Call me biased because I live there, but Helsingborg, Sweden, is certainly among Europe’s most beautiful cities. For tourists, Helsingborg already boasts quite a lot of worthwhile sites and attractions: There’s a Royal Castle, an ancient watch tower, Sweden’s first and oldest pedestrian shopping street, and some of Scandinavia’s finest restaurants.
All of that is about to get a boost because of two big announcements. The first is that Sofiero Palace and Gardens was named the “Best Park In Europe” in a competition sponsored by the gardening tools manufacturer Briggs & Stratton. Does Sofiero deserve the honor?
Take a moment to ponder the pictures below, and judge for yourself.
Built in 1885, Sofiero is situated at the top of a rhododendron ravine. During the first weeks of June, more than 10,000 rhododendrons are in full bloom all over the castle park.
Only 15 minutes by bus from town, the palace has for more than a century been a summer residence for members of the Swedish Royal Family. Several made outstanding contributions toward making the surrounding Palace Gardens a place of such unique beauty.
Sofiero has already been named the “Most Beautiful Park in Sweden.” The jury citation for the Most Beautiful Park in Sweden Award in 2009 mentions the role of the Palace and Gardens as a source of old knowledge and inspiration for new trends.
This year’s events will include a wedding theme in honor of the marriage of Crown Princess Victoria (sporting the dark pony tail in the photo above).
Sofiero will also be arranging several exhibitions in honor of the Royal Wedding of Crown Princess Victoria this summer. The “Acts of Love” exhibition will be based on royal manifestations of love across the centuries. Historical retrospectives will alternate with contemporary phenomena that have piqued public interest, inspired and fascinated.
The other big announcement is that Marriott Hotels has announced that it will open and operate a new luxury hotel and conference center called Saltkristallerna, “The Salt Crystals.”
The 230-room seaside hotel, situated within a few steps of the harbor, will be complemented by a conference hall seating 1,200.
Every corridor in the 12-story hotel will feature large windows with panoramic sea views. Construction begins this year, with completion of the complex scheduled for 2015.
The new hotel positions Helsingborg favorably for pre- and post-cruise stays as well as a potential turnaround port. Until then, Helsingborg welcomes guests to make the scenic 75-minute journey from Copenhagen for a day trip or an overnight. There are plenty of hotels in the historic city center, situated just across Oresund and, on the Danish side, Hamlet’s Castle.
Visit the Avid Cruiser’s profile of Helsingborg to learn more about how to spend your time in the city and also hear how a local would spend one perfect day.
Helsingborg is a member of Cruise Europe.
Helsingborg Tourism Office on the web in English.