Helsingborg has a pittoresque old town made of brick houses, wood houses and complimented by harbors. It is located where Denmark and Sweden are closest to each other, barely separated by four kilometers of the sea. Helsingborg is a crossroad of trade and cultures. Naturally, it provides meeting space in hotels, spas and on cruiseships. Surrounded by a serious industrial and academic density around Copenhagen and on the Swedish coast, Helsingborg is a central meeting spot.
Helsingborg’s beaches and promenades bloster with life under palm trees, seasonally put out in summer. Open air restaurants are filled with visitors, and many goods and passengers travel through. It is best visited during summer, when temperatures are up and the evenings are endlessly long.
What to do
- Visit the hot thermal spring in Ramlösa. The spring park offers several spas and hotels – some of them classic wooden bath houses from the 19th century.
- Read the Helsingborg official tourist web pages!
- Check the Helsingborg Food & Nightlife guide!
- In case you’re looking for wine, beer or any other alcohol in a shop, consider Sweden’s prohibition. Supermarkets only sell “light” alcohol under 4% of alcohol. Everything else is only available at the government’s prohibition outlet, called Systembolaget, during their business hours (including regular beer). Helsingborg has several of these outlets, the most central one is located in the shopping mall that is the neighbor building of the town hall (on its north side, Drottningsgatan 18). However, many Swedes will prefer to hop on the ferry to Helsingør, which will bring them within 20 minutes to the much more affordable alcohol street sales targetet at Swedes.
Where to stay
- The Helsingborg City Hostel is a youth hostel with single/double rooms available for less than 500 SEK. It is located a few hundred meters from the center – and offers free wireless network. A perfect, and affordable place to stay!
- A cosy, family-style old town hotel is Hotel Maria. Situated right in front of the central Maria church, the hotel resides upstairs from Maria’s tapas bar. The hotel has a few rooms only, a very cosy lounge/breakfast room, free wireless internet, and affordable rates. The tapas bar is in the back yard – ideal for side dinners on a conference where you don’t want to bee seen by the rest of the conference.
- The Grand Clarion Helsingborg conference hotel is your choice of meeting facilities, in-house spa, and grandeur of a first-in town hotel. Located a short distance from the railway staytion, the ferry terminal, and the castle, the hotel will satisfy any spoiled business traveler.
- Choose a hotel from the official hotel, B&B and youth hostel list!
- Getting there: Plane to Copenhagen, followed by a 1-hour-train ride right from the airport. Overnight train from Switzerland via Frankfurt, Hamburg to Copenhagen. Train from northern Germany, Stockholm, Oslo or Gothenburg. Ferries from Helsingør (Denmark, 20 minute trip time) reachable by train from Copenhagen.
- Walk, or use public transport. Ferries take you over to Denmark (Copenhagen is very close) and to Oslo.
Where to eat
- Maria’s tapas bar in the old town. You can sit in a nice back yard, enjoy your privacy, and order tapas and red wine. 10% discount for residents of Hotel Maria.
- Olsons Skafferi is a nice Italian restaurant in Mariagatan 6 on the Maria chruch square. Quite a decent Amarone red wine served by the glass!
- If you can afford a daytime break, or stay over for the weekend, you should visit Möllebacken Våffelbruk & Gästgiveri. Located in Bergaliden 11, this ensemble of historic houses around a windmill (check photo gallery) offers the grounds for a fancy garden restaurant that serves a lunch menu, and in addition the best waffle experience in town from 10:00 to 16:00. You can walk there either through the castle gardens, or from the lower level in Södra Storgatan through a kindergarden. Watch for the red sign with “Möllebacken” written on it!
- A really impressive, english-style pub is The Bishop’s Arms in Söndre Storgatan 2. The pub occupies the basement of a whole block, offers outdoor seating on two sides of the block, and has a large numebr of international beers (England, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia) on tap, and bottled in the refridgerator. Their rare whiskey collection should not be forgotten. In addition, they’ve got a rather late-night liquor licence.
- Try the tourist office’s recommendations.
- Seafood is a local specialty. Right from the Kattegatt, you can try hailbutt, soles, shrimps, mussels and more local catch.
What to bring home
- Unless you fall for the usual tacky Sweden souvenirs, you’ll enjoy locally crafted ceramics. The north-west of Skåne is rightly known as the “pottery centre” of Sweden (Keramikbygden), where you will find more than sixty potters and pottery studios with their goods and workshops on display. A higher-level gallery for glass, pottery, textile and ceramics art is karla konsthandverk in Bruksgatan 15, which regularly schedules vernissages with various artists and their art.
- Chocolate. Several chocolatiers offer their artistry in town, of which we particularly mention the shop of Peter Beier in Södre Storgatan 5, offering a vast choice of chocolate specialities.