Are you looking for a holiday destination that has beautiful nature, great outdoor activities, sea and beaches, good food and cute little towns? Don’t look any further! Skåne County is the place to go to! It’s the most southern region of Sweden, which used to belong to Denmark. This region offers a lot, there’s much to see and do and we will tell you all about the best things to do in Skåne. This region of Sweden is a lot different than the rest of the country, don’t expect mountains, fjords and large forests with pine trees. Skåne is “Sweden’s Tuscany” with hills, some of the best Sweden beaches, farmlands and even a vineyard!
IN THIS ARTICLE
About Skåne, Sweden
What to do in Skåne
・Colourful Skanör Beach
・Student city Lund
・Sweden’s most southern point: Smygehuk
・Lavender ice-cream at Österlenkryddor
・Ales Stenar Monument
・Everything apple in Kivik
・Hike through Stenshuvud National Park
・Nature and wildlife at Kullaberg National Park
・Fishing village Mölle
Other great (and unique) accommodations in Skåne
About Skåne, Sweden
Skåne County is located in southern Sweden and has a population of 1.3 million people. A long time ago this part of Sweden used to be part of Denmark, and you can still find Danish influences in this region. It’s also very close to Denmark: the 16 kilometres (10 miles) Øresund bridge connects Denmark and Sweden with each other. The bridge is Europe’s longest road and rail bridge. Thanks to the bridge it’s easy to reach Skåne from Copenhagen. It’s also possible to fly to Malmö.
We highly recommend exploring Skåne by car, or for the sporty ones: by bicycle! Skåne isn’t super big, it takes about 1.5 hours by car driving from East to West. Therefore it’s possible to see a lot of the region if you visit Skåne only for a short time.
Good to know: the currency used in Sweden is the Swedish Krona, you can’t pay with Euros in Sweden. The language is Swedish but most Swedes speak English very well.
What to Do in Skåne
Malmö is the capital city of Skåne County and the third-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg. Though, to us, it felt more like a big village. Malmö will probably be the starting point of your trip, and the city is one of the best things to do in Skåne.
Things to do in Malmö:
- Gamla Staden: This is the old part of Malmö. Gamla Staden is very cute with its cobblestone streets and colourful tiny houses. Must-sees are the squares Stortorget and Lilla Torg. Wander around the historic part Gamla Väster and don’t forget to stop for Fika. Fika is a very important Swedish concept to learn. A translation of Fika is a coffee break with a cookie or pastry. But it’s much more than that. Swedish people say it’s a concept, a state of mind and so important in Swedish culture. During Fika, you need to slow down and enjoy time with your friends, family and/or colleagues. We highly recommend heading to cafe Eida (by Nina) for Fika!
- See the city from the water: there’s a lot of water in and around Malmö. Therefore seeing the city from the water is a great idea. There are tours that show you around but we highly recommend to do it yourself! With Bookaboat, you can easily rent a boat and drive around the waters of Malmö. You don’t need a license to do that and it’s very easy. Do not miss the cute lighthouse during your trip!
- Be amazed by the Turning Torso: the Turning Torso is a very unique building in Malmö. With its 190 metres (623 ft) it’s the tallest building in Scandinavia. The shape of the building is the shape of a twisted human body.
- Visit Västra Hamnen: this western harbour district is a new district in Malmö. It offers great views on the Turning Torso and is the perfect spot to view the Øresund Bridge.
- Looking for a place to relax? Head to Kungspark. It’s a beautiful park with a cool old windmill. Right next to the park, you can find Malmö’s castle and the Malmö museum.
- If you are visiting Malmö mid-August, go to the Malmö Festival. It’s the biggest event happening in Malmö ever year. During the festival there are outdoor concerts, theatre, there are street food stents and there are many more fun things to do in the city.
- And if you are visiting Malmö in July, don’t miss out on Malmö Pride! Malmö turns into a bit rainbow during that time of the year. The parade walk attracts many people from Sweden (and like us: people from other places in the world) and we absolutely loved it.
Are you planning on visiting Stockholm as well?
Make sure to check out our Stockholm guide.
Colourful Skanör Beach
This beach in the South West of Skåne is a popular beach because of the picturesque beach huts, white sand and shallow ocean. The beach houses in Skanör are coloured in all colours of the rainbow, they are the cutest! Besides seeing the adorable beach houses, this is a great beach to go to for some relaxing and swimming.
Student city Lund
Lund is a cute old city close to Malmö. This city is considered the number one city in Sweden for students. Therefore you will find many students here (though not during Summer). The main building of the Lund University is absolutely stunning. The city also has beautiful parks and gorgeous botanical gardens.
Sweden’s most southern point: Smygehuk
Smygehuk is a fishing village in southern Skåne. It’s also the most southern point of Sweden! This is as far South as you can get in Sweden, therefore many tourists like to visit this village. Go on top of Smygehuk’s lighthouse for a great view of the ocean!
