Helsingborg is a vibrant and historical city in the province of Skåne in Sweden. Dubbed as the “pearl of the strait” due to its strategic location in the narrowest part of the Øresund, the city is one of the oldest in the country and home to Sweden’s first pedestrian shopping street. It was 2013 when I first visited Helsingborg, and it had been followed by several trips more during my stay in Denmark. One could easily cross the border via the HH Ferry Route, i.e., Helsingborg-Helsingør ferry route, one of the world’s busiest international car ferry routes. In fact, the strait is so narrow that one can see the Danish side (Helsingør) on a sunny day.
The ferry takes about 30 mins or so and costs 55 DKK for a round-trip ticket, and 29 DKK for one-way. Locals, both Swedish and Danish, like taking this ferry route, as they can buy stuff tax-free onboard.
So, what are the things to see and do in the pearl of the straight? Here are my suggestions:
Kärnan – a medieval defence tower built in the 1300s. Sadly, King Carl XI ordered the demolition of the adjacent castle in the 1600s for fear of sneaky attacks from Denmark. So, the only thing left for people to enjoy is the tower and the fortress. At certain times of the year, the public is allowed to enter the 35-meter tower and get a fantastic view of the coastal city and of the straight as well. Kärnan is, by the way, the Swedish term for “core”. For more information, tickets and opening hours, visit: Kärnan, the keep of Helsingborg.
And here are some beautiful views from on top of the tower:
Knutpunkten and waterfront – Knutpunkten is the city’s main station and communications center for ferries, trains and buses. According to Wikipedia, it is the 11th largest in Sweden with 20 600 passengers per weekday in 2011.
Rådhuset/City Hall. There is no doubt that Helsingborg has one of the most beautiful town halls! Designed by architect Alfred Hellerström, the building was completed in 1897 and built in neo-Gothic style. It also has a bell tower, and an impressive blue-tile street mosaic in front. A statue of the Swedish military officer during the Great Northern War, Magnus Stenbock, can be fount in front of the town hall.
St. Mary’s Church – Originally, the the three-knaved basilica was the largest church in Denmark. Built using the Danish brick Gothic style in the 1300s, St. Mary’s is one of the oldest buildings in the city.
Dunkerskulturhus – offers exhibitions and activities involving the arts, music, dance, youth culture and theatre. For more information: Dunkers Culture Center.
Kullagatan – Sweden’s first shopping street. You’d find everything here — from bargain and cheap stuff to high-end and expensive brands!
The beaches. Yes, there are summer beaches in Helsingborg! Because home is always better. And cheaper. Expect it to be over-crowded in summer though.
There you have it! Helsingborg offers a lot and there are some which are not included in my list. If you want to read more about the city, its history, attractions and such, please visit its homepage: http://www.visithelsingborg.com/. Hope to see more of Sverige (Sweden), home country to my super bf, in the future. ❤ Cheers!