2 Days in Malmo

Travel Itinerary

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Itinerary by: Dan Hill
a year ago
Culture-Castle Culture-Church Culture-Historical Building Culture-Museum Culture-Tower Eat & Drink-Cafe Eat & Drink-Restaurant Entertainment-Aquarium Exercise-Swimming Nature-Park Settlement-Neighbourhood Wellness-Spa
Duration: 2 days

Malmö (Malmo) is Sweden's 3rd largest city - and Scandinavia's 6th largest - with a population of around 317,000 people. Located just across the impressive 8km long Öresund bridge from Copenhagen, many Malmö residents commute daily across the water to the Danish capital for work. Despite being the location for gritty Nordic Noir TV drama The Bridge, Malmö is a very safe city, with a laid back vibe. It has a vibrant mix of plazas with bars and restaurants, shops and cultural attractions - such as 3 major parks, several museums, a castle (with a moat!) and a 700 year old church which could be mistaken for a cathedral. All this adds up to make Malmö perfect for a 2 day stay or weekend break - or even a day trip visit from Copenhagen (or vice versa!). For the itinerary I am presenting here, if you're staying in central Malmö, and you are of average fitness, you can travel everywhere on foot. Alternatively, you could rent a bicycle. If you're travelling from overseas, you may fly into Copenhagen airport - in which case there's a train that will take you directly to Malmö. Alternatively, if you can fly directly to Malmö airport, then it's even more convenient. On my last stay in Malmö, I stayed at the Clarion Hotel Malmö Live - a 25 floor building right in the centre of the city - which was perfectly located for exploring the city. How to Pronounce Malmö The Swedish ö letter (a completely separate letter to o) is pronounced a bit like the soft pronunciation of the phonetic "u" in British English - or a bit like a Brit would say the "Ea" in "Earth". Malmö is therefore pronounced a little more like "Mal-muh", and not "Mal-moh". Photo Credits: Photo by John Flygare on Unsplash


Day 1

Malmö's Old Town and the Castle

On the first day of the trip, we'll be exploring Malmö's old town - "Gamla Staden" - including the 14th century St. Petri's church. In the afternoon, we'll be heading to the King's park and then the castle to check out the museums and aquarium.
10:00 - 12:30
Gamla Staden (The Old Town), Malmö
Gamla staden, Malmö, Sweden
The old town in Malmö, Sweden, is known as Gamla Staden, and if you're visiting Malmö then it's a must. The area encompasses several squares, including: Lilla Torget ("the little square") and Stortorget ("the big square") - with cobbled streets and houses with timber facades painted in Scandinavian tones. Lilla Torget dates back to 1590 - and its original use as a market square (overflow from the popular main square) remains to this day. When we visited in summer, we sat outside at lunchtime for coffee and a bite and watched the world go by. The streets were bustling with locals enjoying their weekend. The square is a real vibrant mix of small shops, living spaces and historical buildings. Its big brother - Stortorget - is the main town square - and dates back to 1540, putting it at 50 years older - and the oldest square in the town. If you're wondering who the gentleman on horseback is in the centre, he's King Karl X Gustav - famous for re-uniting the Swedish municipalities of Halland, Blekinge and Skåne following the conquest of the Danish occupiers. The square is surrounded by historical buildings with intricate architecture - such as Malmö City Hall - originally built in 1544, and Kocksa Huset - palace of Jörgen Kock - master of the mint. The peaceful St. Petri's Church (Kyrka) (free to enter), with its gothic style, is well worth a visit. Check out the murals on the inside - which as been expertly restored. If you're in the mood, you could also pay a visit to Gamla Kyrkogården (the old cemetery) - a small and tranquil park - landscaped with plenty of trees and benches. There are loads of cafes, restaurants and shops to explore along the 300m Södergarten Street. Take your time and enjoy exploring this relaxed but bustling pedestrianised street - which reaches Gustav Adolf's square (Torg) at the bridge going over the canal. Don't hesitate to dive into any of the side streets that take your fancy. Photo Credits: Luis Antonio Carrasc…Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Dan Hill
Article By: Dan Hill
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The squares and side streets are loaded with cafés and restaurants, so grab something to eat for lunch that takes your fancy.

12:30 - 13:30
St. Petri (St. Peter's Church), Malmö
Göran Olsgatan 4, 211 22 Malmö, Sweden
One could be forgiven for thinking that Sankt Petri's church in Malmö was actually a cathedral - due to its size. It's gothic exterior built from Baltic brick dates back to the 1300s - a time when Malmö was part of Denmark. It is thought that the church was built on the site of a Romanesque predecessor referred to as "Ecclesie Malmögh inferiori". The church was built in phases - and completed around 1380 - following 60 years of construction. St. Petri is located in Malmö's old town (Gamla Staden) - so it is a convenient place to visit. It's the city's oldest church - and is thought to be modelled on the church in Lübeck, Germany - also located on the Baltic coast. At the time of its construction, Malmö was prospering as a trading port - with herring fish being a major contributor to its wealth. It is thought that the fishing boats visiting other Hanseatic cities was the reason for the influence. A significant highlight within the church are the Renaissance paintings in the old chapel - dating back to the 15th century. The baroque altar dominates the view as you enter the church - in stark contrast to the gleaming white walls. Since being built, the main tower has twice collapsed - and again been rebuilt. The current tower dates back to 1442. Photo Credits: 1. Jorchr / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) 2. Image by M W from Pixabay
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Church Culture-Historical Building
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St. Petri is located in the heart of Gamla Staden - so once you've finished exploring the squares, take the short walk to the church for some peace and tranquility.

