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 from the Nordic countries and Germany.
If you’re looking for inspiration and information about Ystad, then this is the ultimate guide for you!
Things to Do in Ystad
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 since then been rebuilt several times. In the church, you can see among other things, 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.
Today you can even have a peek in Ystad’s cultural history museum located in the monastery. If you like looking at old buildings and history, then this is one of the attractions that you should visit when you’re in town.
Like going to the theater? Then you need to visit the theater in Ystad. This place offers both culture and beautiful shows for you to enjoy. The theater was built in the late 1800s in Neo-Renaissance style, and here they have around 180 different performances and shows throughout the year.
Stroll Around in Old Town
One of the best things you can do in Ystad is to stroll around the old town, admire the old houses and have a look in all the small stores. Central Ystad is very cozy with all its cobblestone streets, small colorful houses decorated with flowers and grand square that sells fruit, vegetables, and flowers! It’s also on the main square that the old church of St. Mary is located.
Other Attractions near Ystad
If you want to escape the small-town environment one day or so, then you should catch the train to Malmö. Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and offers many things to both see and do. There is plenty of stores, nice architecture, museums, cafes, and restaurants.
If you are eager to visit a nice and lovely beach, I can recommend you to go to Lomma Beach. This beach is located a little bit outside Malmö. Lomma Beach is one of Sweden’s finest beaches and is a must to visit if you enjoy to relax on the beach and swim in the ocean.
When you’re in Skåne (the southern part of Sweden) it’s a must to visit Helsingborg and take the ferry over to Helsingør in Denmark. Ystad is located about 1.5 hours by train/car from Helsingborg, and if you go early in the morning, you have plenty of time to visit both central Helsingborg and Helsingør. In Helsingør awaits cozy alleys, cobbled streets, numerous cheese shops, lovely cafes, beer gardens, shopping, and an old Danish castle.
The capital of Denmark lies only 1.5 hours away by train/car, which is ideal when visiting Ystad for a little longer period. A day trip to Copenhagen is one of the best attractions near Ystad and offers much to both see and do. Expect several museums, excellent markets, beautiful castles, and plenty of shopping!
Kiviksgraven is one of Sweden’s broadest Bronze Age tombs, and here you can see petroglyphs from 1400 B.C. Beside Kiviksgraven, you can also visit Kiviks oldest café serving homemade cakes and 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.
Simrishamn is a hidden gem of Österlen. This cozy little town is located only 40 minutes from Ystad by car, and if you wouldn’t have access to a car, then you just can catch the bus or train from Ystad.
In Simrishamn, one can expect a lot of small colorful houses that are covered in beautiful flowers. Stroll around the town’s cobbled streets, look at the beautiful houses, sit down at one of the many outdoor cafés/restaurants and just enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.
Smygehuk is Sweden’s southernmost cape and lies only 30 minutes’ drive from Ystad. Here you can enjoy a cup coffee at Sweden’s southernmost cafe, a beautiful marina, and also check out the country’s southernmost lighthouse.
Things to Do in Ystad with Children
In and around Ystad there are plenty of beautiful beaches for the whole family. Here you’ll find both beaches, lakes and swimming pools.
Even though there’s not a bowling alley in central Ystad, you can still enjoy one in Simrishamn and Tomelilla. Bring the whole family for a day/evening with lots of fun!
The only reason why I include Ystad Zoo in this article is to advise you not to visit the park. Animals are not meant to live behind bars; they’re supposed to live out in the wild.
Imagine yourself changing place with the animals. Imagine what it would be like to be locked up in the same apartment day in and day out for the rest of your life. People who constantly looking through your window and you get some food and water through the door. You can’t escape, and you can not hide – you would become insane after a while.
Please, do not support any attractions involving animals when you’re at home or traveling the world. Always think like this: if it’s not ok towards humans, then it’s not ok towards animals.
Tunabusland is located in Sjöbo outside Ystad and offers an indoor playground inspired by the jungle. If you’re traveling with your children, then Tunabusland is a must for you to visit.
Äpplets Hus “The Apple House”
Located at Kiviks Cider Factory, one will find Äpplets Hus that offers knowledge behind the famous Swedish apple cider. Here you get to learn lots of exciting information about the cider, learn about its history and also visit the factory to see how to make and package both “must” and cider. A fun activity for the whole family!
Kul på Hjul “Fun on Wheels”
When it comes to children’s activities in Ystad, Kul på Hjul is an excellent choice. This museum is open during the summer, and here you can see a large railroad model that’s inspired by Sweden 1961. In addition to the railway, one can also have a look at fine bikes, scooters, and several toy cars.
Brandbilen & Lilla Tåget “Fire Truck & Little Train”
During the summers in Ystad, one 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 the summer and is a different and fun way to get around. It runs past the beaches in Sandskogen and around the central parts of Ystad.
Ales Stenar “Ales Stones”
59 pieces of large stone blocks are forming Sweden’s largest ship, Ales stones. These stones stand tall on a hill and stretch 67 x 19 meters and form the shape of a ship. Come here and breathe in the Swedish history and enjoy the beautiful view. In the nearby fishing camp Kåseberga lies both cafés and restaurants for those who want to buy a good cup of coffee or a nice lunch.
