10 Best Things to Do in Malmö, Sweden

Have you ever heard of the charming Swedish town of Malmö? While Stockholm and Copenhagen attract a lot of tourists every year, Scandinavia is full of smaller towns that are lesser known but also have it all! Located in the south of Sweden, Malmö is one of them. This former harbor city managed to reinvent itself from being a declining industrial center to a sustainable and eco-friendly city. With a great artistic and gastronomic scene, Malmö is perfect for a weekend break.

I’ve already written an article about the 15 most instagrammable and picture-worthy places in Malmö that you can find here. In this article, however, let’s explore the 10 best things to do in Malmö!

Disclaimer: I was invited by the city of Malmö to visit this beautiful place but this article is not sponsored and all opinions about Malmö are my own.

In a hurry? Pin this post for later!

1 • Cross the Öresund Bridge

If you are visiting Malmö, it is most likely that you will cross the Øresund, or Öresund Bridge, because it connects the Swedish city to Copenhagen. After flying to Copenhagen airport, you will need to either take a bus or a train to reach Malmö through the bridge. A tunnel, constructed so that traffic wouldn’t impact the planes landing in Copenhagen, goes from the Danish capital to the artificial island of Peberholm. The Öresund Bridge goes for 7 kilometers all the way to Malmö, making this the longest combined railway and road bridge in Europe!

Fun fact; it inspired the popular crime drama The Bridge which centers around the discovery of a dead body exactly on the center of the Øresund, necessitating a joint investigation between Denmark and Sweden. You’ll be crossing a famous TV spot!

The Öresund Bridge

2 • Walk around Gamla Staden

To get a feel of Malmö’s charming past, you definitely need to visit its Old Town (Gamla Staden). The Swedish city’s Old Town consists of two parts; the historical and colorful West (Gamla Väster) and the rehabilitated East (Öster). Gamla Väster is the perfect area to stroll around through its cobblestone alleys and picture-worthy streets.

Since Malmö was Danish until the 16th century, parts of Malmö’s Old Town show a strong Danish influence. If visiting the area, you will come across the massive St. Petri Kyrka (St. Peter’s Church), which dates back from the 14th century, making it the oldest building in the city. This Gothic church, built with red bricks outside, has a bright white color covering its walls and vaults inside.

St. Peter’s Church

In the Old Town, you can also check out three squares; Stortorget, Lilla Torg and Gustav Adolf Torg. All are located super close to one another.

Stortorget is the largest main square and is home to many city’s landmarks such as the old City Town Hall, the large equestrian statue of King Karl X Gustav (who brought the city back to Sweden from Denmark) and the Skåne County governor’s residence. Another pretty medieval building bordering Stortoget that is worth mentioning is Kocksa Huset. This palace was built by mayor Jörgen Kock in 1522–1524. It is now privately owned and you can only enter through the restaurant Årstiderna i Kockska Huset located in the cellar. Lastly, check out the Apoteket Lejonet, an old pharmacy on Stortorget with antique medicine bottles.

After walking around Stortoget, you can head to Lilla Torg, or “Little Square” which is a tiny but lovely square filled with cafés, bars, and restaurants. Decorated with cobblestones, the square is bordered by half-timbered houses giving it a charming and historical appeal.

Gustav Adolf Torg, which is the second-largest square, was named after King Gustav IV Adolf, who lived in Malmö while the city became temporarily the Swedish capital in 1806-1807. It is a cute place where they sell flowers, fruits and vegetables like in the good old days. If you visit during wintertime, you will also be able to find the Christmas market there.

The best way to explore the city is to bike or walk around. Do not hesitate to check out this walking or this biking tour to find out about all the hidden gems in the old town! Or you can also go by boat which is a lovely alternative too!


3 • Enjoy the Amazing Food & Go for a Fika

Often referred to as the home to the best food in Sweden, Malmö offers a high number of different food cultures, perfectly combining quality, diversity, and sustainability. Malmö is a melting pot. Since one-third of its population has a foreign background, the coastal city enjoy of a culinary diversity that is in no way inferior to any European capital. The Swedish city’s dining scene mostly uses local ingredients, making the food fresh, delicious and most of the time healthy. Malmö has an eclectic mix of local and international food cultures as well as many fusion restaurants. Actually, some of the most inventive Scandinavian cuisines can be found in the city. There is also a lot of vegan restaurants and vegetarian/vegan options everywhere which makes Malmö one of the most vegan-friendly cities I’ve ever been to.

