What to see in Southern Sweden - Scania (Skåne)

The southernmost province of Sweden, Scania (or Skåne, in Swedish) is a mandatory stop for any traveller interested in getting to know Scandinavia.

Get a glimpse of Scania’s tourist attractions in the travel video:

Blessed with beautiful landscapes and rich cultural heritage, Scania is easily accessible from different parts of Europe, either by sea, or by plane, via international airports of Malmö and the nearby Copenhagen. The convenient connection by the Øresund Bridge makes Copenhagen Airport a viable solution for travelling to Scania.

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A bit of history
Scania’s original character, visible not only in architecture, traditions, cuisine and local dialect is a fruit of a troubled history of the region, which originally was a part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

The control over Scania meant the control over the access to the Baltic Sea via Øresund Stait, which equalled substantial proceedings to Denmark’s treasury. Danish attempts to maintain Scania within its zone of influence faced resistance from Sweden, which resulted in the region being “traded” between the two countries, subject of several treaties, which followed different phases of armed conflicts between Denmark and Sweden. It wasn’t until the 18th century that Denmark ceased the attempts to reconquer Scania.

Nowadays, the province has  population of over 1,260.000 and is one of the most densely populated areas of Sweden. Malmö is the major city and the province’s administrative and economic capital. Lund, Helsingborg, Kristiansand, Trelleborg and Landskrona are other considerably sized cities. See map of Scania.

Swedish landscapes in Scania:

Major city – Malmö
The capital of Scania province, Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and probably the most cosmopolitan one, due to the large number of immigrants, both from more remote countries and from the neighbouring Denmark.

Although Malmo lacks great historic heritage due to its industrial past, the city’s modern charms, developed after the collapse of the shipbuilding industry, are very appealing and the number of tourist are constantly growing.

The city boast a large number of cultural institutions, amongst them Moderna Museet (Contemporary Art Museum) and Malmö Konsthall (contemporary art exhibition venue). The most iconic landmark of the city, the Turning Torso apartment and office building (also referred to as the Twisting Tower) is also contemporary. The tower, designed by Santiago Calatrava, dominates over Malmö landscape and is visible from every part of the city.

Modern Malmo is a place of business, art, thriving music scene, night life, excellent restaurants, ecological initiatives and ever-present bicycles. A fairly compact city with the population of about 300.000 and an area of approximately 10 kilometres diameter, Malmö is also very flat, which makes it perfect to be discovered by bicycle.  The cycle path/cycle rental infrastructure here is exceptionally well developed.

One destination – two countries over the Øresund Bridge
Malmo faces the Danish capital, Copenhagen across the Øresund Strait and the two cities have developed a kind of a symbiosis, based not only on the geographical proximity but also on the historic and cultural affinities.

Daytrips to the other side of the straight are a common attraction for tourists bong both to Copenhagen and Malmo and the Copenhagen Airport (Kastrup) is a major gateway to Scania’s capital city.

Thanks to the Øresund Bridge, it is in fact quicker to travel to Malmo from Copenhagen Airport, then from the city’s own airport. It only takes around 20 minutes to drive from Kastrup to Malmo, while you should count on at least 30 minute drive from Malmo Airport to the city.

The 16 km long Øresund Bridge, inaugurated in 2000 is a tourist attraction itself and a true wonder of modern technology.

Helsingborg - the gastronomic capital of Sweden
Helsingborg, 40 miles north of Malmö, on the coast of the Øresund Strait is considered one of the places to dine not only in Scania, but in the whole of Sweden. Several famous Swedish chefs are based in Helsingborg. Sillen & Makrillen, The Globetrotter, Olssons Skaferi and Gastro are some of the restaurants to consider if you are an enthusiast of fine dining.

Lund, the discreet charm of a university town
Located approximately 12 miles northeast of Malmö city centre, the lovely town of Lund is a great daytrip destination for tourists based in Malmö.

Founded in the 10th century, Lund boasts fascinating historic heritage, being, at the same time, home to one of Scandinavia’s oldest universities.

A number of medieval churches, the imposing cathedral, the university, the botanical garden, museums and art galleries are enough to fill in a day of sightseeing.

Medieval Ystad
Cultural experience can be combined with relaxation on the beach in the town of Ystad, on the southern coast of Scania. Ystad was a part of the Hanseatic League in the 14th century and historic evidence of the town’s past is evident in many of Ystad’s monuments and sites. The town also hosts the renowned Ystad Jazz Festival.

It is also a popular stop for tourist on the way to Ale’s Stenar archaeological site.

Ale's Stenar – the Stonhenge of Scandinavia
A puzzling structure of 59 large boulders placed in a form of a 67 meters long ship brings to mind world’s most famous megalithic monument, Stonehenge in England. The original purpose of the Swedish monument, erected over 1.400 years ago is unclear; today the site however is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Skane.

Scania’s castles
The past when Scania was a favourite residence spot first for Danish, then for Swedish nobility, left over 150 well preserved medieval castles and strongholds scattered across the region. Visits to the castles are a popular attraction of Scania and can be easily combine with wine tasting and trying the finest of the Swedish gastronomy, as in many cases the historical buildings host wine cellars and restaurants. They are also popular venues for art exhibitions and cultural events. Sofiero Palace, Wanas Castle, Landskrona Citadel or Malmohus Castle are just some of the iconic landmarks of the region.

Trelleborg – ferries to Germany and Poland
Although not without tourist charm, the port town of Trelleborg is known mostly because of its convenient ferry connections to Rostock and Travemunde in Germany and to Swinoujscie in Poland.

Golf in Scania
Over 70 golf courses await the enthusiasts of this sport in Scania. PGA Sweden National golf course, approximately 9 miles southeast of Malmo is considered one of the best golfing facilities in northern Europe.

What to see in Southern Sweden - Scania (Skåne)
Article: What to see in Southern Sweden - Scania (Skåne)
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