History, beaches and criminal drama in Swedish Ystad

Enjoy a small 13th century costal town in southern Sweden, world famous as the home of detective Kurt Wallander.

Ystad is a picturesque medieval town with a rich cultural heritage and over 300 half-timbered houses and other well preserved late medieval and renaissance buildings. Visit an array of cultural landmarks and enjoy fantastic scenery by the sea and in the wide open landscape of southern Sweden.

Ystad is one of Sweden's southernmost towns, and it has a long history. The construction of the oldest building in town, St Maria Church, was begun around 1200, and it remains today as an impressive example of baroque architecture. The Ystad Convent, which contains Ystad's Museum of Cultural History, was founded in 1267 and is one of the best preserved convents in Sweden. Feel the tranquillity and the history surround you as you enter the convent through the rose and herb garden, and visit the café and the fascinating exhibitions.

Ystad was made world famous by Henning Mankell’s crime novels and their film adaptations. Follow in detective Wallander’s footsteps along the charming streets Mariagatan and Lilla Norregatan and visit other locations from the films. Find more information about these on the Ystad tourism office website. If the crime walk doesn’t spoil your appetite, enjoy some fine dining in the prestigious Hotel Continental, which is said to be the country's oldest hotel.

Osterlen is a beautiful stretch of coast just outside Ystad, which offers great opportunities for swimming, hiking and golf. The Ystad coast is almost 50 km long, so wherever you book your accommodation you will always be close to one of the many beautiful beaches of Skane in southern Sweden.

Drive 20 km east of Ystad to find the village Kaseberga and Ale’s Stones, Sweden’s largest megalithic ship, dated between year 500 and 1000 A.D. This unique landmark consists of 50 boulders, each weighing around five tonnes, and from here you can enjoy panoramic views over the steep coast.

Get to Ystad by train, car or bus from Malmo Airport, which is located around 40 km (25 miles) from the town. Rent a bicycle and make your way around Ystad and the surrounding areas along the many cycle friendly roads and tracks.

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