This coastal city in Sweden combines old world charm with the very modern and has lots to offer. Here’s my 23 best things to in Malmo.
Located in the Kronoborg neighbourhood of the city, Pildammsparken (Willow Pond Park) is the city’s largest park. With 45 hectares to explore it has to be on the list of things to do in Malmo.
This park has something for everyone. With a large lake, flower beds, wooded areas, a historic reservoir and water tower, a pretty pavilion and a delightful cafe/restaurant.
There are plenty of benches around the park to sit and enjoy a picnic or just relax and watch the wildlife.
For the more active, there are two outdoor exercise areas, running trails and adventure playgrounds for the children.
With acres of beautiful, peaceful grounds to stroll through, it’s easy to forget that you are still in a busy city!
Located in the centre of the city is another lovely park worth visiting called Kungsparken (King’s Park).
Designed by the Danish architect, Ove Hoegh Hansen, he is said to have taken inspiration from landscaped English gardens.
Not as large as Pildammsparken, this is the oldest of the parks in Malmo and is known for its collection of exotic trees as well as flowers such as rhododendron and azaleas.
At the centre of the park is a dramatic cast-iron fountain dating back to 1882. Furthermore, the lawns in front of the fountain offer great views of the park’s canal and bridges.
This is another great place to take a stroll or sit and relax with a picnic. Alternatively, you could always rent a pedal boat and take a delightful water tour all around the park.
For a fun and inexpensive way to explore Malmo including a visit Kungsparken, the City Exploration Trail is a self guided tour.
3. Malmo Castle
Historic Malmo Castle is located about a mile from the Central Station in the city of Malmo. Surrounded, of course, by a moat, you make your way across a bridge to enter the castle!
Although the original castle that stood here was built in 1434, the present Malmo Castle dates back to the 1530s. Thus making it Scandinavia’s oldest Renaissance Castle.
Owned by the Swedish state, it is now part of the group of Malmo Museums. Housing a diverse range of exhibitions, including a museum full of some quite unusual and exotic, taxidermied animals.
There is also an exhibition on the upper floor that depicts the history of the castle. Which, as well as serving as a home for many kings, was also a prison in the 19th century and a safe house for refugees during WW ll.
Open daily from 10am – 5pm. Entrance fee 40 SEK (just over £3.00) This also includes entry to the nearby Technology and Maritime museum.
So, if you are into history and want to add an inexpensive activity to your Malmo itinerary, this is definitely going to be one of the best things to do.
If you would prefer a guided tour that visits Malmo Castle City Highlights Express Walking Tour with a Local is perfect.
Located approximately 3km from Malmo city centre, in the Ribersborgs neighbourhood, is Ribersborgsstranden (Ribersborgs Beach). A long sandy beach with lots of large, grassy areas.
This picturesque and popular area was created in the 1920s as a recreational area for the population of Malmo. The sand for the beach was actually brought by train from Oresund.
It offers many walking and biking trails that run through the grass areas at the back of the beach. Along with various pitches to play ball games like football, American football and rugby.
This long stretch of beach has a total of 10 bathing piers. At the end of Broad Pier you will find a fully restored bath house – Kallbadhaus
If you are looking for a tour that visits Ribersborgsstranden, the Malmö: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour is a great option.
5. Kallbadhus Sauna
Kallbadhus (cold bath house) is a beautifully restored complex located at the end of Broad Pier on Ribersborgsstranden. Originally built in 1898, it houses saunas as well as open air sea water pools.
There are five saunas (two for males, two for females and one shared), two pools, two hot tubs and a sun deck.
In addition, there is cafe serving traditional Swedish food such as herring or prawn sandwiches and delicious cinnamon buns.
Open all year round, Monday – Friday 09:00 – 21:00 and Saturday/Sunday 09:00 – 18:00. (Winter hours are slightly shorter.) Price 70 SEK per person (Approx £5.50).
So, if you want a truly traditional Swedish experience, this is one of the best things to do in Malmo.
6. Turning Torso
Built in 2005, Turning Torso is a residential skyscraper located in the Western Harbour area of Malmo. Until recently it was the tallest building in the Nordic region. (It was surpassed by Karlatornet in Gothenburg in 2022.)
Turning Torso was inspired by a white marble sculpture called Twisting Torso, created by Santiago Calatrava. The engineer, architect, and sculptor who also designed the Turning Torso.
Standing at 190m and 57 stories high, it’s made up of asymmetrical shapes which rotate 90° as the height increases.
