10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Malmo
Malmö, Sweden's third largest city, is a multicultural portal to Europe. Indeed, a short drive from the city will take you to the iconic Oresund Bridge that links Sweden to Denmark. The city's proximity to the continent is reflected in its highly diverse population, and the many ethnic restaurants scattered around town bear testament to that fact. A settlement has existed here since the 13th century, and Malmö, despite offering a modern exterior to the world, is a city filled with history. It originated in its current form as a Danish settlement and passed to Sweden under the treaty of Roskilde in 1658.
See also: Where to Stay in Malmö
1 Editor's Pick Oresund Bridge
The magnificent Oresund Bridge lies a 15-minute drive from Malmö city center. Decades in the planning, and famous throughout the world since opening in 1999, the bridge has gained further infamy as the central focus of the smash hit Danish/Swedish TV drama "The Bridge." Those familiar with the series will instantly recognise the magnificent structure that now links Sweden to Denmark, and in turn, the entire European continent. The bridge is multi-faceted - a road, a railway, and a tunnel. The initial stretch is some eight kilometers in length to the man-made island of Peberholm. From there, it connects to a tunnel of four kilometers, constructed so as not to impact the incoming aircraft to nearby Copenhagen airport. If you get the chance, take a trip across the bridge and through the tunnel to Sweden's neighbour, Denmark. After all, a day or even an hour in Copenhagen is never wasted.
2 Turning Torso
About 2.7 kilometers from Malmö Central Station and easily reached by bus or car is the most talked about building in southern Sweden. The striking Turning Torso is 190 meters high and combines residential, office, and conference space. The skyscraper is based on a sculpture by designer, artist, and architect Santiago Calatrava, the Twisting Torso, which featured in the competition brochure for the design and construction of Oresund Bridge. The cutting-edge building took four years to complete, opened in 2005, and is supplied with locally-produced renewable energy. This eye-catching and iconic structure has put Malmö firmly on the architectural map.
Admission: Restricted access as the building is mainly residential
Address: Lilla Varvsgatan 14, 211 15 Malmo
3 Experience a Slice of Swedish Hospitality
Meet the Malmö locals with a Slice of Swedish Hospitality. This is your chance to mix with Swedes behind the scenes. Locals share their homes and advise visitors how to enjoy the sights, make the most of shopping, experience authentic Swedish food as it should be, and discover the hidden treasures Malmö and the region has to offer. All are welcome, including single travelers, families, or friends with a maximum of five people per group. A meal with a local family includes two courses, generally a main followed by dessert, and afterwards a chat or possibly a stroll, weather permitting. A word to the wise: be on time, Swedes are extremely punctual, particularly at meal times.
Hours: Usually 6.30pm to around 9.30pm
Admission: Adult 550 SEK, children (5-12) 250 SEK, drinks included.
4 People Watch in Lilla Torg
Enjoy a coffee, relax, and people watch. Lilla Torg is one of Malmö's busiest spots, no matter the season. Numerous terraced cafés overlooking the town square jostle alongside one another. All serve a range of food from traditional Swedish to sushi. If the hustle and bustle gets too much, the Rosen restaurant at Hotel Renaissance offers sedate fine dining. Lilla Torget is famous, too, for its picturesque Merchant's or Burgher's Houses dating from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
5 Historic Malmöhus Castle
A must-see for any visitor, Malmöhus Castle houses several of Malmö's major museums within its historic walls including Malmö Museum of Art, the City Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Tropicarium. Permanent exhibitions here feature topics such as natural history, ocean voyages, and technology, and the museum hosts several temporary exhibitions each year. The castle itself was originally a minor citadel dating from 1434. Denmark's currency was coined here in the Middle Ages, and during the 19th century, the castle served as a prison. Today, the restored Malmöhus Castle transports visitors back to the 16th century.
Hours: Open Daily 10am-5pm
Admission: Adults SEK 40, under 19s free
Location: Malmöhusvägen, Malmo
6 Malmö Konsthall (Malmo Art Gallery)
Hosting a mix of temporary exhibitions and classic art, the Malmö Art Gallery (Malmö Konsthall) opened in 1975 and has one of Europe's largest exhibition halls. The construction materials are light and simple - concrete, glass, wood, and aluminum. Constructed of 550 domes, the ceiling in the gallery varies in height and incorporates both natural and artificial light. The result is a gallery that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. If visiting on a Sunday, you can enjoy a great brunch (a particular favorite with trendy locals) at Restaurant Smak, which also serves lunch daily.
