No stay in Skåne is complete without visiting some of the characteristic towns and cities that add culture, pulse and vibrancy to this fascinating area. Here are five towns you should add to your itinerary.

1. Malmö

Full of energy, rich multiculturalism and refreshing green spaces, Malmö has become iconic for its focus on culture, innovative architecture and a vibrant social scene.

Möllevångstorget in Malmö on a summer day
You can buy fruits and vegetables at Möllevångstorget.

With more pubs and restaurants per capita than anywhere else in Sweden, Malmö is the perfect place to stop by for lunch, a beer or an exotic meal. 

Stroll among the open-air market stalls at Möllevångstorget and get your fresh, five-a-day greens grown in local farms. The market is open six days a week. Lilla Torg, next to the old town (Gamla Väster) is a great place for a drink or a meal to start your evening and is close to some of the city’s best restaurants. 

The west port in dusk
A woman walking towards Ribersborg's cold bath house on a summer day
© Tannus
Ribersborg Kallbadhus.
Garden in Slottsparken, Malmö © Oskar Falck
© Oskar Falck
People enjoy a beautiful sunset near the turning torso
© Carolina Romare
Fancy a picnic or a tranquil stroll by the sea?

Malmö is full of green spaces, small lakes and a network of canals. Walk through the many parks with their blossoming flowerbeds and well-stocked vegetable gardens, then take in the innovative architecture in the Western Harbour before you hit the beach just a stone’s throw from the centre of town. 

Want a winter shock? Visit the open-air baths where people steam naked in the sauna, then hop into the freezing water. 

Find more information about Malmö here

2. Lund

Lund is a vibrant city of contrasts where you experience a thousand years of history, all in walking distance. You’ll meet some of the world’s smartest people among cobblestones and half-timbered houses. The University and its close on 40,000 students make a big impact, with burlesques, student bars and lively cafes.

 Cobblestone street with two colorful house facades
© Beata Tarasiuk
Street view of a cafe
© Kim Leuenberger
BroderJakobs café and bakery
Lund cathedral in the summer
© Kristina Strand Larsson
Domkyrkan in Lund first opened 1145
Two women walking on the cobblestone street in Lund
© Leif Johansson
The beautiful street Tomegapsgatan in Lund.
The majestic university library of Lund, covered in green plants
© Zlotaproporcja
The University Library

Lund Cathedral in the centre of the city is Sweden’s most visited church, attracting around 700,000 visitors per year. Built around 1,000 years ago, the twin towers dominate the skyline. Inside the artefacts date back to the 13th Century. 

Interested in how Swedish people lived life in the past? Visit Kulturen. This outdoor museum tantalizes the senses of children of all ages with its exhibitions of homes and clothing. And don’t miss Lund’s Botanical Gardens for quick break and a bite to eat in one of the city’s most picturesque places.

Find more information about Lund here

3. Helsingborg

Skåne’s second largest city offers a mix of metropolitan big city and charming idyllic small town. It’s full of history: ancient and modern, Danish and Swedish. Stroll through the boutiques and shopping centres, unwind at one of the cosy restaurants, or survey the architecture, from Middle Ages to modern functional. Drop in at Dunkers arts centre, with art gallery, urban and cultural history exhibitions, music and theatre, as well as a nice restaurant.

Dunkers Kulturhus ©
Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg – designed by Kim Utzon.
Helsingborg harbour © Bernard Grilly
© Bernard Grilly
Helsingborg harbour.
Statue in front of the town hall in Helsingborg © Birger Lallo
© Birger Lallo
Festival in Helsingborg  ©
King square in Helsingborg © Birger Lallo
© Birger Lallo
King square and the Ring statue in Helsingborg.
Castle in a garden ©
Sofiero palace gardens has more than 10 000 dazzling rhododendron in May and beginning of June.

Sofiero Palace and Gardens on the outskirts of the city is one of Skåne’s most popular attractions. Surrounded by velvety lawns and lush green trees, the castle gives you a view over the Sound above a magnificent flowering ravine. The garden is an oasis of more than 10,000 plants, and 300 different varieties of rhododendrons with their spectacular flowers and vibrant colours. 

Fredriksdal Museums and Gardens is one of Sweden’s best open-air museums, complete with historic buildings and old town quarters.

4. Ystad

Ystad is a beautiful town with medieval, pastel-coloured half-timbered houses on cobblestone streets and sun-dappled squares. Visit museums with different, sometimes off-beat themes, call into the quaint shops and cosy cafés or jump on a steam train and explore the beautiful countryside.

Courtyard in Ystad © carolina romare
© © carolina romare
View from street over a church © Carolina Romare
© Carolina Romare
Cobble street in Ystad.
Bicycle parked outside a blue hose in Ystad
Beautiful house in Ystad.

Once one of the region’s most important fishing towns, it’s now known as the centre of Sweden’s film industry. At Cineteket film centre you can find out about film production, try out blue screen technology, create your own animations and learn about filmmaking. 

Explore movie locations such as the collection of Wallander Props and photo exhibition about The Bridge television series. Go behind the scenes of Ystad Studios, or take a Wallander tour and see his house, where he drinks coffee and other locations from the films.

5. Kristianstad

This historic city centre of Kristianstad offers superb shopping in medieval streets in the old city centre. Trefaldighetskyrkan, across the street from the railway station, is considered the most beautiful renaissance church in the Nordics. If you’re a film buff, walk down to the film museum at Regionmuseet to see the lights, cameras and still action of the early days of the Swedish movie industry.

A bike and walkway surrounded by green
© Bengt Flemark
Two women cycling on a shopping street
© Mickael Tannus

Kristianstad’s Vattenrike, close to the city centre, is designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The Visitor Centre boasts 21 different observation towers, footbridges and open-air museums. Canoe or take a safari, spot the cranes, catch a trout, or watch the wildlife on the meadows. Summer is the time for gazing at colourful flowers, and pleasant boat trips.

Did this article help you?

Others have also read

Antiques Inside a vintage store in Skåne

Flea markets, vintage and antiquities in Skåne

Swedes have a habit of selling and donating old things instead of throwing them away, which means there are plenty of opportunities to make some unique finds.
Read more
Hotel apartment environment with a sofa, coffee table, and decor

The must-see list for design lovers

Light wood, crisp colours, functional design and understated elegance. Whether you are looking for a new sofa or a couple of new tea cups, Scandinavian design brings a unique touch of minimalism to your interior. 
Read more