Stopover for Culture and Cuisine in Malmo, Sweden
Disclaimer: Traveling to Malmo was partially hosted by the friendly folks at Visit Sweden. Thanks go out to them for all of their support!
Erika and I were on our own, traveling with a group from TBEX around the southern region of Sweden called Skane, and Jim was off in northern Sweden having his own fun with fat bikes and famous chefs.
He was to drive down, spend some time with us in Malmo, and then we would drive across the Oresund Bridge, opened in 2000, to Copenhagen all together. So what is kinds of things can you do in Malmo in just one day. Surprisingly, you can do a lot. We had so much fun exploring the food and sights of this southern Swedish city.
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Most of what we had been paying attention to on our tour was food, and oh was it amazing, but we hadn’t had much chance to see the city of Malmo, Sweden. Both of us had been here once before when there was no bridge and we’d taken the ferry from Copenhagen for the day.
I didn’t remember much from that day trip, giving me the impression that Malmo could easily be skipped. However, after spending a few nights there, driving on the bus and driving through the city seeing all the beautiful architecture, I felt that maybe Malmo had grown and we definitely should spend some time exploring the city before heading out. Boy was I right! I ended up falling in love with this town.
The three of us spent a whole day walking the river and the old cobblestone avenues of Lilla Torg, or Small Square, as well as making a few stops at some key Malmo sights that I’ve listed below. I have to say, though, with all the beauty, the modern and medieval architecture, friendly people, and great places to visit, both Erika and I left still dreaming about the amazing food that we’d eaten along the way.
In fact, as soon as Jim pulled up and parked the car, the first thing we did was take him to fika. He’d already experienced a few on his own, but it’s a tradition that I think is worth keeping. Do you know what fika is?
Fika is a morning or afternoon break. In the morning, most people have a coffee and a kanelbullar, or cinnamon roll. In the afternoon, they may have a sandwich, piece of fruit, or a sweet of some sort. Unlike American coffee breaks, it’s so ingrained in Swedish culture, that the whole office may take it at the same time. I loved it.
After a day of hoofing it all over, we climbed into the car to head on over to Copenhagen so we could meet up with our AirBnB hosts and find a good dinner. Don’t be like me and think that Malmo isn’t worth a stop. It is, and luckily it’s a great stopping point between other parts of Sweden and Denmark.
Things to see in Malmo – Our Recommendations
The Turning Torso is probably Malmo’s most iconic architectural art piece. Built in 2001, it is Sweden’s second tallest residential building. In fact, it houses 147 apartments. It is not right downtown, so in order to see Santiago Calatrava’s masterpiece you either need to ride your bike on the many bike paths, or take a bus to Lilla Varvsgatan 14.
On the bottom floor there are a few places to grab a coffee or lunch as well. Malmo Castle and the Malmo Museum are a worthwhile stop for a few hours to wander the castle and learn the cultural and natural history of the area. Address: Malmöhusvägen 6 and it’s open daily from 10:00 – 5:00.
There are two art museums that are both fantastic, but you might have to choose which one you go to if your time is limited like ours was.
If you like modern art, Moderna Museet Malmo is pretty shiny and new. You can’t miss it with its bright orange façade. Address: Ola Billgrens plats 2–4. Open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11:00-6:00. Cost: Free.
The other art museum, reputed to be the largest in Europe, is the Malmo Konsthall. Address: S. Johannesgatan 7, and it’s open daily from 11:00-5:00, except on Wednesdays when it stays open late (until 9:00). Cost: Free
Getting Around Malmo
Like most European cities, Malmo has fantastic public transportation. We took the train in and drove out, while busing all around for a couple of days. I would have liked to rent a bike, and headed out of the city on any of the many bike paths, but we had to get moving.
One thing I loved about the Malmo train station was the annex with plenty of cafes. I would venture to say, I had the best lunch there…in a train station.
Where to have Fika in Malmo
It’s not hard to find a great coffee shop in Malmo. In every museum, in the castle, in the shopping malls, along the street, you will find many. Here are a couple that you might want to look for: Lilla Kafferosteriet Baltzarsgatan 24 Cafe Number 6 Master Henriksgatan 6
Hollandia 8 Soedra Foerstadsgatan
Hotels in Malmo
We stayed in the Radisson Blu which had a lovely view of the entire city, and we thought this might just be the best hotel in Malmo! Part of our visit to Malmo was sponsored by Visit Sweden, but as always our opinions are our own.