Skåne county is located in the south part of Sweden and is an area filled with beautiful nature, landmarks, sandy beaches and picturesque cosy towns. There are plenty of things to do in Skåne and in this article I’ve selected the top 15 things to do in Skåne from my many trips to Southern Sweden over the past 6 years.
When planning your trip to Skåne, you can either fly to Copenhagen or Malmö airport – the first is definitely a lot bigger than Malmö, which only caters to a handful of flights per day. The Skåne county used to be a part of Denmark and you’ll notice how fast and easy it is to travel between the two countries over the Oresund Bridge. Skåne might not be huge, but the points of interest are quite scattered around and not so easily accessible by public transport. I’d recommend renting a car/motorbike for your trip to Skåne, or a bicycle if you’re feeling up to the task!
In this list of the best things to do in Skåne, I’ve gathered the best beaches, parks, castles, mills and tourist areas. I’ve also added a map of things to do in Skåne and Malmö in general, where you’ll see all the things to do as well.
I’ve included a handy interactive Google map in this post as well. In the map, you’ll see all my favourite places and things to do in Skåne, but in this post, I’ve only selected my top things to do in Skåne.
The 15 Best Things to do in Skåne
1. Skanör beach
Just 30 min south-west of Malmö, you’ll see some of the most beautiful beaches Sweden has to offer. Skanör beach is my favourite place to spend the day swimming and relaxing at, and the colourful beach huts make it the perfect destination for photography enthusiasts as well. In the map, I marked the exact location of the parking, which is closest to the beautiful beach huts.
2. Malmö City
Malmö is the third-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg, and the capital city of Skåne County. Malmö is a cosy city with a creative culture, beautiful architecture and a relaxed Scandinavian vibe. There are plenty of things to do in Malmö, so try and spend a couple of nights here to get a good taste of the city.
3. Ven Island
Hands down the best day trip in Skåne award goes to Ven Island. Located a 30-minute ferry ride from Landskrona city, which is 30 minutes north-west of Malmö, this island is bound to steal your heart!
Ven island has less than 400 inhabitants and an area of approximately 7.5 km². Ven is pretty much car-free and the best way to explore the island is by renting a bicycle. Yes – those yellow bicycles are a trademark for Ven, especially the tandem versions! I recommend taking the Ven map at the ferry terminal and cycling the red trail. More information about the island here.
4. Two Beautiful Mills
Skåne is not short on mills, but if I had to choose a favourite it would be Flackarp’s Mill. The mill has been standing here since 1868 and is located just on the border to Lund county. The area is easily accessible and there is a parking place just in front of the mill. If you want to take a peek inside, they do have an open day a few times a year, but the best time is to visit the first Sunday of July, when ‘Möllornas Dag’ (Mill Day) takes place.
The second favourite of mine is Aggarps Mill. This mill is located less than 30 minutes from Malmö centre and has been standing there since 1896. Aggarps mill has 3 stories and is one of the landmarks of Svedala municipality. The mill is beautiful from both sides, so make sure you take a tour all-around when you’re there. Just like Flackarp, the best time to visit the mill is the first Sunday of July, when ‘Möllornas Dag’ (Mill Day) takes place.
5. Have a Swedish Fika in Malmö
Sweden has a big culture of fika – a coffee with something sweet. You’ll find great bakeries and pastry shops all over Skåne, but some of my favourite cafés are right here in Malmö. I loved Söderberg & Sara, but you’ll find plenty on my interactive map as well.
6. Österlenkryddor farm shop and lavender field
This farm shop located in beautiful Österlen is not only famous for its award-winning lavender ice cream, but also the lovely lavender field that blooms in the summer.
Depending on the weather and warm spring, you will most likely see the lavender field bloom in late June and in July. We were there in early July and due to a cold wave in spring, it hasn’t managed to blossom just as much yet. But the place is a great excuse for a fika, so enjoy it if you’re visiting this area of Skåne.
