Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden. Whilst Malmö is a popular destination all year round, the number of tourists tends to drop over the winter months when tourism is at its lowest point. And if you know me by now – to me, this it the best time to travel, especially to explore this stunning city! Away from the hoards of visitors in the warmer months. There is definitely something to be said for winter travel and it is something that is certainly growing on me. Wandering the picturesque streets of Malmö’s old town, all wrapped up in winter woolies. Stopping for Fika in one of the many fantastic coffee houses this city has to offer, exploring its vast collection of museums, devouring its incredible food and drink scene. Malmö has a lot to offer its visitors. So if you’re looking for things to do in Malmö, let me share with you a list of the very best! I promise, you will fall in love with this city just as I have.
This post is in paid collaboration with Malmo Town but as ever, all thoughts, opinions & photographs are my own.
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Things To Do In Malmö – Explore The Different Area’s Of The City
Where better to start than at the heart of the city. Lilla Torg means the ‘little square’ and that is precisely what to expect. A small cobblestoned square surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in Malmö. Think stunning architecture and timber framed buildings. All the things I adore. I’m a sucker for a timber framed building. Just look at my instagram feed if you hadn’t realised that yet!! You can either take a wander around the square or take a seat at one of the many open air cafes that lie on the square and do a spot of people watching whilst taking in the pretty views. It was particular lovely during my visit in the days before Christmas as it was all decked out for the festive season and even had a giant Christmas tree at the centre of the square.
Gamla Väster is Malmö’s Old Town and it lies just a stones throw away from the main town square and is my absolute favourite part of the city. Think picturesque lanes, laden with the sweetest little houses. On the first day of my arrival, I got into Malmö for about 3pm. Just as it was beginning to get dark. I couldn’t help but want to wander this cities streets though and headed out for a wander. This gorgeous part of the city was the first place I stumbled upon and to see the teensy houses all lit up, a glow for Christmas was a delight. They looked so cosy and inviting! In the olden days, during the 19th century, this is where the craftsmen of the city lived so I guess it is them that we have to thank for the sheer abundance of character that this quarter has.
Möllevången, or Möllan as the locals call it, is at the heart of the multicultural district of Malmö. It is a popular, thriving area with a very ethnically diverse population. At a centre of this district is the very popular fruit and vegetable market, which you can find on the market square or Möllevångstorget. This was probably the busiest district of the city that I explored and had a fantastic selection of restaurants and shops to visit. It is also home to Mitt Möllan, a small shopping centre that is packed with a super hip food court and plenty of vintage stores, galleries and independent shops. If you pay a visit to the food court, make sure to sample a sandwich from Scandwich. You won’t regret it!
This little neighbourhood dates back to the 1930’s. Today it is a popular place to visit and has some of the best independent cafes, restaurants and shops. In fact, a large portion of those I am going to cover further in this list are located in this area including the well celebrated vegan restaurant Mineral, coffee house Cafe No. 6, zero waste store Gram and a great little gallery/jewellery boutique Pulu & L’atelier Bleu. I highly recommend a wander around this area. Just make sure to have your wallet with you, you’ll want to be buying things!
Davidshall is the main shopping hub. It felt to me like the high street at the heart of Malmö. Restaurants, shops, cafes, bakeries, bars, Davidshall has them all. And it is just a stone throw away from Gustav Adolfs Torg where the Christmas market is held in December.
Västra Hamnen, or the ‘Western Harbour’, is located to the north of the city and is the new, ultra-modern district of Malmö. Built on a former shipyard, right besides the sea, Västra Hamnen was designed to be a completely sustainable neighbourhood. The energy supply of the area is completely self-sufficient and even the air conditioning is done by solar panels. This is the first project of its kind in Sweden. The district isn’t finished being built yet, but what has been built is truly impressive. The landmark of Västra Hamnen is an architectural beauty known as the Turning Torso, which at 190 metres is the highest building in Sweden.
This beach, affectionately known as Ribban by Malmö locals, is the cities most popular beach. Located just a short way from the district of Västra Hamnen, this beach lures visitors in their masses during the summer months. It’s not even that far from the city centre, just a short 20 minute walk and you will find yourself there. It offers excellent views of the Öresund bridge which connects Malmö to Copenhagen and even has its own open-air baths.
Ribersborgs Open-Air Bath
Pamper yourself – Malmö is definitely a walking and cycling city, so go ahead and pamper yourself after a couple of days of walking and biking around the city. I recommend you do this the authentic Swedish way! You will find Malmö’s open-air bathing house, Ribersborgs Kallbadhus, right by Ribersborg beach. Popular all year round, I have to admit that I didn’t have time on my travels to try this place out. If it is anywhere near as enjoyable as my Swedish experience of sauna and plunging into the sea that I got to experience in the summer, then I bet I would love it! I will have to return for this one!!
