Skåne, Sweden … My home away from home. Simple and quintessentially Swedish in almost every single way. Before moving to Sweden, I had a lot of preconceived notions about Scandinavian countries. I’m sure you’ve head the stereotypes, too. Diverse nature. A great work-life balance. An environmentally-conscious, socialized, progressive culture. And these things are all true. But Sweden is so much more than just these stereotypes. And there are so many reasons why I love living in Sweden. And with so many wonder local things to do in Skåne, I feel like I could truly never get bored.
Skåne is a largely undiscovered paradise that many people still don’t know that much about. But I am convinced it is just a matter of time before this region becomes a booming travel destination. From the pristine beaches to the sprawling hiking trails, and a cutting-edge Nordic culinary scene, there seems to be never-ending things to do in Skåne. And after spending a whole lot of time travelling locally this past year, I am ready to dish all the details on what Skåne has to offer.
Here it is: A (big) local’s guide to Skåne!
a few quick highlights: places to visit in skåne
sweden travel costs
Sweden – and Scandinavian countries in general – are notorious for being a bit expensive to visit. With taxes of 25% and high minimum wages, visiting Sweden doesn’t come cheap. However, I think many people are very intimidated by the cost to visit Sweden. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive if you know what to do – especially in Skåne. And good news! The Swedish krona is currently quite weak versus the euro and US dollar, which means now is a good time to visit.
Accommodation Cost in Sweden: Hotels in Skåne can be a bit expensive – but this depends on what you’re looking for. A typical farm hotel in Skåne countryside can set you back at least 120-150 EUR a night (although they often include breakfast). An Airbnb apartment to save money (especially if you just rent a room). Alternatively, hostels are a great options with beds as low as 25-30 EUR per night in Malmö. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, Sweden’s ‘Right to Roam’ law means you can set up a tent virtually anywhere in nature, as along as you aren’t interfering with private property or disturbing the environment around you. That makes camping in Skåne a really great option for cheap accommodations. . For more of saving money on hotels, check out this post.
Food Cost in Sweden: Eating out at restaurants is arguably the most “overpriced” part of living in or visiting Sweden. It can be a bit of a challenge to find a cheap meal in Sweden – but it is far from impossible. With the average dinner ranging from 15-20 EUR per person, the cost of food can add up quickly. A coffee typically costs 3-4 EUR. Good news is groceries are reasonable, if you’re keen on making your own food or picking up snacks. I’d recommend going to Willys – it is typically the cheapest grocery option. Pressbyrån is also a convenience store that offers some quick hot food options. And finally (my favourite) – street food! Did you know that you can find some of the best falafel in the world in Malmö for as little as 3 EUR? Read about my favourite restaurants in Malmö here.
Alcohol Cost in Sweden: Alcohol in Sweden is a luxury, and often one of the most expensive ticket items. A beer in a pub will typically set you back anywhere from 7-10 EUR, with a glass of wine typically starting at 9-12 EUR. Cocktails are often even more expensive, so normally I skip these options (unless it’s a special occasion). It is important to know that Sweden has an alcohol monopoly, which means you cannot buy alcohol with over 3.5% alcohol content in Swedish grocery stories. To buy your own alcohol, you’ll need to visit a Systembolaget location. Make sure to check the hours online (stores are closed on Sunday and have very limited hours on Saturday).
Activity Costs in Sweden: Activity costs, like everything else, can add up. The good news is that many of the best things to do in Sweden involve nature – and nature is free. Swimming at the beaches in Skåne, wandering around the charming towns in Österlen, hiking the Skåneleden trail – all free.
suggested moderate daily budget for visiting skåne: approx. 100-150 EUR per person
things to do in skåne
visit the best farm shops in skåne
Skåne is home to all kinds of wonderful “Skåne gårdsbutik” or farm shops. These spots often grow, harvest, and make their own products and sell them in their shops. They are the perfect spots to pick up some unique products, and are great for souvenir shopping. Many farm shops also have wonderful restaurants attached so you can indulge in a meal made from locally-sourced ingrediants. Here’s a few of my favourites.
Ängavallen: Located just outside of Malmö in Vellinge kommun, Ängevallen is home to a farm shop, bed-and-breakfast, restaurant, and a beautiful property with animals. In the Ängevallen farm shop, you will find an assortment of goods made right on the farm – jams, cheeses, milk, and bread to name a few. I suggest staying for lunch and enjoying the farm-to-table experience. The ingredients are so fresh!