This unique building houses 148 apartments, ranging from small studios to family-sized penthouses.
Offering some great photo opportunities, Turning Torso has to be on the list of the things to do in Malmo.
For an alternative view, the Malmö: Rundan Sightseeing Boat Tour takes you right past this and other popular landmarks.
7. Lilla Torg
In the heart of Malmo’s old town Gamla Staden, is the charming market square called Lilla Torg (Little Square).
Dating back to 1590, this pretty cobblestone square is still regularly used for markets. It is surrounded by historic houses, interesting shops and inviting bars and restaurants.
Many of the buildings are hundreds of years old and include Scanian half-timbered houses. Moreover, to accommodate modern living, they have been sympathetically integrated with stylish, conservatory glass structures.
With its lovely vibe, this is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists. Especially when the sun is shining and everyone gathers in the outside seating areas of the restaurants and bars.
Another great little stop-off and not to be missed as one of the best things to do in Malmo.
For some perfect instagram shots, the Instagram Highlights Tour with a Local visits Lilla Torg and other picturesque spots.
Dating back to 1540, Stortorget is Malmo’s main, large central square square. Not quite as picturesque as nearby Lilla Torg, it still has some interesting features and is worth a visit.
In the centre of the square is a statue of the famous King Karl X Gustav sitting astride a horse. King of Sweden in the 1600s, he was famous for enlarging the Swedish Empire during the Second Northern War.
On the eastern side of the square, you will find the historic and impressive Radhuset (City Hall), dating from 1547.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of Malmo the Malmö: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour is paced with local info.
Also, don’t miss, in the corner of the square, Apotoket Lejonet, the city’s oldest pharmacy. It has an extraordinary art-nouveau interior along with some lovely antiquities that are worth calling in to see.
9. St. Peter’s Church
Just behind the City Hall, on Stortorget, is St. Peter’s Church, the oldest surviving building in the city of Malmo.
This impressive piece of red brick, Gothic architecture dates back to the 14th century and is one of the largest churches in Sweden.
Inside there are lots of interesting historical artefacts to look at, as well as beautiful murals and decor.
Open from 10am to 6pm, it is free to visit. However, the church is still in use and, of course, during services you are not allowed to wander around.
If you fancy a romantic tour of Malmo the Joyful Malmo Walking Tour for Couples starts with St Peter’s Church.
Housed in a listed yellow building on Drottningtorget (Queen Square) in Malmo, Boulebar is a French themed restaurant and bar. The USP being that it sits amidst 14 boule courts inside, with another 8 boule courts outside.
Boulebar was inspired by the Swedish founder’s travels around southern Europe, in particular France.
(Boules is a popular game that involves throwing or rolling heavy balls to finish as closely as possible to a small target ball/jack)
The restaurant serves rustic, bistro-style food typical of southern France, including classics such as moles de frites and creme brûlée. Along with a selection of beers and wines and even French cider.
Boulesbar has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and is great for a nice meal/drink along with a game of boules. Definitely one for the list of things to do in Malmo.
11. Brads Spelcafe
If adding a fun activity to eating out is your thing, then Brads Spelcafe will be right up your street.
Located in the centre of Malmo, this recently opened cafe is the first board game cafe in Malmo.
Offering three different areas to accommodate different groups and ambiances. From more sociable to more focused – this is a great destination for all ages.
Along with an abundance of board games there is a selection of food and local wines and beers. The friendly owners also offer help with rules etc, if needed.
Their belief is that ‘playing brings people together and a happy belly makes happy memories!’
Built in 2005 in the Vastra Hamnen district of Malmo (on the old shipyard slipway) is the Stapelbaddsparken (skatepark).
Covering an area of about 3000 square metres, this is one of the largest parks of its kind in Europe.
For interested skateboarders, the park has several different areas. Including the classic kidney-shaped bowl, two different transition areas and a street plaza.
Alongside the skatepark is a climbing area built in 2008, consisting of three artificial climbing rocks. This was the first climbing course built in Sweden.
Stapelbaddsparken is free to use and has been successful in its aim of being a social hub for all Malmo young people.
With skateboarders of all ages and abilities practising their tricks, this is a great spot to visit and enjoy the action and energetic vibe.
13. Malmo Saluhall
This bustling food market, not far from Malmo Central Station, is a must of things to do in Malmo, especially for all foodies.
Housed in a sympathetically refurbished 1800s train depot, this stylish food market is full of artisan food stalls. All owned and run by people with a passion for their products.
