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In the center of Helsingborg, you'll find a number of shopping possibilities, including Väla Centrum, which is one of the largest shopping centers in all of Scandinavia. To reach it, follow Hälsovågen and Ångelholmsvägen north about 6km (3 3/4 miles; it's signposted), or take bus no. 202 from Knutpunkten. Seemingly everything is here under one roof, including two large department stores and 42 specialty shops, selling everything from shoes to tropical fish.

The best bookstore in town is Bengt Bökman, Bredgattan 22 (tel. 042/10-71-00), with many English-language editions. The best place to buy glass is Duka Carl Anders, Kullag 17 (tel. 042/24-30-20), which carries the works of such prestigious manufacturers as Kosta Boda and Orrefors.

Pottery

Northwest Scania is known as Sweden's pottery district. The first Scanian pottery factory was founded in 1748 in Bosarp, 15km (9 1/3 miles) east of Helsingborg. The city of Helsingborg got its first factory in 1768 and another began manufacturing in 1832. Since then, the tradition has been redeveloped and revitalized, making the area famous far beyond the borders of Sweden.

At a point 7km (4 1/3 miles) south of Helsingborg, you can visit Raus Stenkarlsfabrik, less than a kilometer (1/2 mile) east of Råå (look for signs along Landskronavagen). It is open May to August Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm; in the off season, you must make an appointment. Call tel. 042/26-01-30 for more information, or visit www.martensson.net.

In Gantofta, 10km (6 1/4 miles) southeast of Helsingborg, lies Jie-Keramik (tel. 042/22-17-00), one of Scandinavia's leading manufacturers of hand-painted decorative ceramics, wall reliefs, wall clocks, figures, and other such items. You can visit a factory shop or patronize a cafe on-site. From Helsingborg, drive south to Råå, then follow the signs to Gantofta. You also can take bus no. 209 from Knutpunkten in the center of Helsingborg. The outlet is open June to August daily noon to 6pm. Off-season hours are daily 10am to 4pm.

If you drive 20km (12 miles) north of Helsingborg to Höganäs, you'll find two famous stoneware factories. Höganäs Saltglaserat (tel. 042/21-65-40; www.saltglaserat.com) has been manufacturing salt-glazed stoneware since 1835. Today the classic, salt-glazed Höganäs jars with their anchor symbol are still in production. Everything is made by hand and fired in coal-burning circular kilns from the turn of the 20th century. The shop here is within the factory, so you can see the throwers in action and go inside the old kilns. It's open year-round during regular shopping hours. Some words on getting here: If you have no car, you can take bus 220 0r 220 to the center of town (buy tickets on the bus to save time) and get off at the Höganäscenter bus parking area. From there it is a 10 minute walk on a bike path; follow the signs to "design center". The factory is in a low lying industrial center with an excellent restaurant (Garage) and gourmet takeaway shop nearby.

Höganäs' other outlet, Höganäs Keramik (tel. 042/35-11-31; www.hoganaskeramik.se), is Scandinavia's largest stoneware manufacturer. Its factory shop, inaugurated in 1994, sells flawed goods from both Höganäs Keramik and Boda Nova at bargain prices. This outlet is open May to August Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm. Off-season hours are Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm, and Sunday 11am to 4pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.