A Complete Travel Guide to Malmö in Sweden + 20 Best Things to DoEverything you need to know including what to do, when to visit, where to eat and where to stay
A lovely city escape
Having lived in Copenhagen for all our lives, we have been to Malmö quite a few times. It’s so easy to get there from Copenhagen.
And one of our first dates was actually a day trip to Malmö!
We have visited the city in all seasons and simply love the atmosphere in the city.
This time we visited as part of a collaboration with Malmö Tourism and for the first time, we stayed for a whole weekend.
It gave us plenty of time to explore the beautiful squares, historical buildings and green areas.
Here are our best tips and things to do if you want to enjoy Malmö as much as we do.
Where to stay in Malmö
- Budget: STF Malmö City Hostel & Hotel.
- Value for money: Best Western Plus Hotel Noble House.
- Value for money: Radisson Blu Hotel Malmö.
Table of contents
Why visit Malmö
Malmö is much smaller than Copenhagen or Stockholm but just as cute and cosy.
Old cobblestoned walking streets and canals make Malmö such a lovely city to stroll around in and because it’s so compact, it’s easy to walk everywhere.
Within a small area, you can visit churches, squares with food stalls, parks, shopping centres, a fortress, the tallest skyscraper in Scandinavia and even a wonderful beach.
The eco-friendly city is filled with great food, lots of vegan options, hipster cafés with specialty coffee and cheap falafel stands.
We promise you, Malmö has a lot to offer for both couples, groups of friends and families travelling with children.
Malmö is the third-largest city in Sweden after Stockholm and Gothenburg.
It’s located in the southwestern part of Scania county (Skåne län in Swedish) – very close to the Danish capital, Copenhagen (yay, our hometown!).
What to do in Malmö
There’s so much to see and do in this little city. Here are our 20 favourite things to do in Malmö:
- Gamla Staden
- Lilla Torg
- Gustav Adolfs Torg
- Sankt Petri Kyrka
- Västra Hamnen
- Turning Torso
- Malmo Old Lighthouse
- Malmöhus Castle
- Ebba’s House
- Ribersborg Beach
- Ribersborgs Kallbadhus
- Folkets Park
- Malmö Saluhall
1. Gamla Staden
Gamla Staden means “the old town” and this is a very picturesque part of Malmö.
It’s divided into two parts; Väster (West) and Öster (East), also called the Caroli Quarter.
The western part, Gamla Väster is the most well-preserved part and it’s here you can find rows of old, colourful houses.
Gamla Staden has four beautiful squares, two shopping centres, many historical buildings as well as two impressive churches.
Literally meaning the big square, Stortorget is a square in Gamla Staden that you undoubtedly will see while in Malmö.
Here’s the old City Hall (dating back to the 16th century) and a horse statue paying tribute to King Karl X Gustav who conquered Scania, including Malmö, from Denmark.
You will also find the historical and beautiful pharmacy, Apoteket Lejonet.
If you travel from Copenhagen to Malmö by train, this is the first square you will meet when walking into the city from Malmö Central Station.
3. Lilla Torg
Not far from Stortorget, there’s a little square named Lilla Torg.
We really like this square for its restaurants and cafes!
4. Gustav Adolfs Torg
Gustav Adolfs Torg is just south of the two other squares, and usually, you will find market stalls with fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers.
The facade of an old neoclassical building that once was Malmö Theater is preserved and now houses the Swedish clothing-retail company H&M.
For this trip, we stayed at the four-star Best Western Plus Hotel Noble House which is located at Gustav Adolfs Torg.
5. Sankt Petri Kyrka
Sankt Petri Kyrka (Saint Peter’s Church) is a Brick Gothic church built in the 14th century.
It’s famous for its altarpiece from 1611 which is one of the largest ones in Scandinavia.
6. Västra Hamnen
The neighbourhood of Västra Hamnen (meaning western harbour) used to be an industrial area.
Today, it’s the first carbon-neutral district in Europe and it’s the most exclusive and expensive neighbourhood in Malmö.
7. Turning Torso
The most famous piece of architecture in Västra Hamnen is the neo-futurist residential skyscraper, Turning Torso, which is the tallest building in both Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia with a height of 190 metres.
Unfortunately, the top two floors are only open to visitors for three weeks of summer and unless you have booked a tour in advance, you will have to admire Turning Torso from the outside.
You can obviously see the building up close when visiting Västra Hamnen but you can spot the twisted skyscraper from almost anywhere in Malmö.
Our favourite place to photograph the building from was the Ribersborg Beach.
8. Malmo Old Lighthouse
If you are strolling around Västra Hamnen, you should swing by the Old Lighthouse.
The around 20-metre tall lighthouse ceased to be used for real in 1983 but it still has its charm.