This is our favourite town in Skåne. All around Ystad there are cute houses, cosy cafes and cobblestone streets. When we visit Ystad in July the entire town is filled with beautiful flowers (lots of hollyhocks!), which makes Ystad extra pretty. If you like to shop, there’s a shopping street with small unique shops: Stora Östergatan.
Ystad is a famous town in Sweden because many films and series are made here. Scandinavia’s largest film studios, Ystad Studios, is located here. The stories of the famous novel Inspector Wallander, written by Henning Markel, take place in Ystad. There are tours and walking routes you can do dedicated to the novels.
Lavender ice-cream at Österlenkryddor farm shop
In June and July, there’s a beautiful lavender field that blooms next to this farm shop. A lavender field in Sweden? We never expected to find that in Sweden! Besides lavender, this farm shop grows and sells spices, award-winning homemade (lavender) ice-cream, herbal salts, plants and much more. Do you like flowers? Skåne turns yellow mid to late May when the rapeseed blooms!
Ales Stenar Monument
Ales Stenar is the Swedish Stonehedge. Close to Ystad, in the town Kåseberge, you can find these mysterious stones. It’s a stone-age monument with 59 stones formed as a ship. Nobody really knows why it’s there, some believe it’s a burial monument while others think it’s an astronomical clock. Visit the monument and decide what you believe!
Everything apple in Apple Kingdom Kivik
Do you like apples? Then you can’t miss the region Österlen. Österlen is known as the apple kingdom of Sweden. The capital of Österlen is Kivik. Kivik is all about apples, and not just apples, here you can buy everything made of apples. The area of Kivik is perfect for apple trees, thanks to its fertile grounds and mild climate. The area grows over 70 different kinds of apples! Visit during spring to see all the trees blossoming!
Hike through Stenshuvud National Park
Close to Kivik there’s the National Park Stenshuvud. The Stenshuvud hill in the park is a popular hike which offers great views, especially since the rest of the landscape is pretty flat. The hill has three peaks, the highest is 97 meters above sea level (318ft). In the park, you can also find sandy beaches, a rocky coast, multiple hiking trails and a cute little lighthouse.
Helsinborg is a great city to visit for many reasons. It’s Skåne’s second-largest city after Malmö, so it’s a lot different than small towns like Ystad, Lund and Kivik. The city centre of Helsinborg is pretty and has a lot to offer. Something we love about the city is all the street-art! It even has a street-art festival every year. From Helsingborg, you can easily cross to Denmark by ferry, it only takes 20 minutes.
Visiting Helsinborg is definitely among the best things to do in Skåne. What are the best things to do in Helsinborg?
- Pälsjobaden sauna: this isn’t just a relaxing place to visit, it’s also very picturesque! The houses on the water are the cutest. Pälsjobaden sauna has two different saunas on each side. One side is for men, the other for women. This is a typical Swedish nude sauna. During your sauna visit, it’s possible to jump in the refreshing water of the sea. There’s a terrace with sunbeds to relax. If you are hungry, definitely pay a visit to the sauna’s restaurant. We highly recommend eating mussels here!
- Sofiero Palace and Gardens: the Sofiero Palace was once the royal family’s residence. The gardens of the palace are stunning to see. Here, you can find a wide range of plants and Europe’s largest collection of rhododendrons. Rhododendrons bloom during the beginning of Summer. Bonus: sometimes there are outdoor concerts held in the gardens.
- Climb on top of the Känan Tower: this 35 metres high (114ft) high tower used to be part of a larger Danish Fortress. The tower is the only thing that’s still there. Climb 146 steps up and you will have amazing views over Helsinborg, and all the way to Denmark! The terrace and stairs in front of the tower are beautiful to see as well.
- Helsingborg’s street-art: as we mentioned before, Helsinborg is filled with awesome street-art. Head to the website of the street-art project of Helsingborg to get inspired. Their website is in Swedish but you can definitely find some addresses on the website (or use Google Translate!).
Nature and wildlife at Kullaberg National Park
This national park is beautiful and a must-visit! It’s located North of Helsinborg. The national park has a rocky coastline and stunning cliffs. There are many outdoor activities you can do here, such as climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, hiking. You can also do tours to explore caves and wildlife. We went on a whale safari to spot dolphin-looking whales, and yes, it was amazing! It’s also really cool to see the cliffs from the water.
A must-go-to spot for food and/or drinks is Ransvik Havsveranda, a gay-owned restaurant. Not only the location is great, but the food (including the cakes) are also so delicious. The terrace overlooks the sea and is surrounded by nature. Ransvik beach was Europes first mixed beach (men & women), which was a big deal! It was the “Ibiza of the 1900s”. Nowadays it’s still a popular beach to swim at.
