Cobblestone streets, a charming old town feel and students everywhere – Lund in southern Sweden perfectly combines old with new. Growing up in Sweden, I always knew Lund for its most significant institution; Lund University. Lund University was founded in 1666 and consistently ranks among the top 100 universities worldwide. However, Lund has so much more to offer than just a rich academic history. If you spend 24 hours in Lund, you’ll find that some of the best things to do in Lund include a Botanical Garden, architecture sightseeing, Lund Cathedral and an indoor food market. Read on for more inspiration!
Travel to Lund
Travel from Copenhagen to Lund
Lund’s closest main airport is Kastrup outside of Copenhagen. Once you’ve landed in Copenhagen (Denmark) it’s really simple to take the train across the water to Lund, Sweden. The journey takes approximately 40 minutes and you can read more about buying tickets etc in my blog post dedicated to crossing the Oresund Bridge by train.
Travel by train within Sweden
It’s also possible to travel by train to Lund from other parts of Sweden. For local train travel, have a look at the county train website. If you are travelling from further afield, check out Sweden’s National Railway website.
Best Time To Visit Lund
Not to speak ill of my own country but winter in Sweden is pretty dreary, unless there’s snow. In southern Sweden you have the highest chance of snow in January and February, whereas December has been rainy the last few years (with the odd snow day).
Personally, I would skip the winter season and visit Lund (and the rest of Southern Sweden) in spring or summer. The main holiday season in Sweden is week 29 – 32 (generally mid-July to mid-August). I would recommend visiting before or after these weeks as most Swedes go on holiday and some places, such as restaurants, close down. June to mid-July would be a lovely option.
Hotels in Lund
I’ve only ever done day trips to Lund so have never had to stay in a hotel. However, a quick search on Booking.com brings back some pretty amazing options. Please note one thing about Lund though; the city is notoriously difficult for students to find rented accommodation in. Please stick to hotels rather than Airbnb so as many students as possible can find accommodation.
Winstrup Hostel – although Sweden could hardly be considered cheap, this is one Lund hostel that won’t burn a hole in your wallet (cue the sound of happy wallets). Winstrup offers both mixed dorms and female-only dorm rooms. Really neat-looking pod style beds and a 8.5 review score on Booking.com.
Best Western Plus Hotel Nordic Lund – nice looking rooms that include a kitchenette as well as breakfast. Located within walking distance to the Botanical Garden. 9.2 review score on Booking.com.
Hotel Lundia – modern, sleek and good-looking. 8.5 review score on Booking.com. Includes breakfast and located really close to Lund train station.
Things To Do in Lund
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 08.00 – 18.00, Saturday 09.30 – 17.00 and Sunday 09.30 – 18.00.
Start your morning with the best free thing to do in Lund; the Cathedral! The imposing Lund Cathedral dates from 1145 and has two 55 metre high towers that define the city’s skyline. With over 700,000 visitors each year, Lund Cathedral is one of the most famous things to do in Lund.
Once inside, don’t miss the astronomical clock on the left or the statue of a giant holding a column in the crypt. According to legend, this is Finn the Giant who built the cathedral but became angry when he didn’t get paid. As he tried to destroy the cathedral he was tricked and turned into stone. Sounds like a pretty rough life to me.
As mentioned, Lund is famous for its academic legacy and you should definitely make some time for university sightseeing. Lund University buildings are spread across the city and there are more buildings than you could care to count. Multiple of these are really gorgeous so try and hit up a few of them. I suggest that you check out the park Lundagård next to Lund Cathedral, where you’ll find a range of beautiful buildings.
My favourite is the majestic Universitetshuset (Lund University’s main building) with an accompanying fountain. Don’t miss the plaque in front of the fountain! Back in the day, the church bells would ring at full hour. A concept called ‘the academic quarter’ was then introduced which meant that students had 15 minutes to get to a lecture once the church bells had rung. So basically a lecture scheduled for the full hour e.g. 14.00 actually starts 15 minutes later at 14.15. The plaque in turn represents the median that is exactly 1 hour 15 minutes from Greenwich time. Academic jokes eh?
