Spotlight on Helsingbord

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel rumblings, Travel tips & opinions

Helsingborg is a charming corner of Sweden, says Patricia Cleveland Peck

Helsingborg, a Swedish city fresh with sea breezes and clean modern architecture is lively and easy to explore. It is situated at the narrowest part of the Öresund, which separates Sweden from Denmark, so effectively offers two countries for the price of one. Embark on the ferry at Helsingborg and 20 minutes later you are in Danish Helsingør, aka Elsinore, where ‘Hamlet’s’ castle is a short walk from the ferry.

Danish design influence has permeated the area and there are many shops selling covetable objects. The Danish influence is also very apparent in the 1997 landmark building, Dunkers Kultuhus, situated at the water’s edge of the North Harbour. The brilliant white building now houses a theatre, concert hall, exhibition spaces and a design shop.

A stroll here along Promenade Quay reveals stunning modern buildings on one side, and graceful yachts sparkling in the sunshine on the other. Pause and enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the many little cafes and watch the ferries plying the strait before continuing to the Marina, where in front of an excellent fish restaurant, Roys Fisk, you’ll find a typically Swedish detail, a bank of benches which are heated in cold weather.

There are some very good beaches and at Pålsjö Bad, a series of bathing huts on stilts jut into the sea. Here locals (and you, if you are brave) can first take a sauna and then jump naked into the chilly water. Nearby is Pålsjö Krog, a cosy little restaurant in which to recover with a warming drink.

If Helsingborg is predominately modern and cool, there are still traces of history. The Karman Tower has guarded the city for 600 years and a leisurely walk along N.Storgartan will reveal some fascinating old houses. Sofiero Castle, where the Swedish royal Family spend some time in summer, is a must. Book a lunch there in the beautiful Gustavian dining room with views over the Öresund and then wander round the spectacular gardens.

The region is famous for its game, vegetables, fungi and fish and the city is famous for its chefs so whether fine dining or snacking in the delightful cafes, you will eat well.

To get there, fly to Copenhagen and take the train from the airport via the Öresund Bridge and Malmö to Helsingborg.

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