Hours: Open daily, guided tours available
Address: St. Johannesgatan 7, 20580 Malmo
7 Moderna Museet (Museum of Modernism)
Not far from St. Peter's Cathedral (St. Petri Kyrka - an easy 5-6 minute walk) and known as a little piece of Stockholm in Malmö, the Museum of Modernism (Moderna Museet) houses modern and contemporary works of art exhibited in the city's disused electricity plant. Installations including film, photography, design, and paintings are regularly featured. The museum, which opened in 2009 as a branch of state-owned Moderna Museet (Stockholm), also runs courses and seminars. The building itself dates from 1901. There's a pleasant café on-site (Café Njutbar) where visitors can enjoy lunch or coffee.
Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-6pm, closed Mondays
Admission: Adults SEK 70, under 18s free
Address: Gasverksgatan 22, Malmo
8 Folkets Park (The People's Park)
Malmö's People's Park (Folkets Park) is the oldest public park in the world and one of Sweden's most visited places. For nearly 120 years, tourists and locals alike have come here to have fun, relax, and enjoy the good things in life. Among other attractions, visitors will find a lush green area with ponds, lawns, and a popular playground. There's a range of snack bars as well as ice-cream stands and cafés, and in winter, the large wading pool is converted into an ice rink for skating. The park is 15 minutes by bus from Malmö Central Station.
Hours: Open daily
9 Kallbadhuset (Riderborg's Bathing House)
Dating from 1898, Riderborg's Bathing House (Kallbadhuset) is a Malmö institution. Unfortunately, the original structure was destroyed by a dreadful storm a mere four years after it was built. Such things, however, don't bother the Swedes, and an improved version was quickly erected. Substantial renovations have taken place over the years, the most recent being in 2009. Relax in the wood-fired sauna, enjoy fantastic views of the bay, take a dip in the ocean, and afterwards, grab a coffee in the popular café, or splash out on something to eat. There's a sun terrace, and spa treatments are also available.
Hours: Open daily - seasonal variations
Admission: Adult SEK 55
Address: Limhamnsvägen, Pier 1, 21759 Malmo
10 Katrinetorp Country House
Katrinetorp, on the outskirts of Malmö, (about 15 minutes easy drive) is one of the best-preserved Empire-style manor houses (Herrgård) in Sweden. Originally built in an idyllic location for one of southern Sweden's richest families, the 19th-century home is surrounded by magnificent landscaped gardens. Visitors will also find a garden café, restaurant, and an antique store. During the year, Katrinetorp hosts an antiques market, a harvest fair, a Christmas market, various exhibitions, and evening concerts.
Address: Katrinetorp, 215 74 Malmo
Where to Stay in Malmö for Sightseeing
If you're visiting Malmö for the first time, the best place to stay is right downtown in the city center. Here, you'll find tourist attractions such as Malmö Castle; the Turning Torso; museums; galleries; and Lilla Torg, with its lively café culture. Below are some highly-rated hotels in this convenient and central location:
- Luxury Hotels: The boutique Mayfair Hotel Tunneln, with two fabulous restaurants, features late-Gothic architecture, old photographs, and period decor. In Lilla Torg, near the Oresund Bridge, the pet-friendly Renaissance Malmo Hotel offers relatively large, modern rooms. Also pet friendly, the contemporary high-rise Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmo Live is within walking distance of Malmö Castle, and rates include breakfast. All these hotels lie a short walk from Malmö Central Station.
- Mid-Range Hotels: Across the road from Malmö Central Station, Comfort Hotel Malmo, near Lilla Torg, offers bright, boldly-styled rooms beyond its elegant facade, and the gym includes a boxing ring. Also near Lilla Torg, Clarion Collection Hotel Temperance displays a more traditional style. Rates include breakfast and a light dinner buffet. If you're planning an extended stay or traveling with children, Scandic Malmo City is a handy option, with kitchenettes and clean, modern rooms less than ten minutes on foot from the Moderna Museet Malmö.
- Budget Hotels: Malmö has few budget options in the city center, but if you're looking for good-value accommodation near the Malmö Arena, the new and modern BEST WESTERN Malmo Arena Hotel sits a short walk from Malmö Hyllie station. From here, train service to the city center takes a mere three minutes. Sports fans might enjoy Good Morning+ Malmö, with bright, modern rooms near the football stadium. In the city center, near Triangeln train station, STF Hostel & Hotel Malmo City offers basic hotel rooms and shared hostel rooms near restaurants and shops.
For visitors staying more than a couple of days, consider the Malmö City Card, which gives discounts in various shops as well as free or cut-price admission to many attractions. The melting pot area of Möllevångstorget is well worth seeing, reflecting the 170 or so different nationalities that live in Malmö. They all come together here, for example, you can shop for Iraqi spices, buy delicious stuffed peppers from corner shops, or take your pick of Chinese restaurants.