Looking for the best things to do in Malmo, Sweden? We’ve got you covered!
Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city, is going through a rebirth and is reinventing itself as one of the coolest, most eco-friendly, and most unique cities in northern Europe. Malmo is also becoming the epicenter of creativity and innovation in the region, with an influx of investments flooding the city. In fact, more money is pouring into Malmo than even Oslo or Helsinki. And it’s totally obvious.
The city feels, dare we say, a bit like a miniature version of some of the more trendy neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York. Eco-friendly neighborhoods are popping up, funky hipster shops are overtaking old outdated strip malls, foodie havens are cropping up, and biking is becoming one of the most popular methods of getting around the city. Add some interesting history and architecture to the mix and you have a city that’s sure to please any seasoned traveler!
But, before you go running off to book your visit to Malmo, here are a few things you should know in advance to make planning your trip easier.
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Things to Know When Visiting Malmö
Malmo Population: 340,000
Flying in/out of Copenhagen Airport: Copenhagen Airport is a short, easy, and inexpensive train ride away from Malmo’s Central Train Station. You can purchase a ticket from one of the Skånetrafiken’s ticket machines upon arrival at the airport or departure from the train station. A single ticket costs 110 SEK (about €10.00 at time of publication) and trains run every 20 minutes. The best part about the trip is that it takes only 20 minutes!
Flying in/out of Malmo Airport: Flygbussarna is a bus company that will transport you from Malmo Airport to the center and vice versa. The buses are directly outside the terminal and tickets can be purchased at one of the self-service machines. If you’re taking one of the buses to the airport you can buy a ticket from any 7-Eleven shop, at the bus exits, one of the Pressbyrån locations (Malmö Centralstation departure hall, Pressbyrån Malmö Södergatan, Pressbyrån Malmö Gustav Adolfs Torg, Pressbyrån Malmö Södervärn Busstation), or online.
Malmö Centralstation – The main hub of transportation for trains travel from Malmo to Copenhagen (and vice versa), and throughout Sweden and the region.
Public Transportation – Malmo’s public transportation is extremely efficient. If you don’t rent a bike, or want to visit the region and nearby cities, the best way is by public transportation. Here is everything you need to know about public transportation and how to buy tickets in Malmo.
Language – Seemingly everyone in Sweden’s cities speaks English at such a high level you may be inclined to think they are native speakers. You will have absolutely no issue navigating the city or region if you speak English.
Currency – Swedish krona. You can find the exchange rate here. Before you pull a bunch of cash out of the ATM, however, know that Sweden is a country that relies heavily on bank cards. In fact, some places don’t even accept cash. You really won’t need it that often.
Exploring Sweden – If you plan on exploring Sweden beyond Malmo, we highly recommend searching for the best bus and train travel options in Sweden on Omio. The site is completely in English and super easy to navigate and book tickets from. Plus, Omio has a great app that you can use to store all of your tickets right on your phone.
When to Visit Malmo
In our opinion, the best time to visit Malmo is during summer. Yes, even during summer Malmo is often drenched in the pale grey colors one usually associates with Scandinavia. Sunny and truly warm days are not incredibly common, and the wind always seems to be blowing in this costal city.
So, why might one choose to visit Malmo in the summer? In short, long days and the highest temperatures of the year. The sun fully sets in Malmo for only a few hours during summer, which means you can fit a lot more sightseeing in during these long days. July is the warmest month with an average high of 72° F and low of 56° F, and despite the fact that there will be plenty of cloudy days, you’re more likely to get a decent amount of sunshine during your visit. Maybe you’ll even enough to get a tan, like we did!
Okay, that covers the basics and you should have everything you need to book your upcoming trip to Malmo. Without further ado here is our list of what we think the best things to do in Malmo are!
The Best Things to Do in Malmo Sweden
Visit One of Malmo’s Interesting Neighborhoods!
Malmo is a fairly small city and can easily be explored by bike or on foot. The city has a number of interesting neighborhoods, each with their own unique characteristics that are worth devoting at least a few hours to. Once you find your favorite, I guarantee you’ll keep going back to try and see every nook and cranny.
Here are some of Malmo’s most interesting neighborhoods, in our opinion.
Gamla Staden – Malmo’s Historic District
Surrounded almost entirely by water, Malmo’s Gamla Staden is home to a plethora of old (and new) buildings, cobbled streets, cute cafes, lovely restaurants, museums, shopping areas, and historic squares. The neighborhood is worth devoting at least a half day to exploring. Sites worth visiting include the Moderna Museet Malmö, Lilla Torg (Little Square), Stortorget (the oldest square in the city), and Sodergatan Street (Pedestrian street).
