Traveling in southern Sweden, Skane – practical information

Magnes ze Szwecji

The idea for a trip to Sweden was born during our stay in Swinoujscie (Polish city by the sea) and realizing how close it is. Swinoujscie is closer to Sweden than to Poznan (Polish city near Berlin). It is about 200 km by the sea. I hope that my practical information about travelling in southern Sweden, Skane (Skåne) will help you plan your next trip efficiently.

At the very beginning, we were impressed with the service and help of the girls who received our calls and took care of us at the Unity Line check-in. They were very committed to informing us about things that were not necessarily part of their responsibility. We learned from them where and how to do tests for COVID, what are the restrictions in Sweden. They told us also the best options for planning a one-day or several-day trip, with a car, bikes or on foot.

This made it much easier for us to decide to sail to the southern region of Sweden, Scania.

What’s the best way to get to Sweden?

The reason for going to Sweden was an easy access to Ystad from Swinoujscie. I believe that if someone wants to spend a few days visiting this country, a ferry trip is almost perfect. First, it is an adventure. Second, you can take your own car, bicycles, and unlimited luggage that can fit in the vehicle. It is also much more comfortable than on a plane. You can easily take a walk, go to a bar, a restaurant, or even a casino. The Swinoujscie-Ystad ferry takes about 8 hours.

We bought return tickets from unityline.pl, and they cost us 180 EUR. The price included:

  • two people
  • one car

The bikes are free of charge (we had them on the roof of the car) but after purchasing the ticket we had to call Unity Line to inform them that we’re going to transport bikes, so they can arrange the setting up of the vehicles on board.

We were able to add a sleeping option to our ticket, a cabin. However, the lady on the hotline told us that during the pandemic there are not many people on the ferry. We could save money. We followed this advice, and it was a good tip. Eventually, we slept on public airplane seats, that fold out and are free.  We saved about 150 EUR in return tickets by not purchasing the cabin option. We would only sleep there for about 6 hours.

It is also possible to buy tickets with breakfast and a welcome drink, which in our opinion was pointless. At 5 am it is too early for us for a big breakfast, and we bought a drink for a good night’s sleep. After all, it was only 8 hours on board.

Our ferry left the shore from Swinoujscie at 23.00 and arrived to Ystad at 6.30.

On the Skane ferry to Sweden we had a quiet, secluded, and dark place to sleep. On the way back on the Polonia ferry (a different model) there were no longer such comfortable places to sleep. The seats were in a lit place where there was a group of loud people and a security guard told us that it was forbidden to use sleeping bags. However, he pointed us to a place on a different floor where we can lie down and sleep without any problems. We took the sleeping bag to cover ourselves just in case, but it turned out to be a great idea. It was a fantastic night’s sleep.

Unity Line offers a Day Trip to Ystad. Departure from Swinoujscie is at 11 PM, arrival at 6.30 AM. The ferry returns at 1.00 pm. You can complete sightseeing Ystad in about two hours. However, I would recommend staying in Skane a bit longer. By visiting only this town, you won’t see much. The ticket price of 90 EUR per person is worth spending on traveling around Skåne for a little longer. We were there for 5 days.

wjazd na prom

Entering the ferry

pusty club na promie

Empty dance floor at the ferry club. So sad!

Ceny drinków na promie

Still Polish prices of drinks on the ferry

If we would not have the pandemic, I would spend the night in a disco bar 🙂

Traveling in Sweden

 

In Sweden, there are no vignettes for passenger cars, so you can move freely after leaving the ferry.

Parking lots in cities are paid or limited in time. Therefore, it is worth having a paper clock with you, which we do not know in Poland. The time of arrival is set on it and left inside the car on the windshield. Thus, the checkers know how much time is left for the car to leave. We had a paper clock from Italy, where they also use it. In Sweden I think you can buy something like that in a regular shop.

Sweden, and certainly its region, that is Skåne, is a place very friendly to bikes, picnics, and camping. There are plenty of cycle paths in the cities, along the coast, and in national parks.

There are plenty of benches and tables in the southern region of Sweden where you can sit, have a picnic, or a barbecue. Swedish even do segregation of rubbish in the “grill” category.

In most places, it is allowed to put up a tent. The only restrictions are not to set up in private yards and clean after yourself.

Toilets are everywhere, well-kept, heated, and free (we only paid for it once at the train station in Malmo).

Piknik nad morzem

There are picnic benches and tables in almost every attractive place in Sweden

Rowery Szwecja

Rental bikes on the island of Ven. Due to the fact that we were there in the low season, they were all standing 🙂

Jazda na rowerze w Szwecji

Cycle paths are almost everywhere, and you can easily move around.

Drzemka na plaży w Szwecji

When traveling by car, the beach is also easily accessible. Parking, toilets, mini bars, everything you need to take a break from driving

Prices in Sweden

 

Sweden, as many of you might have guessed, is quite an expensive country. Getting there by ferry with our own car helped a lot in saving a lot of money for transport and picnic food. We spent money there mainly on food in restaurants, a few souvenirs, and Swedish fish preserves brought for our family. The only expenses for attractions are a boat trip around Malmo and a ferry to the island of Ven. All other tourist facilities were closed not only because of the virus. We were there in April 2021 which is off-season. Apparently, it does not start until May.

We spent in total 850 EUR for 2 people on visiting the northern part of Sweden, Skane for 5 days. The average is 85 EUR per day per person. I included in the price:

  • Ferry to Sweden and back
  • Hotels (4 nights)
  • Eating in restaurants
  • Parking lots (there weren’t many of them)
  • Ferry to the island of Ven and boat trip around Malmo

In Sweden, you don’t need cash, you pay by card everywhere, even for a toilet. We had contact in one place, where it was not possible to pay in cash, and only by card.

Smażone szwedzkie śledzie

We paid 16 EUR for this plate and a small non-alcoholic beer. Fried herring won our own food competition in Sweden. That’s mainly thanks to the delicious mashed potatoes and cranberries.

Szwedzkie, cynamonowe bułeczki i kawa

A portion on the photo cost us 15 EUR, which is more than in a Polish café. The cinnamon rolls were really delicious!

Obiad na wyspie Ven

Lunch on the island of Ven for 40 EUR. The price included exactly what was in the picture, i.e. Swedish meatballs, sandwiches, and non-alcoholic cider. We were not full after eating it, but we were satisfied because it was delicious.

Weather in Sweden

 

Apparently the Swedes say that there is no bad weather. There is only bad outfit.

We took proper clothes with us. Southern Sweden should not be deterred by the climate. In April we met nice weather. It was sunny and pleasant, but temperatures fluctuated around 10-17 degrees Celsius during the day. In the evenings, as you might guess, they start to fall quickly. When the sun went down or we were in the shade, we could really get cold.

We could be if we were dressed not properly.

I am very sensitive to low temperatures, but in Sweden I wore tights under my leggings every day. Once it even happened under 2 pairs of leggings when it was windy in the evening and we rode the coast during sunset. We also put on no less than 4 layers on top, but we carried a backpack with us and either took them off when it was warmer or put on more when it was colder. Once we even undressed to our underwear on the beach, because it was warm enough, and we didn’t take the costume with us to Sweden … 🙂

Zimna pogoda w Szwecji

3 hoods, tights, 2 pairs of leggings and gloves. The wind was the reason for this coldness on the coast.

Ciepła pogoda w Szwecji

And here, beautiful and sunny weather on the island of Ven

What to see in Skane? Southern Sweden attractions

There is already a separate article on this topic, where you can find in this link. I included in it the most interesting places in Skåne that are worth seeing and which I highly recommend.

Turning Torso

The tallest building of Turning Torso in Malmo

Wyspa Ven

Ven Island

Ale Stenar

Ale Stenar, the stone circle

Molle

Molle, Kullaberg National Park

Stenshuvud

Stenshuvud National Park

Park Narodowy Kullaberg

Kullaberg National Park, for me the most beautiful place on this trip

The habits of the Swedes, our observations

In Sweden, there are many facilities for people to live in harmony with nature. It is clean and tidy there. Rubbish segregation is practised even on the streets, they invest in cycle paths, free toilets and benches. It is true that I did not check the level of crime. However, left bicycles left rarely had lockers, and we also began to leave them without.

Another example are watering cans and a rake left to the public at one of the Ystad cemeteries. They are just there and apparently, no one is stealing them.

All Swedes we met could speak English. This is probably not a surprise. The people of Scandinavian countries are famous for their good command of the language.

One day, there was a homeless man by our car, and he certainly looked like that. I started to worry about it because we parked the car overnight on the street. We had a lot of stuff inside. After a while, however, this homeless man started talking to someone on a mobile phone 🙂 Is it possible that a homeless man in Sweden has a smartphone? 😀

The inhabitants of that country have very large windows in the house, almost half the wall. It was surprising to me that they did not cover them at all. Very often they did not have blinds or curtains, and we could see what they were doing at home. We could see the bedroom of the woman from whom we rented the cottage house, the kitchen of the family who ate dinner, the living room of people who were comfortably watching TV. These were huge windows, from floor to ceiling, right by the road! If anyone knows why they feel good about it, write in the comment, because I’m very curious about it!

Churches are often heated, you can take off your coat and hang it on a hanger. There are also children’s play areas or sofas.

Aesthetics seems is also very important to them. There are no dingy advertising banners at every step, the cottages and farm buildings in the villages are simply beautiful. In addition, Swedes put very often openwork lamps in the window!

Large, not covered Swedish windows

Freely waiting watering cans and rakes in the cemetery

Perhaps it is no coincidence that Sweden ranks 7th in the world in terms of how happy people feel. If a lot of things are comfortable, a person becomes less nervous and is happier, that’s how I summed it up. For comparison, Poland is 46th, and hot Spain is 85th. As you can see, the weather factor does not have much to do here 🙂 If anyone is interested in the global report, I recommend the interesting document World Happiness Report from 2020.

Every country is different. I think that a trip to this country and observation of the organization there can teach everyone a lot. I highly recommend visiting this another culture by the Baltic Sea!