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The skyline of Port Helsingbord in Sweden

Helsingborg, Sweden

Helsingborg is your best introduction to Skåne, Sweden’s southern region, loved by locals and tourists alike. Wealthy urbanites from Stockholm and Gothenburg come to their summer homes in the region to enjoy its pleasant climate, fish-filled lakes and the countryside dotted with medieval castles and picturesque villages. Helsingborg itself is located at the narrowest point of the Øresund, where just four kilometers of water separate the city from its Danish twin, Helsingør. Scandinavians long battled over this strait because control of it conferred the ability to collect tolls from ships bound for the Baltic. Those days are now a distant memory, however, and ferries have connected the two cities since 1892. A stroll through Helsingborg reveals two contrasting sides of the city. The imposing neo-Gothic city hall, well-preserved fortress and brick churches highlight the city’s rich history, while the curved roof of the Dunkers Cultural Center is the modern centerpiece of the northern harbor redevelopment. Helsingborg is also a great base from which to explore the nearby medieval city of Lund, the oldest city in Sweden, or the spectacular Sofiero Castle and Gardens.