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City Guide: 48 Hours in Helsingborg, Sweden

In paid collaboration with Visit Helsingborg. Thank you to Visit Helsingborg for making this guide possible. All words and pictures are my own and I genuinely love this city and the places I mention. 

I'm often asked which other Swedish city I would live in. The answer is Helsingborg. Not only is it just up the coast (around 50 km North of Malmö), it's also Per's hometown and where his Mother still lives today.  Located on the shores of the Öresund Strait opposite Helsingør in Denmark, Helsingborg is Sweden's eighth largest city (with a population of 150,000) making it small enough to feel cosy and intimate - yet large enough to feel full of energy. From boutique shops, and cultural events to lush gardens and a vineyard - there's plenty to do over the space of a weekend! 

With my very own local guide in Per and some great tips from Evelina at Visit Helsingborg, it was easy to wile away a weekend in this wonderful town. Here's my guide: 

Where to stay: 
V Hotel: I love a small boutique hotel, and V Hotel was wonderful! Bang in the centre of town, it's been recently refurnished to a high standard with every room offering something unique. It's cosy, personal and  the breakfast was excellent! 
Elite Hotel Mollberg: Located on Stortorget (the main square) in Helsingborg, Elite Hotel Mollberg is situated in a historic building dating back too the 14th century and is full of character and charm. 
Clarion Sea U: This recently opened large, luxurious hotel invites guests to enjoy a gym, rooftop pool, gym and a restaurant and bar overlooking the sea.  

Getting there: 
Train: Helsingborg has excellent rail connections with Copenhagen Airport, Malmö and Gothenburg. 
Bus: There's a regular bus service between major cities including Stockholm, Malmö, Copenhagen and Oslo. 
Car: Take the E4 from Stockholm or E6 from Malmö. 
Boat: It's a 20-minute ferry ride from Helsingør, Denmark with ferries departing every 15 minutes. 
Plane: Ängelholm-Helsingborg, Malmö Sturup and Copenhagen are all within easy reach. 

Getting around: Everything in the city is within an easy stroll, however if you'd like to travel to areas a little further afield, an e-bike is a great option (available from the Travel Shop). There's also a well connected bus network. 

Day 1: Design shopping, lunch by the sea and a visit to Fredriksdal


Shopping: There's nothing like shopping in a different city for a day, don't you think? And Helsingborg is filled with boutique shops. Wander along Kullagatan, the main pedestrian street where most you'll find most of the major city shops, but take your time to wonder up the smaller lanes too - there are some hidden gems to be found!

Design / homeware boutiques: The city boasts a few really wonderful interior design shops, often selling items you won't find elsewhere. 

Pop into Världsbutiken fair trade store for gifts and say 'hej' to my Mother-in-law, who volunteers here several days a week. And then head to Frånö Antik Bod for Swedish antiques. 


If you look carefully on Drottninggatan you'll come across the well hidden shop front of By Mouritzen - where a treasure trove of unique homeware awaits. I picked up curled candles, vowing to return for bigger items. 
Lunch stop



There are SO MANY lunch options in the city. If you'd like to stay bang in the centre, tuck into Italian at Olsons Skafferi - a cosy restaurant opposite Sankta Maria church on picturesque Maria Torget (square).

Locals also love Etoile - a relaxed French bistro which reportedly serves the best cappuccino in town. It's a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and a little birdie tells me, a favourite of local hero, former footballer Henrik 'Henke' Larsson! 

Alternatively, if it's beautiful weather, head down to the harbour and stroll North along the sea front promenade - enjoying views of the sandy beach and Denmark just over the sound until you come to the popular beach bar: Fria Bad & Bar. 

The lively and relaxed seasonal diner has a fab location overlooking the beach. Tuck into burgers, pizzas and all kinds of sea food between May and September. It's perfect for people watching, or simply enjoying the view over a cool beer, glass of rosé or house favourite - Aperol Spritz! It's a great place to hang out at sunset too! Or, if you're up for a boogie, it turns into a nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer. 