Things To Do In Malmö – Delve Into The Culture Of The City
Disgusting Food Museum
No visit to Malmö would be complete without a visit to the Disgusting Food Museum and is certainly needs to be on a list of things to do in Malmö! It is completely and utterly fascinating. Displaying a selection of some of the strangest foods from cultures across the globe, this museum really is one that will make an impression and will forever be a talking point. From deep fried tarantula to three penis liquor, believed to improve male virility in China. There were two foods that particularly turned my stomach. First up was the East African Kunga cake. Apparently, during the massive seasonal invasion of mosquitoes and midges, entire villages work together to catch the flies. They dampen/oil pots and plates and swing them around in the air through the clouds of bugs, the flies getting stuck to the damp and oily surface. The flies are then mushed together and formed into patties which are cooked as burgers. No I don’t know about you, but that certainly isn’t a burger I could stomach!
The second wasn’t a food, but a drink, which goes by the name of Gomutra. Gomutra is actually cow urine. Drinking gomutra has been practiced for thousands of years and is consumed for therapeutic purposes as Ayurvedic medicine. It is claimed to treat psoriasis, leprosy, fevers, liver ailments and cancer. And if you can, get the urine of a pregnant cow as this is considered especially potent! I think I’ll pass..
Once you’ve finished exploring the museum and its fascinating array of food and drink, you can even sample some of the foods if you’re brave enough! But be careful not to be sick, otherwise you’ll end up on the board of the countdown of days since the last vomit. It was at 23 days when I visited.
Open 12pm-6pm Wednesday-Sunday. Entrance is 185kr which is about £21.
Moderna Museet Malmö
Located in a former power station, the Moderna Museet Malmö is one of Europe’s leading museums of contemporary art, specialising in Scandinavian and International art from the 20th and 21st centuries. In this museum you will find works by the likes of Dali, Picasso and Kandinsky. The Moderna Museet also has a great selection of exhibitions throughout the year which draw in a lot of visitors.
Moderna Museet has no admission fee and is open every day from 11am-5pm except Monday when it is closed and Thursday when it is open until 7pm.
This collection of museums is to be found at the historic 15th century Malmö Castle. Here you will find everything from the Nordic region’s oldest surviving renaissance castle to a submarine to an aquarium. They also have a really interesting exhibition on the history of the city, textiles and photography.
Ebbas House is the smallest museum in Malmö and definitely the cutest. The house dates from the 18th century and is a perfect example of a typical average persons house around that time. The only modernisation made to the house was that addition or electricity and running water, otherwise it remains the same. It even still has its original furnishings dating back to the early 1910’s.
Ebbas house was the home of Ebba Olsson, who lived here from 1911 until her death in 1989. In the 1960’s, builders wanted her to move out so they could demolish the house and build a new one. Ebba had other ideas, and stood steadfast in her determination not to let them tear down her home. This strong willed woman won and she remained there until her death when she donated the house to the city of Malmö on the condition that it was kept in its original condition and opened up to the general public.
Malmö City Library
The architecture of the city library is nothing short of breathtaking. Try and find even just ten minutes to pop in here and see for yourself. With floor to ceiling glass windows, this interior is a true beauty!
Things To Do In Malmö – Take A Stroll Through One Of The Many Public Parks
As far as things to do in go, wandering around the many parks the city has to offer is a must. Pildammsparken is the oldest park in the city and a very popular one for locals to escape to. In the summer months there are a host of outdoor activities ranging from concerts in the part to outdoor cinema nights.
Slottsträdgården/Slottsparken + Kungsparken
Located just behind Malmöhus Castle and Malmö Museer are two parks – Slottsparken and Kungsparken. Slottsparken is more of a garden so I will stick to its title of Slottsträdgården instead. This beautiful little park is made up of the lovely royal gardens which overlook the canal below and has views over the historic windmill which dates back to 1851. Kungsparken surrounds this garden and is a superb area to go for a walk or a picnic or even rent a paddle boat in the warmer months to take out one of its two lakes.
I stumbled across this delightful park on my wanders towards the St Knuts area of the city. Folkets Park translates as ‘the people’s park’ and it is one of the most popular parks here in Malmö. It is also the oldest public park in the world! There is a fantastic playground for the children, which even during my winter visit was packed with laughing, joyful kids just having fun. In the summer months there is an amusement park which is open from April through to September and what’s more, it’s free to enter!
Take a coastal walk in the Västra Hamnen district and along to Ribersborg beach where you can sit and take in a beautiful sunset. I perched myself in Västra Hamnen looking out over the sea and the Öresund bridge, relishing watching the sun shimmer on the surface of the water and reflect magically on the glass buildings behind me. This really was a wonderful way to end a day.
If you’re looking for quality shopping, head to Davidshall – the main shopping hub. For small boutiques I recommend the area of St. Knut where you will find gems like zero waste store Gram and the store I loved most, Pulu & L’atelier Bleu where I picked up some wonderful gifts and added a few beautiful pieces to my jewellery collection.
