Danish until 1645, Halmstad served as an important fortified border town. Its street plan was laid out by the Danish king Christian IV after a huge fire wiped out most of the buildings in 1619 (apart from a few merchants' houses along Storgatan). He also awarded Halmstad its coat of arms: you’ll see the three crowns and three hearts motif dotted all over the place.
These days, the town's main draw is the beaches in the suburb of Tylösand, 8km southwest of the centre. It's a popular summer hang-out and party spot, with a huge hotel and lots of open-air bars.