In paid collaboration with Visit Helsingborg. Thank you to Visit Helsingborg for making this trip possible. All words and pictures are my own and I genuinely love this part of the world so it was a pleasure to produce this guide!
Helsingborg, what a great Swedish city! I received so much positive feedback from my Helsingborg city guide last summer, I thought I’d create a follow-up to include some of the beautiful surroundings.
I am a big fan of the area as my husband is from Helsingborg. I’ve also had the opportunity to spend plenty of time in the surrounding area since Per’s father and stepmother live in a charming fishing village in Kullaberg – a peninsula and nature reserve jutting out into the Kattegat Sea, north of the city. I have to say, the region is a firm favourite of mine. If you love art, farm shops, vineyards, spectacular coastlines and great food, you’re bound to fall in love too!
I’ve also extended my guide to include a day trip to the picturesque Danish town of Helsingør – a short 20-minute ferry ride over the Öresund strait. Helsingør is home to the UNESCO heritage site Kronborg castle – the home of Hamlet and a perfect place to wander the cobble streets in search Danish antiques, second hand clothes and experience a buzzing restaurant and cafe scene. Ready to feel inspired? Here’s my four-day guide to the area.
Getting there: the southern Sweden city of Helsingborg is easily accessible by train from Copenhagen airport, Malmö and Stockholm. You can also arrive by ferry from Helsingør Denmark.
Day one – Helsingborg
Check-in at Elite Hotel Mollberg
Occupying a historic 14th century building on Stortorget a short walk from the train station, Elite Hotel Mollberg’s
couldn’t be better located. Plus the impeccably decorated restaurant / breakfast area and the beautiful high ceilings and period features will send your design heart into a flutter!
There is so much to do in this wonderful city. See my guide to 48 hours in Helsingborg last summer for all my favourite sites, design shops, cafes and restaurants!
You might like to pay a visit during the forthcoming H22 City Expo
(30th May – 3rd July 2022) which promises a full schedule of exciting cultural events, guided tours, music and entertainment and gastronomical experiences for all ages!
Something I missed in my previous guide but well worth a visit is Kärnen
. Located in the centre of town by Stortorget, the medieval tower is the last remaining section of a larger fortress built by the Danes. It controlled the entranceway between the Kattegat and Øresundsbron sea along with Kronborg castle in Helsingør. Standing 35 metres high, a spiral staircase will lead you to the top, from where you can enjoy spectacular views – and get your breath back!
A cycle or bus ride from Helsinborg will take you to the magnificent Sofiero castle
and grounds which bursts into life in springtime. My family and I often visit for a stroll around the gardens, to nip into the nursery shop, see the latest exhibition and enjoy lunch at the Orangeriet. I’ve even been to a few open-air concerts here – keep an eye on the events calendar for details!
Recover from your day by treating yourself to a culinary experience at Chateau Foret
(listed in the White Guide), or head to the water’s edge and tuck into seafood at one of my favourite restaurants: Sillen & Makrillen
Day Two – Helsingør, Denmark
Hop on a ForSea
battery-operated ferry to Helsingør – the picturesque Danish town on the opposite side of the strait. There are about four boats and hour and the 20-minute, 4-kilometre crossing will take you straight to the town centre.
Per explained that some Swedes never get off the boat – choosing to go back and forward across the sound while enjoying the lively ferry bar (I saw it in full swing later on in the day – he wasn’t kidding)!
Kronborg Castle, Helsingør
You can’t visit Helsingør and not go to Kronborg castle
! Known as Elsinore
in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Kronborg is a 15th century renaissance castle and a designated UNESCO world heritage site. Keep an eye on the official website
for guided tours, treasure hunts and open-air plays.
Stroll the streets
An easy day trip from Copenhagen (and an even easier one from Helsingborg!), Helsingør is incredibly picturesque. Take good walking shoes as you’ll want to take your time to wander the pretty cobblestone streets and small courtyards while popping in and out of boutique stores!
Antique and second-hand stores
The bustling town is full of small antique, vintage and second-hand stores selling unique Danish treasures. I particularly loved Bror & Søster
, situated down a small side lane off the main shopping drag.
Another favourite is the tiny Louies Brocante which spills out onto the cobbled backstreet.
Keep a look out for the Saturday flea markets on Svingelport (0.00 – 15.00). Arrive early for the best bargains and enjoy live music, a great coffee and a Danish pastry at Lagoni.
A word of warning, many shops close as early as 14.00 – 15.00 on Saturdays so go early to make the most of your trip!
There are many great places for lunch – including seafood restaurant Jellyfish
. As a Helsinborg guy, Per insisted we paid a nostalgic visit to the main square – along with throngs of other Swedes – to tuck into a traditional Danish smørrebød (open sandwich) accompanied by a Carlsberg (of course) and a customary shot of snaps! The square had such a wonderful, lively atmosphere (it could have had something to do with the snaps!) – we could have stayed all day!
