The Ultimate guide to the top Things to do in Malmö

Boat with tin tin written on it in the harbour
Blue windmill in the middle of bright green grass
Red and and white lighthouse on the edge of water

Stockholm, Copenhagen are places we have all heard of before and these are the places that draw in thousands of tourists every year. What about Copenhagen’s smaller neighbour Malmö? Have you heard of Malmö before? There a things to do in Malmö?

Scandinavia is full of smaller cities and towns that also pack quite a punch. Malmö is one of them. Located in the south of Sweden and 40 minutes by train from Copenhagen.

Like many people, I didn’t know much about this harbour side city until I was researching things to do in Copenhagen. Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden and has managed to reinvent itself from becoming a declining industrial center and has become a sustainable and eco-friendly city.

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Check out the Top things to do in Malmö

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Here’s a few other posts to help you plan your Malmö trip:
The best place to experience Christmas: Tivoli Gardens Christmas market
The Ultimate guide to a DIY Food tour in Copenhagen

A train trip from Copenhagen to Malmö

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Getting to and around Malmö

Malmö is located at the end of the Øresund Bridge, which is connects Copenhagen and Sweden. There are several options to cross this bridge from Copenhagen, the cheapest is to take the bus but the most convenient is to take the train. The train journey is approximately, 40 minutes and the trains go every 20 minutes.

There is also an airport in Malmö and of course, if you are coming from other parts of Sweden, you can take the train or again a bus.

Another option, is to hire a car. If you are driving from Copenhagen to Malmö, keep in mind that you need to pay a toll to cross the bridge and it is quite expensive.

Malmö itself is very easy to get around. Because it is so small, you can easily walk to most of the places you will want to visit. However, to get out the Turning Torso, you might prefer to hire a bike. It is not overly busy in Malmö and is pretty easy to navigate.

Check with your hotel as some hotels do have free bike hire.

Top things to do in Malmö

One of the best things to do in Malmö is to take a walking tour. If you have read my guide on the travel experiences you must have every time you travel, you will know that I love walking tours.

Walking tours are a great way to get the “lay of the land” and find out some of the history of a place. Walking tours a usually lead by locals and locals always have the best tips on places to see and where to eat and drink!

Visit the old town (Gamla Staden)

Things to do in Malmö - visit the city square

The beautiful old town consists of two main areas, the bright and colourful West (Gamla Väster) and the East (Öster) which has been renewed during the rehabilitation).

As you wander around Gamla Staden, you will the strong Danish influence. Up until the 16th century, Malmo was Danish and as such, there are many Danish influences in the city.

There are three squares within Gamla Staden, Stortorget (big square), Lilla Torg (little square) and Gustav Adolf Torg. These three squares all link to one another, so you may move into another square without realising it.

In the big square, Stortorget, there are many major sites to see, such as the Old City Hall and a horse statue that pays tribute to King Karl X Gustav (King Karl X Gustav, was the King who returned Malmo to Swedish rule). Make sure you check out Apoteket Lejonet, an old pharmacy which has maintained the charm from the 1800s. It is an operating pharmacy but they are very used to tourists popping their heads in to marvel at the old world pharmacy.

Old pharmacy window

Once you have explored Stortorget, you can head onto Lilla Torg, or little square. The square is very small but charming. It is filled with restaurants and cafes. The cobblestone square is lined with stunning half timber buildings.

Finally Gustav, which is the second largest square. Here you will find market stalls selling flowers and vegetables like they used to in the “olden days”. If you’re lucky enough to be in Europe in winter, you will find a beautiful Christmas tree here.

Stop by Sankt Petri Church

An old red brick church tower

Sankt Petri Church or Saint Peters Church is a 14th century church with a pretty interesting history. Like many European churches, it has understand reconstruction several times throughout history – the tower has fallen twice!

The ornate alter of  church

Make sure you go inside the church. It has a beautiful interior and contains many limestone images. They also offer free coffee, so if you need to warm up or take a break, this will be perfect for you.

Inside an old church

Hit up a local park

Autumn leaves on the trees and the footpath of a park

One of the most enjoyable things to do in Malmö is to hit up a local park. There are many parks around Malmö to relax in. Slottsträdgården is lined with beautiful trees, which is made so much prettier in autumn, but at other times of year there are many festivals.

