If you want to visit the coast of Sweden, then one location to consider is the city of Helsingborg. It sits along the southern coastline across the Oresund Strait from Denmark. This city is known for its history, as the city first became a settlement in 1085. It is also known for its architecture, coastal scenery, and for being home to the first pedestrian shopping street in Sweden. Those who visit this fascinating city can enjoy a jam-packed itinerary as there are so many things to see and do. If you learn more about the area and plan which attractions you want to enjoy, it will help you to make the most out of your stay. To help you do so, here are the 20 best things to do in Helsingborg, Sweden.
20. Dine at Sillen & Makrillen
During a trip to Helsingborg, you might want to try some Swedish cuisine. One of the top restaurants in the area to do so is at Sillen & Makrillen, says Nordic Choice Hotels. It is a slightly pricier venue than some of the other local restaurants, but the quality of the food makes the price worthwhile. It is predominantly a seafood restaurant, although there are meat and vegetarian dishes on the menu. The ingredients are locally sourced, and the menus are customized according to the season. In addition to the delicious food, one of the reasons to choose this restaurant is the spectacular views over the Sound.
19. See the Animals at Skanes Djurpark
If you are an animal lover, one of the top attractions in the area is Skanes Djurpark, which is just outside Helsingborg in Hoor. According to Inspirock, this attraction is a zoo that specializes in Nordic Fauna and takes care of orphaned animals from around the world. Some of the animals are permanent, while others are temporarily cared for before they are rehoused elsewhere. There are more than 900 animals representing around 100 species living at the zoo, and they are housed in large enclosures that replicate their natural environment.
18. Go to Toy World
Although Toy World may sound like a place for children, Lonely Planet says that it is just as much for adults. It is a small museum with a collection of toys and games from various eras. While some of the toys are on display, there are others that visitors can have fun with during their visit. Included in the entrance fee to the museum is a small toy for every visitor.
17. Spend Time Outdoors at Palsjo Skog
One of the most peaceful and beautiful spaces in Helsingborg to spend time outdoors is at Palsjo Skog. There are over 70 hectares of oak and beech woodland to explore, and there are trees up to 250 years old. The hiking trails within this park also take you through meadows, and the most elevated point of the trails boasts views of the Sound. One of the trails also has a 17th-century mill, and the park is home to a privately owned 17th-century castle.
16. See the Exhibits at the Museum of Failure
An interesting museum to visit while you are in Helsingborg is the Museum of Failure, which is about the importance of failure in innovation. Without failure, finding the perfect solution to a problem or creating an invention that is useful is almost impossible. The exhibits within the museum show various products that were failures, such as Google Glass, a Donald Trump board game, Betamax, Nokia N-gage, and a Harley-Davidson perfume. Throughout the year, there are various special events hosted at this venue, including tastings of discontinued beer and concerts of rejected music.
15. Spend Time on the Beach at Groningen
On a sunny day, you might like to spend time at the beach. It is a great way to fill your time if you are on vacation with children and you have a limited budget. The beach is on the foreshore north of the harbor, and it is usually packed with families. Alongside the beach, there is a promenade with cafes, ice cream stands, and a wooden walkway leading across the beach to the water. It is considered a safe place to swim, and there is a pirate ship playground to keep the children entertained.
14. Shop Along Kullagatan
Kullagatan became Sweden’s first pedestrianized street in 1961 when part of the street was closed to traffic. Since medieval times, Kullagatan has been Helsingborg’s main trading street, and it remains the city’s shopping district. In addition to the shops, it also has many cafes and restaurants, so it is one of the best places to find somewhere to eat.
13. Take a Stroll Around Norra Hamnen
Norra Hamnen is Helsingborg’s harbor, and it is a lovely place to take a stroll, admire the sea views, and watch the boats and yachts entering and leaving the harbor. It was once a major shipping port that then became obsolete. In the 1980s, the waterfront was revitalized by adding cutting-edge residential developments along with cafes and shops.
12. Go to Raus Kryka
The Crazy Tourist recommends a visit to the Raus Kryka. It is one of Sweden’s best-preserved medieval churches, and it is also the oldest church in Helsingborg and the surrounding area. It was originally built in the 12th century, although there were many extensions and renovations in the following 400 years. Therefore, there are interesting features from various periods. For example, there is a nave from the 1300s, a stairway with a medieval stone head and a gargoyle, a 15th-century statue of Mary, and a carved oak altar from 1624.
11. Walk Around the Ramlosa Brunnspark
If you enjoy spending time outdoors in natural environments, then go for a walk around the Ramlosa Brunnspark. Most of the park is forested, and it is home to the first natural spring used by Ramlosa, a mineral water brand. The sandstone around the main well is dyed red by the iron in the water. In the past, Ramlosa Brunnspark was used as a spa. Now, the spa, hospital, villas, and bathing houses that are dotted around the woodland are private homes.
