Weekend Away: Lund
The city of Lund is a hub of innovation buzzing with students, researchers, and scholars from around the world. Alaine Handa explores Lund to find the best activities and restaurants the city has to offer.
The city of Lund is known for its prestigious namesake, Lund University. Students from all over Sweden and around the world come to Lund for research and development. The ease of transport and proximity to Malmö, Copenhagen airport, and Copenhagen make Lund an ideal place to study.
A University City
Quaint and scholarly are the perfect words to describe this city with a population of around 121, 200. An abundance of cafes, restaurants, bars, bakeries, and small boutiques line the cobblestone streets of central Lund.
The largest employers in Lund include Lund University, Tetra Pak, SUS, and Lund Municipality with hubs of research and innovation centers such as the European Spallation Source (ESS)—will be fully completed by 2025— MAX IV laboratory, Medicon village, and Ideon science park.
The charm of Lund lures students, researchers, scholars, and professors from the world over to come live and work here.
Lund’s closest airport is Malmö (a 28-minute bus ride), and the Copenhagen International airport is approximately a 40-minute train ride from Lund Central station making it easy to get to Lund by train. Lund Central station is about a 5-hour train ride from Stockholm Central station and about 3.5 hours from Gothenburg. Getting around central Lund is easy by foot or by public bus using the Skånetrafiken app or a Jojo card, the equivalent to the SL app or SL card in Stockholm.
There are some centrally located hotels such as Grand Hotel, Hotel Lundia, Hotel Oskar Lund, Hotel Concordia, Hotel Nordic Lund, and many Bed & Breakfast lodges littered throughout the city. Booking around Lund University’s big celebrations or the start of a term might prove a bit challenging as families tend to reserve the available rooms so staying in central Malmö (a 15-minute train ride) is an option.
Slow Travel in Lund
Some of my favorite activities in Lund are meeting up with friends for a long fika, wandering through the small cobblestoned streets lined with cute, colorful houses, and taking long walks in the various parks and walking paths just outside of the city center. Check out some of my pictures and personal account of Lund on my blog, Travel with Alaine.
What to do in Lund
Standing tall in the center of it all is the iconic Lunds Domkyrka (Lund Cathedral). A historic church built around the 1100s when parts of Skåne (Southern Sweden) belonged to the kingdom of Denmark as a center for culture and religion.
You cannot miss the large towers and dark grey stone exteriors towering over the city with the clocks ringing at 12 pm and 3 pm daily. Upon entering the church you will find an astronomical clock as its most unique feature.
With tall pillars, grand big hall, and excellent acoustics the cathedral is a must-visit for anyone visiting the city of Lund.
Lunds Domkyrka is the most visited cathedral in Sweden with over 700,000 visitors annually. The stunning architecture of Lunds Domkyrka rivals other iconic cathedrals like La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and Hallgrimskirja in Reykjavik in my opinion.
Kulturen Open-Air Museum
Kulturen is an open-air museum with historical houses, permanent and temporary exhibitions in the main house. Located right by Lundagård and next to prominent university buildings. The houses in the museum replicate what life was like in the Middle Ages up until the 1930s.
The gardens surrounding the houses are well maintained and the entire museum is designed to be family-friendly with lots of activities for children and families. When I visited Kulturen last summer, there was a temporary Alice in Wonderland exhibit filled with funny mirrors, colorful doors, and crawl spaces for children.
Lund’s Botanical Garden
The Botanical garden in Lund has existed since 1690 and moved to its current location in 1860. Boasting over 7000 species over 20 acres in Lund, this is a great spot to have a picnic or outdoor fika break in the summer months. Botanists and photographers will enjoy the fauna spread throughout the garden. In the summer months, you will see students and local residents sunbathing, playing Frisbee, walking their dogs, having picnics in the large open grassy fields.
Lundagård, Kungshuset, Lund University, and Lund University Library
Lundagård, Kungshuset, Lund University, and Lund University Library are not to be missed and integral to life in Lund. Spread throughout the city of Lund, the university also has campuses in Malmö and Helsingborg. At the center is Lundagård park, right behind Lunds Domkyrka.
The park was once a walled park to separate the town from the university with the main building situated at the north of the park and the
The house was originally built by the Danish king Fredrick II as a residence for the bishop of Lund between 1578 and 1584. After the founding of Lund University, King Charles XI of Sweden donated the building was the center of University life with a library and a theater until the mid 19th century. This building looks like a castle fortress in the middle of the park. Just north of the building is a white building with a fountain in front and sphinxes at the top.
The buildings surrounding Lundagård are part of Lund University and in the fall you can see the changing colors of the moss outside the Lund University
Located on the large square of Mårtenstorget, step inside and the large sweeping contemporary design of the building is a delight.
If you are in Lund around Luciadagen (Saint Lucia day), the annual Lucia procession is performed inside the museum’s main hall. I witnessed this beautiful procession and performance and it will surely get one into the Christmas spirit!
Favorite fika places in Lund
As I have mentioned earlier, there are many cafes in Lund to have a cozy fika. Lund has an abundance of independent cafes and several Espresso House cafes centrally located in Lund. You can find vegan cafes, coffee roaster, and classic bakeries all over central Lund.
My favorites cafes in Lund:
Love Coffee Lund – They are a local coffee roaster gaining a cult following and traction in Sweden and abroad!
Broder Jakobs —THE BEST cardamom buns and cinnamon buns in my opinion!
Cashew Vegan café & kitchen—They have the BEST vegan
Where to eat in Lund
There are quite a lot of restaurants in Lund with a variety of ethnic and international food. While not as plentiful as nearby Malmö or the abundance of Michelin-starred restaurants as Copenhagen, you will eat very well in this city.
There are options ranging from the corner kebab and falafel stands to white table linen restaurants. Vegetarians and vegans will also have a good variety of places to eat here.
Salehan express—Located just across from the Lund’s Saluhallen (food hall) is this hole-in-the-wall falafel and kebab takeaway stand that is
Mui Gong—Authentic Chinese restaurant in Lund, my favorite dishes are the Beijing duck and Sichuan tofu.
Mat & Destillat—A lovely upscale restaurant with a menu that changes seasonally.
M.E.A.T.—If you’re craving a good steak…this is the place in Lund.
Tugg burgers—The burgers at this back alley restaurant is a popular spot and their fries are addictive.
Truefood—The best vegan café and restaurant in Lund!