Davidshall Neighborhood in Malmo
Just a hop, skip, and jump from Gamla Staden, Davidshall is full of awesome bars, cafes, and boutique shops. The neighborhood is the perfect place to take in a lazy breakfast, a fika (Swedish coffee break accompanied by a pastry) or do some people watching.
St. Knuts Neighborhood in Malmo
St. Knuts, next to Davidshall, is another sleepy little neighborhood worth spending time in and living like a local. It has a myriad of cafes, restaurants, shops, and 1930s architecture to sample and admire.
Västra Hamnen – The Western Harbour
Västra Hamnen (Western Harbor), is architecturally and atmospherically opposite to most of the historic neighborhoods in Malmo. This sustainable neighborhood is home to Malmo Beach and the famous Turning Torso building. The area, which to be honest can sometimes feels like a ghost town, is full of stunning modern architecture, bike and running paths, sandy beaches, and waterfront views.
Möllevången (referred to by locals as Möllan) is a lively multicultural neighborhood in Malmo. At least one visit to the Möllevångstorget, the neighborhood’s large square, is a must.
The fruit and vegetable market, which is on most days of the week, is a mecca for any food lover. Make sure you don’t miss this great market when you;re in town! Additionally, this area is home to some of the best falafel we’ve ever had.
Grab a Few Photos at One of Malmo’s Most Interesting Squares
Stortorget Square, Malmo’s Oldest Square
Malmos oldest square, Stortorget, was built in the 1530s, and is home to the impressive Malmo City Hall, a statue of King Karl X, and plenty of historic colorful buildings. If you ignore the annoying KFC restaurant located next to the city hall, you’ll find plenty of charming architecture to feast your eyes on.
The square is used for a number of events and festivals put on by the city and is the perfect place for a symbolic photograph of the Malmo.
Lilla Torg, Malmo’s Little Square
Among the top of the list of Malmo attractions is Lilla Torg, which means little square. This square contains some of the oldest buildings in Malmo, which can be enjoyed while sipping a drink or coffee at one of its many outdoor cafes.
The square dates back to the 1500s and was originally intended, and is still sometimes used, as a marketplace. If you want a taste of historic Swedish architecture, this is the place to go.
Swedish Sauna Day at Ribersborgs Kallbadhus
Spending a day at Ribersborgs Kallbadhus, a traditional Swedish Sauna, is one of the best things to do in Malmo.
The sauna is perched atop stilts in the icy cold waters of Malmo Beach. Once inside visitors will find a cafe and restaurant, saunas, outdoor bathing areas, and massage facilities. As Swedish tradition dictates, the sauna experience is to be enjoyed completely naked. But don’t worry, there are two sections, one for men and one for women.
Once you’ve spent a few minutes sweating out toxins in the incredibly hot sauna, an icy cold dip in Sweden’s Øresund sound will invigorate your senses. You can recover from the shock by soaking in some rays (again entirely nude) on one of the many sundecks outside.
Things to Know When Visiting Ribersborgs Kallbadhus
- Men’s and Women’s Sauna, bathing, and sun deck areas are separate.
- Clothing is not allowed in the sauna area, however a towel to sit on is required. Obviously if you’re not totally comfortable being naked in front of strangers, you can opt to leave your towel on.
- Swimsuits are permitted in the outdoor bathing areas but are not typical.
- There are locker and shower rooms where you can leave your belongings and shower before/after your visit to the sauna. You can bring your own locks, or buy one from the reception desk but most people leave their belongings unsecured. Theft is not common here.
- Towels can be rented but it’s best to bring your own.
- If the thought of being naked around friends and strangers makes you uneasy, try to relax. There are people of all ages, shapes, and sizes around, and there is no need to worry. It’s a totally unstressful, and freeing experience. Enjoy it!
Explore on Two Wheels
Bike nerds will be thrilled to hear that Malmo is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. In fact, Copenhagenize ranked it number six, and a quarter of all trips taken in Malmo are by bike. Plus, given the size of Malmo, exploring all the main sites on bike in one day is totally possible.
Both drivers and pedestrians are extremely accommodating towards those getting around on two wheels, and there are bike lanes are all over the city. Bike park racks are also never far away, but many people leave their bikes on the sidewalks, unattached to a rack.
Renting a bike in Malmo is pretty cheap and simple too. Malmo by Bike is a public bike rental scheme that costs about €8.00 a day. Stations are located all over the city so finding or returning a bike is always a cinch. For more information visit the Malmo by Bike site here.