Hallongården: Also nearby Malmö, and minutes away from Ängevallen, you’ll find Hallongården (translation: raspberry farm). At this farm, you can visit in the late spring/early summer (around May and June) to pick your own raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. Then, head to the farm shop to indulge in a treat made from these local products. You can also take home jams and other goodies made from their farm-grown fruits.
Österlenkryddor: A favourite of mine in Österlen. “Kryddor” means “spices” in Swedish, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in this shop. With a huge assortment of spices made in their on-site spice factory, Österlenkryddor is a must-visit. And in July, it is also home to the popular lavender fields in Skåne. Make sure you stop in for the award-winning lavender ice cream around this time of year.
indulge in skåne's booming culinary scene at the best restaurants in skåne
Copenhagen may be the original food capital of Nordic cuisine, but just across the bridge to Skåne you’ll find a innovative and unique Nordic culinary scene. In recent years, Swede’s have been moving to the Skåne countryside to start small organic farms, while chefs are flocking from larger cities to open up boutique hotels with next-level farm-to-table dining experiences. It is hard to know where to start with Skåne restaurant recommendations, but here’s a few of my favourites.
In Malmö, you can indulge at popular spot Ruths, a leading restaurant that uses local in-season ingredients to creative a unique tasting menu. If you’re looking for the trendiest restaurants in Malmö, you must also check out my favourites: Lyran and Riket.
But, in my opinion, it’s in the Österlen countryside where things get real good. The Österlen region is very trendy, drawing in crowds from all over Sweden in the summer months. This is where you’ll find restaurants serving up locally-sourced farm-to-table Nordic cuisine from the Skåne countryside. If you’re really into food like I am, Österlen is a dream.
My go-to Österlen hotel is Talldugens Gårdshotell (more on that here) and it is also one of my favourite Nordic meals ever made with only locally-sourced ingredients by a couple who left Stockholm to open a farm hotel.
If you’re looking for amazing pizza in Österlen, Örum119 is your spot for trendy sourdough pizzas. And then there is the Österlen staple, Hörte Brygga, which is a local hot spot serving up dishes made from only local, seasonal ingredients. And when I say it’s popular, I mean it’s really popular (I’ve heard about people queuing in their cars for hours waiting to get in),
the most picturesque villages in skåne
It’s hard to know where to even begin when recommending villages in Skåne to visit because there are so many beautiful ones that look like they are straight out of a fairy tale. Here’s a few of my can’t miss favourites.
Mölle: Mölle is a charming harbor town located on the northwest coast of Skåne. Stay at the iconic Grand Hotel Mölle, which sits atop the town, and use this spot as a home base for other charming towns, including another favourite of mine: the fishing village of Arild. And don’t forget to visit Kullaberg Nature Reserve for a beautiful hike and a swim at Josefinelust. In the afternoon, you must visit Holy Smoke BBQ for amazing, authentic southern BBQ in Skåne.
Ystad: Along the southern coast of Sweden, Ystad is a cost and picturesque town. Stop in to roam the historic streets, and pop into the many shops along Stora Östergatan. If you’re looking for a lunch, the popular Söderberg & Sara Ystad offers fresh baked good, tasty coffee, and on select days, stone oven pizza!
Simrishamn: Simrishamn is a lovely beach town along the Skåne east coast. It is home to tons of lovely local shops and a beach with orange-hued sand. Simrishamn is a great spot to enjoy a traditional Swedish lunch along the coast. And while you’re there, check out Barnens Bokhandel, which was the first specialty book store in Sweden for children.
Kåseberga: Also along the southern coast, Kåseberga is a popular vacation spot for many locals. Here you’ll find a quaint fishing village, with the best seafood in Skåne (I’d recommend trying Kåsaberga Fisk). From the town, you can walk to reach Ales Stenar, which is said to be the remains of an ancient viking shipwreck. From Ales Stenar, you’ll also be able to take in some incredible views of the sea. You’re also sure to see lots of people paragliding around this area (which you can try too if you dare).
the best beaches in skåne
Did you know that Skåne is often called the Swedish Riviera? I wrote a post all about my favourite beaches in Skåne, including Sandhammaren Beach, Simrishamn Beach, Skanör Beach and more. You can read the full post here.
things to do in österlen
The Österlen region is truly, in my opinion at least, the biggest gem in Skåne – which is why I am dedicating a full section to it. And others living in Sweden seem to agree, with many northern-dwellers owning a summer house in this area.
