If you are staying in Helsingborg, known as the Pearl of the Sound, be sure to visit the Sofiero Castle and Gardens. Every year there is something new to discover.
150 years of history
Situated facing the stunning Öresund Strait, the Sofiero Palace should be in your Helsingborg must-see list. Spend a day in nature, discover the tours and exhibitions, or delight your palate with some Swedish cuisine. The story begins in 1864 when Prince Oscar and his wife Sophia of Nassau bought this land and built their summer residence known as Sophie-Ro. When Oscar became King, the summer house went under renovations and is the palace that remains today. Later, the Sofiero gardens were given as a gift to Gustaf VI Adolf, King of Sweden, and his wife Margaret, who were responsible for developing the gardens to what we see today, due to their high interest in and knowledge of gardening. During their time they planted more than 5,000 varieties, including 400 species. In 1973, when the King died, Sofiero became property of the city of Helsingborg.
What to see
The gardens at Sofiero are perfect for enjoying family picnics, taking relaxing strolls in nature, and playing in the vast play area for children, which includes a labyrinth where they can play hide-and-seek. The gardening at the palace mixes Swedish heritage with innovative gardening design, featuring eco-friendly solutions. There are several guided tours and exhibitions that change every year. So, keep an eye on the full program online.
The Jubilee Garden was recently inaugurated by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Sofiero Palace. The garden is inspired by Japanese gardening design blended with classic royal characteristics, featuring strict shapes that contrast with wild nature.
Sofiero is mostly famous for its rhododendrons, which you will see from Sofia's bridge—the collection is composed of 10,000 flowers and is the largest in Europe. The best time of the year to see the rhododendrons is early summer when they bloom in all their splendor with an intense pink color.
Elsewhere, explore the winery, where old vines dating back to 1914 are cultivated, and the Melon House—Sofiero's smallest greenhouse, built around the 19th century, where delicious melons are grown.
Good to know before going
Sofiero Castle opens from 10:00 to 16:00 in autumn and winter, extending hours to 18:00 in the summer and spring seasons. If the venue hosts a concert they might close earlier, so make sure to check the website before heading there. Do check for gigs if you fancy a night of musical entertainment—stars like Bob Dylan have played there. The castle houses a flower and garden shop, as well as a restaurant with a season-inspired menu paired up with a fantastic wine.