I’ve always had a thing for uncommon places; hidden cities that you may have not have heard about before but once you visit a feeling of familiarity and complicity start growing easily. Helsingborg is one of those. The combination of a big city culture, the proximity to the sea, nature and countryside qualities, make it unique. I must say a few years ago I didn’t know this place was on the map, and now this is where I live.
Helsingborg was established in 1085, is part of the Skåne region (southern Sweden), and one of the oldest cities in Sweden. Also it is the closest point to Denmark (20 minutes by ferry) and has one of the country’s biggest ports. In 2000 Lund University established a Campus and, well, that’s why I end up here.
With this said, let me walk you through this land that had welcomed me with open arms and has been the starting point of many great adventures. I prepared this Google map guide with my favorite places in this city, things you should do and see. So, start planning your visit! 🙂
First things first, stop at the Town Hall. One of the most iconic buildings of the city, completed in 1897, is the workplace of the city administration but you can get guided tours inside of this fairytale neo gothic castle.
St. Mary’s Church
Is one of the oldest buildings in Helsingborg. The construction of the church started in the beginning of the 14th century and finished some hundred years later.
Go back to the Town Hall, time to explore the only part remaining of a larger Danish fortress. It’s worth every single step up the stairs to enjoy the magnificent views over the harbor. You can see Denmark from there and a panoramic view of the city. To visit, the first floor is free. You can also walk around the park and don’t forget to take some pictures with Helsingborg on the background.
Now, who’s up for Fika? You’ll love this coffee place, which has been running since 1921. My recommendation: hot chocolate, princess tarta, cinnamon bun and chocolate balls. They come in small sizes so you can try them all.
Dunker Culture House
Is a museum and art centre themed to trace the history of the sea from the ice age to the modern day. There you can also find tourist information in case you want additional details of the city or have a specific interest. Entrance: 70 SEK
Now you may be hungry, I marked some restaurants on the map but you can also discover one yourself. There’re plenty of good places to eat around the area. I personally like Hamnkrogen because you eat right by the sea and very close to the Town Hall as well. Good location, fair price and high quality food.
Walk by the harbor
Beaches run along about 25 kilometers of Helsingborg’s coastline, I know, its cold outside but this walk is worth it.
Walk all the way to Henry Dunker Plats. And if you’re into second hand bookstore across the street you can find a one very nice.
A place that I discover recently and really liked (yes, even in the winter), where you can find beautiful landscape, walk around the trails; take a closer look at southern Sweden houses, animals and nature. Free entrance until April. Note: it’s a bit uphill so you may want to take the bus.
Ready for what comes next? It’s time to go to a sauna, and take a dip in the the sea. I mean after all that walking…. It’s time to embrace the Scandinavian in you. There are changing rooms and showers on both the men’s and women’s side. From the sauna you have an amazing view to the city of Helsingor in Denmark. Oh, did I mention the sauna is without bathing suits, but with a towel to sit on. I would say… a bonding experience, especially if you jump in the cold water for a swim after sweating for a bit in the sauna. Only for the brave ones. -Entrance: 100 SEK (towel included).
Finish your day in one of the prettiest shopping streets in Sweden; it starts from the Kullagatan pedestrian zone in the center including its adjacent side streets and stretches all the way to Gustav Adolf’s torg.
The city have 200 free wifi-spots, located around the central parts of Helsingborg.
If you decide one day is not enough, it may be convenient for you to purchase the culture card for 120 SEK
Lastly, let me just say that you have to experience Helsingborg yourself, the city has its own rhythm, one morning you wake up and it’s so foggy you can barely see the bus stop and the next one the sun comes out. It’s a city of senses, close your eyes and get driven by the peaceful sound of the waves crashing with the rocks, the birds or the boats arriving to the port.
And if you’re lucky to live here go and find your favorite coffee place, run into people you know in the street and embrace the (limited Swedish) small talk, join the arts, exhibitions, music, theatre and all what this historic place have to offer.
Anyways my point is: visit Helsingborg, and let me know.