust Rastplats.”

Best time of year to visit Romeleåsen Ridge

Kullaberg is a really popular summer spot for swimming and hiking. I haven’t been in the summer, but I can imagine it would be absolutely beautiful to swim there. However, I have also hear that it is very busy in the summer months. I have only visited in the off-season, and it is so quiet and serene. When we visited on a sunny day in March, we had entire popular spots to ourselves. So really, it is always beautiful and depends what you’re looking for.

Kullabergs naturreservat
Kullabergs naturreservat
6. Måkläppen naturreservat (Måkläppen wildlife sanctuary)
Difficulty level: Easy-Medium

Looking for a unique hike in Skåne? Måkläppen is a great choice!

The Falsterbo peninsula off the southern coast of Skåne is home to Måkläppen nature reserve, and the wildlife that calls the nature reserve home. Here visitors are able to hike out to the tip of the peninsula to watch the harbour seals, grey seals, and diverse species of migratory birds in their natural habitat. It is truly a can’t-miss experience.

I have rated this as easy-medium difficulty, because the coastline is comprised of loose sand, which is a bit difficult to walk on. Additionally, even on mild or sunny days, it can get very cold as you hike out on the peninsula. For this reason, make sure you dress very warm, and wear sturdy waterproof shoes. I’d recommend bringing along water and a hot beverage, and a snack too.

The hike is about one hour each way.

Which months is Måkläppen open for visitors?

Måkläppen is only opened for 12 weeks every year in the winter months, between November and January. Otherwise, there are barriers put up at the opening to the peninsula to protect the wildlife. 

How to get to Måkläppen

As you can imagine, this unique experience does get quite busy in the winter months. If you are arriving by car, your destination should be “Falsterbo Golfklubb.” I would recommend arriving early in the morning as parking fills up quickly. 

Alternatively, you can take the the Bus 100 from Malmö Central Station to Falsterbo.

Skåneleden shares more about visiting Måkläppen here.

Måkläppens naturreservat
Måkläppens naturreservat

Check out this map of the best Skåneleden trail hikes

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The best Skåneleden trail hikes
A guide to the best Skåneleden trail hikes
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Malmö City Library

As a Malmö local, I feel so lucky to live in this beautiful city with seemingly never ending things to do. Not only is Malmö the gateway to the rest of southern Sweden, it is also more than just a day trip from Copenhagen. Spend a few days in Malmö and you’ll surely understand why many locals are to thankful to call this city home. Looking for a local Malmö experience? I’m dishing all my favourite things to do in Malmö here in this Malmö city guide.

13 Things to Do in Malmö

gamla stadan (malmö old town)

Gamla Staden, or Malmö Old Town, is undoubtedly the most charming neighbourhood in Malmö. Narrow streets lined with beautiful old buildings, you’ll find yourself transported back in time and dreaming of what once-was. You’ll find the most picture-perfect alleyways and cobblestone streets in Gamla Vaster Malmö, specifically on Jakob Nilsgatan and Jöns Filsgatan.

Pretty streets in Gamla staden, Malmö
Pretty streets in Gamla staden, Malmö

lilla torg and stortorget (little square and big square)

Located in the Malmo old town, Lilla Torg and Stortorget are picturesque squares surrounded by restaurants and old buildings. Lilla torg is a great place to grab a drink when the sun in shining, or take in one of Malmo’s festivals. Stortorget is home to Apoteket Lejonet, a beautiful old pharmacy that is worth checking out.

möllevången neighbourhood

This neighbourhood is the multicultural epicentre of Malmö with trendy bars and restaurants, parks, and other cultural activities. Here you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Malmö. Grab a drink at the main square, Möllevångstorget. It is in this square that you will also find a great farmers market during the afternoon, where you can pick up fresh produce.

See Also: A detailed food guide to Malmö.

vastra hamnen (the western harbour)

Vastra Hamnen, or the Western Harbor, is a new development in Malmo and is home to the cities most recognizable landmark: The Turning Torso. This uniquely designed skyscraper cascades over Malmö and really can’t be missed when you’re exploring the city.

While walking from the train station to the Vastra hamnen district, you can’t miss the old lighthouse in the harbor at the head of the canal. 

The waterfront in Vastra Hamnen is beautiful! Take some time to walk along the water-side parks, including Daniaparken and Scaniaparken to take in beautiful waterfront views. On a clear day, you can even see the iconic Malmö-Copenhagen Oresund Bridge in the distance. This is the perfect place to watch the beautiful Malmö sunset. And in the summer months, make sure you bring a bathing suit to take a dip off one of the many piers.

Turning Torso
Västra hamnen sunset

malmö canal boat rental

The best way to see Malmö is from the water. You can rent a boat from BookABoat, bring along your own food and drinks, and enjoy Malmö from the canals.

BookABoat Malmo
BookABoat Malmo

ribersborgsstranden (ribersborg beach)

Looking for the best beach in Malmö? This is your spot to  sunbathe and go for a swim right in the city centre.

Here, you’ll also find Ribersborgs kallbadhus, which is a convenient local option if you’re looking traditional Scandinavian baths and saunas in Malmö. It also features a restaurant and patio, with spectacular views of the Oresund Bridge and the Turning Torso.

visit the best parks in malmö

Malmö is full of beautiful green spaces. In fact, when I first moved here I was blown away by how much central city real estate was allocated to park space. The most central parks, Kungsparken and Slottsparken, offer many picturesque walking trails, flower gardens, and lakes. Here you’ll also find Malmö’s iconic windmill, Castle Mill. If you’re stopping by Castle Mill, make sure you also walk through the beautiful gardens next to them.

Other favourite parks include Pildammsparken and the green space along Kungsgatan (where you can also check out the iconic Sankt Pauli’s Church).

Pildammsparken Malmo
Pildammsparken Malmo

folket's park

Folket’s Park deserves its own section because there is so much to do in this quirky park. Here, you’ll find an outdoor stage space where there is often free live music playing. There is all kinds of sculptures and fun playgrounds for children, bars (I’d recommend Moriskan or Far i Hatten), mini golf, street art, and more. It is definitely a unique local place in Malmö that is worth exploring. 

malmö stadsbibliotek (city library)

Malmö’s city library is beautiful and features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the park next door. It is absolutely worth a quick stop in!

shop in davidshall

Trendy Davidshall features some of Malmö’s coolest shops and loads of Scandinavian design stores. Local favourites include AB Smaland, Grandpa, and Designtorget, but there are also plenty of cool vintage shops and other small boutiques to keep you busy for hours.

Malmo City Library
Davidshall Malmo

eat your heart out at malmö saluhall

Malmö’s indoor food market is a great place to stop for lunch, or to shop local goods. This indoor space is home to a bunch of vendors, with food options ranging from ramen to pizza to local Swedish fare.

fiskehoddorna (fish market)

You can eat local fish at Malmö’s fish market. Here, you can have homemade fish and chips in the garden behind these picturesque fishing huts. It is also a great spot to take photos in Malmö.

hunt for street art

Malmö has all kinds of corners of hidden street art. Wander around and see what you can find! Shown below, the left photo is a piece of art int he Davidshall neighbourhood, and you can find the right quote at Malmö’s Modern Art Museum.

Street art Malmo
Street art Malmo

The Best restaurants in Malmö

Check out my blog post all about Where to Eat in Malmö Sweden for details on where to eat, drink, and have the best fika in Malmo.

Uggla Malmo

How to Get to MALMÖ

Copenhagen to Malmö: Most people access the city from Copenhagen, which is a short train ride away [about 30 minutes from Copenhagen Airport or 45 minutes from the Copenhagen city centre].

Malmö Airport: You can also fly into Malmö Airport from select cities. However, based on the location of the airport, it is often more convenient (and cost effective) to fly into Copenhagen.

