The 10 Best Things to Do in Helsingborg Sweden + Where to Stay

by madelineraeaway
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.
Places to visit in Helsingborg
Helsingborg tourism - things to do in Helsingborg City
Places to visit in the Helsingborg countryside

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