Energy renewed, head to Kärnan - a medieval tower with great views - before strolling along Landborg promenade to my favourite shop Butik Linnea! 

Note: if you'd like more of a walk, continue along the promenade through lush greenery and over hills with great views off the city! 


If you love plants, pots, interiors and cool Swedish and Danish clothing brands and a good cafe - you'll be in shop heaven! I could have stayed for hours but alas, Per was waiting and we had a tight schedule to keep - so I vowed to return to Butik Linnea another time and make an afternoon of it. What a perfect excuse to come back. 

Fredriksdal

Located on the higher plain of Helsingborg, Fredriksdal is one of the largest open-air museums in Sweden and not to be missed! Truth be told, it was BAKING that day but we still got to experience the botanical gardens (including the magnificent rose garden), historical vegetable and herb gardens, historical buildings and the well preserved town quarter which is now a museum - all of which we loved! 

I was particularly taken by the Grafiska Museet - the largest working graphic museum in the Nordics (the shop is great too!) and the Trädgårdscafé which sells the best cakes! 

If you visit Fredriksdal, keep an eye on the daily schedules and calendar for guided walks, forest bathing and various talks. I'm looking forward to returning on a cooler day! 

Back in the centre of town, Dunkers Kulturhus features an excellent exhibitions calendar and is child friendly too! 

Dine out at Sillen & Makrillen

It’s almost impossible to dine closer to the sea than at my favourite Helsingborg restaurant Sillen & Makrillen. Located right over the water, it offers dreamy views of the Öresund strait. Tuck into a variety of seasonal dishes (I loved my white asparagus with locally foraged mushrooms) and a variety of fish dishes fresh from the sea. Yum! 

PS this place is also great in winter when the sea shows it's rough and wild side! 

Other restaurants worthy of a mention include Vass Restaurang & Bar and KOL & Cocktails

Day 2: Explore the surrounding area: 

On the second day, we decided to explore Helsingborg's surroundings - there is so much to see and do that you could spend several days taking it all in. We got around using e-bikes from the Travel Shop which are so much fun but not for the faint hearted! We were licking along, winding our way down county lanes and up steep hills without breaking into a bead of sweat and it was over 30 degrees celsius! A word of warning -  wear a helmet, take your time getting used to it and be careful in town!

Our first stop was Ödåkra Spritfabriken which is around 11km from the city centre. Built in 1897, the historical building served as a spirit distillery for a century and was recently taken over by multi-artist Andreas Wargenbrant who has transformed it into a creative space for arts, fashion, homeware and food. 

Enjoy browsing the shops (which include florist, antique and retro, clothing and homeware stores, then tuck into lunch at Italian restaurant Pappa Piada. It's famous for its piada - a thin Italian flatbread typically prepared in the Romagna region of Italy - but I have to say, the calamari was the best I've had! Afterwards, enjoy an artisanal beer at brewery Ødakra Brygghus

Wine tasting at Lottenlund Estate

Having tasted the local beer, it would have been rude not to sample the wine too. After all, did you know that Southern Sweden is pipped to gradually become a force to be reckoned with on the global wine scene? We whizzed down the country lanes to Lottenlund Estate vineyard to find out more. 

Make sure you book a tour in advance with the knowledgeable founder Tina Berthelsen. Inspired by a trip to Tuscany, Tina and her partner planted 30,000 vines in 2010, and today Lottenlund Estate produces white, rosé and red wine - all of which are available to taste. The Solaris grape is a fairly sour, so the wine is best paired with the right food - something which local chefs are extremely adept! 

Sofiero
On the way back to Helsingborg, stop in at Sofiero. The old royal summer residence features a magnificent palace and a beautiful park with views over the Öresund strait. Keep an eye out for seasonal events including light shows, Christmas markets, the rhododendron festival and summer dahlias as well as concerts and other special events. 

Wallåkra Stenkärlsfabrik
Fancy trying your hand at pottery? My daughters and I absolutely love Wallåkra Stenskärlsfabrik. Located a short 15 minute direct train ride from Helsingborg city centre, it's a perfect place to spend an afternoon. 