10. Watch a Performance at the Helsingborg Concert Hall
If you enjoy the theater and want to watch a live performance while you are in this Swedish city, then head to the Helsingborg Concert Hall. It is home to the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, although other types of performances are hosted at this venue. It is best to check the program and book tickets in advance if you want to watch a show during your vacation. Even if you do not see a performance, it is worth going to the concert hall to see the building, as it has been declared a historic structure and is one of the city’s finest examples of Swedish functionalism.
9. Enjoy the Tura Cruise
Tura is a cruise on a Sandlines ferry that takes passengers across the Sound to Helsingor, but the passengers do not disembark. Instead, the cruise takes them on a round trip back to Helsingborg. The passengers can dine at the ship’s restaurant while enjoying views of the Sound and the two cities.
8. Take a Day Trip to Denmark
It is not often that people get the chance to spend time in two countries in one day, but it is possible to take a day trip to Denmark from Helsingborg. The city is only a short distance across the Oresund from Denmark. You can take a car or even walk the short distance to the medieval Danish City of Helsingor. One of the best things to see in this city during your day trip is the Kronborg, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is known as Hamlet’s Elsinore Castle. You should also take the time to visit the city’s medieval quarter and the Carmelite Monastery.
7. See St. Mary’s Church
There are many beautiful buildings to see in Helsingborg, and one of these is St. Mary’s Church. It is a Romanesque-style church that was originally built in the 12th century, and it was renovated in a Gothic style in the 15th century. Internally, there is a pulpit that was created in 1615 and elaborate reredos. Other interesting features include the stained-glass windows and a historical chart tracking events from AD 900 to the current day.
6. Visit Dunkers Kulturhus
One of the best places to learn about the history and culture of Helsingborg and the surrounding area is at the Dunkers Kulturhaus, which translates as the Dunker Culture House. Inside, there are multiple art galleries and special exhibitions, including multimedia exhibits about the city’s history. There is also a restaurant with views over the Oresund and a reading room with a vast array of books and journals on various topics. Furthermore, there are multiple events, performances, and activity days that take place throughout the year.
5. Get Close to the Animals at Tropikariet
Tropikariet is a zoo with a difference, as not only is it an indoor zoo, but there are also very few barriers separating the animals from the visitors. Therefore, you will see birds and bats flying freely around as you walk through the indoor zoo. Some other animals that live in this recreation of a tropical rainforest include meerkats, monkeys, and lemurs. There is also a small aquarium at this attraction that is home to a coral reef, sharks, and other marine life. Visitors can feed a lemur, touch a shark, or hold a crocodile or snake for an extra fee.
4. Take a Tour of the Town Hall
The architecture in Helsingborg is diverse, with examples of architectural styles from various periods. One of the best examples of neo-Gothic architecture in the city is the town hall, which was built in 1870. Two of the structure’s most eye-catching features are the arched, stained-glass windows and a 65-meter high tower. At the front of the town hall, Danish and Norwegian memorial stones commemorate the assistance given to Sweden by these countries during World War II. Visitors can also take a guided tour inside the town hall.
3. Visit the Sofiero Castle
Sofiero Castle lies just outside Helsingborg, and it sits within one of the most beautiful parks in Europe. It was constructed in the 19th century and was once a regal vacation home for the Swedish royal family. Inside, there are multiple exhibitions to see, while the outside has delightful gardens. There are also many events that take place at the castle throughout the year. It is an excellent attraction for children, as there are interactive displays, storytelling sessions, safe play areas, and gardening activities for them to enjoy. There is a café and a restaurant within the grounds.
2. Go to the Frederiksdal Open-Air Museum & Botanical Garden
There is something for people of all ages to enjoy at the Frederiksdal Open-Air Museum & Botanical Garden, so it is a good option for families visiting the city. Also known as the Friluftsmuseum, this attraction is a working Skane farm with preserved country houses and outbuildings. Some of the highlights of the attraction are the Frederiksdal Mansion, and open-air theater, the Music Museum, and the Grafiska Print Museum. Children will enjoy seeing the farm animals, and the old town quarter is filled with traditional shops. There are also various eateries on-site.
1. Climb the Kernel
According to Planetware, one of the best things to do in Helsingborg is to see and climb the Kernel, which is called Kärnan in Swedish. If you arrive at the city by the sea, you can see this famous landmark from the boat on your approach to Helsingborg. It is a 35-meter high brick tower that sits at the upper end of the long market square. The tower was built in the 1300s as part of a fortress that was built on the site of a former timber fortress. Now, the Kernel is the only remaining part of the fortress as the castle was destroyed in 1680. Visitors can climb the 190 steps to the top of the tower to enjoy spectacular views of the city and across the Oresund to Denmark.