Helsingborg – city life and country charm all in one
By Nina Bressler | Photos: Visit Helsingborg
In Skåne, the southernmost province of Sweden, lies Helsingborg, a city that combines a historical center, culture, and culinary hotspots with activities steeped in local nature. Travellers can explore the city by foot or hop on a bike to experience the nearby countryside , an area populated by sandy beaches, vineyards, public cold bath houses and winding rapeseed fields.
”Helsingborg is one of the oldest cities in Sweden, a fact that has left its unmissable mark on the architecture and the entire identity of this place,” says Evelina Castro, marketing strategist at Visit Helsingborg. “The city has plenty of historical sites and buildings still standing today, and the centre with its pedestrian areas was voted the best city centre in Sweden in 2022. It’s riddled with old, beautiful buildings that are inhabited by exciting shops and top-class culinary destinations, worthy of a big city but within the easy reach of a small town.”
Two cities in one
Helsingborg is located along the sea on the east coast of Sweden, and looking at a map will make you realise how close to the city of Helsingör in neighbouring Denmark you are. A quick 20-minute ferry ride across the strait will allow visitors to explore a different culture as a part of a day- or weekend visit to Helsingborg. ”It’s a unique feature being able to see two countries, their cultures and quirks, within such a short distance. Helsingör is another beautiful seaside town and the possibility of combining the two is an added plus when you visit this part of Sweden – you can bring the car or go by foot with the ferry to Helsingör, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kronborgs Castle and try the Danish smørrebrød for lunch, and be back in Helsingborg in time for an afternoon fika with a freshly baked cinnamon bun,” says Castro.
The countryside within close reach
The province of Skåne is famous for its open fields, billowing rapeseed fields and many famers shops, and the countryside outside of Helsingborg is no different. Easily reached by bike, the nearby village Vallåkra, for instance, offers travellers a delightful combination of food, drink, art, and interior design, all surrounded by stunning nature. The famous tomato pie by Miss Alice is found here. A relatively recent development is the emergence of vineyards, and many of them can be explored by bicycle too. ”Lottenlund’s Vineyard, Kullaberg’s Vineyard and Arild’s Vineyard are three popular picks even if there are plenty more to see – we always suggest renting a bike to explore this area and to soak up the environment to the fullest,” says Castro.
Moreover, the close proximity to the sea has made swimming a favourite activity in Helsingborg, regardless of the season. Winter bathing is an activity deeply rooted in the local culture and thanks to the saunas of the city’s three public cold bath houses, it’s easy to warm up before and after the dip, giving you no excuse but to take the big plunge – come rain or sun, cold or warm.
Gastronomy in magical surroundings
There are plenty on offer for the foodies too. ”Helsingborg has developed a lot over the last few years and it’s turned into a fantastic destination with plenty of culinary experiences awaiting; it’s transformed into something of a gastronomic mecca,” says Castro.
Indeed the city is home to a broad range of restaurants, several of which are listed in the White Guide. From cosy casual to fine dining and sky bars, there is something for every occasion and tastebud. ”It’s simply the destination for anyone looking for a bit of everything: nature, food, wine, culture, history. And while you’re at it, a little bit of Denmark too,” Castro concludes.
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Top three restaurant picks:
Sillen & Makrillen: White Guide restaurant in a fantastic location by the seaside, with a magical sunset.
Sofiero Slottsrestaurang: Dine royally with the Sofiero castle as a backdrop.
Creo: modern fusions, seasonal produce and unique flavourings.
Top three café picks:
Fahlmans konditori: Classical Swedish café.
Chocolatte: Perfect for chocolate lovers with award winning pralines.
Café Étoile: French and Moroccan influences combined in this café and bistro.
Getting to Helsingborg
By air: Ängelholm Helsingborg Airport (34km), Copenhagen Airport (97km), Malmö Airport (87 km)
By car: highways E6 and E4 By train: Skånetrafiken and SJ
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