In July 2022, I visited Malmo, for the first time. If you’re about to visit Sweden soon, then here are the top things to do in Malmo.
In July 2022, I visited Malmo, Sweden, for the first time. If you’re about to visit Sweden soon, then you’ll save a lot of time by saving these locations on your map (that’s what I always do when travelling to a new location).
Getting to Malmo felt like a blessing because it was after a long 4-day road trip across Europe that started in Bucharest, Romania. If you’re interested in road trip talks and logistic details (and some cool views of this Euro trip), then I have daily vlogs from this trip, including the video from Malmo, Sweden, on my YouTube channel.
While this stop in Malmo was rather short, I managed to get a really got sense of the city. Since it isn’t a huge city, it’s walkable and you can see all the attractions mentioned on this list in a single day.
First impressions of Malmo, Sweden
We did a short self-walking tour that evening because I was so curious about what Malmo had to offer. And we were surprised how bright it was at about 9-10 pm.
To be completely honest, it felt a bit chaotic after we checked in. You need to understand that Malmo is a university city and many students decided to stay in Sweden after graduation. This made Malmo one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. They’re proud of the over 140 nationalities that are represented in Malmo. As you can imagine, that can lead to some interesting impressions of the city, which is quite unique when you travel in a Scandinavian city.
This was my first impression of Sweden as well, as the next day I was planning to drive to Stockholm, where I stayed for about 3 weeks, before going on my first Norwegian road trip.
Overall, Malmo felt just a bit more hectic than I expected it to be, but felt safe, and everything was okay.
The next morning, we woke up early, did a bit more exploring on our own and then joined a free walking tour. Our tour guide was a young woman from Bulgaria. She also came to Sweden to study and now decided to stay and try to create a life here with her boyfriend.
That’s how I can conclude that the places you should visit in Malmo. If you’re short on time, then these are the top things to do in Malmo, Sweden.
Here’s my vlog from Malmo.
Top things to do in Malmo, Sweden
A beautifully landscaped park featuring diverse plants and a serene lake, perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnic. We came here for a walk, and had our breakfast. Then, all the bird population noticed that we were eating and started begging us for food. It was hard to escape. Remember, you should not feed bread or processed food to birds in the park. However, I was impressed by the diverse local fauna.
This is more than just an urban park near Malmö Castle; Slottsträdgården is a thriving community garden. Managed and maintained by local residents, this space is a testament to community spirit and shared responsibility. Its vibrant and ever-changing displays of flora throughout the year are the result of the locals’ collective efforts.
A visit here offers a unique chance to see community gardening in action and experience this tranquil haven right in the city centre.
Malmö Castle (Malmöhus Castle)
An impressive 16th-century fortress housing a museum that explores natural and cultural history.
Western Harbour (Västra Hamnen)
A sustainable district that is known for its modern architecture, beaches, and stunning views of the Turning Torso and the Øresund Bridge.
In the city center, the imposing Turning Torso, Scandinavia’s tallest building, stands among historical structures, echoing Malmö’s architectural diversity. It is one of Sweden’s famous landmarks, and an interesting site to say the least.
The Turning Torso is a remarkable feat of engineering and architecture that has become a definitive symbol of Malmö. Here are some key facts and stats about this iconic building:
- The Turning Torso is the tallest building in Scandinavia. Its height reaches an impressive 190 meters (623 feet) and comprises 54 stories.
- It was designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and completed in 2005. Calatrava was inspired by a sculpture of his own called “Twisting Torso.”
- The design of the Turning Torso is unique. It’s based on a twisting structure; the topmost segment is twisted 90 degrees clockwise relative to the ground floor.
- The building primarily serves as a residential structure, but it also hosts offices, meeting spaces, and a top-floor observation deck.
- Its construction was quite challenging due to its twisted structure, requiring innovative engineering solutions to maintain the building’s stability.
- The Turning Torso has won several awards, including the Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2005, which is given to exceptional skyscraper designs globally.
- The building is a standout feature of Malmö’s skyline and a major tourist attraction in the city, contributing significantly to its modern and forward-looking image.
Griffin Sculpture (Gripen)
Griffin Sculpture in Malmö is a major tourist attraction in the place.
