Helsingborg is basically the capital city of northwestern Skåne, at least in terms of size. It’s also the closest you can get to Denmark while still being in Sweden: unless the weather on the Öresund is particularly dreadful, you can look over the water to Helsingör, Helsingborg’s smaller Danish sister-town. (The ferry between the two runs three times an hour, if you want to visit.)
But before you get on a boat to go elsewhere, why not check out what Helsingborg itself has to offer? There’s plenty to see for architecture enthusiasts, from the remnant medieval fortress of Kärnan and an assortment of old churches, through to the well-worn industrial modernism of the port district to the south and the sprawling 2010s redevelopment of the old harbour. The layout of Helsingborg, particularly the town center, reflects its early importance as a center of trade and taxation, and commerce has always been a theme: Kullagatan was Sweden’s first pedestrian shopping street, after all!
How fitting, then, that it became ground zero for the chicory brew scene in Sweden, even as its well-established coffee importers adjusted to the imperatives of the C21st! Other innovative industries in the area include EasyPeasy, whose “pea labyrinth” (and in-factory eatery) makes for a decent day out… and Helsingborg’s exploitation of its closeness to Denmark continues not just in the regular ferry (and its easy access to duty-free drinking), but also the somewhat more controversial Köttbåten: think “duty-free, but for carnivores”, and you’re pretty much there.
Helsingborg is a good base for explorations further out, but you don’t have to stay here: why not take a bus to Domsten and sleep in a geodesic dome by the beach, or go deep green at the Örkeltopia Ecovillage to the west? But perhaps you’ve come for the aquaponics association meet-ups, or you’re just stopping here on your way up Highway E6, Skåne’s mighty energy corridor? Whatever the reason for your visit, Helsingborg has a lot to offer…
… just don’t let anyone local hear you compare it to Malmö, OK?