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
14:00 - 15:00
Kungsparken, Malmö
Kungsparken, Malmö, Slottsgatan 33, 211 33 Malmö, Sweden
Kungsparken ("The king's garden") - was originally called "Kung Oscars Park" (Oscar being the king at the time) but as monarchs come and go, the name was quickly shortened to Kungsparken. King Oscar II of Sweden was himself at the opening ceremony of the park in 1872. Cutting through the park (located west of Malmö city hall), there are canals, with stone bridges allowing visitors to cross into the different segments of this 8.4 acre green area. The area is fairly wooded - and hosts 130 different species of trees - from 3 continents - considered an exotic luxury at the time of planting. The design of the park (made by the Danish landscape architect Ove Høegh Hansen) was based upon the popular English garden concept of the time - with a combination of lawns, trees, bushes and ponds. All great parks need a great fountain - and Kungsparken is no exception. At the centre lies an elegant fountain that was built 10 years after the park's opening - in 1882. The fountain is surrounded by flowers in the warmer months. Don't miss the cave, if you can find it. If you're struggling - head north of the fountain. Believe it or not, the cave was once the main attraction in the park. Slottsparken ("The Castle Park" - established in 1897) is another park that adjoins Kungsparken - to the south west. This is also a little confusing because Kungsparken itself was built on former land of the castle of Malmöhus - and for this reason some maps combine the two parks. If you head north in Kungsparken, you reach the Malmöhus slott (a 16th century castle - originally built by the Danes) - complete with a moat surrounding it - and the castle mill (Slottsmöllan) to the left. There is a small parking area in the south of the park - which serves Casino Cosmopol - Malmö's only casino - opened in 2001. The casino is housed in a building from 1881 - and which originally served as the Park restaurant. You'll find a grill and ice cream venue in the south east corner of the park, if you need refreshments. Photo Credits: Jonas Eriksson on Unsplash.com
Article By: Dan Hill
Standard Free

Travel time
0 hours 15 minutes
15:00 - 17:00
Malmö Museer - Malmo Museums
Malmöhusvägen 6, 211 18 Malmö, Sweden
Located in Malmöhus Slott (a castle built by the former Danish occupiers), and surrounded by a moat, Malmö Museer ("Malmö Museums") is southern Sweden's largest museum. The building itself is the oldest Renaissance period castle in the Nordics - and you can see original knights in armour and canons that originally protected the site. Historically a fortified site with good reason, the Danish occupiers originally minted their coins here - way back in the middle ages. Gruesome fact you may wish you didn't know: beheadings of prisoners were frequently carried out in the castle's courtyard as late as the 19th century. If you can stomach being in an execution site - then read on! Not only will you learn about prison conditions of days-gone-by - the exhibitions of this magnificent museum consist of 15 permanent exhibitions, plus a continuously rotating set of approximately 10 temporary exhibitions. The museum's areas of focus include history, nature, technology and shipping (a particular focus of the Nordics - going right back to the Viking times). Boasting over half a million objects in its collection, plus 4 million photos as well as a huge archive, the museum has something for everyone. At the time of writing, the permanent exhibitions include: "Welcome to Sweden", "Submarine U3", "The Planet of Ideas", "Muscles and engines", "Power over People", "At the King's order", "Nature exhibitions", "Vehicles of the future", "Smart!", "The castle's royal apartment", "Silhouettes", "Heaven and earth" and "Impressions - Linnaeus, science and the printed word". As if the museum itself was not enough, also housed within the museum complex is a pretty decent aquarium - where you can meet various cold blooded species, including fish, spiders and reptiles. Don't be surprised if this is not the highlight of your visit! For English-only speakers, some exhibits may be only presented in Swedish, so be prepared to reach out for Google Translate on your phone as needed. The café at the museum provides refreshments such as sandwiches, drinks and cakes. Photo Credit: Susanne Nilsson / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Castle Culture-Museum Eat & Drink-Cafe Entertainment-Aquarium
Standard 40.00 SEK
Group 20.00 SEK
Students 20.00 SEK
Kids 0.00 SEK Under 18


Malmö Museums are located just to the north of the King's Park - and just a few minutes walk.

