Positioned in the province of Skåne, at the southern tip of Sweden, Lund’s cobblestone old town, narrow stonework streets and historic landmarks make it a delight to explore.
Brimming with history, the city’s roots date back to the Viking era, through the Middle Ages and onto the present day. Half-timbered buildings lend Lund an almost storybook aesthetic while several prestigious cultural venues add a dash of grandiosity to its otherwise small-town look and feel. If you’d like to visit this delightful corner of Sweden, check out our list below of 10 great things to see and do.
Widely considered a masterpiece in Romanesque architecture, Lund Cathedral stands tall as a majestic beacon on the city landscape. Thought to have been constructed during the second half of the 11th century, the cathedral is awe-inspiring to explore, with visitors even having the opportunity to enter the church’s crypt to view the original sculpted pillars and altar that have resided here for centuries. Other highlights include a magnificent 14th-century astronomical clock and a similarly dated gilded Gothic altarpiece.
Lunds domkyrka, Kyrkogatan 6 / Mon-Fri 8am-6pm Sat 9.30am-5pm Sun 9.30am-6pm
Discover the creative process behind public art
In contrast with artworks housed in museums, the popularity of public art is at the mercy of those who happen to observe it each day. As a result, the creative processes and practices that go into creating the kind of art that ends up decorating our streets and squares is particularly absorbing. Anyone with an interest in how and why public art gets made will come away with plenty of insights from the Skissernas Museum, which features the world’s largest collection of sketches and models for Swedish and international public art. Spare time to browse the sculpture park outside, too, where you’ll find works by acclaimed Swedish artists like Elli Hemberg and Arne Jones.
Finngatan 2 / Tues-Weds & Fri 11am-5pm Thurs 11am-9pm Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm Closed Mon
Immerse yourself in science
If you’re coming to Lund with kids, or need an indoor attraction on a rainy day, Vattenhallen Science Center is an acclaimed cultural institution which focuses on introducing scientific topics in a fun and engaging way. The centre comprises five interactive exhibition spaces that invite visitors to try out experiments and get creative by dressing in a giant soap bubble, shooting protons and tickling electrons. There are also a planetarium that delivers a sense of flying out into the universe and visiting other planets and galaxies, as well as displays that shine a light on Planet Earth and the challenges posed by climate change.
John Ericssons väg 1 / Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm Closed Mon-Fri
Step back in time at an open-air museum
Spanning the city’s entire historic quarter that extends between the Cathedral and the Botanical Garden, the Kulturen open-air museum propels visitors into a bygone era to see what daily and working life was like in this part of Sweden centuries ago. First opened all the way back in 1892, the museum encompasses around 30 exhibition rooms and contains more than two-million artefacts including silverware, porcelain and jewellery from the region, as well as architectural fragments from demolished medieval churches.
Tegnérsplatsen 6 / Fri-Sun 10am-4pm & Tues-Weds Thurs 10am-8pm Closed Mon
Marvel at a prestigious architectural landmark
One of Lund’s most distinctive architectural buildings is also a prestigious seat of learning. Located on the other side of Lundagård park from the cathedral, the Lund University Main Building is part of one of Europe’s most renowned universities, known in particular for its medical research department which sits at the cutting edge of its field. The building itself is quite simply a sight to behold, boasting a striking Neoclassical design, a whitewashed exterior, Corinthian columns and stone sphinxes on its roof that grab the attention of all who witness it.
Join a self-guided audio tour of the city
One of the best ways to get to know a place is by traversing its streets, and Lund’s compact layout makes it particularly easy to do just this. One of the most entertaining ways to explore the city on foot is by booking onto a self-guided audio tour. Using a mobile app to guide you, you’ll navigate the city while being regaled with fascinating stories and facts that chronicle over 1,000 years of history. Hear how priests, professors and even a misguided architect shaped Lund during ancient times as you become acquainted with one of the oldest cities in Scandinavia in intimate – and entertaining – detail.
You can book a Lund self-guided audio tour at GetYourGuide
Take a stroll around a botanic garden
Being a fairly sleepy city, it’s unlikely you’ll feel the need to seek refuge somewhere more tranquil during your Lund visit, but for respite from its modest urban centre, the Botaniska Trädgården is the perfect antidote. Part of the University of Lund, the eight-hectare botanic gardens are home to more than 7,000 plant species, 200 of which are kept in a large greenhouse that’s split into several different climate zones. The optimum time to visit is from May to July, when the gardens’ abundance of flora is in full bloom.
Ö:a Vallgatan 20, Lund University / Mon-Sun 6am-9.30pm
Explore the ruins of an 11th-century church
Walking through Lund can be a bit like looking around a living history museum, and nothing exemplifies this more than the Drotten Church Ruins. Situated in the city centre, the ruins were only discovered in the 1970s during an excavation of the site which revealed the well-preserved remnants of an 11th-century church torn down during the 15th century Reformation. The ruins are now on display as part of a free-to-enter underground museum, complete with information boards that recounts the church’s history and sheds light on the various artefacts found here over the past 40-plus years.
Kattesund 6A / Tues-Fri 11.30am-2pm Sat 11.30am-3pm Closed Sun-Mon
Escape the city at a nature reserve
Situated around 10 kilometres east of Lund, Skrylle nature reserve is a haven for lovers of the great outdoors. Home to miles of hiking trails, scenic lookout points, gardens and playgrounds, it’s a highly popular getaway spot for locals on weekends, and has historically been used for fitness and recreation centre by residents of Lund who are otherwise deprived of outdoor space and its attendant benefits. Today, they are also joined by a steady stream of visitors who have heard about this idyllic corner of rural beauty.
Get snapped around the city
Visitors to Lund with a penchant for photography have a delightful canvas on which to display their talents. The picture-postcard city has photo opportunities every which way you turn, and if you really want to ensure you depart with a collection of snaps that you’ll cherish forever then you can even book onto a private photography tour. Run by a network of professional photographers and videographers, tours will take you to the city’s most photo-worthy spots where you and your accompanying family, friends or loved ones will be captured for posterity by your expert photographic guides.
You can book onto a Lund photography tour at Viator