Fan of flower fields and not in Skåne in high summer? If you arrived in spring, then check out the beautiful rapeseed fields in April and May – the entire region turns yellow and looks absolutely gorgeous!
7. Torup Castle
Just like mills, castles are also found scattered all over the country and Skåne has quite an overwhelming amount of them. Torup Castle is located just 15 minutes out of Malmö, near Bokskogen or ‘the beech forest’ and makes for the perfect trip for a company of any size (especially popular for family trips). Torup Castle was completed in around 1540 and is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Sweden.
My favourite corner of the castle grounds was the little ‘Pannkaksköket’ Ameliden. This is the tiny little house which translates to ‘pancake kitchen Ameliden’, is where the castle girls could play house chores, as were the princesses at Solliden and Sofiero castles.
8. Häckeberga Castle
Beautifully located and very photogenic, this castle is only open to hotel and restaurant guests. If you only wanted to take some pictures here, then I’d say this is the perfect place to fly your drone! If you’re curious about what’s on the inside, then make sure to book a table and be prepared for the higher prices (2-course lunch costs 249kr/person). Besides the castle, the area also has some nice hiking trails.
9. Smygehuk: Sweden’s most southern point
55 degrees 20 minutes and 3 seconds is as far south as you can get in Sweden and this is where Smygehuk is located. Besides the monument for the most southern point, you should also take a stroll through this charming fishing village and take in the views from the Smygehuk Lighthouse.
10. Trollskogen – the dwarf beech forest
(There are a couple of Trollskogen’s in Sweden, so make sure you google for the one in Lund municipality.)
This forest is a part of the Prästaskogens Nature Reserve and is known primarily for the mystical-looking dwarf beech trees that grow here. These trees are beautiful all year round, but a lot of people say they’re most intriguing in winter when you can see all the branch shapes ‘undisturbed’ by leaves. If you have more time, feel free to bring a picnic bag here or have some fika. The parking location that’s closest to the dwarf beech forest is located on the map under ‘Trollskogen parking’ in the Parks and Nature layer.
11. Körsbärsdalen or Cherry Valley
While cherry valley might be best to visit when the cherry trees blossom in May, it’s a beautiful area for a hike regardless of the time of year. The bright-white blossoms open up and the entire valley lights up!
Tip: drive all the way down to the parking marked on the map as Cherry Valley parking to get closest to the valley.
12. Lund: Student City
Lund is one of the most charming cities in Sweden, heavily populated by students. You’ll see it full in all seasons, except summer – which I think is perfect for tourists! In Lund, don’t miss walking around the Botanical Gardens, Lund Cathedral and checking out the outside of the Lund University Library – it’s a stunner!
13. Flowery Ystad
Walking down one of the most flowery, lovely streets in Sweden, you can’t help but fall in love with this quaint town. The town is home to great museums and art galleries and even has 40 km of sandy beaches. This town must be on your list when you’re planning what things to do in Skåne!
14. Ales Stenar or Ales Stones
Ales Stenar is an oval outline stone ship. It is 67 m (220 ft) long formed by 59 large boulders, weighing up to almost 2 tonnes each. The stone ship is located at a beautiful hill by the ocean in Kåseberga. While the top of the hill can get quite windy, it’s the perfect place for a stroll and a look back into history, as some of these stones date back all the way to the Nordic Iron Age or 1400 years ago.
15. Vikingabyn Foteviken – Viking Village and Open-Air Museum
Viking Village and museum in Foteviken is a great place to spend a few hours with the family or on your own. It’s located about 20 minutes from Malmö and features an open-air museum, 23 different Viking-style buildings, a reconstructed Viking ship, live shows, galleries and real people portraying Viking-style lives and daily chores.
When to visit Skåne Sweden
When to visit Skåne, Sweden depends largely on what activities you plan to do. Summer, between May and August, is undoubtedly the best time to visit. The days are long and the temperatures often rise above 20°C.
If you plan on visiting in the winter, then make sure you pack a few layers, a raincoat and wellies. It rains often and the temperatures often go below 0°C.