Book yourself in for a session on a pottery wheel and make your own creations using clay from the grounds before browsing the shop and enjoying a 'fika' (coffee and cake) in the cafe (the food in the restaurant is also excellent). Finish off by following the stream through the woods for an afternoon stroll in the steps of dinosaurs some 180 million years before!  


Phew, this guide turned out to be longer than I thought - and there's a lot to take in, I know. But I hope it will inspire you to visit Helsingborg one day! Please do share it with friends who might also feel inspired! 

If you're looking to combine Helsingborg with other places on your Scandinavian tour, it's well worth taking the 20-minute ferry-ride to Helsingør to explore the picturesque Danish town and magnificent Kronborg castle (home to Hamlet). Copenhagen and Malmö are also nearby. Four cities, two countries - one trip! 

I've tried to cover as much as possible in this guide, but there are so many other things to do in Helsingborg and the surrounding areas. If you have more tips to share - please fire away in the comment section below! 

A huge thank you to Evelina from Visit Helsingborg who shared her local knowledge with us and helped to book some of the places on our itinerary. It was a truly memorable weekend and we can't wait to come back with the girls (not least to visit 'Farmor' (Granny)!). 

Niki

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A Local Guide to Malmö, Sweden



I've lived in Sweden's third largest city of Malmö for over fourteen years. And the truth is, not only do I love it, but I'm also super proud of this town too. It's laid-back, buzzing with creativity and you can cycle everywhere in under 30 minutes (beach, parks, cafés, bars, musuems, art galleries, you name it!). So many fabulous places have popped up since my last guide to hip places to eat, drink and shop in Malmö that I thought it was about time for a new guide. So I put on my thinking cap, sourced a wonderful sponsor (thank you Malmö Turism) and chatted to all my Malmö friends to bring you a true, bang up to date local's guide to 24 hours in Malmö!



Where to stay
Oh Boy Hotel - located in Västra hamnen (Western harbour), Oh Boy is a short hop to the swimming bridges,10 minutes walk to the central station and comes with two bicycles (and a bicycle taxi service)!

It also comes with a skateboard (handy when you live opposite the skateboard park

Other places to stay:
Duxiana
Mäster Johans
Story Hotel Studio

(also see 20 instagrammable places to stay in Sweden) 

Great places for an aperitif
Gustavino Wine Bar - on the corner of Stortorget ('the large square')in a beautiful old building - these guys do the best Aperol Spritz in town (and of course, many decent wines!)! 


Lilla Torg (outdoor heated area lined with bars in the 'little square')
Möllevångstorget ( drinks on me if you're able to pronounce this outdoor heated area in the area of Möllevång)


Malmö Opera House
Västra Hamnen, Sundspromenaden - grab a bottle from Systembolaget (the off license) and enjoy a cool one looking out over the Öresund at sunset. In the summer you might even be treated to salsa, live music and other events as part of Malmö Sommarscene (check out what's happening this summer here).


Where to eat

Mineral 
A relaxed local hang-out near St Knuts torg packed with vintage finds. Enjoy organic wine, great beer and yummy food - inside or out.




Riket - a relaxed neighbourhood hangout with great food just off beautiful Davidhallstorg.

Bastard - this place always has a great atmosphere - start with a cocktail! Need to book in advance.
Lyran
MJ's
Saltimporten (where the media folk hang out on weekdays lunchtime)

First thing to do when you wake-up

Morning Dip
Nothing nurses a hang-over and gets you ready for the day better than a 'morgondopp'! Do as the locals do, don a dressing gown, walk / cycle down to the nearest swimming place and brace yourself!


Followed by breakfast or a long old brunch....

Breakfast / brunch hangouts

The Raw Food House 







The Raw Food House is on a street that's also great for antiques and vintage finds and right next door is Malört tattoo, which my friend (and fellow local) Sofie says uses "only vegan inks, William Morris wallpaper, and a small selection of naughty books for sale." She does actually have a tattoo from this place and it's beautiful (and I'm not even really into tattoos) - if you're tempted, you'll need to book well in advance! 



