In the middle of the summer, we decided to visit countries where we don’t suffer from excessive heat: Sweden and Denmark. Malmö, Copenhagen and the Oresund strait which separates these countries seemed like a cool destination.
The plan was simple: take the plane to Malmö and figure it out from there.
After we took a look on the map, we found out that Malmö is right across the sea from Copenhagen so we said “why not?” and decided to also stay in Denmark for two days.
Besides, a special offer from the Malmo train station named the “Oresund Runt” ticket (ticket conditions here) allowed us to visit more of Sweden and Denmark. This ticket allowed us to travel around the Oresund sea (Denmark and Sweden) on any train route for 48 hours and cross by ferry to Denmark.
Malmo Skåne län, Sweden
Lund Skåne län, Sweden
Helsingborg Skåne län, Sweden
Helsingborg Skåne län, Sweden
Copenhagen Region Hovedstaden, Denmark
Two days in Sweden
We spent two days in Malmö walking and biking around the city, enjoying the parks and the sun. You can read more on our experience here
Due to the fact that the train ticket was offering us the possibility to travel anywhere around Oresund, we found out that the oldest Swedish town, Lund is just outside Malmö and paid it a visit.
Lund is believed to have been founded around year 990, when Scania was part of Denmark. From 1103, the towering Lund Cathedral, still stands at the centre of the town. Scandinavia‘s oldest and largest institutions for education and research was established in 1666 in Lund.
Second stop in our journey was Helsingborg, a lovely city on the Swedish side of this part of the North Sea and the northernmost point of Oresund. From here we had to cross with the first Scandlines ferry to Helsingor, Denmark.
In Helsingborg we had time for a coffee right outside the train station and then we started our visit. We found a few things to see in a short time:
First, Radhuset, the main town hall is a beatiful neo-gothic building
Second, Church of St. Mary is the oldest church from Helsingborg built in the 14th century
Third, a climb up to the Karnan – the keep of Helsingborg offers magnificent views over the harbor, Oresund and Helsingor
Our time in this city was up so we grabbed a special Swedish hot dog and we sailed our way to the Danes.
Two days in Denmark
After just 20 minutes we set foot in Denmark, HelsingorAround .
Helsingor (Elsinore in English) is a ferry port situated at 46 kilometers from Copenhagen.
The medieval quarter is particularly pleasant to explore on foot and has some fascinating buildings, such as the beautiful Carmelite Monastery (Karmeliterklostret) attached to St. Mary’s Church (Sankt Mariæ Kirke).
Kronborg Castle, the Northern Europe’s finest Renaissance castles is the main attraction in Helsingor and also home of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The castle hosts the Shakespeare Festival every summer. Above all, the city is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
After checking Helsingor off our list we took the train to beautiful Copenhagen. The renowned amusement park called Tivoli Gardens lies directly in front of the train station. We checked in our hotel in the Nyhavn district and then we started wandering through the city.
There are a few things that you must see in Copenhagen:
For those are found of amusement parks, Tivoli is one of the biggest amusement/theme parks in Europe. Entrance is not cheap (120 DKK, about 16 EUR) but it’s a great sight and it’s worth it.
A boat trip on the canals offers a great view of Copenhagen from the outside and is therefore very popular. Boat trips are not expensive, they start from 50 DKK (less than 10 EUR) with an English speaking guide and offer great views of Copenhagen from the water front. Tours go around The Copenhagen Opera House, Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace, the impressive Black Diamond Library, and the Little Mermaid statue.
Nyhavn, the pictoresque canal with many old houses and sailships is one of the oldest parts of the Copenhagen harbour and dates back to 1673.
A free guided tour of Copenhagen can be a nice experience and there are lots of these tours starting all the time from the main town hall. Don’t forget to tip the guide at the end.
The palaces and castles in Copenhagen are some beautiful architectural monuments and deserve a visit. The Christiansborg palace hosts the Danish Parliament and some rooms used by the royal family for different meetings or events.
The King’s garden park and the Rosenborg castle at the end are another nice and relaxing walk in the summer. The Rosenborg castle is a Dutch Renaissance palace that includes a museum housing the crown jewels.
Freetown Christiania is the “alternative neighborhood” of the city. Christiania is a mix of homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues, cheap and organic eateries. The neighborhood looks like a city within a city. Walking around an area without tourists, with people sleeping in improvised houses in the street and signs that forbid photography all around might not be one’s best idea of a tourist objective but some may find it very interesting.
There are lots of other things to see in Copenhagen if you have time. If you like visiting museums and other tourist spots, note that Copenhagen Card gives you free admission to more than 70 museums and attractions and free public transportation in the entire Copenhagen Region.Check out an animated tour of what we’ve seen: