A stone cast away from Malmö, in Scania region, lies the most idyllic city in Sweden: Lund. From all the cities I have been to in Sweden, the one I fell in love with right from the very start was Lund. Why? Because it feels like it has its own soul, personality and character. For such a small city, it is exuberantly full of life. The old city centre is all the time filled with people, no matter the weather, time and day of the month. Students at Lund University stroll around the city with their newly made uni friends. It is a pleasure to be surrounded by such an atmosphere! That is why in this article, I am going to show how you can experience the old town to its fullest! Lund is a perfect one-day trip from Malmö and even Copenhagen, so this article will cover the most important things you can see and do in the old town of Lund, Sweden.
Interesting facts about Lund:
- The city dates back to 990, being the second oldest city in Sweden
- 1103 it became the seat of the archbishop of all Scandinavia
- During the middle ages, Lund was referred to as Scandinavia’s Rome, where Lund’s Cathedral was built in 1145
- The second oldest university in Sweden lies here: Lund University, built in 1666
- Lund University is in top 100 universities in the world
- Around 98000 people live in Lund
Experience Lund’s old town
Old towns are mesmerising. The reason for that is due to their well-preserved historical atmosphere. Experiencing a city’s old town is like going back to the roots of its establishment, while at the same time being surrounded by the present time. Also, some of the most important sights and things to do are located in the old city. If you love experiencing cities beginning with their old town, then you will definitely find this article worth bookmarking for your next trip to Lund.
Check out these other amazing activities in Lund!
1. Explore Lundagård
Lundagård is a park in the old town of Lund, where one can find important sights such as the main building of Lund University, the King’s house and other university associations. It is a calm place of relaxation, encompassing both nature and historical sights.
Going straight from the central station through Lund’s old town, you reach this impressive park filled with historical vestiges and green nature. From afar, you notice the white, giant, university building that looks like a palace from knights’ fairytales. Its facade is so well-kept, clean and perfected with singular details that you might not believe it was built more than 150 years ago.
Above all, it lies perfectly at the top of the University Square, as though supervising every movement and living being. It is truly imposing.
Leaving the University Square, and continuing walking through Lundagård you can find another historical remnant – the King’s House (Kungshuset). Interestingly, besides it being built in the 16th century, it was used as the main university building until 1800. Throughout the years it functioned as a university, it even encompassed an anatomic theatre, where dissections took place.
It is interesting to see how the university evolved from a smaller structure, almost unnoticeable nowadays compared to the grandiose white building. Which clearly, cannot escape your sight!
2. Walk on Lund’s idyllic old town streets
Another way to experience the old town of Lund, Sweden is to walk on its idyllic streets. Remember the ones from Malmö old town? These are similar, however in my view they are even more charming.
Small candy-like coloured houses stand in line one after the other on each side of the road. Again, diverse flowers grow at each entrance door, embellishing the cobblestone street.
Lund is not a big city, and it is not packed with tourists like other European towns. That’s why you can sometimes find yourself walking alone on the picturesque town streets, enjoying the mysterious atmosphere they have to offer. Thinking about whom might live in these small houses.
3. Relax in the Large Square (Stortorget)
As in the case of many other large squares, the (commercial) centre of the city since mid 1000 was Lund Stortorget. It was not only a place to handle, but rather also a representative place for both the king and church.
You can see Lund’s old town hall there, built in 1830, as well as the new one built right next to it in 1968. One thing I really like in particular is the numerous wooden lounge chairs, which you can see on one part of the large square. There you can enjoy an ice-cream or something to drink and relax after walking through Lundagård and the small town-streets.
The view in itself is not as spectacular as in Malmö’s large square, maybe also due to the fact that commercial traffic still passes through Lund’s large square. Numerous shops, cafes and restaurants surround the square, reminding one of the commercial aspect that it had thousand years ago. Also, different events take place there from time to time. Who knows, maybe you are lucky to visit during one.
4. Be fascinated by Domkyrka & Liberiet
Domkyrka or Lund’s Cathedral is by far the most impressive building in the city. When walking through the old town, you cannot miss this monumental construction. Built in 1145, it is the oldest cathedral in Scandinavia. And also the most visited one in Sweden.
Unfortunately when I visited, there was a confirmation going on inside the church and I couldn’t get to see the interior as well. However, from its stature, I can imagine how mesmerising the interior is. Also, I have read that only the crypt dates back from when it was built in the 12th century. Greyish coloured stone makes out the exterior of the church, giving you the impression that it could be similar to a gothic novel cathedral, even though its architecture is in the romantic style. And it looks like it survived a great fire. Which is perfectly true, because in the 13th century the whole cathedral was affected by fire, however since then renovations of the church started to take place from time to time.
In any way, the cathedral with its imposing character, is one of the places in Lund’s old town that you definitely cannot miss.
Also, next to it lies another building called Liberiet, which was used as a library in the past. The building dates back to the 15th century and nowadays it is used as a pilgrimage centre. It is amazing to see this structure still standing after more than 500 years. One interesting aspect is that during the middle ages, courses of the philosophy faculty took place in the building’s classrooms.
Last but not least
Lund has so many other things to offer, however for a one-day trip experiencing the old town is all you need to get acquainted to the city and discover its character. One last advice is to visit Lund during Summer, when the weather is warmer and you can enjoy the city to the fullest. So, if you ever come to Copenhagen or Malmö, Lund should be on your list of places to visit in a one-day trip. And when you come here, you will know why. 🙂