The town of Helsingborg on the southern coast of Sweden is your gateway not only to the European countryside, but to the northern coast of Denmark as well. You'll have access to both countries when your European cruise travels down the Oresund, the strait that separates these two lands.
Helsingborg is a charming city that hasn't lost much of its medieval architecture and style. This beautiful town is best experienced on a walking tour, as the streets are very pedestrian-friendly. In fact, the Kullagatan area of town was the first pedestrian-only shopping street in all of Sweden.
Continue your tour with a trip to the Fredriksdal Friluftsmuseum, an open-air museum that will allow you to explore many of the city's beautiful old buildings. Seeing these works of art from the outside is one thing, but exploring the interiors and learning about the people who lived there is sure to be memorable.
Just outside the city is Sofiero, which was the former summer residence for the Swedish royal family. Touring these beautiful grounds, you'll be hard-pressed to understand why the family ever decided to leave. Many of the rooms in the castle are preserved, although it now houses a restaurant as well. The gardens around the castle have also been restored.
It's also quite easy to cross from Helsingborg to Helsingor, the city located directly across the water in Denmark. Since 2000, the two towns have been connected by the magnificent eleven-kilometre long Oresund Bridge, although you can take a ferry as well if you so choose.
Helsingor is famous for being the setting for Shakespeare's famous play, Hamlet. The nearby Kronborg Castle was the inspiration for the fortress in the drama where nearly all of the action takes place. This is a stop that surely shouldn't be missed for fans of The Bard.