Situated at the Gustav Adolfs torg, Malmö’s Griffin is a majestic sculpture with the body of a lion and the wings of an eagle. Griffin is a powerful beast that has been frequently mentioned in Greek mythology. The mythical creature symbolizes heroism. These are known for their speed, strength, courage, ability to fly and sharp eyes.
This landmark statue, the Griffin, or “Gripen” in Swedish, is an iconic symbol of Malmö. Its powerful presence in the bustling square embodies the city’s strength and resilience.
Lilla Torg, which translates to “Little Square” in English, is a charming public square located in the heart of Malmö, Sweden. This historic location dates back to the 16th century and was once the centre of trade in Malmö.
Lilla Torg is famed for its cobblestone streets, charmingly preserved old buildings, and vibrant atmosphere. It’s a blend of old and new, where traditional architecture sits alongside modern shops, upscale boutiques, and trendy restaurants.
The square is particularly known for its outdoor dining scene. With an array of eateries that offer a variety of cuisines, it becomes a lively spot, especially during the summer months when the outdoor patios are filled with locals and tourists alike.
From fine dining to cosy cafés, there’s something for everyone.
Lilla Torg is also a venue for events, with regular markets, music performances, and other public gatherings. Despite its name, there’s always something big happening at this ‘Little Square’. It’s a must-visit spot in Malmö to experience the city’s local culture and history.
Malmö City Hall
The Malmö City Hall, known as “Rådhuset” in Swedish, is a prominent building located in the city’s historic centre. It stands at the heart of Stortorget, the city’s main square, which was established in the 16th century.
Malmö City Hall itself dates back to 1546, but it received a comprehensive makeover in the Dutch Renaissance style by the eminent architect, Helgo Zettervall, in the late 1800s. This is the building that we see today. The façade, detailed with stepped gables and ornate decorations, is a notable example of this architectural style.
Inside, the City Hall features grand ceremonial rooms and a remarkable collection of art and antique furnishings. Among the standout pieces are the portraits of King Karl X Gustav of Sweden and King Frederick III of Denmark.
Stortorget, the square in front of City Hall, is the largest in Malmö and has long been the centre of city life. Its cobblestone expanse is lined with beautiful historic buildings, and it’s often buzzing with activity. Regular markets are held here, and numerous events take place throughout the year, from music performances to cultural festivals.
In the middle of Stortorget stands a statue of King Karl X Gustav of Sweden, the monarch who saw the transition of Malmö from Danish to Swedish rule in the mid-1600s. This monument serves as a stark reminder of the city’s history.
Together, Malmö City Hall and Stortorget provide a compelling mix of history, architecture, and lively urban activity, making them must-see destinations when visiting Malmö.
Malmö Central Station
Serving as a primary hub for regional and intercity trains, Malmö Central Station is more than just a transit point. The station’s striking architecture and the buzz of travellers make it a vibrant part of city life. In addition, it hosts a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, making it a great place to explore local flavours and pick up unique souvenirs.
St. Petri Church (Sankt Petri kyrka)
The city’s oldest building, a stunning example of Gothic architecture, is home to a majestic altarpiece.
The Old Pharmacy (Lion’s Pharmacy)
A piece of Malmö’s history nestled in the old town, offering a glimpse into the past. At the time of its construction, the Pharmacy Lion was considered to be one of Europe’s largest pharmacies, almost as large as the imperial pharmacy in Moscow. Situated in the heart of Gamla Staden, the Old Pharmacy, or “Gamla Apoteket,” is a nod to Malmö’s rich history. While the building no longer serves its original function, its beautiful architecture offers a glimpse into the city’s past. It stands as an emblem of the historic charm that permeates Malmö’s Old Town, reminding us of the city’s longstanding commitment to healthcare and community service. Now, this space hosts various local events and is a favorite spot for tourists seeking an authentic piece of Malmö’s history.
Jakob Nilsgatan Colorful Houses
Nestled in the heart of Malmö, Jakob Nilsgatan street is famed for its row of vibrant, colourful houses. This picturesque spot, with its palette of pastel hues, provides a delightful backdrop for a leisurely stroll or photoshoot. It’s a wonderful example of Malmö’s charm and whimsical architectural style.