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Discover Sweden: Five of the best day trips from Copenhagen

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Discover Sweden: Five of the best day trips from Copenhagen
The Västra Hamnen district is a draw for architecture fans. Photo: Aline Lessner/Imagebank Sweden

Whether you're in the mood for seafood, leisurely walks, history or shopping – there's plenty to experience in southern Sweden. It's easily accessible from Copenhagen and with the Swedish krona currently weak, it's cheap too.



Ven is a small island in the Öresund strait between Sweden and Denmark, with fewer than 400 permanent residents but, for good reason, all the more visitors in summer.

Bicycles are available for rent as soon as you step off the ferry, and are a popular way of getting around the island – and for the brave couples, tandem bicycles. Ven is known for its steep slopes, which offer a chance to get off your bike to rest and admire the view.

Ven became Swedish in 1660, but you can still see plenty of traces of its Danish roots around the island. Saint Ibb’s Church, built in the 13th century, offers a stunning view of the blue Öresund waters and the coast of Denmark. Visit the museum dedicated to Danish 16th-century astronomer Tycho Brahe, who was gifted the island by King Frederik II and built the observatory Uraniborg (which was torn down when he died).

How to get there: Take the Öresund train direct to Landskrona from Copenhagen and get the ferry from there.

Don’t miss: Spirit of Hven, the island’s own distillery.

Eat and drink: We’ve tried Pumpans Café & Restaurang, which serves vegetarian food and their own roasted coffee. Here’s a list of other restaurants and cafés on Ven, but if you’d rather save money, Ven is a great place to stop for a picnic in-between slopes.


A field on the island of Ven, which makes for a wonderful cycling destination. Photo: Jerker Andersson/


There is no bad time of the year to visit Österlen, the south-eastern tip of Skåne with its own cultural identity steeped in farming, gorgeous scenery, artistry and fishing villages.

Go there in May or June and gaze out on the yellow fields of rape (and pay a visit to Gunnarshög, the main producer of rapeseed oil in the area), go in autumn and munch on apples in the Kivik area, go in winter and buy local crafts at the Christmas markets in the many picturesque villages, or explore the art festival around Easter.

The sandy beaches near Stenshuvud are stunning. Photo: Conny Fridh/Imagebank Sweden

If you’re going by train for the day only, you may not have time to venture outside of the main town, Simrishamn, but its shops and cafés will easily keep you occupied.

If you’re travelling by car, other places to pay a visit to include fishing villages Brantevik, Skillinge and Kåseberga, Kivik and its apple orchards, a myriad of pop-up flea markets, medieval castle Glimmingehus, and a walk around Brösarps backar.

How to get there: Take the Öresund train to Malmö Central and then the local Pågatåg train to Simrishamn. 

Don’t miss: The Ales stenar megaliths at Kåseberga

Eat and drink: Seafood lunch at Sjöfolket in Simrishamn, or southern Swedish delicacy äggakaga at Brösarps gästgiveri (if you can’t finish your meal, you’ll get a doggy bag)


The pretty small town of Simrishamn is well worth a visit. Photo: Conny Fridh/Imagebank Sweden


Yes, its location just over ten minutes away makes it the obvious tip, but this over 1000-year-old town is worth your time if you haven’t been. Its university is only Sweden’s second-oldest (which people in Uppsala are not shy to mention), but it is home to the oldest school in the Nordics, Katedralskolan, a state school founded in 1085.

We suggest you go for a wander around town, do some shopping on Lilla Fiskaregatan (don’t miss the chocolate at Ahlgrens); walk through the Lundagård park past the student union building to visit Kulturen, an indoor and open-air museum with old buildings from Swedish history; and visit the crypt of the Romanesque cathedral to learn about the story of Finn the Giant, who built the church – or so legend has it.

When you’re tired of walking, head to the Botanical Garden to have a rest on a bench or in the grass – or go to the Stortorget square and buy an ice cream from Glasskulturen.

How to get there: Take the Öresund train direct from Copenhagen Central.

Don’t miss: The Tehuset Java tea shop – buy a pack of local tea Lundagård.

Eat and drink: There are plenty of options at the Saluhallen food hall.


Lund Cathedral. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/Imagebank Sweden


There are plenty of other towns in the Skåne region to make a day trip to from Malmö (Ystad, Kristianstad and Helsingborg to name but a few), but to make this guide a bit more interesting for the well-travelled reader, why not venture out of the region?

Karlshamn, one of Blekinge’s coastal cities – a region known for its beautiful nature – is easy to get to from Malmö. There’s a direct train and the journey is less than two hours.

Receiving its city privileges in 1664, Karlshamn’s strategic location on the Baltic Sea gave it a successful history of industry and trading, including seafaring, fishing, tobacco and punsch – a Swedish arrak-based liquor. In the 1850s, Sweden’s “King of Spirits” L O Smith owned one of two big punsch factories in Karlshamn, but international residents may be more familiar with another one of his brands: Absolut Vodka.

Outdoor lovers won’t be disappointed by Karlshamn. Activities include walking, taking a boat to the Blekinge archipelago or fishing for salmon in the Mörrum stream.

How to get there: Take the Öresund train direct from Copenhagen Central.

Don’t miss: Sjöfartsmuseet, a museum dedicated to Karlshamn’s seafaring history.

Eat and drink: Seafood! Preferably at Wägga Fisk & Delikatess.


Karlshamn. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/Imagebank Sweden


Many visitors to Malmö to Copenhagen just come to shop in the city's shopping malls, which is a shame as the city has a lot to offer, with a beautiful medieval centre, a creative food and music scene, and decent art galleries and museums. 

Families can visit the Folkets Park playground and park, the Technical Museum, or Tekniska museet, which has an old submarine you can go inside, and a great interactive experimental area upstairs, or the Malmö Museum in the old Malmöhus Slott castle, which has an aquarium in the basement. 

A nice way to spend the day is to start with a walk around the medieval Lilla Torg, walk through the Gamla Väster district and then through the Slottsparken park, where there's the relaxed Slottsträdgårdens Kafé, to the Malmö Museum and/or Technical Museum, and then walk down to the beach at Ribersborg and along to the Kallbadhuset, a sauna on a pier jutting out into the Öresund. 

At Kallbadhuset, you can either take a sauna or just enjoy a coffee, beer or meal on the pier. In the summer Ribersborg has a lot of other activities on offer, such as open air salsa dancing, or simply lying on the beach and swimming from the piers.   

Architecture lovers can also visit the nearby Västra Hamnen area, with the Turning Torso skyscraper and the award-winning Bo01 district, a residential area built in 2001 and designed to feel almost like a village. 

How to get there: Take the Öresund train direct from Copenhagen Central.

Don’t miss: Surveying the distant Copenhagen skyline from a sauna in the Kallbadhus

Eat and drink: Falafel and other Middle Eastern food around the Möllevången district. 

Having a sauna at Malmö's Kallbadhuset is not to be missed. Photo: Tina Axelsson/Imagebank Sweden


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