If you are coming into Malmö from anywhere else in Scandinavia, both train and plane options should be available for a reasonable price.

For more details on train prices and times, download the Skånetrafiken app.

MALMÖ Transportation

Malmö is an incredibly accessible city, with a bunch of transportation options available.

Malmö by foot: One of the reasons I love this city is because you can get virtually anywhere you need to go by foot within 30-40 minutes.

Malmö bike: Get around the city the way the locals do – by bike! In fact, Malmö is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, and is very easy to navigate, even for a novice rider. For more information bike rentals, visit Malmö by Bike.

Hire a Malmö scooter: There are no shortage of electric scooters available for rent in the city – they are seriously everywhere. Just make sure you download the Voi and/or Lime apps ahead of time, and finding a scooter is a breeze.

Bus and Train in Malmö: Malmö is extremely accessible by bus, or train. The buses run frequently and cover a significant portion of the city. Just download the Skånetrafiken app to easy view schedules, buy tickets, and more.

Where to Stay in Malmö

Ohboy Hotell: Located in Västra hamnen, this brand new hotel offers affordable loft style hotel rooms and boasts a unique industrial-inspired design. It is designed with sustainability in mind and offers rental bikes to explore the city.

Clarion Malmö Live: This new hotel is very modern and over looks Malmö’s harbour and The Turning Torso. It is centrally located and home to Malmö Kitchen and Table, a restaurant on the top floor that overlooks the city.

MJ’s Hotel: Arguably the more beautiful hotel you’ll find in Malmö, this trendy centrally-located hotel is hotspot for both visitors and locals. It has a chic hotel bar, and greenery-filled restaurant atrium. The rooms are tastefully designed, too.

Day Trips from MALMÖ

There are tons of great day trips you can take from Malmö. Read about all the things you can do outside of Malmö in this Things to do in Skåne Travel Guide.

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Talldungen Gårdshotell

Have you ever heard so many wonderful things about a place that you begin to think it is too good to be true? I have received many travel recommendations over the years – and read many glowing reviews – only to be a bit disappointed because the experience was not the same as I imagined it to be. Before visiting Talldungen Gårdshotell Österlen, I had heard the most wonderful things about this hidden gem. That it has some of the best food in Sweden. And that the hotel and service and surroundings would blow you away. And, admittedly, I was skeptical. Can this bed-and-breakfast tucked away in the Österlen countryside really be that perfect? Well, I am here to tell you that Talldungen Gårdshotell is – in fact – that perfect.

Dare I say that this is my favourite spot I have visited in Sweden to date (or, at least among the top). I am going to share with you all the reasons why our little overnight getaway to Talldungen Gårdshotell blew me away.

Talldungen Gårdshotell
Talldungen Gårdshotell

Please note: This post is not sponsored in any way. We simply loved our experience here so much that I wanted to share the details (and the beautiful photos) of it with you.

See Also: My great big travel guide to Skåne.

WHAT MAKES TALLDUNGAN GÅRDSHOTELL ÖSTERLEN SO SPECIAL?

Have you ever just had that feeling when travelling? The feeling of being at ease. And just genuinely, wholeheartedly happy. This is the feeling I had while we stayed at Talldungen.

Talldungen Gårdshotell Österlen – located in the town of Brösarp – will make you feel like you have been transported to the Italian countryside. The hotel owners, Emma and David, moved from the big city to Österlen to pursue their dream of living in the countryside. They used their culinary skills to open this full service Österlen gårdshotell (farm hotel) with a world-class dining experience that attracts visitors from all over Sweden – and the world.

the hotel facilities

Talldungen Gårdshotell view

The decor at Talldungen is cosy and retro, with many unique elements that appear to be sourced from local antique shops. Everything about the esthetic is a bit mismatched, a bit eclectic, a bit imperfect. And yet, so charming. I said to Sebastian at least twenty times that I wanted my entire apartment to look like the interior of Talldungen.

