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Helsingborg, ein außergeöhnliches Reiseziel in Schweden, Bild: Shooting Wild Photography / shutterstock

Helsingborg – pearl on the Öresund

Helsingborg: The city sits at the narrowest point of the Öresund, only a few minutes by ferry from Helsingør in Denmark. Wide fields with magnificent farms that merge into a beautiful woodland, a charming coastal strip with a sandy beach and many castles characterize this region. Yellow and red Swedish cottages glow in the summer sun. Helsingborg not only enjoys the reputation of being one of the most elegant and modern cities in Sweden – for many, Helsingborg is the gateway to the holiday paradise of Sweden. After the holiday paradise of Sweden and Malmö, it is the third largest city on the Swedish west coast – chic, noble and eventful.

Helsingborg – Sweden’s gateway to the continent

Known? In Helsingborg, Sweden, we set foot on the mainland soil of the Scandinavian subcontinent for the first time. The city is located at the narrowest point of the Öresund and was hotly contested due to its strategic location. The Swedes conquered Helsingborg six times, only to lose it to the Danes just as often. A few millennia ago, there was even a land connection between Skåne and Denmark, while the Baltic Sea was connected to the North Sea via what is now the Central Swedish Depression.

Helsingborg has been Swedish since 1710. In the Danish-Swedish War of 1676-1679, the city was almost completely destroyed and only developed its present townscape in the 19th century.

The Danish mainland is within reach – the view extends as far as Helsingør. Whichever route was chosen, you use the ferry between Helsingør in Denmark and Helsingborg in Sweden. These ferry translations are always an experience that evokes an atmosphere of seafaring and adventure, that creates distances and gives time to look and reflect.

In the middle of the city, the fortress tower offers a fantastic view of the Öresund and the famous Kronborg Castle. The region around Helsingborg differs little from the landscape of Denmark – it is characterized by the infinity of its forests, countless lakes and numerous river valleys. Thanks to the Öresund Bridge, Helsingborg has merged with the Danish capital Copenhagen to form an exciting metropolitan region.

Helsingborg – Highlights between garden idyll and elegance

Downtown Helsingborg
The city center of Helsingborg, Image: Viktorishy / shutterstock

At first, the brick-red icon (Kärnan) attracts everyone’s attention, later the cute and historic old town with its representative Art Nouveau and half-timbered houses inspires until finally the visitors embark on an exciting journey through time at the gates of the city in the beautiful park of Frederiksdal. The museums and gardens are definitely worth a visit.

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From the ferry terminal, it is only a stone’s throw on foot to the centre, to the cool, modern waterfront, the pretty, mostly car-free, old town and the lively shopping streets.

Involuntarily, the view falls on the city’s landmark, a 35-metre-high brick tower, called Kärnan, which can be seen from afar. From the park terrace of the Kärnan you can enjoy a fantastic view of the neo-Gothic town hall and over the Öresund, which is crossed here at its narrowest point by a fleet of ferries around the clock.
Stortoget is the central square, framed by the monumental Grand Hotel and the neo-Gothic town hall. From here, the wide, curved staircase leads up to the defiant castle tower.

Southwest of Stortorg, directly at the ferry port, is the Hamntorg (harbour square) with the maritime monument – a column crowned by Mercury. At the upper end of Stortorg, Norra Storgata turns left. This is where Helsingborg’s oldest private house, the “Jakob Hansens hus” from 1641, is located. On the small square in front of it, the memorial fountain with a celestial globe commemorates the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.

Seaside resort flair and royal culinary delights

Helsingborg Lookout Tower
Image: Anna ART / shutterstock

Excursions to the island of Ven and the Kullaberg peninsula are worthwhile. From the island of Ven, the island’s lord and astronomer Tycho Brahe once reached for the stars. He stayed on the island for 21 years and described the history of science.

An overwhelming garden idyll is offered by Sofiero Slott Castle, located on the Öresund, in the midst of old trees. The former summer residence of Crown Prince Oskar was built in 1864. The sea of flowers of the rhododendron bushes is particularly beautiful to look at in May and June.

North of Helsingborg, the Kullaberg headland juts out into the sea like an outstretched index finger. At the far end is Northern Europe’s highest lighthouse with fantastic sea views.

In addition, the Kullen peninsula inspires with its old pottery tradition. If you like, you can watch the potters at work and take a look into the kilns. Others dedicate themselves to leisure activities such as climbing, caving, kayaking and swimming. There are beautiful beaches at Viken and Farhult.

Tips for a cosy stop

On the banks of the Öresund, north of Helsingborg, inviting villas and holiday resorts are lined up. The centre also attracts visitors with many restaurants, hotels and cosy cafés.

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Skåne’s Top Ten includes the noble restaurant with a French touch among the magical culinary arts of Karl Bengtsson. The restaurant is located on Järnvasgatan in the centre of the city.

We recommend a visit to the Clarion Grand Hotel on Stortorget, just 200 metres from the main train station. In the classic hotel, everything revolves around encounters: encounters between modern design and classic interiors, between tradition and innovation, between Sweden and the continent.

Nostalgics are drawn to the original retro café “Ebbas Fik” in the style of the 1950s. In addition to cake, salad and sandwiches, the “Elvisburger” is served here.

Insider tip when visiting the Kulla Peninsula: Since 1938, the coffee house “Fickorna Lundgren” has been welcoming its guests here in a lonely wooden house with a beautiful garden.

Helsingborg: An overview

Location and geography Helsingborg is a coastal town in southern Sweden, in Skåne county. It is located directly at the narrowest point of the Öresund, opposite Helsingør in Denmark. The two cities are connected by a regular ferry service.

History Helsingborg has a long and significant history, dating back to the Middle Ages. The city was a strategic point for trade and defense. The Kärnan Fortress, an impressive tower, is a remnant of the medieval castle and a landmark of the city.

Sights

  1. Carinthia The medieval fortress tower offers a fantastic view over the city and the Øresund. The fortress was built in the 14th century and is a must-see for history buffs.
  2. Sofiero Castle and Gardens This castle, which was once a royal residence, is known for its beautiful gardens, especially the rhododendron collection. It is a perfect place for a relaxing walk.
  3. Dunkers Kulturhus A modern cultural centre that houses art galleries, a museum and a theatre. It offers a varied programme of cultural events and exhibitions.
  4. Fredriksdal Open Air Museum Here, visitors can experience life in Sweden in previous centuries. The museum includes historic buildings, gardens, and agricultural land.

Activities

  • Beaches and nature Helsingborg offers several beautiful beaches such as Tropical Beach and Fria Bad. The coastal promenade is ideal for walks and bike rides.
  • Shopping and gastronomy Downtown Helsingborg offers a variety of shopping options, from boutiques to large department stores. The city is also known for its vibrant food scene, with numerous restaurants offering Swedish and international cuisine.
  • Ferry to Helsingør A short ferry crossing takes visitors to Helsingør in Denmark, where they can visit the famous Kronborg Castle, known as Hamlet’s Castle.

Tips for travelers

  • Best time to visit The best time to visit is from May to September, when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summer is particularly lively with many festivals and events.
  • Locomotion Helsingborg is easy to explore on foot, but there is also an efficient public transport system with buses. Ferry services to Denmark are also frequent and reliable.