Malmo is Sweden’s southernmost city. It’s so far south, in fact, it’s almost in Denmark. The city of Malmo is connected to Copenhagen via the largest bridge and tunnel network in the whole of Europe, making it extremely easy to get to, especially for a vacation that will have you visiting two of Europes best cities in one fell swoop.
While there isn’t much to do in Malmo during the winter months, it very much comes alive in the summer and is a great place to visit. Now, you might not have thought to visit Sweden for a summer vacation but because Malmo is so far south it actually experiences great weather with the average being between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (22-30 celsius).
It is still in Sweden, so the weather is not always guaranteed, but it can hit over 90 degrees Fahrenheit too.
Not only is the weather pretty great, but the city also is too, and when blue skies are out, and the sun is shining, Malmo is potentially one of the best cities in the world to hang out in, and here is why. Join me as we take a look at Malmo Sweden and why it has everything you need for a great summer vacation.
As you will probably know, the Swedes, and all Scanidvaians for that matter, love a good sauna, spa, and a dip in the icy cold sea afterward. Thus, no trip to Malmo would be complete without a visit to the Ribersborg Kallbadhus.
The Ribersborg Kallbadhus is an old sauna that was built in the 1800s and it sits right on the ocean at the end of a pier in the area of Ridersborg. At the Ridersborg Kallbadhus, you’ll find a sun deck where you can tan and jump into the ocean for a swim, five saunas to sweat out any toxins, a steam room, plus a spa where you can be fully pampered with massages, facials, and reflexology.
If you want to follow the traditional Scandinavian sauna practice, hop in the sauna until you can’t handle it anymore then jump in the cold sea for a swim, and repeat. There is no better way to feel refreshed and cleansed plus you’ll be full of endorphins for the rest of your day out.
As well as the spa and saunas, you’ll also find a bar and restaurant at the Ridersborg Kallbadhus where you can enjoy a beer and some delicious Scandinavian seafood.
Malmo Castle sits on an island within a canal network that joins the ocean just near the main Malmo station. The castle is now home to both Malmo’s natural history and art history museums plus you can tour around the castle and explore the beautiful grounds.
The castle is full of ancient chambers built in the 1500s, the grounds which pack on to park behind are an absolute delight, and so are the exhibitions. You can visit the History Of Malmo exhibition, see the artwork by Cark Fredrik Hill, the famous Swedish painter, and see the 1531 organ that came from St Petri Kyrka.
Visiting the castle is a great way to get a sense of Malmo’s history and it’s best done at the beginning of your stay and in the morning of it’s sunny. If it’s rainy, then why not make a day of it and get to know Malmo’s city center a little more.
While visiting any country, a great way to learn and understand it is to get into the cultural traditions, and in Sweden, Fika is an important one.
Fika is all about stopping at a cafe for a coffee and sweet snack like a cinnamon roll to go with it, but it’s far more than that. When you take part in Fika, it’s all about leaving work behind and connecting with your colleagues and the people around you, letting the worries of the day go, and learning about each other on a deeper level.
Fika is so engrained in Swedish cultures, that Swedish companies actually make time for Fika during the working day, and the result is a happier, more productive group of employees. Try to do it once and day and you will probably see its benefit and in the end, take the tradition home with you.
Also, Swedish coffees and pastries are to die for, so there is only upside to enjoying a daily Fika while you’re exploring the beautiful city of Malmo.
Malmo is known as the city of parks and there are wonderful green spaces around most street corners. They are the perfect place to enjoy a picnic, read a book, or simply pause in nature as you explore the city. There are quite a lot of parks to choose from and each of them has its own unique appeal.
Folkets Park is one of the most famous parks in Malmo and features plenty of green space so it never feels busy and there is plenty to do in the park too. You’ll find the oldest amusement park in Sweden, a reptile center, chestnut kiosks, a children’s stage with live entertainment, plenty of other events, and a load of great cafes and restaurants, some of which are even nightclubs on the weekends with day parties to go with it.
Slottsträdgården’s is just behind the Malmo Castle we mentioned above and is worth tieing into your castle visit after you’ve been to the museums. It’s home to a wonderful array of flora and fauna, plus there are even some urban farms to take a look at.
Pildammsparken’s is home to a lovely menagerie of birdhouses, while Kungsparken’s features a casino. The list goes on and you never can tell what you might experience at Malmo’s parks, so whenever you’re near one, it’s worth popping in to see what might be happening.