Outside, you’ll find a huge patio with views of the surrounding hills and farm life. While we didn’t have an opportunity to sit outside as it rained throughout most of our stay, it gives us a good reason to come back soon to sit on the terrace and enjoy the sunshine with a glass of wine.

Our room was huge, and the bed comfy, with a beautiful window overlooking the hills. We opted to save a bit of money and booked a room that had a private bathroom down the hall, which we didn’t mind at all. The bathroom was brand new and stocked with lovely personal care products.

Talldungen offers a variety of room types suitable for every budget – ranging from rooms with shared bathrooms, to modern ensuites.

talldungen restaurant

As I mentioned above, the owners of Talldungen are experienced chefs, and the hotel offers a rustic five course tasting menu experience that is perfect in every way. Using locally-sourced seasonal ingredients, the dishes blend Italian, French, and Swedish influences. Full disclosure: This is one of my absolute favourite meals that I have had in Sweden.

Our meal started off with fresh bread from their onsite bakery, paired with cured ham and rooster liver pate (I normally do not like pate, but this was so good). Next up was a sweet pepper and mozzarella appetizer, followed by the main course, which offered a pork, fish or vegetarian option. The main course was followed up with some fresh local cheese and three different desserts to share: A meringue with fresh wild strawberries, a lemon curd, and homemade stracciatella ice cream.

The restaurant also has possibly the largest natural wine selection I have ever seen. While many visitors opt for the wine pairing, we decided to share a bottle of red wine instead. Our waiter listened to our requests and suggested the most perfect, unique natural wine catered to our tastebuds.

In the morning, you’ll be welcomed to an expansive breakfast with many homemade and locally-sourced options – including some of the best bread I have ever tasted that had just come straight from their bakery, homemade apple juice, and a delicious yogurt parfait with the fresh perfectly paired seasonal toppings.

The staff went above and beyond the entire weekend to offer a premium culinary experience, and were eager to help us navigate Sebastian’s food allergies. This included whipping him up some homemade bread on a whim when he was allergic to the standard option.

surrounding nature

Brösarps backar cows

Talldungen is located right in the centre of Brösarps Backer (Brösarp’s hills). This region offers beautiful nature and many hiking trails. While it rained most of the weekend, we were able to find a two hour window after we checked out to explore the region – and WOW. It is beautiful.

The Skåneleden Trail, which is over 1250 kilometres of hiking trails scattered through southern Sweden, runs through this area. While many people head straight for this path, the staff at Talldungen recommended an alternative walking path for us that combined parts of the Skåneleden Trail (orange trail markers) and Backaleden (yellow trail markers). The Skåneleden portion was mostly through the forest, whereas the Backaleden portion led up the hills through valleys and fields. One of the best things about Sweden is the “right to roam” rule, which gives you permission to hike or camp anywhere as long as you aren’t disturbing nature. This also means many of these trails navigate through private property including animal pastures – so you can count on dodging cow and horse poo through many of the trails. But hiking alongside the animals and beautiful surroundings makes it worth it.

Talldungen Gårdshotell will pack you a picnic or coffee to bring on your hike if you’d like! Make sure you talk to them and plan this for a sunny day.

See Also: The Best Beaches in Skåne.

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Sandhammaren Beach in Sweden

I know what you’re thinking … beaches in Sweden? During my first summer in Sweden, when I mentioned we would be spending warm and sunny days at the beach, my family and friends back home were confused. And while I haven’t travelled north during the summer (yet), I can say with certainty that southern Sweden (also affectionately known as the “Swedish Riviera”) is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, diverse I have ever seen. And it absolutely where you need to visit to experience the best beaches in Sweden.

Here, I am going to highlight the best beaches in Skåne Sweden, the most southern region of the country. However, I hope to explore beaches in more northern regions soon – so stay tuned for that.

HERE'S SOME OF THE BEST BEACHES IN SWEDEN

Sandhammaren beach

Sandhammaren Beach in Sweden

Normally they say you should leave the best for last … but I couldn’t wait that long! Easily one of my favourite southern Sweden beaches is Sandhammaren beach. This beach along the southern coastline of Österlen is a popular summer destination for both locals and tourists. What makes this beach so special is that it is home to the most delicate fine grain white sand – similar to the sand you would find on the most beautiful Caribbean beaches.

Sandhammaren beach is also perfectly located in the heart of Österlen, a gorgeous contryside region filled with bed and breakfasts, farm shops, antique stores, and fairy tale-like towns.

Sandhammaren Beach - one of the best beaches in Sweden.
Sandhammaren Beach - one of the best beaches in Sweden.

skanör-falsterbo beach

Skanör beach huts

If you’re visiting Malmö, a visit to Skanör-Falsterbo is a must! These beach side towns are a popular place for Swedes to buy or rent summer houses. The beachfront is lined with small huts, and in the summers you’ll see the owners sitting beach side, grilling, and enjoying the view. Skanör Beach is a highlight if you want to see these picturesque beach side huts.

On the boardwalk, you’ll also find plenty of restaurants and bars to grab a bite or a drink. I’d highly recommend Badhytten. Or, head into Skanör town to Skanörs Gästgifvaregård for a nice meal. Looking for a Skanör hotel? I highly recommend Hotel Spelabäcken for a lovely bed and breakfast experience in town, a short 10 minute walk to the beach (alternatively, they offer bike rentals too).

While in Skanör-Falsterbo, you should also check out Flommen Naturreservat for some beautiful walking trails and seaside views.

Me at Skanör beach
Me at Skanör beach

lomma beach

Located close to the university town of Lund, Lomma Beach is a popular beach for locals because it is close to Malmö and Lund – and their respective suburbs. This means that you’ll find this seaside harbor town bustling on warm summer days. If you’re looking for a nice beach close to the city, Lomma is a great option.

While visiting the beach, don’t forget to take some time to walk around the harbor. You’ll notice many people hanging out on their boats, and there are plenty and restaurants and a lovely little ice cream spot called Lomma Glassfabrik.

ven beaches

Ven island, off the coast of Landskrona, is a stunning biodiverse island filled with incredible coastal views. The island is also home to many beach fronts and spots to swim. These spots range from sandy to rocky. If you are looking for a summer day trip from Malmö, Ven island is a great option. You can read my complete guide to Ven here.

For the most picturesque beachfront, head to the area of Möllebäcken. The sand is rocky, but the views from this part of the island are simply gorgeous. If you’re looking for a sandy beach, the beach near Norreborg’s harbor is a great spot.

simrishhamn beach

Another Österlen beach, Simishhamn beach is most notable for its unique orange-hued sand. The seaside town is also very charming, and is a great summer spot to station yourself for spending a few days exploring Österlen.

If you’re looking for a unique souvenir in Simrishamn, you should check out local business Simris. The owners are microalgae farmers and you can buy their products.

Simrishamn beach

ribersborg beach

Don’t feel like leaving the city? Ribersborg Beach is the best beach in Malmö. Here, you can find locals taking a dip off the piers during almost any month of the year. Is also has a sandy coastline so you can sit and enjoy the seaside and views of the harbor – and the Turning Torso.

If you’re interested in visiting a traditional Swedish bath house Ribersborg Kallbadhus can be found here, and allows you to take a dip into the chilly Baltic sea and then head into a warm sauna overlooking the Copenhagen skyline in the distance.

klagshamn beach

Located just outside of Malmö, Klagshamn Beach is a quiet spot with walking trails and is close to a quint fishing village. It is a great place for swimming, with piers going out into the sea. And it has beautiful views of the coastline and Oresund bridge in the distance. If you visit Klagshamn, I recommend bringing along something to grill. They have beachside barbeques set up so it’s a great place to gather otherdoors with friends.

Klagshamn beach

Need help finding the best beaches in sweden?
check out the map below.

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