Other Brunch places:
Lotta Love Superfoodbar
Jord Malmö 

Activities:
Although it's tempting to sit around eating and drinking all day, soaking up the atmosphere - there are some activities that should definitely not be missed:

Kalbadhus - my friends visiting from England insist on calling this place the 'naked sauna' which amuses my Swedish husband no end. Located on the end of a pier off Ribbersborg, this place is well worth a visit, if only just for the relaxed cafe / restaurant. I'd totally recommend going for a sauna and cold bath too!

Matkaravan food tour - foodies will love this guided food tour of Malmö (book in advance!).

Boating around the canal - pack a picnic and hire your own motorboat to putter around Malmö's canals - it's a great way to see the city centre!

Folketspark - take a stroll around the boho 'People's Park' (especially if you're with children as it's a bit of a kids paradise). Don't miss Far i Hatten for wood-fired pizzas in the little old cottage and beer garden! 

Museums: I love Moderna Museet & Konsthallen for modern art (they both have great gift shops  too!) and Malmöhus for a spot of history. My kids love Tekniska & Sjöfartens hus  (Science and maritime museum) it's totally interactive and you can leap in and out of a submarine, cars etc and do other science-y stuff.

Fika! 
If you really want to enjoy Malmö like a local it's essential to enjoy a 'fika' (coffee break with something sweet) every half hour or so. In the summer I like cycling through the many parks and stopping at Slottsträdgårdens Cafe or enjoying a take-away coffee on a blanket in the park.





Other great places to fika
Söderberg & Sara on St knuts Torg is a wonderfully hipster café selling stone baked bread and the most divine cinnamon buns.






If you'd like combine your fika with shopping (err, hello!) you're in for a treat...

Great places in Malmö to Shop for Clothes and Interior


AB Småland - a café and eco butique rolled into one. Bonus: you can even buy the furniture you sit on to eat.







Grandpa Store - conveniently (or should I say dangerously?!) placed next door to AB Småland on the main walking street- this is a great little shop for clothes, interior items and some of Sweden's coolest bags, shoes etc.




Miloii - great for things for the home and clothes! I once featured the owner's home here (as an indication of her great taste!).

Geijersgatan 53 - fairly new on the scene, this wonderful café and shop is 15 minutes cycle from the town centre (just along the beach) and well worth a visit.

Meloa - always worth nipping into this little shop for clothes, jewellery, bags etc!

 Hathyllan - and just next door is this fab hat shop!



8 Great Shops in Malmö for Design:
One of my fortes as you can imagine! I'm so grateful for all of these wonderful interior design shops - do not miss a single one of them if you'd like to pick something up for your home!

Olsson & Gerthel

Malmö Modern
Form Design Centre
Design Torget
Granit
Lagerhaus
Formargruppen
En Familj  
Svenssons

And while in shopping mode, here are:

5 fab things made by local designers to pick up on your spree:

1.  Torso Chair by Lisa Hilland



2. Big darling and Little Darling lamps by Swedish Ninja

 3. Dressed in Clay candlestick by Kajsa Willner and Straight Ceramic pots by Pernilla Norrman



4. Modern art by Maria Leinonen


5. Beyond Local Collection by Anna Gudmundsdottir



And last but no means least, I never leave town without stopping to say hi to Sophie and her Cocker Spaniel Farfar on my way home to pick up some fresh flowers...

Florista













I think that might be it. I've no doubt left out a ton of amazing places - feel free to add your favourite Malmö haunts in the comment section below or on instagram using the hash tag #makeitmalmo.

VÄLKOMMEN!

PS You can also visit Malmö Town for more tips!




All photography ©Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home unless specified.


This post was made possible thanks to Malmö Turism, who kindly supported my endeavour with a hotel and expenses. All words and opinions are absolutely my own (and that of other locals!).

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