Malmo is full of incredible cuisine and one of its main international attractions is the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city. People come from all over the world just to dine in these world-class eateries and there are 4 to choose from, so you could dine in Michelin style every night of your vacation if you wanted to.
Beyond the fine dining experiences of Malmo, it won’t take you long to notice that the city and its food are all based around a very ECO vibe. This is a result of the demands of the city’s young and ecologically minded population. You’ll find a lot of great vegetarian restaurants, raw food only restaurants, sustainable options, and farm-to-table is a must to reduce the carbon footprint.
No matter what your budget is, you’ll find great food in Malmo that suits your taste, so even if high-end restaurants are out of your price range, you’ll still be able to enjoy the food in Malmo.
Ribersborgsstranden is Malmo’s most popular white-sand beach (yes, there is more than one), and it’s very accessible right from the city center. You could leave your hotel in the morning for a quick swim and be back for breakfast within 20 minutes if you wanted to.
No matter what time of year you visit Malmo, a trip to the Ribersborgsstranden is a must. There are miles of walking paths, bike tracks, and of course stunning views across the sea to Copenhagen which are worth getting outside and enjoying even if it’s the dead of winter.
If you’re visiting Malmo in the summertime and the sun is out, then the Ribersborgsstranden is a great place for picnics, sunbathing, swimming in the sea, build sandcastles, and enjoying the beach like you would in any warmer country.
I have been lucky enough to be in Copenhagen during a heatwave and I can tell you, there is nothing quite like having all the benefits of being surrounded by a beautiful Scandinavian city with great food, amazing people, and having a beach to chill out on, and get refreshed in the sea afterward. It truly is hard to beat.
The city of Malmo is a place that is known for its market squares. They are full of charm, lined with beautiful architecture, and most of the time, the best place to get sociable and find fun events. The most well-known of all the markets is Stortorget.
Stortorget was built way back in the 1540s and is lined with historic buildings such as the Kocksa Huset palace, the town hall, and a pharmacy from the 1500s called Lejonet. In the middle you’ll find a rather grand statue of King Karl X Gustav and surrounding it the streets are a hive of activity. The square is pretty huge too and it’s always worth seeing what’s playing there as you’ll often find some great concerts to go and see.
Stortorget is just down the road from Malmo Castle, a few mins walk from the beach of Ribersborgsstranden, and there are tons of canal-side bars, restaurants, and cafes just a block away, so it’s pretty impossible not to wander past it at some point.
While you’re wandering through the many parks of Malmo, you’re very likely to bump into one of Malmo’s most famous architectural pieces, the Turning Torso. The Turning Torso was built by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and is a building you have to go a look at when in Malmo. Even if you’re not into architecture, you’ll enjoy seeing this building.
The Turing Torso is a kind of spun skyscraper and an icon of Malmo’s skyline that is full of apartments, offices, and shared meeting spaces. Sitting on the northern end of the city, a few minutes from the beach, and surrounded by 5 different parks, you’re probably going to walk past it without even meaning to.
A great way to see the Turning Torso is from the sea at sunset, which involves a little swimming adventure. Walk on down to the pier at Daniaparken (yes another park), take a few sunset beers and snacks, then jump in the sea and swim out a bit to see the Turning Toro in all its glory.
Being a country that is very ecologically minded, Sweden is all about reducing, reusing, and recycling, and Malmo takes this to another level altogether. There are loads of flea markets in Malmo if you’re visiting in the summer and they usually run from April to September. You’ll find anything from fashionable Swedish designer clothes to one-of-a-kind pieces of clothing that suit a night out or a festival to a tee.
If you only have time to visit one flea market then head to Drottningtorget on a Saturday or Sunday. The market is full of little souvenirs, clothes, great food, Swedish delicacies, and even antiques. Be sure to arrive early so that you have the best of the pickings, and don’t be afraid to negotiate, it is a market after all.
Even if you’re not into shopping and vintage clothing, it’s still worth going to the flea markets just for the experience. The haggling, vibes, and amazing street food make it fun even if you come back without a bag full of delicious treats of stylish deals.
Malmo is home to more art museums than you could shake a stick at, and they are all suited to different tastes and eras too. The Malmo Art Gallery is home to a large collection of classics that are wonderful to take a look at, while the Malmo Konsthall is one of the biggest art museums in Europe delicate to experimental and modern art. There is also the fine art gallery, Nordic art gallery, and a whole host more.