Opened in 2016, you will find both traditional Swedish cuisine along with new culinary trends. Including shellfish soup, cheese tapas, craft beers, chocolate pralines, speciality meats, vegan cuisine, coffee, pastries and much more!
The atmosphere is warm and welcoming making it the perfect place for a relaxing meal. Alternatively, just have a browse and maybe purchase something to take away.
Malmo Saluhall is open from 10am every morning. Closing time varies from 4pm on Sunday to 9pm on Fridays.
14. Oresund Bridge
This huge and iconic bridge is actually part rail/road bridge and part tunnel spanning the Oresund Strait between Denmark and Sweden.
The Oresund Bridge opened in the year 2000 and since then, thousands of cars and trains have crossed this 8km, direct link between Sweden and Denmark.
There is a toll on the Swedish side of the bridge and a one way ticket costs approximately 258 SEK (£20).
For the experience and views it’s definitely worth a trip over this impressive, curving bridge. However, why not factor in a visit to nearby Copenhagen at the same time!
Or, if you would rather just take a look at the bridge, the Malmö: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour includes great views from Ribersborgsstranden across the water.
15. Visit Copenhagen
If you are staying in Malmo, you can’t not take a trip over the Oresund Bridge to Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark.
Just a 45 minute drive by car, or 30 minutes on the train from Central Station in Malmo, and you are in one of Europe’s oldest and most popular cities.
With some lovely historic buildings and canals, along with some progressive modern architecture, there is plenty to see in Copenhagen.
Including, the National Gallery of Denmark, the Botanical Garden, Rosenborg Castle, Tivoli Gardens and amusement park and much more.
Also, don’t miss the old harbour area of Nyhavn, a picturesque setting full of restaurants and pretty waterside houses.
Visiting Copenhagen is definitely one of the best things to do when you are staying in Malmo. If you don’t quite know where to start, the Copenhagen itinerary has a few ideas.
16. Try Swedish Meatballs
You can’t visit Sweden and not try traditional Swedish meatballs (Kottbullar). Even if you’ve been to your local Ikea and sampled them, this has to be on your list of things to do in Malmo.
Generally made with ground pork and beef, bread crumbs, egg yolks, allspice, nutmeg and onion, they certainly differ from the well known Italian meatballs.
The sauce that always accompanies Swedish meatballs is a creamy gravy that is made with butter, beef stock, cream and thickened with flour.
Traditionally, the meatballs covered in their delicious sauce are served with creamy mashed potato, lingonberry jam and pickled cucumber.
However, if you are vegetarian like me, don’t worry, most restaurants offer delicious vegetarian meatballs.
17. Eat Falafel
Malmo is proud to be a diverse and multicultural city with over 150 different nationalities. This in turn has brought many different cuisines from all over the world to the streets of Malmo.
One of the favourites of residents in this vegan-friendly city is the humble falafel. Originating in the Middle East, you will find falafel everywhere in Malmo, with some people calling Malmo the falafel capital of Europe!
Loved by locals, Varnhems Falafel on Lundavagen Road is one of the best places in Malmo to grab this tasty and inexpensive meal. They serve meat and vegan options with breads that are made in-house.
For around 50 SEK (£4) you have a choice of crispy falafels served with a variety of toppings that are sure to satisfy.
18. Take A Fika
The meaning of a Fika in Sweden is ‘a break from an activity during which people drink coffee, eat cakes and relax with others’! In England we call it a ‘coffee break’.
Malmo has a good selection of trendy cafes where you can settle down for a much loved, traditional Fika.
I took my Fika at Mat & Chokladstudion on Amiralsgatan. Run by the well known chef Joel Lindqvist who is famous in Sweden for winning, amongst other things, the TV show Dessertmastarna (dessert Master)!
For delicious pastries, desserts and pralines to accompany your coffee, this is the perfect spot. So, when in Malmo, makes sure that one of the things you do is take a ‘Fika’.
19. Eat Out
I love eating out and trying different foods when I visit somewhere new and there’s certainly plenty to try in Malmo.
A couple of my favourites were:
Acai & Poke
Located on Amiralsgatan, offer a great menu with a variety of Japanese, Brazilian and Swedish dishes. Including various chicken ,prawn, salmon, tofu and noodle dishes, a great selection of acai bowls and a choice of shakes and drinks.
