Helsingborg is located on the southern west coast of Sweden at the narrowest part of the sound Oresund, only 4 km from Helsingør and Denmark. With its official birthday on May 21, 1805, when the town was mentioned in a deed of gift from the Danish king Saint Knut, Helsingborg is one of the oldest towns in Sweden.
For first-time visitors, the following places are well worth seeing.
The terraced stairs at Stortorget Square leads up to what remains of one of the strongest fortress in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages. Situated in the park Slottshagsparken, Karnan Fortress stood guard over the town and the Sound for 700 years. Follow the spiral staircase inside the tower for a view of miles at the top.
Kullagatan, Sweden’s first pedestrian shopping street, begins at Stortorget Square and is home to many of the town’s 500 shops, including several exclusive clothing shops.
On the street Brukgsgatan that leads in the other direction from Stortorget Square is the town’s famous 1950s style café Ebbas Fik. Drop by to experience another era in company with home-baked delicacies. Remember to check out the vinyl discs upstairs, and, for different tunes, We Love Music record store across the street.
St. Maria Church
One of the town’s oldest buildings, the brick Gothic St. Maria Church on Mariatorget Square was erected in the 14th century using the foundation of a 12th century sandstone church.
Sofiero Palace & Gardens
Named “Europe’s Most Beautiful Park” in 2010, Sofiero Palace & Gardens has thousands of flowering rhododendron bushes between May and June, events throughout the year, from garden festivals to rock concerts, and Sofiero Slottsrestaurang, which is included in the White Guide of Sweden’s best restaurants. The location on Sofierovägen 131 on the outskirts of the city is well worth an outing.
Fredriksdal Museum and Gardens
Fredriksdal Museum and Gardens is one of the country’s largest outdoor museums with an 18th century manor house surrounded by 360,000 square meters of historical parks and gardens, nature playground, houses and farms, animals, meadows, pastures and woods.
Dunkers Cultural Center
Dunkers Cultural Center in the heart of town is southern Sweden’s biggest cultural center with national and international art exhibitions, concerts and theater performances. Also home to a restaurant, bistro and Helsingborg’s tourist bureau.
The Tropical Beach
Completed in time for H99, Helsingborg’s large house trade fair in 1999, the Tropical Beach with its seasonally planted palm trees and sun chairs is a popular place among locals and tourists. It is situated along the pier by Parapeten in the Northern Harbor.
Where to Stay
Helsingborg has several luxury hotels, budget hotels, and hostels. For a comfortable stay in a special environment, choose between the following three centrally located hotels.
Clarion Grand Hotel
Although Clarion Hotels are known as first-class business hotels, they do suit leisure travelers too, partly thanks to their focus on art, music and design which makes these properties excellent meeting places.
Clarion Grand Hotel is situated at Stortorget only 200 meter from Knutpunkten, a hub for trains, buses, and ferries to Denmark. Built in 1926 and renovated in 2006 (rooms were upgraded and the lobby floor transformed into a Hotel Mall), the hotel blends tradition and innovation. With energy and enthusiasm, Clarion aims to create spaces where guests can experience the beat of a city within the hotel. Clarion Grand Hotel achieves this well with international coffee bar Grand Coffee and Grand Lounge Bar & Restaurant with its Friday and Saturday Piano Bar.
Rooms range from Moderate to Deluxe, combines the classic and modern, and feature all conveniences one might need. Grand’s status as a luxury hotel is also evident through the relax department, a Japanese Spa, where every treatment begin with a foot bath and a cup of tea, 24-hour room service menu, ecological breakfast, and available extras such as coffee courses, chocolate tasting, and Ferrari test drives.
A plus for Clarion’s environmental programme WeCare (by staying one night at a Nordic Choice hotel, you will save 100 sqm rainforest for one year).
An imtimate yet equally luxurious choice is Hotel Viking by Maxwell not far from Stortorget one block from Kullagatan. Hotel Viking’s opinion on common hotel lobbies is very clear, because their lobby with purple interior, velvet-clad sofas and personal objects also functions as a cozy, informal living room for the guests. Talk about brilliant. No wonder the number of regulars is constantly increasing.
With only 45 rooms, all individually decorated in a stylish way inspired by antique and contemporary Swedish design, the hotel keeps a personal feel. Generous reception opening hours, bicycle rental, Lilla Hotelbaren for tapas, and a well-prepared free breakfast buffet in the restaurant add to the appeal.
For coffee lovers, there’s a good café, K & Co, on the street just outside the hotel’s private parking lot.
Best Western Plus Helsing
For complete luxury in an enviable location, book one of the Junior Suites at four-star Best Western Plus Helsing. The hotel is situated on Stortorget, next to the stairs to the fortress, and is just like Clarion Grand Hotel an obvious meeting place for locals and visitors. What Best Western Plus Helsing excels at is room interior and ambience. Also, with a low number of rooms for a chain hotel, 63 in total, it maintains a more personal atmosphere than Clarion Grand Hotel.
All rooms, whether Standard, Business or Superior, have a classic style with modern touches and the appreciated feature of high ceilings. The hotel also has two larger suites and four studios within walking distance. The luxurious Junior Suites offer more room amenities and an admirable view over the square and the sound, ideal for a romantic weekend or a stay focused on well-needed me-time. A scented spray, Shear Candles 1897 with the scent Wild Tuscan Fig, gives more character to the suite and ensures to satisfy the senses. Because of the comfort, overall appearance and wow-factor of the space, guests may feel reluctant to ever leave. Yet, with Helsing Mat&Bar’s elegant dining room for lunch and a la carte, burlesque Champagne bar, a cool bistro and nightclub, it is well worth the effort. Not to mention the SPA Njuta or the relax with sauna and steam room.
For drink enthusiasts, a visit can be accompanied with a beer, whiskey, champagne, or wine tasting courtesy of the hotel’s sommelier Joacim Sjövall. Those with a penchant for brunches should book a stay for a weekend as the hotel’s free breakfast is extended into brunch (lasting until 4pm) on Saturdays and Sundays.