Just west of Gamla Väster, you can enjoy Malmös oldest park, Kungsparken.
A Danish landscape architect designed the romantic park in the middle of the 19th century.
With an area of 8.4 hectares, it has two straight avenues as well as smaller paths, art and a fountain.
One of the larger central parks in the city, Slottsparken, is perfect for a sunny day out with its forest areas as well as open grass areas and two ponds.
The public Malmö City Library is located in the corner of the park, and if you like the mix of old and modern architecture, make sure to check it out.
Three bridges connect Slottsparken with Mölleplatsen and Kungsparken.
Crossing the bridge from Slottsparken towards Mölleplatsen, there’s an old Dutch type windmill called Slottsmöllan.
It was built in the middle of the 19th century but worked up until 1945.
Today it’s a part of Malmö Museer (Malmö Museums) which also includes Malmöhus Castle and the cute little Ebba’s House among other buildings.
The open, organic garden, Slottsträdgården, is in the middle of Malmö right next to Slottsmöllan.
Walk around the beautiful garden and look at the many flowers and vegetables growing or grab some fika (the Swedish concept of enjoying a coffee and cake break together) at Slottsträdgårdens Kafé.
13. Malmöhus Castle
Close to both Slottsparken, Slottsmöllan and Slottsträdgården, you will find the historical fortress, Malmöhus Castle.
The original castle from 1434 was partially destroyed at the beginning of the 16th century and the castle we see today was built in its place by the Danish King Christian III in 1530 – at a time when this province was a part of Denmark.
Malmöhus Castle is a part of Malmö Museer and inside the castle, there are exhibitions about technology, shipping and history.
14. Ebba’s House
Once inhabited by the twine maker Ebba Olsson, this old building (originally built in 1873) in the city centre is aptly named Ebbas Hus (Ebba’s House).
When the buildings around her changed in the 1960s, Ebba refused to sell her home and later, it was donated to Malmö Museer.
The house still has its original interior furnishing and it’s the smallest museum in the city.
15. Ribersborg Beach
A beach? In the city? Yes!
And a beautiful one at that.
Ribergsborg Beach is a long stretch of sand west of Malmö – around 10 minutes on a bike or 30 minutes of walking from Gamla Staden.
This is the perfect place to chill on a hot summer day or go for a stroll in the evening.
From the beach, you will have excellent views of Turning Torso and the Öresund Bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark.
16. Ribersborgs Kallbadhus
On Ribersborg Beach, there’s an open-air public bath named Ribersborg Kallbadshus.
It’s open year-round with two separate areas for women and men wanting to skinny dip. Don’t worry, it was closed for the day and no one was there when we took this photo.
Both areas are equipped with saunas and warm water tubs.
The ponds in Pildammsparken were originally Malmö’s water reservoir but since then the green area has transformed into a lovely park with huge trees, a great pond, jogging paths and a pavilion.
18. Folkets Park
Folkets Park (the people’s park) is a nice green area in one of Malmö’s most densely populated neighbourhoods.
The park has playgrounds, picnic spots, skate ramps, a basketball court and, in the summer, a splash pond, mini golf and bouncy cushions.
It’s used for theatre performances and concerts as well and all kinds of people go here to have fun and relax.
We had two amazing vegan pizzas from Far i Hatten – a very cosy restaurant serving Neapolitan pizzas.
Between Pimdammsparken and Folkets Park, Möllevångstorget is another square with market stalls that you might want to visit.
It’s the main square in the multicultural Möllevången neighbourhood.
The large number of restaurants surrounding the square makes it a popular meeting place in the evenings and during the day there’s a market with fruits, vegetables and lots of flowers.
20. Malmö Saluhall
Malmö Saluhall is an upscale food hall located in an old goods warehouse on Gibraltargatan.
Here you can find food stalls selling fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, ice cream, chocolates, salads, sandwiches, falafels, burgers, pizzas, noodles and more.
We even spotted a few vegan options at some of the stalls.
It’s possible to sit down and dine both inside and outside.
Where to stay in Malmö
As Malmö is a relatively small city, most hotel locations will get you in walking distance to all of Malmö’s main attractions.
Staying in Gamla Staden (the old city) is very cosy and easily recommendable.
Value for money in Malmö
Best Western Plus Hotel Noble House
We stayed at Hotel Noble House for a few nights while visiting Malmö and loved being right in the centre of Malmös Gamla Staden.
Every room has a film theme, and ours was “Pretty in Pink”. The film theme is consistent all throughout the hotel.
We also enjoyed the small but well-equipped gym and the sauna after a rainy evening – both are free to use for guests.
Hotel Noble House has been awarded Svanen – the official Nordic ecolabel for its sustainable practices. And if you choose to not have your room cleaned during the day, the hotel donates money to WWF.