Enjoy the open spaces of Kungsparken

Blue windmill standing in green grass

Kungsparken was established in in 1869 and makes it Malmös oldest park. It is famous for the large windmill that stands in the middle of the park. The windmill is known as Slottsmollan it was a working windmill and is now furnished to represent the working conditions of a 19th century miller.

The most famous site in Malmö

Red circular building next a brick building across the rive

One of the most famous spots in Malmo is Malmöhus Castle, built in 1436 by the Danish and despite years of rivalry and struggle it is actually still part of Denmark. Like many castles in Europe, this castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout history. The castle is filled with history of the rivalry between Sweden and Denmark. Inside the museum is an aquarium. How cool is that?

A brick castle with a bridge crossing over a river

The Turning Torso

Built in 2001, it is hard to miss the Turning Torso. It was one of things to do in Malmö, where you don’t really have to do anything. You can see it from almost any where. It is the tallest building in Sweden and was named the Turning Torso because looks like a…..Turning Torso, yep like a human torso turning.

Sadly, you can’t go up the tower to get a view of the city so you will need to head to Clarion Hotel for a picture perfect view. Grab a drink at their sky bar on the 25th floor and take a break while admiring the view.

Old Malmö Lighthouse

A red and white lighthouse

The Malmo Old lighthouse has been open since 1878 and was functional until 1983. Apparently, the light house was moved to its current location in the 20th century. The lighthouse and the harbour backdrop make it a nice place for a walk.

Västra Hamnen

Colourful buildings lining a harbour

Västra Hamnen or the Western Harbour, is a relatively new and modern are in Malmö. During the 1970s – 1980s there was shipyard crisis and Malmö was hit hard. The crisis led to loss of one of the main economic pillars. The shipyard and the large Kockums crane fell into disrepair.

A green white and cream boat, titled Tin Tin

At the turn of the millennium, the city decided to build a new city district. Complete with the Turning Torso, the new district was finished in 2005.

Stone square with a circle cut out and a harbour in the background

These days, it a nice area to admire the colour of the buildings, the view of the lighthouse and the interesting boats that line the harbour. Located close to the central train station and the bus station, it is an ideal way to end your day.

How long to stay

There are plenty of things to do in Malmö that you can easily spend a day. However, if you would like to spend some time exploring the Swedish baths and enjoying the restaurants, I recommend two days.

Read next: 10 Delightful things to do in Copenhagen in Winter

Have you been to Malmö? Where is your favourite place? Let me know below in the comments.

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Comments

  1. I went to Malmö once on a quick day tour to here and Lund from Copenhagen. I surely did not spend enough time so when I do get a chance to go back to Sweden I would love to use some of these trips!

    • It is a beautiful city but I’m the same, I don’t think I spent enough time! There is sure to be much more to explore.

  2. Oh cool, I’ve never heard of Malmo myself but I love learning about new places and steering away from the touristy bubbles. The old town looks adorable, I love the look of those buildings. It looks like it would make a brilliant weekend getaway.

    • It would make for a beautiful weekend away!! There is enough to do to keep you “entertained” for a weekend, but it’s small enough that you don’t feel rushed!

  3. I have never heard of Malmo before, but I am so glad I read this post. It looks like a true hidden gem! Your pictures are beautiful. Definitley adding it to the “someday” bucket list! Thanks for this great guide!

  4. I am searching for road trips around Europe for this Summer and October school Holidays and it seems that Malmo is the perfect location to head to after Copenhagen. I’m excited about checking Malmo out but like you said, taking the train is a great way to get there so we might pack our car at Copenhagen.

    • I would love to do a European road trip this summer! I hope you get to visit some amazing places! Yep, I think parking your car in Copenhagen would be a good money saver, although it does depend on how many people you have in the car! Might be worth comparing prices!! Enjoy your road trip and stay safe.

    • Places seem so much more fascinating after you’ve done a tour and heard some cool stories.

  5. Sweden has been on my bucket list for so long, and this guide makes me want to go there now! I just can’t get over how beautiful their streets are. I cannot wait to add all of these things to my bucket list!

  6. Malmo looks so beautiful! I want to do a big Scandinavia trip next year, so I definitely am adding Malmo to the list. 🙂

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