Spa in Ystad
Ystad Saltsjöbad is the crystal clear choice when it comes to Spa in Ystad. Saltsjöbaden in Ystad has been open since 1897 and is a classic when it comes to spas in Sweden. Ystad Saltsjöbad is located in Ystad Municipality, and here you can book a room with views in all directions providing an incredibly peaceful experience. Open the window, listening to sound of the ocean and just relax.
Ystad Saltsjöbad offers several pampering treatments for you to choose from. The spa in Ystad has various treatments, but the Creek Experience is one of the most popular. Here you get a whole body treatment with many different experiences for all of your senses. The environment reminiscent of a tropical rain forest and the experiences are inspired from spirituals from around the world.
Landet Bed and Breakfast
If you are looking for a place that’s more like a hostel in Ystad, then Landet Bed and Breakfast is the crystal clear choice. Landet Bed and Breakfast is located outside Ystad, which is part of its charm. Here you get the chance live in the countryside of Sweden in a beautiful old house with a rustic decor and friendly hosts. Besides the low price, the breakfast is also one of the highlights. The breakfast buffet offers fresh cheeses, meats, eggs, homemade bread, yogurt, granola, various choices of beverages and much more!
When it comes to cheap hotels in Ystad, then this is the ultimate hotel for you.
Hotel Mossbylund is a charming and luxurious hotel located a little bit outside the city center. Mossbylund is an excellent accommodation if you want to live in luxury in the countryside and have proximity to both the sea and nature.
Mossbylund hotel is ideal for those who want to live in luxury in the country with the amenities of both fine dining and pampering spa treatments. This is one of the best hotels for a luxurious stay in Ystad.
Continental du Sud
If you want to stay in central Ystad, then Continental du Sud is the perfect hotel for you. This hotel is very nice, has an excellent service and also serve good food. Continental du Sud is located right next to the train station, which is perfect if you’re going to catch the train the next morning.
Ystad isn’t a city known for its shopping, yet it has a lot to offer its visitors. There’s, of course, a pharmacy, a toy store, a jewelry store, a bookstore, furniture stores, florists and even larger stores like H&M, Lindex, Intersport, Åhléns, Team Sportia, Scorett, MQ and more! Shopping in Ystad may not be a shopaholics dream, but it’s still pretty nice to stroll around the city’s cobblestone streets and peek around in small shops.
If you are looking for a large shopping center, then you can head to Emporia in Malmö which lies only 40 minutes away by car. In Emporia awaits around 230 different shops, several restaurants, cafes and other fun!
In Ystad, there are a wide variety of restaurants. There’s everything from fast food and gourmet meals to ice cream bars and cozy cafés.
Fancy a luxurious five-course dinner? Then you just have to visit Villa Strandvägen. This restaurant is beautifully decorated and has a fantastic menu of dishes with flavor combinations that you will never forget. To the five-course menu, you can also select a wine package that tastes incredibly good with the food.
Address: Strandvägen 1
Thai Corner Ystad Restaurang
If you’re very hungry when exploring central Ystad, then Thai Corner is a good option. Here they serve a good lunch buffet with both soup, salad, a variety of Thai dishes and both fried banana and vanilla ice cream with coffee to dessert. You can really say that you get value for your money at this restaurant.
Thai Corner also offers a good range of tasty dishes during the evenings.
Address: Stora Östergatan 1
Maltes Mackor “Malte’s Sandwiches”
If you’re looking for a simple place for lunch while exploring Ystad, then Maltes Mackor is the crystal clear choice. Swedes really love their sandwiches, and I can guarantee that you’ll not be disappointed by what this place has to offer.
Here they have delicious bread and also an extensive range of both spreads, toppings, and sauces. In addition to sandwiches, Malte Mackor also offers excellent wraps, salads and coffee drinks.
Address: Stora Östergatan 12
If you’re a vegetarian, then this is the place you should visit while visiting Ystad. Helsa Pa offers a cozy environment with good and varied vegetarian dishes with roots from Ystad. If you just fancy a snack, you can also sit down and drink a good cup of coffee and have the best homemade cardamom buns in town.
During the summer months, this place offers a cozy courtyard where you can sit down and relax in the shade.
Address: Besökaregränd 1
Glassmakeriet i Ystad “The Ice Cream Store of Ystad”
When it’s summer and warm outside, it can happen that you’re craving for an ice cream (or two) – then it’s obligatory to visit Glassmakeriet in Ystad! The ice cream is delicious and comes in many flavors. Glassmakeriet’s ice cream is homemade with Italian roots and is of the highest quality. Better ice cream you cannot find in Ystad!
Address: Teatergränd 1
This is a map of Ystad. In this map, I’ve marked the big square (Stortorget) which is located in central town. Google Maps is a really useful tool for those who easily want to find the city’s various attractions or to the hotel when arriving in town. If you don’t have wifi on your phone, don’t worry! You can also use the app in offline mode.