Children will love the playful breakfast dining area.
Radisson Blu Hotel Malmö
With a great location in the quiet end of Gamla Staden, Radisson Blu in Malmö is a perfect place to stay for couples on weekend retreats in Malmö or families looking for a quality hotel room.
There’s a gym, organic breakfast options from Saltå, aircondition in the rooms and much more.
Budget hotels in Malmö
STF Malmö City Hostel & Hotel
For a cheap place to stay in Malmö with a great central location, look no further than STF Malmö City Hostel & Hotel.
With room choices that include budget twin rooms with shared bathrooms and dormitory rooms with bunk beds, this is a great option for the solo traveller or friends travelling together.
Where to eat in Malmö
Malmö is full of wonderful restaurants, cafés and bars.
And compared to Stockholm and Copenhagen, Malmö is a bit cheaper when it comes to eating out.
The scene for vegan and vegetarian food in Malmö is amazing with options ranging from smoothie bowls, salads and sweets made with local organic ingredients to fine raw dining, faux shawarma, vegan burgers that could fool anyone and some of the best pizzas ever.
During our four days in the city, we tried a lot of restaurants and cafés to sample a little bit of everything.
You can read all about it in our comprehensive vegan eating guide to Malmö with the best restaurants and cafés.
Here are our favourites:
- The best brunch place (including smoothie bowls): Farm2Table.
- The best croissants and baked goods: Leve.
- The best pizza: Far i Hatten.
- The best burger: The Vegan Bar.
- The best falafel and shawarma: Möllans Falafel.
- The best healthy food: The Raw Kitchen Malmö.
- The best specialty coffee shop: Solde.
How to get around in Malmö
Malmö is really compact and it’s easy to walk everywhere.
It’s also a very bike-friendly city and we had two bikes during our stay.
Most of the time we walked around but the bikes were handy when we wanted to get to a restaurant faster or to the area around Västra Hamnen which is around 30 minutes walking from Gamla Staden.
We haven’t used it much ourselves, but the public transportation system in Malmö is very good and easy to use.
How to get to Malmö
For this trip, we drove to Malmö in our car and parked it at one of the many indoor parking spaces.
We paid around 160 SEK (~ 15.5 EUR / 18 USD) per 24 hours and didn’t use the car at all while staying in the city.
By train or bus
Trains and busses go to and from Malmö multiple times per hour, year-round and the city is well connected to other big cities in Sweden and to Copenhagen in Denmark as well.
If you want to visit Malmö on a day trip from Copenhagen, you can travel from Copenhagen Central Station to Malmö Central Station in about 45 minutes.
Train tickets can be bought at the train stations and they are approximately 12 EUR / 14 USD each way per person.
Busses (mostly Flixbus) can be a bit cheaper but the travel time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Malmö city is actually midway between Malmö Airport and Copenhagen Airport (in Denmark).
While Malmö Airport is connected to most big cities in Europe, flights to Copenhagen Airport are often cheaper as there are more arrivals/departures to both Europe and the rest of the world.
It’s worth checking out fares to both airports if you plan to travel to Malmö by plane.
When to visit Malmö
Being just on the opposite side of Øresund from Copenhagen, the weather is usually the same in Malmö as it is in our hometown.
That generally means short but very pleasant (and busy) summers, colourful autumns, not-too-cold but dark winters and lovely but kinda hit-and-miss springs.
The sun almost doesn’t set in June, and the tourist season hasn’t really started yet, so that’s a great month for visiting Malmö. May is also great but a bit colder.
Last time we went to Malmö, we visited the city in late August. We had some rain in-between but when the sun was shining we enjoyed walking around in shorts and t-shirts.
Tip: Bring a raincoat and a sweater whenever you’re visiting Scandinavia, no matter the season!
Average minimum and maximum temperatures in Malmö
Monthly sunshine hours in Malmö
Monthly rain in Malmö
Our best tips for visiting Malmö
- Drink tap water. The water quality in Malmö is excellent.
- Walk around. Malmö is a very compact city and walking from one place to another is often the best option.
- Explore the parks. The parks in Malmö are great places to unwind and breathe fresh air.
- Eat falafel. The falafels in Malmö are known to be the best in Sweden.
- Don’t forget fika. Having a cup of coffee and something sweet is a great way to spend the afternoon.
- Take it slow. Malmö is a place to relax and enjoy life at a slower pace.
Thanks for reading
Thanks for getting all the way to the end!
We hope this Malmö guide has been useful.
What do you think about Malmö?
If you’ve been there, it would be awesome to hear your best tips in the comments.
If you haven’t been yet, please don’t hesitate to ask us anything! We’re glad to help.