The exhibitions are changed quite often which keeps things fresh, so it’s always a good idea to see what’s on at all the galleries ahead of time.
Lilla Torg is another great marketplace just next to its bigger brother Stortorget. It was also created in the 1500s and was used more as an overflow when the main market of Storoget was too busy. It’s still used as a marketplace today but it’s taken on more of a social role.
The entire edge of Lilla Torg is lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants and it has become a major social scene in Malmo. In the summer, everything is alfresco and there is no better place to find the city buzzing during after-work drinks, before a Friday night out, and all day and night long over Saturday and Sunday.
Half of Malmo’s residents are under the age of 30 and this gives rise to some excellent nightlife. No matter what kind of music you’re into, there is a club or even space playing something great on the weekend, and during the summers, the squares play host to outdoor concerts very regularly.
The Swedes are also serious night owls and usually don’t finish up partying until around 5 am. Most bars stay open until at least 3 am if not 5 am, and then there are the clubs the best of which are Babel – an old church that is now a venue and Club Prive, a multi-story 4-floor club that plays different music genres and gets wild.
Historical landmarks are beautifully integrated into what is a very modern city in Malmo and you’ll often find yourself wandering down a street to turn and corner and be delighted with a view of a historical site. If looking at ancient historical buildings isn’t quite up to your alley and you had to only pick one, then head on over to St Peter’s Church.
St Peters Church is just around the corner from Malmo Castle and the famous market squares of Stortorget and Lila Torg, so you won’t have to go very far to see it – the joy of Malmo, it’s all walkable.
The church dates back to the 1300s and is one of only 4 places to see violence due to iconoclasm in the Danish Reformation of 1529. The church is home to the biggest alters in all of the Nordic countries from 1611 and the architecture is something else both inside and out.
Most people, including myself, probably never thought about visiting Malmo or even having it anywhere near the top of their travel list. But, the city of Malmo is highly underrated, and here is why.
Once you’re in Malmo, there is no need for you to hire a car or even get in a taxi while exploring the city. And if the weather is bad, the public transport is excellent, but you shouldn’t need it. Everything in Malmo is walkable. You can go from swimming in the sea or tanning on a white-sand beach via a few parks, market squares, ancient castles, and then hop into a Michelin star restaurant for dinner, all in about 40 minutes of gentle strolling.
This makes your visit far more enjoyable as you’re never waiting to be somewhere, you’re already there, wandering around the city taking in every ounce it has to offer.
I know I’ve gone on about the weather and the beach in Malmo a lot but it’s worth mentioning again. When it comes to a summer vacation we often travel to find sunshine to relax in and some beautiful seas to swim, and in Malmo that is 100% on offer.
With summer temperatures averaging 22-29 degrees Celsius plus a stunning beach with a crystal clear clean sea lapping its shores, all within a few minute’s walk of Malmo city center, it should definitely be high if not top of your list for a summer vacation.
We heard that Malmo is known as the city of parks in the sections above and overall the city is incredibly green. You really are never more than a few blocks away from a green space and their parks are how all parks should be, each with a theme, spacious, and lovely to relax in.
From Malmo, you can see the best of what else Sweden has to offer without having to travel too far. Just 18 kilometers down the to is the ancient city of Lund, a historic university town that was founded by Canute the Great in 1020. The town is filled with century-old buildings, cobbled streets, and an ancient cathedral.
If you follow the coast road, you’ll find beautiful fishing villages dotted along the shore that have their own beaches and are a great place to dive into the small town angling culture of Sweden and enjoy some delicious seafood.
Half of the residents you’ll find in Malmo are under the age of 30 and since it’s home to Sweden’s IT sector plus most residents are into an alternative way of living, you’ll find fresh open-minded, and creative ideas and behavior on every street corner. Everything from the food to the architecture and the way of life embodies this. It’s incredibly refreshing and wonderful to be around.
Now, nowhere in Scandinavia is cheap but Malmo is a lot cheaper to visit or live in than the likes of Copenhagen or Stockholm. In fact, a lot of people who work in Copenhage actually live in Malmo due to the more affordable rent and just hop over on the bridge that connects the two for their daily commute.
The Øresund bridge that connects Malmo to Denmark’s capital Copenhagen is the bridge that the dark murder mystery nordic TV series “The Bridge” was based around. Standing on the Malmo side of the bridge you can see Copenhagen in the distance and it really is a marvel of engineering.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!