Under an hour by local train from Malmö, the medieval market town of YSTAD is exquisitely well preserved and boasts a prettiness that may come as a surprise if you’ve arrived at the train station down by the murky docks. In the historic centre though, you can marvel at the quaint, cobbled lanes, lined with cross-timbered cottages, and the town’s chocolate-box central square, oozing rural charm. With the stunningly beautiful coastal region of Österlen stretching northeast from town all the way to Kristianstad, Ystad is a splendid place to base yourself for a day or so. It also offers the option of a quick hop to the Danish island of Bornholm. Ystad stages its annual opera festival through most of July; you can get information on performances and book tickets at the ticket office.

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