Fishing Village Mölle
Mölle is a cute fishing village close to Kullaberg. The harbour of Mölle is cosy and perfect for pictures. In 1890, Mölle got one of Sweden’s first seaside resorts, and still, many people go to this area to bathe.
Skåne has a few wellness spots to go to. As mentioned before, close to Helsinborg there’s the Pälsjobaden sauna complex. There are a few more spots you can check out:
- Saltsjöbad: this is a luxurious spa in Ystad and an award-winning spa complex. And it’s not only a spa, it’s also a hotel!
- Hotel Mossbylund: Hotel Mossbylund is a spa hotel with a sauna, an indoor and outdoor pool and different kinds of wellness treatments. The spa hotel is located close to the beach.
- Ribersborgs Kallbadhus: this bathing house is located at Malmö’s beachside and is popular amongst both tourists and locals. It’s also possible to jump in the sea here!
Want to see more of Europe? Head to the magical city Budapest.
Spoiler: in Budapest, they have the best thermal baths!
Glamping in Skåne is a unique experience. Close to Mölle, there’s Arilds Vingård. A vineyard in Sweden? Yes! Like the lavender field, this wasn’t something we expected to find in Sweden. Arilds Vinegård is very cosy and the new glamping area is lovely. They also have cabins you can stay in, and they have a restaurant. They serve delicious food and of course, home-made wines. All made from their own vineyard.
Skåne County is a perfect region to go camping! There are many campsites to go to. From spots on the beach, next to a lake, or in the forest, Skåne has it all. Let us tell you about some great campsites in Skåne:
- Mötesplats Borstahusen: Mötesplats Borstahusen is located between Helsinborg and Malmö, in the small fishing village Borstahusen. This cosy campsite is located next to the beach. It’s possible to camp here or to rent a house/cute cottage. On the campsite, there’s a restaurant and spa and in the area, there’s a lot to do. It’s possible to go hiking, fishing, visiting the island of Ven, golfing etc.
- Ystad Camping: Ystad Camping is located in Ystad. The beach is only 200 meters away and the camping is located in the middle of nature reserve Sandskogen, a great area if you like to hike. It’s possible to camp here or to rent a small cabin. In the area, there’s a lot to do! Of course, you can visit Ystad but there are also many hiking and biking trails in the area, pools, mini-golf opportunities, fishing spots, etc.
- First Camp Mölle: First Camp has campsites all over Sweden. First Camp Mölle is a great campsite to go to, as you are close to Mölle and it’s beautiful scenery. When you go to Skåne you can’t miss the National Park Kullaberg. The National Park is nearby the campsite and great to go to on a day trip. Children will love First Camp Mölle as it has a swimming pool and a water park! First Camp Mölle also offers cabin rental.
- Ringsjöstrand Camping: Ringsjöstrand Camping is located in the heart of Skåne, next to the lake Ringsjön. It’s the second biggest lake in Skåne. Enjoy swimming in the lake, kayaking, fishing on the lake and biking or hiking the area! The camping also offers cottage rental.
Other great (and unique) accommodations in Skåne
- Tastecelebration Residence: Tastecelebration Residence is located in the region Österlen, in the small village of Andrarum. It’s a fantastic spot for foodies and for wine lovers. In this hotel, it’s all about food! And from the moment you step inside, you will feel at home. The owners of Tastecelebration Residence are so friendly.
- Best Western Plus Hotel Noble House Malmö: this hotel in Malmö is a great place to stay at. Its location is perfect, many hotspots are in walking distance. The design of the hotel is a mix of hip and classic.
- Clarion Grand Hotel Helsinborg: Clarion Grand Hotel Helsinborg is located centrally in Helsinborg, very close to historical Känan tower. The hotel is a classic hotel and its restaurant has great food!
- Gnalöv Gård Bed and Breakfast: this is the ultimate spot if you want to enjoy peace and nature. You feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, but in a good way! The bed and breakfast is located in an old farm dated out of the 19th century. It’s a cosy place and the owner, Josefine, is very friendly.
- Nyrup’s Nature Hotel: want to stay really close to nature? Then this hotel is definitely something for you. Nyrup’s Nature Hotel is a comfortable and unique outdoor experience. You can’t reach the hotel by car, you have to hike the last bit. There is no electricity, nor wifi, it’s the ultimate place to detox from your busy life. Here you also learn how to cook your own food with an open fire. You sleep in a yurt!
- Grand Circus Hotel: this hotel is located in Malmö, though a bit out of the city centre. It’s a unique hotel as they let you sleep in retro circus wagons and tents! How cool is that?
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This blog post is sponsored by Visit Skåne, who invited us to explore the region.
All opinions and experiences are our own, as always!
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