Ystad is one of the coziest and most beautiful coastal towns in Sweden and is located in the southern part of the country. Ystad offers a small-town environment with cute shops, flower stalls, cobbled streets, and around 300 different half-timbered houses that you can have a look at.

It’s the proximity to the sea, the nature, beaches and the idyllic town that attracts both tourists and campers year after year. It’s something magical about this town that makes you want to go back and see more.

Below you can read more about things to do in Ystad, and recommendations of day-trips, hotels, restaurants, and much more:

Things to Do in Ystad

There are plenty of things to do in Ystad as a tourist. There’s everything from historical places and food experiences to cultural places and nice walks in beautiful environments. Here are some tips of things to do in Ystad during your stay:

St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s Church is a beautiful old church located on the main square in the heart of Ystad. This church was built in the 1200s and has been rebuilt several times during the years. In the church, you can see a beautiful pulpit in Baroque style and a chandelier in Gothic style from the 1300s.

The Monastery in Ystad

When it comes to attractions in Ystad, the monastery is a must to visit. This iconic building has been on the same site since 1267 and was founded by the Franciskaner Brothers. The Monastery in Ystad is one of the best-preserved monasteries in Sweden.

You can also have a look in Ystad’s cultural history museum, which is located inside the monastery. If you’re interested in old buildings and want to know more about the history of Ystad, then it’s a must to visit this place.

Ystad Theatre

Do you like going to the theater? Then you have to visit the theater in Ystad. This place offers both culture and wonderful shows for you to enjoy during your stay in the city.

The theater was built in the late 1800s in Neo-Renaissance style and produces around 180 different shows throughout the year – which you can enjoy during your stay.

Stroll around Old Town

One of the best things to do in Ystad is to stroll around old town to admire the old houses and have a look in the shops.

Central Ystad is very cozy with all its cobblestone streets, colorful houses decorated with flowers and big square that sells fruit, vegetables, and flowers. It’s also on the main square that you find the beautiful church of St. Mary.

ystad gamla stan

Day trips from Ystad

Nearby Ystad there are several interesting places and beautiful cities visit. There’s everything from nature reserves and big cities to beaches and small villages that you can visit via a day trip from Ystad.


If you want to escape the small-town environment one day, then you should catch the train to Malmö. Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and and here you have several fun activities and attractions. There are plenty of stores, beautiful architecture to check out, museums, cafes, and restaurants in Malmö.


If you feel like a beach day, then I can recommend going to Sandhammaren. This beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sweden, so it’s a must to visit.

It’s only located 30 minutes away by car.


When you’re in Skåne (the southern part of Sweden) it’s a must to visit Helsingborg and catch the ferry to Helsingør in Denmark. Ystad is located 1.5 hours away by train/car from Helsingborg, so if you go early in the morning you have plenty of time to visit Helsingør and the central parts of Helsingborg.

In Helsingør you can stroll around in narrow alleys and cobbled streets, visit cheese shops, drink coffee at  cafes, visit beer gardens, go shopping, and an see an old Danish castle.


The capital of Denmark is located only 1.5 hours away by train/car, which makes it a perfect day trip from Ystad. There are plenty of things to do in Copenhagen for both adults and kids.

Expect several interesting museums, fun markets, beautiful castles, a big amusement park, and great shopping!


Kiviksgraven is one of Sweden’s widest Bronze Age tombs, and here you can see petroglyphs from 1400 B.C. In addition to Kiviksgraven, you can also visit Kivik’s oldest café where you can eat homemade cakes and drink delicious coffee. 


Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval castle in Scandinavia, and here you can take guided tours, exploring blind alleys, discover the false door and breathe in the history of the castle.

It’s a classic attraction in Skåne, so make sure to visit!


Simrishamn is a cozy little village located only 40 minutes away by car, but it’s also accessible by buss from Ystad.

There are plenty of things to do in Simrishamn for tourists. You can stroll around the cobbled streets, have a look at the colorful houses, visit the harbor, relax in the sun at the outdoor cafés, visit an old church, and much more.


Bornholm is a beautiful Danish island located 75 minutes away by ferry from Ystad. Here you have beautiful nature, lovely beaches, cozy villages, delicious Danish food, and an interesting history to learn about.

There are plenty of things to do in Bornholm, so make sure to visit via a day trip if you have a couple of days to spend in Ystad.


Stenshuvuds nature reserve is a beautiful place located 45 minutes away by car from central Ystad. Here awaits beautiful nature where you can go hiking and also one of Österlens most beautiful beaches.

It’s a lovely place to spend a day to relax and exercise.


Smygehuk is Sweden’s southernmost cape and is located a 30 minutes’ drive from Ystad. Here you can enjoy a cup coffee at Sweden’s southernmost cafe, stroll in a beautiful marina, and check out the country’s most southernmost lighthouse.

It’s a classic attraction in Sweden.


