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.
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)
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.
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
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!
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.
Hit up a local 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
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
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?
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
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 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.
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.
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.
Have you been to Malmö? Where is your favourite place? Let me know below in the comments.
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