Admire Modern Art at Moderna Museet Malmö – Museum of Modern Art
Modern art lovers, and budget travelers will agree that visiting the Moderna Museet is one of the best things to do in Malmo!
This completely free museum displays contemporary works from artists from the 20th century onwards. Exploring the museum’s independent exhibitions is the perfect way to spend a few hours on a rainy day in Malmo. Plus be sure to check out their cafe and gift shop. The entire space is washed in bright orange, perfect for getting your own creative juices flowing!
For current exhibit information, hours, and other details for Moderna Museet click here.
Malmo’s Oldest Building – St Peter’s Church
If you want to see Malmo’s oldest building, head to St. Peter’s church in old town.
The Gothic church was erected back in the 1300s and underwent changes in the 1500s and 1600s. The Evangelical Lutheran church welcomes anyone and everyone regardless of nationality and is open from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm daily.
Explore Malmo’s Best Parks
Malmo is an incredibly green city. There are parks dotted all around the city and they’re the perfect place to spend a warm and sunny day lazing about. If you find yourself weary of sightseeing and in need of a lazy day outdoors, grab a blanket, pack a picnic, and head to one of Malmo’s many fantastic parks.
Here are some of the best parks in Malmo to visit!
Pildammsparken in Malmo
Pildammsparken is Malmo’s oldest park. The lazy park is the perfect place to bring a picnic lunch, soak in some sunshine, read a book, or enjoy a few glasses of wine with friends. Additionally, during summer months there are loads of activities in the park like concerts and movie nights. The park has a number of open green spaces, a huge pond, and walking, riding and jogging paths.
Pildammsparken is a short 9-minute bike ride from the old town or a leisurely 20-minute walk.
Slottsträdgården in Malmo
Slottsträdgården, a small park located directly behind Malmo Castle, is a peaceful refuge to the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can spend time admiring the park’s lovely flower garden, grab some shade under the massive windmill, or kayak in the canal that runs through the park.
Folkets Park in Malmo
Folkets park, or people’s park, is a great option for families with children visiting Malmo. There are loads of playgrounds, a few small skateparks, and other entertainment options for children in the park. Additionally, there is plenty of green space to relax, grills for a cookout, and food stalls and a bar for snacks or a drink.
Visit Malmohus Castle
The oldest Renaissance castle in the region, Malmohus Castle was founded in 1943 and partially demolished and rebuilt in the 16th century. The castle has a bit of interesting history. It served as a prison for one of Mary Queen of Scots’ husbands for over five years. In the Middle Ages was home to the production of Danish coins.
However, the main reason to visit today the castle is used to host Malmö Museer where a number of exhibitions on history, technology and seafaring are put on.
Do Some Shopping in Malmo at the Best Hipster and Foodie Shops
AB Småland is a Scandinavian design and home decor dream and the perfect shop to visit if you want to bring bit of Swedish design back to your own home. You can find everything from bed sheets, duvet covers, candles, funky prints (including one with 9 uteruses, because why not), bathrobes, plants, clothing, plates, bowls, and cutlery, and more.
The best thing about AB Småland, everything is organic or made of upcycled material. AB Småland also has a sweet little cafe in the front of the store if you become overwhelmed by all the amazing options and need to take a break mid-shopping.
If a group of creatives suddenly took over an outdated strip mall, Mitt Möllan is what it would look like. In fact, that’s exactly what happened. New life has been breathed into this once dark and dated 1960s shopping mall by young creative tenants. It now offers everything from do-it-yourself jewelry, to high-end prints and bound notebooks, to art, design, and fashion.
One of our favorite things about Mitt Möllan is its incredible food court. No Burger Kings or KFCs here. Only the very best in foodie cuisine. Visitors can nosh on Poke Poke bowls, Vietnamese Noodles, Indian curry, and even vegan ice cream. Yes, vegan ice cream! Kold is a little ice cream shop offering innovative flavors like Balla Gubbar (Strawberries, Vanilla and Cream of Balsamic-ripple), Chokladboll (dark chocolate, coffee, and coconut) and Pink IPA (IPA beer, watermelon, and citrus), many of which are vegan, all of which are delicious! The enthusiastic, entertaining, and innovative owner serves up these tasty scoops to patrons but not before you’ve had a chance to try out as many flavors as you want. In our opinion, you can’t leave Malmo before you’ve had a chance to try the ice cream at Kold!
Malmö Saluhall is an upscale, indoor food market offering some of Sweden’s finest local products. Coffee, cheese, meats, candy, freshly baked breads and desserts are all up for grabs here!
