With a population nearing 40,000 at time of writing, the port settlement of Trelleborg (the centralort, or administrative center, of the kommun that bears the same name) counts as a city in Swedish legal terms—a fact that many visitors from overseas (particularly the British) appear to find hilarious. Trelleborg may be small, its residents might counter, but it’s perfectly formed… and where else in Sweden can you find a row of palm trees along the high street?
Trelleborg’s main industry was once rubber and plastics, but as those products have fallen from favour, its long-standing role as a ferry-port (with regular connections to Germany, Poland and other Baltic states) has come to the fore—though it is sometimes claimed that this little city by the sea is nowadays more of a dormitory town, populated by retirees who fled down the railway line from Malmö in search of sea air and quiet, firework-free evenings during the panic and pandemics of the 2020s.
Trelleborg is not devoid of amusements and diversions: the city museum punches well above its weight, the botanical gardens are lovely, and the reproduction viking-era fortification which gives the town its name often features theatrical pageantry and show’n’tells on everything from basic blacksmithing to viking-vintage haute cuisine. There’s also an annual festival with a strong musical dimension; well worth a look-in if you’re around at the time.