If you love seafood, head to the local fish market or Fiskehoddorna to buy the catch of the day from local fishermen from Tuesday to Saturday between 6.30 and 13.00. Do not forget to try marinated herring which is a beloved specialty.

If you want to try local and organic Swedish food and drinks, Malmö Saluhall is the place for you. This indoor market and the food court offer a lot of sustainable products and dishes, perfect for a lunch break.

Malmö Saluhall

And of course, any trip to Sweden needs to include the tradition of ‘Fika’. Fika is like a coffee break but better. It is a whole movement and way of life, specific to the Swedes. Fika means having a break, several times a day, with friends or alone, in order to relax with a cup of coffee or tea and a nice pastry to pair it with. Fika is so important in Sweden that you will find a lot of cafés in Malmö and, of course, great coffee and baked goods! You should indulge in local pastries and treats such as kanellbullar (cinnamon buns) or spättekaka (a Skåne specialty meaning “cake on a spit”). A perfect slice of traditional Swedish culture! If you love chocolate (seriously who doesn’t?) check out Malmö Chokladfabrik, which has been created organic chocolates since 1888.

Filled with local markets, food halls, and renowned restaurants, Malmö’s food scene is definitely a delight for all taste buds!

4 • See the Turning Torso from all Angles

The tallest tower in Sweden is located in Malmö. Named the Turning Torso, this skyscraper is based on the work of the neo-Futurist architect Santiago Calatrava. Over 190 meters in height, the tower is a delight for any architecture lover. It actually twists a whole 90 degrees from the bottom to the top!

Since the tower is only used for residential and office space, you can’t actually go up here for a view of the city. But you can admire it mostly from anywhere you are (it is a great direction point!) The tower is located in the waterfront area of Västra Hamnen (Western Harbour) which underwent redevelopment in the 2000s. Now it is a new, ultra-modern, and hipsterish district in Malmö. There you can also find the biggest skateboarding and climbing park in Europe called Stapelbäddsparkenand.

5 • Admire Malmöhus Castle

Malmöhus Castle is one of the city’s most famous sights and the oldest Renaissance-style castle in Scandinavia. It is not the most gorgeous castle you will see but it is a landmark and a witness of the city’s interesting past, especially about the rivalry between Sweden and Denmark. The castle’s actually had a rather eventful history.

Built in 1436, when it was actually still part of Denmark, it became over the years a fortress, a castle and a prison. It now houses hosts an assortment of museums including the City Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Museum of Art. It is also home to the Tropicarium aquarium.

Malmöhus Castle

6 • Stroll through the Slottsträdgården and Kungsparken

What surprised me in Malmö is the amount of green space in the middle of the city. There are many local parks and my two favorites are Slottsträdgården, which is the castle’s garden, and Kungsparken, which is the oldest park in the city. Only a canal separates both gardens, which form a continuous park area.


Slottsträdgården is directly located behind the Malmöhus Castle. It is operated by a private club which cultivates a mosaic of crops, plants, and flowers. It is also known from its pretty windmill, Slottsmollan. This park is the perfect place to have a picnic but I also recommend you to have Fika in the garden café or Slottsträdgårdens Kafé. This café has a lovely furnished greenhouse which is the cutest place you’ll ever have coffee in, trust me! Bear in mind that the café is only open from early April to late October.

Slottsträdgårdens Kafé

Kungsparken was created in 1872 in a former area that belongs to the castle when it was a fortress. In this park, there are 120 tree species from three continents, sculptures, and also a pretty fountain.

Both parks are located along the canals that wind their way through town. So get away from the city, relax and unwind at those charming parks!

7 • Hit the library

A library is something you might not consider checking out while on your holidays but trust me, Malmö City Library (Stadsbibliotek) is worth it! After its makeover in the late 90s, over a million people are visiting the library each year. Often considered one of the coolest architectural libraries in the world, Stadsbibliotek has two distinct parts; the Castle and the Calendar of Light. The Castle is the historic part of the library and the Light Calendar, designed by the Danish architect Henning Larsen, is a large cubic building with a glass window facing the park which allows lots of light to get through. It is located in Slottsträdgården’s southeast corner, so you can check in out while there.

Malmö City Library

8 • Biking along the Ribersborg Beach

Like I mentioned earlier, Malmö is super flat so it is a perfect city to bike around. And what is better than biking along the beach, the salty breeze ruffling your hair?