Things to Do in Ystad with Children

Go swimming at the beach

In Ystad there are plenty of beautiful beaches for the whole family. Some beaches that I can recommend visiting are Ystad Saltsjöbad, Lilleskog, Ystad Badplats, Sandskogen, and Nybrostrand.

Have fun at Tuna Busland

Tuna Busland is located in Sjöbo outside Ystad and offers an indoor playground. If you’re traveling with your children, then Tuna Busland is a must to visit.

Experience the Fire Truck & the Little Train 

During the summers in Ystad, you can go for a ride in the city’s famous veteran fire truck. Take a guided tour through the town in this beauty and see what Ystad has to offer.

The little train runs through in Ystad during summer as well, and is a different and fun way to get around. It runs past the beaches in Sandskogen and also around the central parts of the city.

Visit Ales Stenar

59 large stone blocks are forming Sweden’s largest stone ship, Ales stones. These stones stand tall on a hill and stretch 67 x 19 meters in the shape of a ship.

Visit to breathe in the Swedish history and enjoy the beautiful views. Nearby, in Kåseberga, you’ll also find cafés and restaurants where you can eat lunch and drink coffee.

day trip from ystad

Photo: Shutterstock

Spa in Ystad

When it comes to spas in Ystad, you simply have to visit Ystad Saltsjöbad. This place has been around since 1897 and is a classic when it comes to spas in Sweden.

Ystad Saltsjöbad is located in Ystad and here you can overnight in rooms with beautiful views of the sea, which gives you a relaxing experience. Open the window, listen to sound of the ocean, and just relax.

Ystad Saltsjöbad offers several nice spa treatments that you can choose from. The most popular spa treatment is the Creek Experience, which is a whole body treatment with experiences for all your senses.


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Ystad isn’t a city known for its shopping, yet it has a lot to offer its visitors. There’s a pharmacy, a toy store, a jewelry store, a bookstore, furniture stores, florists and even larger stores like H&M, Intersport, Åhléns, and the shoe store Scorett.

Shopping in Ystad may not be a shopaholics dream, but it’s still actually pretty nice to stroll around the city’s cobblestone streets and have a look in the small shops.

If you’re looking for a large shopping center, then you can visit Emporia in Malmö. It’s located 40 minutes away by car, and here you have around 230 shops, several restaurants, cafes and much more.


Recommended restaurants

In Ystad, there are a variety of nice restaurants that you can visit during your vacation. There’s everything from fast food and gourmet meals to traditional Swedish food and cozy cafés.

Villa Strandvägen

Do you want to eat a luxurious five-course dinner? Then you have to visit Villa Strandvägen.

This restaurant is beautifully decorated and offers fantastic dishes with great flavor combinations. To the five-course menu, you can also select a wine package that is perfect with the food.

Address: Strandvägen 1

Thai Corner Ystad

If you’re feeling hungry when exploring Ystad, then head over to restaurant Thai Corner. Here they serve a delicious lunch buffet with soup, salad, a variety of Thai dishes and both fried banana and vanilla ice cream with coffee for dessert. You get great value for your money at this restaurant.

Address: Stora Östergatan 1

Maltes Mackor

If you’re looking for a simple restaurant while exploring the city, then Maltes Mackor is a perfect choice. Swedes really love their sandwiches, so I can guarantee that you’ll not be disappointed by what this place has to offer.

Here they have delicious bread and also a great variety of spreads, toppings, and sauces. In addition to sandwiches, Malte Mackor also offers wraps, salads and coffee.

Address: Stora Östergatan 12

Glassmakeriet in Ystad

When it’s summer and warm outside, you might be craving some cold ice cream. If you feel like having an ice cream, then you must visit Glassmakeriet in Ystad. The ice cream is delicious and comes in several flavors.

Glassmakeriet’s ice cream is homemade with Italian roots and is made of high quality ingredients. You cannot find better ice cream shop in the city!

Address: Teatergränd 1


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Recommended Hotels

Continental du Sud – Central location in Ystad

If you want to stay in central Ystad, then Continental du Sud is a great choice. This hotel is very nice with excellent service and delicious food.

Continental du Sud is located right next to the train station, which is perfect if you’re going to catch the train early the next morning. When it comes to hotels in Ystad, Continental du Sud is a classic!

Hotell Mossbylund – Luxurious countryside hotel 

Hotel Mossbylund is a charming and luxurious hotel located on the countryside of Ystad. Mossbylund is a great hotel if you want to stay close to both the nature and the ocean.

Here you have beautiful hotel rooms, an outdoor pool, delicious food and relaxing spa treatments. This is no doubt one of the best hotels for a luxurious stay in Ystad.


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Map of Ystad

Here’s a map of the city where I’ve marked the big square Stortorget, which is located in the heart of Ystad.

Google Maps is an useful tool to easily find the city’s various attractions or your hotel when arriving in the city. If you don’t have wifi on your phone, don’t worry, you can also use the app in offline mode.

Do you have more questions about Ystad in Sweden? Leave a comment below!