The immensely popular movies about Kurt Wallander are based on the crime novels by Swedish author Henning Mankell. They have gathered millions of devoted followers all over the world. The action takes place in Ystad, where the characteristic Scandinavian melancholia, the Skåne scenery and the ice cold sea set the tone. If you are a fan of Wallander and of Swedish crime series, a visit to this iconic town is a must.
Being located right by the sea in southern Skåne, the small, picturesque town of Ystad is worth a visit. The narrow cobblestoned streets and half-timbered houses in bright colours create a warm, friendly feeling in sharp contrast to the cold-blooded crimes that make up the everyday life of Kurt Wallander. Ystad is a small town in a rural setting, and if you venture out into the surrounding landscape you will recognise the typical Skåne scenery and atmosphere that is present in the movies, with long white beaches, open fields and pine forests.
Ale’s Stones, a place for reflection
Whenever Wallander needs to gather his thoughts or solve a particularly challenging mystery, he hikes to the megalithic monument Ale Stenar, the Stonehenge of Skåne located on the hill above the small fishing village of Kåseberga, east of Ystad. This intriguing formation of large stones, reminiscent of a boat, is on top of the grassy hill overlooking the open sea and with a magnificent view of the coastline. There is still debate about what this structure represents, but the stone ship dates back to the early iron age. Regardless of the original intent of Ale Stenar, Kurt Wallander has a point. This is a wonderful place for contemplation.
Murder mysteries in Kåseberga
When you visit Ale Stenar, take time to check out the harbour of Kåseberga. Bustling and busy in the summertime, it’s home to everything from wonderful little art galleries, restaurants and souvenir shops to smokehouses selling fresh fish and seafood. This is a place Wallander visits regularly, and where two murdered men mysteriously came floating in a rubber boat in one of the movies.
Stay in Kurt Wallander’s room in Ystad
In central Ystad you will find the old station house that has served as police station in all the Wallander-movies. Nowadays you can spend the night in what used to be Wallander’s office, which has today been converted into a B&B.
Have “Swedish fika” the Wallander way
Even the toughest crime detectives need a break, and Kurt Wallander has a serious sweet tooth. In central Ystad is his favourite café, Fridolfs konditori, where you can order the famous Wallander-pastry and coffee, which adds up to a “fika” - one of the most cherished national activities in Sweden.
Pull the trigger, with Wallander’s gun
Thanks to the Wallander movies, Ystad has become a mecca for movie enthusiasts and lovers of the Nordic noir. Don’t miss a visit to the Ystad Studios Visitor Center - the interactive movie museum in central Ystad. This is one of the largest movie museums in Sweden, and you can learn more about everything related to filmmaking, from scriptwriting, special effects or props. Get into character and live out that acting dream of yours. Slip into your detective persona as you try taking finger prints, and test-shoot Wallander’s own gun.
Wallander - the guided tour
The guided Wallander tour checks out all the sites where the movies were filmed. This informative three-hour bus visits several locations where key scenes were shot, and you get to hear plenty of entertaining stories about the characters and the scenery.