Another two beautiful buildings are the University Library and LUX building. They are slightly out of the way, but the combination of their red brick with the surrounding greenery is striking (if you visit in summer, otherwise the look is more naked tree branch against red brick….which actually sounds like a modern art piece).
Opening times: 16th September – 14th May 06.00 – 20.00, 15th May – 15th September 06.00 – 21.30. The greenhouse is open Monday – Sunday 11.00 – 15.00.
The university owned Botanical Garden is one of my favourite things to do in Lund! I just like anything green that doesn’t involve me hiking or gardening, so a botanical garden is perfect.
Now picture this. It’s a warm summer day and you meander along gravel paths that make a slight crunching sound every time you take a step. The sun bounces off white textured stones in the rock garden whilst butterflies flick between flowers in the flower beds. Continue towards the greenhouse and you’ll reach a lake. Here you can sit in the shadow and gaze upon the lake whilst you indulge in a cinnamon roll from the garden’s café.
Sounds pretty nice, no? Once you’ve had the compulsory coffee break (the café is only open in summer), make sure you visit the greenhouse. The greenhouse is my favourite part of Lund’s Botanical Garden. For starters, the building is over 150 years old and has massive floorlength (and a bit) windows.
If the building wasn’t reason enough to visit, several of the plants have survived since the move here in 1865, or are related to the original plants. The greenhouse covers 9 climates and it purposefully feels ‘overgrown’. That’s my favourite part: you feel like an explorer as you snake through the plants. I strongly recommend. Entrance is free.
Opening hours: Most stalls: Monday – Wednesday 10.00 – 18.00, Thursday – Friday 10.00 – 19.00. Saturday 10.00 – 16.00. Sundays closed.
Saluhallen is a great find if you want to explore an indoors food market. The food market has been active since 1909 and consists of a great hall with traders and a section for restaurants. It’s not a massive space by any means but I enjoyed browsing the stalls and see the produce. Stalls range from meat and fish to mustard and vegan dishes so there’s something for everyone. If you want a sit down meal, you’ll find several options from Japanese to Spanish.
On the second floor, you’ll find the alcohol store Systembolaget. You might not be aware, but in Sweden you can’t buy alcohol in the supermarkets. The state has a monopoly on all alcohol sales and only sell them in dedicated stores called Systembolaget. So if you want a drink for later, this is the place to stock up.
BONUS – Kulturen
Opening hours: Winter season 1st Jan – 30th April, 16th Sept – 30th Dec: Tuesday – Friday 12.00 – 16.00. Saturday – Sunday 10.00 – 16.00.
Summer season 1st May – 15th September: Monday – Sunday 10.00 – 17.00. Extended opening hours Wednesdays 17.00 – 20.00.
Also keep an eye out for extended opening hours during school holidays.
Admission: Winter season 90 SEK (8 GBP / 10 USD). Summer season and Christmas special 130 SEK (11 GBP / 14 USD). Children 0 – 18 years; free entrance.
Kulturen is still on my bucketlist of things to do in Lund, so I’ve unfortunately not had a chance to visit yet! However, it’s one of the most popular attractions in Lund so I felt like it had to be included on this list. Kulturen is Sweden’s second oldest open air museum but also has indoor exhibitions. What I’m most keen to see are the traditional houses that show Swedish living conditions through the ages. There are also about 20 different exhibitions showing everything from medieval history to modern design.
Another interesting attraction that belongs to Kulturen is Hökeriet, an old school shop where you can buy groceries the old fashioned way. They also have a collection of vintage packaging that looks incredible.
Finally, one of the best things to do in Lund is simply wandering around the city and admiring the houses. There is so much old time charm lining the streets that you are guaranteed to be in awe.
Now, over to you! Hopefully you feel like you have a few ideas for an overnight stay or even day trip to Lund. Please let me know if you’ve ever been to Lund or want to visit!
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