Helsingborg, Sweden

Helsingborg, Sweden: Fun Things to See and Do

Helsingborg is a great city with a rich history & interesting city center: Shopping, museums, monuments, restaurants, cafes, and a beautiful harbor.

Helsingborg is situated in the south of Sweden in Skåne. It faces the Öresund, the sound that separates Danmark from Sweden, and you can see Helsingborg’s sister city, Helsingör, in Denmark. Helsingborg has about 120,000 inhabitants, 150,000 for greater Helsingborg. The city has many interesting old buildings. Close to the central station, Knutpunkten is a city park where you will find a playground and the City Library. Inside Knutpunkten you can also find Scandlines and the ferry to Helsingör every 20 minutes in the daytime.

History, monuments, culture, and musea

Helsingborg is a city with a history that goes back hundreds of years. Even if you are historically challenged, a very interesting starting point is the 700-year-old Kärnan, the 34-meter-high tower that is the last remaining part of Helsingborg’s ancient Keep. It boasts a fantastic 360-degree panoramic view over the city and the Öresund to Denmark. You can even see part of Helsingör: the Slott (Castle) and the harbor. It is great on a sunny day and spectacular on a stormy day. During weekdays, one can visit the Rådhuset, where the mayor lives; it is a beautiful, well-preserved building. It lies at the foot of Kärnan on the corner of Helsingborg’s main thoroughfare, Drottninggatan/Järnvägsgatan and Stortorget. On Stortorget, one finds several cafes and restaurants with terraces.

There are several museums in Helsingborg, the most well-known of which is Dunkers’ Kulturhuset, which is interesting for adults and children. Dunkers has a permanent exhibition on the city’s origin, which is very entertaining. Furthermore, there are temporary exhibitions and concerts. The Frederiksdal museum and gardens are also well known, although it is mostly outdoors, as is the Sofiero Castle and Gardens, they are best visited in summer. In winter, there is the Tropikariet, a small tropical zoo great for children (and for adults), and there is a Bird Park close to Frederiksdal.


Helsingborg has a fine city center where everything is within walking distance, and you can find some smaller enclosed shopping malls such as the Magnus Stenbock shopping mall in the center and Söderpunkten, a bit more to the south of the City Library. However. one of the country’s newest and largest enclosed shopping malls is Väla, barely 15 minutes away by bus 22 from the Central station Knutpunkten (green stadsbus 22 to Vala, goes every 15 minutes during shopping hours, which are 10 – 20 on weekdays and 10-18 in weekends) and boasts Sweden’s newest IKEA. You cannot walk it from Helsingborg – well, actually, you can if you are an avid hiker. It is probably around 15 km, depending on where at Väla you are going.

Getting around in Helsingborg: public transportation and car parking

In the center of the city, at the harbor, there is Knutpunkten, where you can find all city buses, region buses, international buses, and trains. You can find all timetables and specific times for your trip if you click on Skane public transportation. Helsingborg is a busy hub in Skåne, and train traffic in all directions is intensive, although in winter, sometimes delays can occur due to too much snow, whereas buses generally manage to keep their schedules. By train, it is only a little over an hour from Helsingborg straight to Copenhagen and the airport Kastrup, which to Skåne’s inhabitants is much closer than the country capital, Stockholm, 6 hours to the north by car. City buses go in all directions and are a good way to see the city. A good way to travel is to buy a Jojo card, which you can load up with a minimum of 200 kronor and which gives you a 20% discount on the bus ticket; you can hold it in front of the scanner to buy a ticket, and you need only one Jojo card for a family. When the 200 kronor are finished, you can reload the card with cash or credit card at any train station at the ticketing machine (which also speaks English). There are many car parks in Helsingborg, but they are expensive and often full. Finding a car parking space out on the street is also quite difficult.

Swedes are usually very helpful when approached, and except for the very young and the very old, they all speak good English.

Restaurants and cafeterias

Helsingborg has restaurants of every nationality you can think of. Many of them compete with each other in offering a lunch buffet for around 60-70 crowns. There are many Thai and Mongolian restaurants in the city center and many cafes where you can get a good lunch for a fair price, but there are also fancy restaurants. I can only give you a couple of my favorites. You can find Scarpetta’s Italian food at Knutpunkten; it could be more cozy but serves very good food. I love Pistachia’s right in front of Knutpunkten, where you’ll find an enormous variety of nuts, chocolates, and other goodies and a cafeteria. Das Backhaus, close by, offers fresh German bread and pastry, and you can sit and have fika (Swedish for coffee & something). Harry’s bar, a bit more to the north, offers a good lunch with a salad bar. For those on a tight budget, there are kebab houses everywhere, and they give good value for money. But nobody can beat IKEA’s restaurant prices if you are willing to travel that far from the city center (you have to go to Vala, though; see above in Shopping). I also love Chocolate, a small cafe along the main road on the harbor side specializing in truffles. Most restaurants have a menu posted outside with pricing, so you know what you are getting into. Whichever fare you like, you can find it in Helsingborg.