Sweden: Ystad

The beautiful port city of Ystad, while small, dates back to the 12th century and has a very well-preserved medieval core full of beautiful cobblestone squares and streets, old buildings, churches, and abbeys. Among the major attractions are the Greyfriars Abbey founded in 1267 by Franciscan Monks (the best preserved medieval monastery in Sweden) and the brick-gothic Sankta Maria Church from the 13th century. Ystad was the member of the Hanseatic League of cities, and as such is full of medieval gothic architecture and colorful townhouses. It really deserves a UNESCO listing – an absolute must see on any Sweden exploration.