If you are looking for a good Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant, llocated on Davidshallstorg, is a Vietnamese restaurant that serves delicious plant-based food with Southeast-Asian flavours. Including tossed noodles, tofu with ginger and spicy cabbage.
With such a variety of cuisine on offer in Malmo, eating out has to one of the best things to do.
20. Folkets Park
Located in the centre of Malmo, Folkets Park is one of Sweden’s top tourist attractions, hosting thousands of visitors every year.
Apart from the natural beauty of the park to enjoy, there is also an array of entertainment venues, playgrounds, a children’s petting farm, miniature golf and plenty of eateries.
During the summer months there are festivals, concerts and films all shown in the open air. As well as an amusement park offering carousel rides and other fun activities.
With something for everyone at Folkets Park, you can understand why it is so popular, especially for families.
Open all day, every day, it’s free to visit the park, although there are fees for some of the activities.
21. Gustav Adolfs Torg
Named after King Gustav IV Adolf (called Gustav by locals), this is the second largest square in Malmo and is located at the southern end of the old town Gamla Staden.
This famous landmark has served as a central point for public transit since the trams were moved there in 1906-1907. Nowadays it is the central point for the city bus network of Malmo.
Surrounded by many hotels, shops and restaurants, the square itself is beautifully landscaped with trees, benches, sculptures and fountains.
Obviously, with all the public transport coming and going it gets pretty busy here. However, it’s a great spot to grab a coffee and do some people watching!
22. Disgusting Food Museum
If you are looking for a unique and fun experience in Malmo, the Disgusting Food Museum ticks the box and has to be on the list of things to do.
This small but fascinating museum invites you to explore the world of food and will challenge your notions of what is and what isn’t edible.
It has about 80 of the world’s most disgusting foods to see and smell. Then, for the more adventurous, there is a tasting challenge, giving you the opportunity taste some of the foods!
The friendly and knowledgeable staff guide and encourage you through the eating challenge. With most people surprised at how many different foods they end up trying.
Located on Sodra forstadsgatan in central Malmo, this museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday 11:00 until 17:00. Admission per adult is roughly 192 SEK (£15).
To book your ticket in advance Disgusting Food Museum Entrance Ticket.
23. Malmo Konsthall
Opened in 1975, Malmo Konsthall is an art gallery located in the centre of Malmo. It exhibits contemporary art pieces by both international and local artists.
Designed by architect Klas Anshelm, the building itself is like a piece of art. Especially the impressive ceiling, made up of a latticework of 550 domes, employing both natural and artificial light sources.
It’s one of the largest galleries for contemporary art in Europe and is said to reflect the city of Malmo’s view that art should be accessible to everyone..
It is free to visit and, with exhibitions changing regularly, it is possible to keep returning to see and enjoy the latest exhibition.
This is one of the best things to do in Malmo, particularly for all modern art fans.
Where To Stay In Malmo
MJ’s is located only 50 yards from Lilla Torg Square in central Malmö. This hotel offers free WiFi and rooms with a seating area and flat-screen TV.
All rooms at MJ’s feature a work desk and beds from Grange, as well as wall-to-wall carpeting.
Breakfast is available in MJ’s fresh breakfast garden. Guests are also welcome to enjoy a drink in the bar. Several restaurants are available in the immediate area.
The King’s Park with the Malmöhus Castle is a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Malmö Central Station is 350 yards away.
Only 5 minutes’ walk from Malmö Central Station and a few blocks from the main shopping streets, Radisson Blu Hotel Malmö offers free WiFi, gym and sauna access.
The modern, spacious rooms feature a seating area, cable TV and air conditioning.
Radisson Blu Malmö’s restaurant and bar, Thott’s, is located in one of the cities oldest wooden buildings. It serves a popular breakfast buffet as well as a variety of Swedish lunch and dinner dishes.
Radisson Malmö is less than a 5-minute stroll from the 14th-century Church of Saint Peter. Buses for Copenhagen Airport stop nearby.
Situated within 1.1 miles of Triangeln Shopping Centre and 4 miles of Malmo Arena in the centre of Malmö, UNITY Malmö features accommodation with free WiFi and seating area. This 4-star aparthotel offers a 24-hour front desk and a lift. The aparthotel has family rooms and facilities for disabled guests.
At the aparthotel, every unit comes with a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. A dishwasher, a fridge and stovetop are also available, as well as a kettle. At the aparthotel, all units are allergy-free.
The aparthotel features a garden and sun terrace.
For more places to stay in Malmo, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.