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes

Day 2

Western Harbour and Ribersborg

In the morning, head to Västra Hamnen - "Western Harbour". Here, you'll find a modern residential community with cafés and a marina that's a joy to explore. In the summer, join the residents in catching some rays, or swimming in the sea. After visiting the landmark Turning Torso, we'll be heading to Ribersborg Beach and the open water baths.
10:00 - 12:00
Turning Torso, Malmö
Turning Torso, Lilla Varvsgatan 14, 211 15 Malmö, Sweden
Scandinavia is famous for its design - but perhaps less so for its skyscrapers - of which there are very few. The Spanish architect, sculptor and civil engineer Santiago Calatrava - who had earlier contributed to the architecture competition for the Öresund Bridge (joining Denmark and Sweden) - was commissioned to change that. It was a former managing director of HSB Malmö (the Savings and Construction Association of the Tenants) - Johnny Örbäck - who had the vision to propose the project - after seeing Calatrava's sculpture "Twisting Torso" in a brochure. The original white marble sculpture depicts the twisting form of a person - and its translation to a neo-futurist building - opened on 1st November, 2005 - is remarkable. Standing by the 190 meter building - which is situated along the sea front overlooking the Öresund Strait - one can count the 9 distinct segments that twist around to give the building its unique shape. At its core lies a 10.6 metre wide concrete pipe which houses the elevator and stairwell. Its unique form made it the first twisting skyscraper in the world. Consisting of 54 floors, some consider the building to be completely out of place in a city of otherwise low-lying buildings. No-one can deny, however, that it has given Malmö a distinctive landmark, and put Sweden on the skyscraper map of the world. A successful landmark it may be, but a commercial success it was not. Construction costs doubled their original estimate for this 27,500 square metre building, and the owners failed to sell the 147 apartments - perhaps due to the radical departure from traditional Scandinavian design. Consequently, the apartments are now leased out to their tenants. The area where Twisting Torso is located (Västra Hamnen - "Western Harbour") reminds me of the area housing the modern extension to Copenhagen - south western Amager. The building is surrounded by residential low-lying apartment buildings - all very tasteful with liveable court yards, gardens and an aura of a high quality of life. There are also house boats to admire. When I visited in the summer, there were residents sunbathing and swimming in the sea at the marina - jumping in off the sidewalks. There are cafes, restaurants and food shops. When we visited, we parked at the supermarket Lidl - across the street. If you want to get a view from the top, floors 53 and 54 may be visited on certain days - but you must book in advance with HSB. These floors are also used to stage conferences. Alternatively, floor 49 houses the public observation deck. Floors 50-52 houses a restaurant, event area and a private club. Photo credits: Dan Hill
Article By: Dan Hill
Culture-Tower Settlement-Neighbourhood

13:00 - 15:00
Ribersborgs Kallbadhus
Limhamnsvägen, Brygga 1, 217 59 Malmö, Sweden
You don't need to spend too long in Scandinavia before you realise that open water swimming is a bit of an institution. All year round, you'll find people outdoors enjoying cold water swimming - even if that means breaking through the ice to get a dip. The physical and mental health benefits of cold water swimming are well documented, even if medical professionals are not yet agreed on why this is so. The analgesic effect of the endorphins released after a winter dip can last between 2 and 4 hours - lifting the mood and soothing ailments. Ribersborg Kallbadhus, 20 minutes walk from central Malmö, and 1km south of Turning Torso, dates back to 1898 - and is set off shore at Ribersborg beach. Access to the facility is via a long pier. There are two outdoor sea pools and 5 saunas - including a wood fired sauna, dry sauna and a unisex wet sauna. Separate areas for men and women, implemented back in the 1930s, mean that skinny dipping is completely fine. A sun deck provides the opportunity to work on your tan. In the common wet-sauna area, there are 8-12 minute Aufguss sessions - a German concept which means that the host adds essential oils to the water that is poured over the hot stones. Mondays and Tuesdays have been designated as oil-free days. See the website (link on this page) for exact timings on infusions. Massages are available but must be booked in advance. Towels are available for rental or purchase - as well as shampoos and soaps. The first Monday of every month is Queer Kallis - open to everyone, but especially the LGBTQ community. There is also a restaurant at the bath house - serving modern Swedish cuisine, with a vegetarian option. Originally, the bath house was privately owned - built by CH Richter - but the baths were bought by the City of Malmö in 1966 - for the benefit of all citizens. In 1993, the city handed over operations to AB Ribersborgs Saltsjöbad, and in 2009 it was taken over by Hekajo AB. Since 1955, the bath house has been declared a historic building. Two severe storms have damaged the baths over the years - one in 1988 and one in 1902 - both requiring extensive renovation. Photo Credits: Image by arniii from Pixabay
Article By: Dan Hill
Eat & Drink-Restaurant Exercise-Swimming Wellness-Spa
Standard 70.00 SEK
Kids 0.00 SEK Under 7


You can walk to Ribersborg's beach from the Western Harbour district - it's only about 1km south, along the sea front.

Travel time
0 hours 30 minutes
About the author

As the founder of MapADay, I recognise the value of really useful online travel guides - written by fellow travellers. I founded MapADay to create a platform where anybody could share and promote their favourite travel itineraries - in a consistent format that travellers can easily follow. I also hope tour guides, operators, travel photographers and travel bloggers will promote their material on MapADay. I've lived in 5 different countries: UK, France, USA, Canada and now Denmark, and love exploring new places with my family - near and far.


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