As the third largest city in Sweden, Malmo is quickly becoming the country’s most hip and modern place to be. That said, between all its shiny architecture, bike paths, and vegan restaurants, you’ll still find a good handful of old-world gems like castles and churches. Malmo is a little more underground than Stockholm, and it doesn’t get the same global recognition as nearby Copenhagen or often-compared Berlin, which makes it an excellent destination for a low-key Nordic getaway. Here’s your traveler’s guide to Malmo, Sweden.
Quick Facts About Malmö
- As is the case in Stockholm, Copenhagen, and many other Scandinavian cities, English is spoken almost universally. If you speak English, you will have no problem getting around
- The currency in Sweden is the Swedish Krona, which over the last few years has hovered around nine Krona per dollar. Before you go taking money out of ATMs, know that Malmo is a very modern city with almost everywhere accepting card (and some places even refuse to accept cash)
- Malmo’s population is just over 300,000
- Malmo is a young city with over half the population under 35
- Malmo is an international city with over 31% of its inhabitants born abroad (Iraqis are the largest migrant demographic)
Malmo is located in the southern region of Sweden roughly 4.5 hours south of Stockholm by train. If you fly into Stockholm, you can take a comfortable train operated by the national service SJ which will cost about 300 SEK, or about $32. On the other hand, Malmo is located just across the bay from Copenhagen. From the Copenhagen airport, it’s a brief train ride to the center of Malmo that costs the equivalent of $10. (P.S. here’s How to Do Copenhagen on a Budget).
Getting Around Town
Staying true to its identity as a modern, hip, sustainable city, Malmo is a place where bikes reign. The whole city is extremely flat, and thanks to its small size, most likely you can get where you want to go within a short pedal. We recommend creating an online account with Malmo by Bike to have total access to the public bikes all around the city throughout your stay. The public buses are also an effective option but be aware that they don’t accept cash, so you’ll have to make an account with the travel app, Skånetrafiken.
Things to Do
One of the city’s most famous attractions is the Malmohus Castle, which is Sweden’s oldest renaissance castle that dates back to 1436. The castle is filled with a lively history of wars and power struggles, so visiting here makes for an excellent all-day adventure that’s both informative and fun.
Visit the Øresund Bridge
The Øresund bridge is a massive bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark. After opening in 1999, it has become one of the more popular tourist destinations for those in the area. Stop by to gawk at the impressive architecture that stretches as far as the horizon. If you’re staying in Copenhagen, you can even take this Private Half Day Tour to Sweden to explore Malmo for a few hours.
Visit the Turning Torso Tower
Malmo lays claim to the tallest — and the twistiest — building in all of Scandinavia. Standing at 190 meters high (about 623 feet), it’s located in the western harbor which houses other interesting architectural buildings, as well as the Stapelbaddsparken, the biggest skateboarding and climbing park in Europe. Try out your hand at climbing one of the large artificial rocks.
St Peter’s Church
Built in the early 14th century, St Peter’s Church is the oldest building in all of Malmo. If you’re at all interested in religious history and old Medieval art, definitely make this a stop on your itinerary.
Ribersborg park is where locals in Malmo go to get active. Located at the edge of town with long stretches of sandy beaches, it’s a great place to go for a run, explore the sand dunes and grasslands, or just sprawl out in the open air away from the city center. Beware that it can get extremely busy during the summer. If you’re looking to relax on golden sands by clear waters, these 6 Best Beaches in Europe are well worth the journey.
Where to Eat
Nordic Street Food
If you’re looking to dodge the hefty prices usually found in Scandinavia, head to Nordic Street Food, a food truck serving up local, seasonal ingredients.
On the other end of the spectrum, Bastard is one of the hippest and most forward-thinking spots in Malmo. Bastard is surprisingly affordable for the vibe it gives customers.
If you’re looking for a full on, multi-course meal to impress your date or family, take them to Bord 13. The super stylish restaurant does a great job representing new Nordic cuisines while staying true to traditional roots.
Fun fact: the largest nightclub in all of Scandinavia is in Malmo. Don’t let the English translation of this place’s name (slaughterhouse) throw you off, but the party does go on hard until about 5 am.
Malmo’s Buddha Lounge
Malmo’s Buddha Lounge is a funky, versatile spot where you can either let loose on the dancefloor, lounge around the suede couches and chairs, or dive into their delicious food menu.
Where to Stay
If you’re interested in exploring the old town and all the excellent cafes Malmo has on offer, definitely snag a room at MJ’s. MJ’s is as business-friendly as it is social. Visit for a comfortable room by yourself, or visit with a group and take advantage of their events.
What about staying in the bucolic Swedish countryside in a cozy apartment? This spot on the outskirts of town is in perfect proximity to have either an adventurous or an urban vacation.
For modern decór, excellent views of the water and proximity to all the biggest parks and attractions in Malmo, stay at this 4-star resort. When it comes to other hotels in Malmo, the on-location bar and breakfast buffet at Scandic Triangein are seriously a force to be reckoned with.