Here’s a few Österlen highlights:
Österlen Choklad: A lovely chocolate factory in Österlen with homemade chocolates and maybe the best hot chocolate I have ever tried.
Ales Stenar: An ancient viking shipwreck that can be equated to a mini Stonehenge, alongside a jaw-dropping scenic coastal background.
Stenshuvud National Park: A eastern coastal national park with beautiful walking trails, and diverse landscapes and views. You can read about my experience visiting Stenshuvud National Park here.
Kivik Musteri: An apple orchard and apple museum in Skåne, featuring lots of locally made apple goods. The best time to visit Kivik is in the fall during apple harvest season. I wrote about my autumn in Österlen experience here.
Hike & Bike: Biking or hiking in Österlen is an amazing way to get around. Here you can read about my favourite hikes in Skåne, including some in Österlen. Some of my favourite trails are located in Brösarps Backer (a hilly region near Brösarp) and Prästaskogens naturreservat (where you can find extremely rare twisted beech trees that look like they are from a fairytale).
Visit an Österlen Loppis: “Loppis” is the Swedish term for flea market or antique store. There are many of these scattered around Österlen, and the best way to find them is to just drive around and stumble upon them. However if you’re looking for a list, you can find one here. We loved the ones we found in central Brösarp, which had antiques dating back to the 1700s.
Skåne Hiking Tip: Hiking trails around Skåne are well marked. You can visit the Skåneleden trail website for route maps, and then keep an eye out for markers like these ones (as well as spray paint markings on trees) to make sure you stay on track. While travelling around Skåne, you’re likely to run into these markers a lot. If you’re feeling spontaneous, just start following the path and see where you end up! Read a guide to my favourite Skåne hiking trails here!
best fika in skåne
Olof Viktors: Located in Österlen, this is possibly the most famous cafe in Skåne – and for good reason. This award-winning bakery make all their baked goods and breads from scratch, and the quality is high. On a nice day, you’ll find a lovely courtyard where you can sit outside and enjoy a coffee.
Flickorna Lundgren: On the northwest coast of Skåne, you’ll find Flickorna Lundgren – a cafe that looks like it is straight out of a Pippi Longstocking novel. This historic cafe has been named best fika in Sweden before, and it is well deserved. The gardens of the property are beautiful, complete with farm animals and a pond, and the coffee and cakes are perfect.
Söderberg & Sara: With locations in both Malmö and Ystad, this is a local favourite. Their homemade breads are delicious, and they have some of my favourite coffee that I’ve tried in Sweden (and that’s saying a lot, because Swede’s love coffee).
Looking for the best fika in Malmö? Check out my Malmö Food Guide here.
wineries in skåne
You might be surprised to know that Skåne is actually home to a few wineries. The winery scene is still quite new in Sweden, but there are a few spots that I would suggest checking out if you are interested in trying Swedish wine.
best hotels in skåne
Best hotel in Malmö: Clarion Malmö Live is a relatively new hotel right in the city centre of Malmö. The rooms offer beautiful views of the harbour, and the service and facilities are premium.
Best Österlen hotel: Talldugens Gårdshotell is a dream (check out my blog post on this spot). This trendy hotel is wildly popular and I understand why – it is honestly my favourite hotel that I have been to in Sweden. It is a bit rustic in the details, but the facilities are so cosy and they have an incredible onsite restaurant with some of the best food I’ve had in Sweden.
Best farm hotel in Skåne: I absolutely love Weinbergs Hotell, which is located about 20 minutes outside of Malmö in the countryside. This traditional farm hotel has an onsite restaurant with an amazing Nordic tasting menu and wine selection. And the farm-to-table breakfast spread is incredible.
Best Skåne spa hotel: Ystad Saltsjöbad Spa is the place to go if you’re looking for a traditional Scandinavian spa in Skåne. It’s located along the water, has the most beautiful, clean facilities filled with hot tubs and saunas, and the dinner experience is lovely, too.
Stay at a castle in Skåne: Kronovalls Vinslott (translation: wine castle!). I haven’t been here yet, but if the interior is anything like the stunning castle grounds, then you are in for a real treat. If you don’t end up staying here, you should at least stop by. You can see some photos from my visit to Kronovalls here.
Ready to Visit SKåne?
I am always updating this post as this year-long “hemester i Skåne” (staycation in Skåne) continues. Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter for all the latest updates. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all my day-to-day adventures and tips for visiting Skåne.
Want to read more? Here are a few more Skåne blog posts you may want to check out: