*This is a guest post by Sam Ross*
Sweden is a place that many people appreciate due to its beautiful landscapes, medieval architecture – and overall fascinating touristic points. You have very beautiful coasts, intricate buildings with a fair amount of detail – and the feeling that you are in the countryside, even if you are in the middle of a city.
South Sweden is particularly popular, mostly because of its natural beauties.
From what I’ve seen, public transportation in this rural region may not be as well developed as in the cities of Sweden – but the roads are very good. As long as you have a car – or even the will to walk around the landscapes – South Sweden has many sights to offer!
If you are planning a visit to South Sweden, here’s my advice on what you should put on your checklist:
Lund is a town with a beautiful museum that everyone targets at least once when they are in South Sweden. Opening for the first time in 1982, the open-air museum Kulturen spreads over two blocks – and fills about 30 buildings. Basically, it’s a village that has been turned into a museum.
(Pictures: Vanessa Brune)
The buildings there include a variety of styles, going from birch-bark houses to 17th-century ones. Most of the time, you’ll be able to see Lund during the middle ages, packed with ceramics, vintage tours, glass, and silver artisanal works. You can visit this “museum” all by yourself, but you can also get a tour guide to show you around.
The sole café in that museum allows you to take a break from all the visiting – but also to keep taking in culture. I drank a simple coffee, but you can also choose anything from lattes, cappuccinos, and a variety of other beverages. The place is adorned with rune stones, so you’ll be able to drink a coffee while feeling like you are amongst Vikings.
2. the IKEA Museum
Did you know that the first IKEA ever to be opened is found in Älmhult, somewhere in the southwest region of Sweden? Well, it’s no longer a store – but rather, it is now a museum.
If you are an IKEA addict – or simply someone that wants to know more – then you can go to this museum and listen to the story of the brand. There are tour guides that will tell you the story of Ingvar Kampar, the founder of IKEA – and how the brand came to be so famous throughout the years.
3. Ales Stenar
This is perhaps one of the most popular touristic spots in South Sweden – mostly because it was preserved in the middle of nature, without any buildings around to ruin its charm. It has all the beauty and mystery of Stonehenge of England – just without all the commercialism.
(Picture: Marie Sjödin)
This stone ship setting is the largest in Sweden, and it was founded somewhere around the Nordic Iron Age. It’s formed from a total of 58 large boulders and spreads over 220 feet.
The ruins are located close to Ystad in the region of Skåne, so I reached them by booking a tour guide from Ystad. If you are brave enough, you can cycle there but bear in mind that the stones are situated 19km east of Ystad, so you might want to take the bus instead.
4. Kalmar Castle
Nothing screams ancient times more than a castle – which is why Kalmar Castle is definitely a must-see. This castle is 800 years old and can be visited every day during open hours – which span out late in the evening.
This castle will verse you into the Scandinavian history, particularly if you are accompanied by a tour guide. The castle looks like a residence fit for kings – but at the same time, it’s also a secure fortress. Rulers such as King Karl XI called this place home, and they were never endangered on the premises.
No one lives in the castle anymore today – but it has plenty to offer for tourists. You can go into the courtyard and look at the impressive renaissance fountain – or you may go into the south wing, which houses a beautiful chapel built in 1592. If you have the time to spare, you should also visit the women’s prison.
Once you’re done visiting, you might want to go to the Kalmar restaurant – to seal the deal. I ordered from a variety of unique dishes, my favorite being the pineapple curry chicken. Still, you can also go for the Salisbury steak, or even something as simple as liver and onions – of course, cooked by masters.
5. Ribersborgs Kallbadhus
If you want to get a nice tan and see the ocean in its full glory, then you might want to go to Ribersborgs Kallbadhus. This sandy beach also has a parkland, and it is placed 2km west from the center of Malmö.
(Picture: Vanessa Brune)
Go on the 200 meter-long pier and enjoy the open-air saltwater pool; this spot is pure joy to sit in after a tiresome visiting session. Furthermore, since the sections for men and women are separated, you can enjoy it without feeling awkward.
You can also visit the wood-fired sauna while you’re at it. Dating from 1898, not only is it a relaxing point – but one packed with culture as well. It’s a great way to end your day.
South Sweden has everything a tourist looks for. It has beaches, ruins, museums, castles – and beautiful remote landscapes that will take away the city anxiety.
All you need now is to book a few days of vacation time – because this place certainly has a lot to offer. My advice is that you take more than a weekend because otherwise, you won’t have the time to enjoy this amazing place to its fullest.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sam Ross runs the blog The Hammock Hombre - a travel blog focused around the digital nomad lifestyle.
Over the past 3 years, he's travelled to every continent, so writes on a broad range of countries, cities and destinations.
*Header image by Oscar Nord on Unsplash.