Called “Ribban” by locals, the 2.5-kilometer Ribersborg beach is where everyone in Malmö goes to relax, swim and sunbathe during summertime. Along the shore, there is a cycling and walking path that you can enjoy not only during summer but all year long. It’s a great way to enjoy the views of the Turning Torso and the Oresund Bridge.

Many places offer bike rental and even some hotels offer guests bikes free of use! The one I stayed at, the Ohboy Hotell, offers one bike per room for free.

The Ribersborg Beach with the Ribersborgs Kallbadhus and the Öresund bridge in the background

9 • Go for a Sauna at Ribersborgs Kallbadhus

Plenty of Swedish cities have a Kallbadhus (open-air public bath) and the one in Malmö is one of the most famous (and one of the prettiest if you ask me!). Called Ribersborgs Kallbadhus, this public bath, which is also a spa, was built in the late 19th century on Ribersborg beach. Its location, overlooking the Öresund bridge makes it an incredible iconic landmark in Malmö.

You are encouraged to undress completely before relaxing in the steaming hot sauna and alternating sitting in the wooden sauna room and jumping into the Baltic Sea to cool off (it is even open during winter time!). Do not worry, there are separate sections for men and women, with only one co-ed room (and most people are covered up there). You should bring your own towel and lock but if you forget, you can rent them there for a small fee.

Ribersborgs Kallbadhus

10 • Watch the sunset in Västra Hamnen

One of the highlights of my trip to Malmö was watching the sunset in Västra Hamnen, overlooking the Baltic Sea. Like I mentioned above, Västra Hamnen is a former industrial neighborhood that was transformed by the city with the help of renowned architects into a sustainable urban area. It is where the Turning Torso is located so you cannot miss it! On the seafront, there are many restaurants, bars, and cafés. It is a really great area to hang out for a night out. Seeing the sunset on the sea was truly magical!

Have you been to Malmö? What was your favorite thing to do there? Let me know in the comments below!

Want to keep reading? You might like those articles as well…
10 Best Things to do in Malmö, Sweden / 3 days in Copenhagen: Ultimate Travel Guide

This article uses affiliate links. As a GetYourGuide and Amazon Associate, if you buy something through one of those links, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you which helps me keep this little blog afloat. Thank you for your support!

Prepare your trip to Malmö! Check out the best guides here:


  1. Minna
    January 26, 2019 / 2:33 PM

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? The overall look of your site is fantastic, as well as the content!

  2. Julia Jawad
    March 22, 2019 / 3:56 AM

    When I was a young girl I lived in the fishing village in southern Sweden called Viken. I visited Malmo and loved it. My favorite thing was visiting the place where the famous doll maker Charlotte Weiber sold her works of art. I hope I’m remembering that correctly. It was thirty years ago. Thank you for your wonderful article.

    • March 22, 2019 / 9:24 AM

      Hi Julia, thank you so much for your kind comment and for sharing this wonderful story with me. Malmö is so great and I hope I can come back soon!

  3. John
    March 24, 2019 / 3:34 AM

    We enjoyed both trips. Our daughter thought she was going to be welcomed like a returning princess.
    – Betty & John Malmo

    • September 7, 2019 / 6:34 PM

      Ohh I’m so glad you had a wonderful time and sorry for the late reply!

  4. Alaine
    December 31, 2019 / 2:50 AM

    Malmö is a developing buzzing city with exciting new changes in food, culture, and startups. I go there to meet friends quite often or go shopping!

  5. Sasha
    June 7, 2020 / 3:57 PM

    Thanks for this post! The pictures are beautiful and I’ve bookmarked it for later when me and a friend plan to visit. Very useful!

  6. Meenakshi
    July 27, 2020 / 5:53 PM

    There is one island in Limhanm, a man-made peninsula…lovely view of øresund bridge and a great place to visit on your cycle.

  7. Emma
    March 29, 2021 / 10:20 PM

    Lovely post! I really like the way you write and your photos. Keep up the great work! 😍 Malmö isn’t our capital though, it’s Stockholm.

    • March 29, 2021 / 11:04 PM

      Hi Emma ! Thank you so much for your comment ! I know that Stockholm is the Swedish capital and not Malmö :). I never mentioned Malmö as the current capital of Sweden though, only in one part of my article when I state that it did temporarily become the Swedish capital in 1806-1807 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *