As one of Sweden’s most visited cities, Halmstad has several places of interest for tourists. It is a very artistic city with old buildings and monuments spread across the centre. But it also has some great beaches nearby and a mild climate.
That combination makes it a city that almost everybody likes visiting. Halmstad is a great destination for culturally interested travelers as well as tourists who love going to the beach and simply releasing some stress.
The peak months are July and August. Halmstad is booming during the summer, and due to the favorable weather conditions, this is also the best time to visit. But you can have an enjoyable trip at any given time, as long as you know what to do.
In this article, we are looking into the ten best attractions in Halmstad, Sweden.
Situated near the Nissan River, Halmstad Castle is one of the most interesting sights in the city.
The castle was built in the 1615 under the reign of Christian IV, a Danish king. At that point in time, Halmstad belonged to Denmark and not to Sweden. The king wanted a more noteworthy residence when he visited the city, so the construction of this castle was ordered.
Since it was constructed, the castle has gone through several restorations. It has also had different colors over the years. For centuries, the Halmstad Castle was yellow, but in the 1990s it was painted in its current red.
Unfortunately, visitors can only visit the grounds of the castle and see the interior. This is still a great experience, and we do believe that the castle is the most important landmark in Halmstad, but it is a shame that people can’t get in – especially because a lot of art has been placed inside Halmstad Castle.
Another major attraction in Halmstad is the art museum. It is known in Swedish as Hallands Konstmuseum and it functions as the art museum of the entire region.
The exhibitions are mostly centered around local art from Halland and it has grown into quite an impressive collection. It has traditional art such as paintings and sculptures, but it also has some alternative art pieces made in recent years.
The museum building is typically Nordic and one of the joys of visiting is that it is very spacious once you get inside. This allows visitors to fully take their time enjoying the art.
You should be able to locate the museum quite easily – it is situated just a little bit north of the old town and accessible by foot if you are staying in any central neighborhood of Halmstad.
Hallandsgården is an impressive open-air museum located on Galgberget, a hill in the northwestern part of the city centre.
It is a unique place where you get insights in the traditional Swedish life. Historic buildings from the Halland region have been moved to Hallandsgården – this includes an old windmill, a school and a cottage. The observational tower Klyftehög is another great sight within this museum, and don’t forget to pay attention to the memorial stones around Hallandsgården.
On top of the exhibitions, it is a joy to simply walk around the site. Hallandsgården is the perfect open-air museum since it is located in such a green area. There are beautiful views, and if you like the place for its nature, you can spend some more time hiking around Galgberget which has some nice trails.
Halmstad City Library
Situated in an extremely modern building on the eastern side of the Nissan River, we also consider the Halmstad City Library to be an important attraction in the city.
It is open for much of the day and you can enter it for free. The architecture of the building makes it an interesting venue, but don’t underestimate the interior – it has become a very popular library due to its collection of books and other contents, and several events happen there as well.
With the central location in the city, the Halmstad City Library is certainly a place in Halmstad to visit if you are into literature and culture.
In an eastern suburb of Halmstad, we find a church with a very unique design. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in the Halland region, so you should stop by to see it if you can.
Designed in 1883 by Emil Viktor Langlet, it was inspired by both Byzantine and Roman architecture. The interior was redesigned in the 1930s and include a motive of a distorted troll on the floor, which is believed to be a symbol of Christianity’s victory over the Nordic paganism. The main reason for seeing the Snöstorp Church is that it is so different in design than most other Swedish churches.
St. Nicholas Church
On the contrary, if you want to see a very typical Scandinavian church, check out St. Nicholas Church in the city centre. Known as Skt. Nikolai kyrka in Swedish, it has been well-attended by locals for centuries.
It is named after St. Nicholas of Myra, the saint who became the inspiration for Santa Claus. The church has a high tower and a spacious interior where you quickly notice the red bricks that are so common in old Nordic architecture.
St. Nicholas Church is free to visit and open every day from 9 am to 4 pm.
Norre Torg & Port
Norre Torg is a square in the northern end of the old town. While the square is nice, the main attraction is Norre Port. This is the only city port that still remains, and it dates back to the era when Halland was under Danish rule. It was completed by Christian IV in 1601 as an integral part of Halmstad’s fortifications.
It is one of the most famous landmarks in Halmstad. Considering that it is a free attraction in the centre, we highly recommend that you see it. The port is typically illuminated at night which gives it a unique look. The Norre Port is often shown on postcards from Halmstad.
The central square in Halmstad. One of the attractions we mentioned earlier, St. Nicholas Church, is situated right by the square.
Historically, Stora Torg has been an important site for trade and commerce. Now it is just a popular meeting place and a tourist spot. There are some fascinating sculptures at the square. The Europa och Tjuren fountain by Carl Milles is an important sight at the square.
You will also find a large bar/inn at Stora Torg. The city hall is also right by the square, although it isn’t as impressive as the other sights mentioned.
With its uber-central location in Halmstad, Stora Torg is not really a place you can miss, but be sure to enjoy it as you walk by!
Storgaten is a pedestrian street that connects Norre Torg with Stora Torg. In other words, it goes right through the city centre, and it is a great place to go shopping. The street also has a hotel, a few banks and institutions, as well as several nice restaurants and cafés – so you can do just about anything there.
A stroll through Storgaten is a great way to spend some casual time in Halmstad. The adjacent street Köpmansgatan is also great for shopping.
Known as one of the best beaches in Sweden – if not the best – is Tylösand Beach. It is located just a few kilometers west of the city centre, and you can either go there by bus, car or bicycle. Many tourists decide to stay near Tylösand since the nature is so nice in that area. If you primarily want to go to the beach rather than seeing cultural attractions all day, that could be a great option for you.
Tylösand is best to visit in the summer where you can actually bathe and tan at the beach, but it is also a beautiful location for the rest of the year.
Bonus: Golf courses near the city
A lot of golf courses surround Halmstad. The Halland Region is a popular destination for golfers. In fact, Halmstad is known as the golf capital of Sweden! The first course opened all the way back in 1938.
If this activity is one of your hobbies, we highly recommend you to go golfing as you visit Halmstad.
Here are some of the best golf courses near Halmstad:
- Halmstad GK
- Halmstad Golf Arena
- Tönnersjö GK
- Flygstaden Golf Club
- Strandtorps Golfklubb
And that’s about it. There are plenty of other things you can do and see in Halmstad, but the attractions mentioned in this article cover the most important sites in the city. We wish you a great trip to Halmstad – don’t miss our article on where to stay in Halmstad if you are still in the process of planning the trip.