Additionally, there are a number of street food stalls serving delicious, freshly made meals, snacks, and coffee to hungry visitors. Every foodie should visit Malmö Saluhall at least once!
Sunbathe at the Beach
Yes, it is possible to get a tan while visiting Malmo!
If all the bike riding you’ll be doing in Malmo doesn’t get you to your desired color, then head to Malmo beach on a sunny day. Bring a beach blanket, picnic, and a Frisbee for hours of calm and relaxation. If you’re brave you can even dip a toe in the Øresund sound for a bone chilling experience!
Visit Scandinavia’s Tallest Building – The Turning Torso
If you like modern architecture, you’ll love the aptly named Turning Torso. The tower, which comes in at 623 feet high and located in Västra Hamnen, is the tallest in all of Scandinavia. It’s also the world’s first “twisted building” with the top segment twisting a full 90 degrees in rotation past the ground floor.
Opinions regarding this luxury commercial and residential building’s aesthetics may be mixed but it’s undeniably unique and absolutely demands attention from anyone in the vicinity. In addition to its innovative design, the Turning Torso is also unique in that its energy sources are 100% renewable, utilizing hydro, solar, wind, and geothermal energy.
Squint and Admire the Oresundsbron Bridge from Malmo
If you’ve ventured to the Västra Hamnen neighborhood to see the Turning Torso then bike, walk, run, or jog a few minutes to Daniaparken for a glimpse of the Oresundsbron Bridge. This five-mile-long rail and motorway bridge (the longest in Europe) was made famous by the Scandinavian TV crime thriller The Bridge and unites Sweden and Denmark.
If you want a closer look at the bridge, head to Malmö Central Station and purchase a ticket to cross the bridge and head over to Copenhagen. You can purchase a SJ Ticket from one of the Skånetrafiken’s ticket machines upon arrival or departure from the airport. A single ticket costs about €10.00 and only takes about 20 minutes.
Where to Stay in Malmo
Ohboy Hotell in Malmo
Ohboy Hotell is a brand new boutique style cycle hotel in Malmo’s Western Harbor neighborhood, steps from the Turning Torso building and a few minutes walk to the beach. The luxurious loft style apartments come complete with a small kitchen, living room, bedroom, and private bathroom. Additionally, the rooms are decked out with a collection of items representing Malmo’s local design scene, and boy does it shows. They are incredibly beautiful, err on the side of minimalism, and yet still somehow manage to be uber comfortable and somewhat cozy.
In addition to the lovely decor, every Ohboy Hotell rooms comes with a bike so from the moment you check in and set your bags down you can start cruising around town to explore all of the best things to do in Malmo. Plus, if you fancy yourself a skater the rooms also come with a skateboard. Since the hotel is located directly across the street from a massive skate park you’ll have no problem taking advantage of it!
The Best Hostel in Malmo for Budget Travelers
If you’re looking for the best hostel in Malmo, look no further than the STF HI Vandrarhem. The hostel is centrally located, not far from the Malmo Opera and pedestrian streets. Additionally there are loads of cafes and bars in the area if you’re looking to kick back in the evenings.
Guests can choose from a variety of rooms including single, double, or even family rooms with multiple beds. The clean and modern hostel also offers guests a buffet breakfast or you can make your own in the fully equipped guest kitchen.
Traveling Around Sweden By Train or Bus
If you want to explore the rest of Sweden we highly recommend train travel. Sweden’s high speed trains are super nice and comfortable, and they include such amenities as WiFi, clean restrooms, outlets to charge your electronics, luggage racks, tables, and even a dining car for meals and drinks. Book your train tickets well in advance for the best possible rates.
If you’re on a very tight budget you can also explore Sweden by bus.
Malmo to Stockholm, Sweden’s capital and its largest city:
- Traveling to Stockholm from Malmo by Train is a super easy four hour ride away. Tickets can be purchased for as little as €20.00 each way.
- Traveling to Stockholm from Malmo by Bus is an 8-10 hour trip. Tickets can be purchased for as little as €15.00 each way.
Malmo to Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city:
- Traveling to Gothenburg from Malmo by Train is a super easy 2.5 hour ride away. Tickets can be purchased for as little as €20.00 each way.
- Traveling to Gothenburg from Malmo by Bus is a 3.5 -4.5 hour ride. Tickets can be purchased for as little as €5.00 each way.
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Disclaimer: In partnership with @malmotown. Thank you to MalmoTown for hosting us during our stay in Malmo. Thank you to Omio for sponsoring this article. We have included a few handy little affiliate links in case any of our readers want to book accommodations. We receive a small commission for any sales made, without any additional cost to you, our dear reader. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.