Malmo is a popular stopover for travellers, as it’s about an hour-long train ride from Copenhagen via the Øresund Bridge. The capital of Scania County is a youthful city in southern Sweden, thanks to its thriving arts scene and café culture. The streets and squares of Malmo’s Old Town are lined with art galleries, where you can spend time perusing masterpieces by international and Scandinavian artists. 

    Alongside the old, there is the new. Malmo has some of Sweden’s most unique buildings, many of which have won awards for their innovative and sustainable designs. The city is easy to explore on foot, so you don’t need to spend a substantial amount of kronor on taxis. If you’re travelling on a tight budget, check out our guide on free and cheap things to do in Malmo. 



    Enjoy a picnic with views of Malmo Castle

    Slottsträdgården is a large botanical park overlooking the historic Malmo Castle. Spanning 210,000 sq m of lush gardens, it’s filled with around 500 plant species. The kitchen garden and orchard cultivate local vegetables and fruits such as plums and pears, which you can purchase at the onsite nursery when they’re in season. The meadow features park benches overlooking Malmo Castle, making this grassy expanse a popular spot for picnics and fika (coffee break).

    Location: Malmöhusvägen 8, 211 18 Malmo, Sweden

    Open: Open 24 hours

    Phone: +46 (0)76 890 16 49

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    photo by Holger.Ellgaard (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Malmo Konsthall

    See art exhibits and events at this contemporary arts museum

    Malmo Konsthall is a modern museum displaying artwork by some of the world’s top contemporary artists. Its well-designed exhibition space is the work of architect Klas Anselm, and features 550 roof lights and glass roof windows, allowing plenty of natural light. In addition to art exhibits, you can enjoy events such as lectures, theatre, film screenings, and poetry recitals. Some of these events may require admission fees, but the main gallery is free for all. The onsite bookstore stocks posters, postcards, and literature on modern design. 

    Location: St Johannesgatan 7, 205 80 Malmo, Sweden

    Open: Daily from 11am to 5pm (open till 9pm on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +46 (0)40-34 12 86

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    photo by JohanahoJ (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Malmo Saluhall

    Shop for handmade pralines, fresh produce, and Scandinavian cheese

    Malmo Salluhall has over a dozen vendors selling breads, local produce, meat, and fish, as well as a choice of international cuisines. This food hall occupies a refurbished 19th-century warehouse in Gibraltargatan, about 800 metres northeast of Malmo Castle. Chocolate lovers may enjoy Chocolatte’s handmade pralines and fudges. Holy Greens caters to the health conscious with its fresh salads and pressed juices, while Hedvigsdal serves wood-fired pizzas with toppings that come from their own vegetable garden.

    Location: Gibraltargatan 6, 211 18 Malmo, Sweden

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10am to 7pm, Fridays from 10am to 9pm, Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, Sundays from 11am to 4pm

    Phone: +46 (0)40-626 77 30

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    photo by Jin Zan (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified



    Cycle around the Stora Dammen Lake

    Kungsparken is an English-style garden dating back to 1869. It’s known for its collection of unique tree and plant species, including a 29-metre-tall Turkish oak tree and a sweet chestnut tree from China. Paved trails surround a beautiful lake called Stora Dammen, making it a popular spot among joggers and cyclists. Kungsparken’s centrepiece is a 19th-century cast iron fountain, surrounded by a lush lawn overlooking the park’s canal and Malmo Castle.

    Location: Slottsgatan 33, 211 33 Malmo, Sweden

    Open: Open 24 hours

    Phone: +46 (0)40-34 48 60

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    Lilla Torg

    Enjoy views of half-timbered buildings in this pedestrian square

    Lilla Torg (Small Square) may be known for its nightlife scene, but it’s also a popular sightseeing spot in Malmo. The cobbled streets are lined with half-timbered structures built in the late 16th century, one of which houses the Form/Design Center. Street performances and food stalls occupy Lilla Torg, especially during the summer and Christmas holidays. Bars and restaurants have outdoor terraces (blankets and heaters are provided on cool evenings), so it’s worth spending a few kronor for a drink and a good view of the square. 

    Location: Lilla Torg, Malmo, Sweden

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    Malmo City Library

    Enjoy views of Kungsparken (King’s Park)

    The Malmo City Library displays over 500,000 materials, including books in different languages, DVDs, and CDs on various topics. It occupies a Renaissance building with a modern architectural design by Danish architect Henning Larsen. It’s also called the Calendar of Light as its massive glass façade, which overlooks King’s Park (Kungsparken), allows the library to be illuminated with natural light. The Malmo City Library has an onsite café that serves light lunches, pastries, and coffee for those looking to enjoy a fika during their visit.

    Location: Kung Oscars väg 11, 211 33 Malmo, Sweden

    Open: Monday-Thursday daily from 10am to 8pm, Friday from 10am to 6pm, Saturday-Sunday from 11am to 5pm

    Phone: +46 (0)40 660 85 00

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    photo by Knuckles (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified



    Have a picnic in Folkets Park

    Mollan is what locals claim to be the hipster neighbourhood of Malmo, but it’s also the home of a multicultural community. Ethnic stores, international restaurants, Scandinavian cafés, and funky galleries surround its main square, Möllevångstorget. The square hosts an outdoor market every day (except in winter). A short walk to the east is Folkets Park, Mollan’s family-friendly park which houses the Malmös Reptile Center and Malmo Mini Zoo. The neighbourhood is best explored on foot, as you get to experience the lively atmosphere of this diverse place.

    Location: Mollevangen, Malmo, Sweden

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    photo by Jorchr (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Form/Design Center

    Buy Scandinavian arts and crafts at the onsite boutique

    The Form/Design Center occupies a 16th-century half-timbered building in Lilla Torg. The gallery focuses on textile, furniture, industrial design, and handicrafts by Scandinavian artists. Admission is free all year round, and exhibits change regularly so it’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of design. Shop for souvenirs at the onsite boutique, which is on the 3rd floor of the Form/Design Center. It has a selection of locally-produced jewellery, toys, books, porcelain, textiles, and posters.

    Location: Lilla Torg 9, 211 34 Malmo, Sweden

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 11am to 5pm, Sunday from 12pm to 4pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +46 (0)40-664 51 50

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    photo by Form Design Center (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Signal – Center for Contemporary Art

    Check out modern art at this local gallery

    Signal – Center for Contemporary Art has a diverse selection of modern artworks from all over the world. An independent arts museum in Malmo, its minimalistic gallery is the backdrop for temporary displays by international artists such as Andreas Mangione and David Douard. Talks and film screenings related to art exhibitions often take place at Signal – Center for Contemporary Art. Admission to the museum is free all year round.

    Location: Monbijougatan 17H, 211 53 Malmo, Sweden

    Open: Thursday–Friday from 12pm to 6pm, Saturday-Sunday from 12pm to 4pm (closed Monday–Wednesday)

    Phone: +46 (0)40-97 92 10

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    Malmo art installations

    Check out the Optimistic Orchestra sculpture in Stortorget

    The streets of Malmo are often decorated with statues of notable Swedish figures and art installations, many of which are located in Gamla Staden (Old Town). Go for a self-guided walking tour to Stortorget Square, where you get to see the iconic Non-Violence (a bronze statue of a revolver with a knotted barrel) and Optimistic Orchestra (a humanoid marching band). A short walk from Gustav Adolfs Square is the Davidshallsbron Bridge, which is lined with 19 pairs of bronze shoes representing Swedish artists.

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    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller

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