Gamla staden (Lund)

Central Lund can feel a little like someone threw the last two centuries of Swedish architecture into a big saucepan and gave it a bit of stir.

The city of Lund was founded in the year 990. While you’d be hard pressed to find anything of that vintage still standing*, the “old town” at the city’s heart—home to both the original campus of Lund University and the mighty Domkyrkan—still has buckets of photogenic historical charm. An afternoon of aimlessly wandering around is an afternoon well-spent, if you ask us: from the baroque bulk of old university buildings to super-cute little houses tucked away down twisty little cobbled streets, from stately parks and neo-gothic hotels to mid-C20th shopping precincts, central Lund can feel a little like someone threw the last two centuries of Swedish architecture into a big saucepan and gave it a bit of stir.

You can’t miss the old University campus—and we mean that quite literally, because it covers a significant part of the old town, so you might as well enjoy it. If Botan is too full of chattering students (or if it’s simply too hot to be outside) you might want to hit one of the many museums instead: the Museum of Lost Sensations is our inside tip on that front.

As one might expect, there are plenty of places to eat and drink, to suit almost every budget; for those trying to keep a count on their pennies, following the student crowds at lunchtime is usually the best way to find something tasty and cheap, but it does mean you’ll be in a long queue! (Visitors from the former United Kingdom may find this quite comforting; those from southern Europe, perhaps rather less so.)

From here, the rest of the city is up for grabs! A short walk will bring fans of C20th modernist urbanism to the peaceful estate of Klostergården; ten minutes on a bike (or the tram) will take you to the bookish bohemia of Östra Torn or the high-tech towers of Brunnshög. And if you’re finally tired of all this urbanity, maybe you should take yourself out to the villages of the eastern plain, where forests and fields await?

* There are some older-looking architectural oddities to be seen, but these are preservations and reconstructions gathered by the open-air museum called Kulturen, which is basically the closest thing to a time machine currently available in the city. You’ll have to book early to get a ticket, but the midsommar festivities here are quite an experience! Some historians are keen to point out that their “authenticity” is highly debatable… but when you’re dancing around in the sunshine to the strains of “De små groderna” with hordes of giggling children, we doubt you’ll care very much about historical accuracy. Particularly if you’ve been at the snaps

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