The 17 Best Things to Do in Helsingborg Sweden + 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. I have spent a lot of time exploring the city over the past year and am amazed by all the unique things to do in Helsingborg and the surrounding areas. It is such an underrated gem in Sweden.

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 all the things to do in Helsingborg.

Now, after spending a lot of time of in the city and it’s surrounding countryside, I can confirm that this walkable city is full of charm and fun things to do. Here are some of my favourites!

This blog post has been written in paid collaboration with Visit Helsingborg, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Where to stay in Helsingborg
Rapeseed fields in Helsingborg

Helsingborg H22 City Expo: May 30 - July 3 2022

If you’re travelling to Helsingborg in late spring/early summer between May 30 until July 3, you’ll be able to experience the much-anticipated H22 City Expo! Throughout the City Expo you can attend cultural and food experience, learn about smart and sustainable city initiatives throughout the various city exhibitions, listen to H22 talks, music and entertainment for the entire family, and so much more.

Check out the full event programme here.

Here's 17 unique 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.

Helsingborg castle
Helsingborg castle

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.

Helsingborg bike rental
Helsingborg bike rental

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.

Barski Helsingborg
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.

Wallåkra pottery making class
Wallåkra pottery making class

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 Krog & Delikatesse
Tomato pie at Miss Alice Krog & Delikatesse

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.

Groningen Helsingborg

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 & Makrillen Helsingborg
Sillen & 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
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!

11. Take a dip in the cold sea at Kallis cold bathhouse

If you’re looking for a real Nordic experience, then a trip to Kallis is a must! Kallis is a ‘kallbadhus’ or cold bathhouse in Helsingborg that dates back to 1865. Here you can enjoy the saunas and bathe in the sea alongside locals. 

Keep in mind that the tradition of cold bath houses mean that you that there is a no-clothing policy. The bathhouse is set up to have women bathing on one side, and men on the other with a privacy divider in the middle. Don’t let this deter you, a visit here is one of my favourite things to do in Helsingborg.

Kallis Helsingborg
Kallis Helsingborg

12. Ride a bike along the railroad tracks at Klippan Dressin

If you’re looking for one of the most unique things to do in Helsingborg, heading out to Klippan Dressin for an afternoon of fun along the railroad tracks is a must! Here you can rent a railroad bike and bike along old railroads that are no longer in service. The scenery is absolutely beautiful as you cycle through a tunnel of greenery. And there’s a cosy little rest stop where you can stop to have lunch or coffee, so make sure you pack a picnic.

Book your bike here.

Dressin Klippan
Dressin Klippan

13. Enjoy the quiet nature at Söderåsens national park

If you’ve heard of Söderåsens national park, you’re probably questioning how a hike there could be quiet because it is a very popular national park sitting just outside Helsingborg. It’s known for it’s famous viewpoint – Kopparhattan – that overlooks the ravines.

However, if you want to avoid the crowds I’ve got you covered with an insider tip. Park your car at Klöva hallar and head up for a beautiful hike alongside the ravine. The viewpoints are similar to Kopparhatten only with way less visitors.  

Read my guide to some of the best hikes in Skåne here. 

Soderasens nationalpark
Soderasens nationalpark

14. Have a Swedish fika at Bruket kaffebar

Bruket kaffebar is a cosy little cafe on an old street in the middle of the city and is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to have a fika in Helsingborg. Their menu is crafted with seasonal ingredients, and in addition to fika they offer breakfast, lunch, and brunch.

Helsingborg is home to the famous Swedish coffee brand Zoegas (which is actually quite good) and it is served basically everywhere. However, I was so happy to discover that Bruket kaffebar serves a unique roast from a roaster in Kalmar if you’re looking to switch it up, and it was so delicious!

Bruket kaffebar Helsingborg
Bruket kaffebar Helsingborg

15. Shop for local Swedish wool at Klippan Yllefabrik

In the countryside outside of Helsingborg, you’re bound to find lots of sheep farms, which means there’s also a lot of wool! Klippan Yllefabrik – or Wool Factory – has over 100 years of local natural wool production and is the perfect place to purchase materials for knitting, or to purchase wool products like blankets or childrens items. 

16. Explore the city's newest neighbourhood: Oceanhamnen, Helsingborg

Oceanhamnen is a brand new development in Helsingborg designed with the circular economy in mind. This sustainable urban development will give you a glimpse into what the future of cities could look like as they are designed to be smarter and more environmentally conscious. It’s a really relevant project and absolutely worth checking out if you’re in the city.

To get to Oceanhamnen efficiently, head up to the second floor of Helsingborg Central Station and head to the left and outside. From there you will see a winding white bridge that leads you across the harbour to the new development.

The Oceanhamnen neighbourhood will be one of the key focus neighbourhoods of the H22 City Expo in May-June 2022. You can read all about it here. 

Oceanhamnen Helsingborg
Oceanhamnen Helsingborg

17. Eat at some of the best restaurants in Helsingborg

I have already mentioned a couple of my favourite places to eat in this guide, but there are so many wonderful places to eat in Helsingborg. Here’s a few of the best restaurants in Helsingborg: 

Bistro V: Located in the beautiful V Hotel, this French bistro serves classic French dishes like moules frites and tartar in a really cosy environment. 

Chateau Foret: Another French-inspired restaurant with a beautiful atmosphere and really good food. I ate truffle parmesan dumplings that I am still dreaming about.

Barrica Mat & Vinbar: If you’re looking for Spanish-style tapas and a great wine selection, this is a really great spot.

Vente Ristorante Trattoria: This restaurant inside of the Vault Hotel is beautiful, and serves Italian dishes like pasta and charcuterie. It’s also a really great choice for lunch in Helsingborg.

Brasseriet: If you’re looking for a buffet brunch in Helsingborg, this is located in Oceanhamnen and overlooks the sea. The buffet features many Danish-inspired dishes like smørrebrød.

Chateau Foret Helsingborg
V Hotel Helsingborg

Where to stay: The best Helsingborg hotel

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.

V Hotel is a is a cosy boutique hotel located centrally in Helsingborg. The rooms are beautiful with lots of tiny delicate touches, and the breakfast is delicious. 

V Hotel Helsingborg
V Hotel Helsingborg

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Where to eat in Helsingborg
Things to do in the Helsingborg countryside
Things to do in Helsingborg
Where to eat in Helsingborg