But our ferry was waiting, and it was time to head back to Helsinborg to continue with the tour!
Day Three – Höganäs and Mölle
A 40-minute ride on the 220 bus will take you from Helsingborg to the small coastal town of Höganäs, in Kullaberg.
I always start my visit to Höganäs at Salthallerna
. The former industrial site is home to a great homeware and clothing boutique as well as a host of art exhibitions. You might want to stay for a while as it also has a great cafe selling divine tasting kanelbulla
(cinnamon buns). Keep a look out for a new restaurant and BadAss Ceramics
Next door, you’ll find the famous Höganäs Saltglaserat workshop and store where you can watch the potters in action and pick up beautiful ceramics to take home.
Garage Bar & Höganäs Bryggeri
Around the corner you’ll find Garage Bar
– famed for it’s ‘nothing less than junk food royal’ slogan – needless to say our kids love it! And Höganäs Bryggeri
where you can sample locally produced brews (a favourite of Per’s!).
Keep an eye on the events calendar for Blå Hallen
– a short walk away. It hosts some amazing flea markets in the summer!
Feeling like you need to re-energise? Book a slot at the wonderful Kvickbadhuset
sauna by the harbour. We often go as an extended family on big holidays such as Christmas and Easter, it’s a wonderful way to cleanse the mind, body and soul!
Bike tour from Höganäs to Mölle
If you’re feeling energetic, hire a bike in Höganäs harbour and follow the Kategattleden
to Mölle. It’s hard to say how long it takes as I kept stopping to take pictures and enjoy the view – but it’s around 10 km and an easy ride – very flat!
The bike trail follows a disused, converted railway line which takes you along the coast, passing farmland, forests and small, pretty fishing villages, including Nyhamnsläge and Lerhamn.
Don’t miss signs to Krapperup castle
(as a Brit it took me a while to get over the name!) along the way (for those who opted for the 222 bus instead – there’s a bus stop right outside!). The grounds of the 16th century castle are beautiful – especially when the rhodendrums are in full bloom. You’ll also love the cosy cafe, art gallery and boutique.
Continue your cycle ride through the nature reserve until you come to the picturesque 19th century fishing village of Mölle (bus number 222 will also take you from Höganäs to Mölle) and then rest your weary legs quench your thirst at one of the many Harbourside cafes and restaurants.
Check in to Grand Hotel Mölle
Follow in the footsteps of smart, early 20th century holiday makers, who flocked to Mölle by train to enjoy a rejuvenating stint at this ‘badhotell’ (bath hotel), today known as Grand hotel Mölle
. Per and I stayed in the turret which had wonderful views over Mölle!
You can’t visit this village without popping into Mölle Krukmakeri
– a ceramics atelier and popular boho hangout, serving great pizza! I have several of their bowls at home too.
Hike to Kullens Lighthouse
Depending on how you arrived in Mölle, you might be feeling energetic enough to hike along the coast Northwards to Kullens Lighthouse – climbing over granite rocks dotted with pink thrift, and through incredible ancient beech forests as you go . Take your swimmers – there are plenty of bathing places along the way! If you’re short on time but still want to take in the views from the tip of the peninsular, there’s also a parking spot 300 metres away.
Cocktails and supper at Ransvik Havsvaranda
On the way back from the lighthouse, you’ll pass Ransvik Havsvaranda
– an absolutely wonderful restaurant nestled in the cliff overlooking the sea. On summer evenings it comes alive with locals enjoying cocktails and dinner out on the terrace.
Day Four – Arild – and the Kullaberg countryside
I’ve packed in a LOT activities on day three – so you might want to take your foot of the peddle and save some of the areas around Mölle for the fourth day. In summertime there are lots of extra activities available such as s whale and propose boat safari
in the Kullaberg nature reserve. There are also many wonderful trails to explore by foot or mountain bike!
On your way back to Helsingborg, take a short detour to the pretty fishing village of Arild, stopping off at Flickorna Lundgren
for a traditional fika (coffee and cake).
Another favourite stop is the restaurant and farm shop Trädgården På Skäret
– I’m told their oyster and champagne lunch in summertime is not to be missed! It looks like I’ll need to return to the area soon!
I hope you’ll find this guide useful, and it might inspire you to come and explore this wonderful part of the world!
If you’d like to visit Helsingborg soon, why not come during the H22 City Expo
between 30th may – 3 July 2022. The 30-day event promises captivating, exhilarating and innovative cultural attractions, exhibitions, talks, music and entertainment for all ages and gastronomical experiences. Find out more about the H22 City Expo and plan your visit
Please do feel free to add your own tips from the area below – there are so many amazing places to visit that I’d need to write an entire tome to cover them all!
Wishing you a great weekend!
Photography: copyright – Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home