by Ariane Senécal
If you have friends or relatives visiting and are looking for a day trip, Ystad is a great choice: a nice medieval locality known for its cobbled streets, timbered houses and bloody crime.
Of course, we mean fictional crime. Ystad’s international claim to fame today is that author Henning Mankell chose to locate his inspector Wallander murder mysteries in this quaint Skåne town.
But it’s not just fiction fans that will enjoy a trip to Ystad. This pleasant town facing the Baltic sea (there are ferries to Poland and the Danish island of Bornholm, it even has beaches not far from the town centre) is full of picturesque Southern Swedish buildings.
The tourist office (next to the art museum) is a good place to begin (they do have Wallander maps). If you’re shy or come late, use the self-serve box outside.
The local Bryggeriet produces a nice fresh beer on the premises (Färsköl). There are lots of restaurants and cafes too, many in buildings dating back to the Dark Ages.
The well-preserved town can trace its history to the 11th century. The famous Sankta Maria church is originally from the 13th century. Hang around until 9:15 PM to hear a watchman blow his horn every 15 minutes (until 1 AM) as his predecessors have for hundreds of years.
The striking red brick of Ystad’s oldest buildings belies their age. Another well-preserved beauty is the 14th century cloister adjoining Sankt Petri church, protected by wise locals, now housing galleries and cafes. It is surrounded by lovely gardens.
Ystad can be reached by train, but bus 6 offers a direct connection from Lund C (departing in front of the Skånetrafiken office). Use a Jojo cash card for cheaper rates and partner up with a buddy to share a Duo discount!
For a disturbing intro to Ystad, Lunds Stadsbibliotek has the BBC Wallander trilogy. Less scary is the Ystads kommun website: http://www.ystad.se. English info hard to find, but it’s there.