Things To Do In Malmö – Treat Yourself To Fika
Cafe No. 6
This small but welcoming cafe is a real gem in the St Knuts neighbourhood. The service was super friendly and it was obviously popular amongst the locals as they came in for a good old chat and a coffee. Don’t miss their latte’s! I’d suggest enjoying one with one of the delicious bites from nearby bakery Söderberg & Sara who provide a selection at Cafe No. 6 – I loved the cardamon bun!
Söderberg & Sara
This trendy artisan bakery is just around the corner from Cafe No. 6, so if you were wanting to buy a selection of breads or pastries to take home with you or for a picnic in the park, you haven’t far to travel! Söderberg & Sara pride themselves on using local produce and everything is made with natural yeast in their delightfully welcoming bakery.
I stumbled upon this gorgeous pink retro cafe just after I left lunch spot Avokado in the Davidshall district on my last morning in Malmö. I didn’t get to sample their menu unfortunately but I have marked it down to visit on my next trip to the city. I mean, a pink retro cafe..what’s not to love?!
This characterful patisserie is the oldest in Malmö, opening its doors in 1903 and still going strong. Located in the Davidshall area, this is one of the most popular cafes in the city. Stop here for coffee and cake and soak up the historical atmosphere!
Enjoy Some Incredible Food In All The Best Places To Eat In Malmö
Founded in Berlin in 2015, The Raw Kitchen is a fully raw, vegan restaurant. A concept that I find absolutely fascinating and I think we should all try and incorporate more raw food into our diet. They serve everything from pizzas to pastas, to homemade cheeses – all vegan. Their version of the classic Italian dish Cacio e Pepe comes highly recommended. The noodles are made of zucchini and seaweed and the cheese sauce is made from cashews. I recommend the ‘Bacon’ pizza! Made with aubergine bacon on a bed of tomato sauce, a smokey cashew sauce, red pepper, a sprinkling of seeds and of course some oregano. Follow this with their signature dish, the TiRAWmisu. You won’t regret it!
This restaurant came highly recommended and what’s better, it was on the top floor of my hotel! Kasai In The Sky serves some incredible Japanese cuisine paired with stunning cherry blossom decor and the best rooftop views out over Malmö. What more could you ask for? On my visit there was a Christmas buffet on offer so I tucked in to my hearts content. Thankfully, I only had two floors down to go to get back to my room and roll myself into bed!
If you’re wanting to stick to the healthy theme, then just a few streets away and still in the Davidshall area you will find Plantmagic’s Kitchen. There is always a veggie and vegan option on the menu, a menu that is always made with local, seasonal produce and cooked with creativity and flare!
Located in the popular Davidshall area, this eatery is a must when you visit Malmö. The menu was incredibly fresh and vibrant with a focus on healthy vegetarian and vegan options (although they do serve meat options too). I loved the atmosphere inside this place. As you know, I love a plant problem and Avokado had plenty of greenery hanging on display making it feel super cosy. There were so many options on the menu that I struggled to decide what to go with but I can highly recommend starting with a ginger and turmeric shot, followed by the apple, almond and caramel smoothie bowl. Just delicious.
Mineral was probably the most highly recommended restaurant I was given and a must when you visit Malmö. Everyone seemed to suggest it to me, which goes to show how popular this trendy vegan haunt is! Located in the hip St Knuts area, the interior of Mineral is another one that puts a tick next – interior with a plant problem – for me. It was just beautiful! So atmospheric and obviously a proper gem amongst local residents. Whether you are vegan or not, I think you will love this one. I wish I had interior shots to share with you from here, unfortunately my camera battery had died by the end of the day when I came to sit down for dinner so you’ll just have to check this one out for yourself.
Located in the 1970’s shopping arcade, Mitt Möllan, in the multicultural district of Möllevången, you will find a ultra hip food court. Make a beeline for Scandwich and treat yourself to one of the tastiest sandwiches you will have the pleasure of devouring whilst here in Malmö! Meat, vegan, veggie..they have all the options!
You can’t leave Malmö without a visit to the Malmö Saluhall. Located to the north of the city, this is the place to come for quality produce and delicious food all under one roof. This food market will have something for everyone! As they say themselves:
“Here you’ll find sausages hand made in a barn without electricity, plaice that is only caught when it’s high tide around the small island of Ven… Korean street food, locally grown garlic and fresh goat yoghurt. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”.
This bustling market hall was a proper gem of a find for me and I’m so glad I stumbled across it on my walk back from the Västra Hamnen district. I was so spoilt for choice it was difficult to make my mind up what to treat myself to! Pizza from the people behind Söderberg & Sara serving the best pizza in town from their wood fired oven, fish and chips, dumplings, falafel, sushi, noodles, artisan ice cream.. After my couple of days being super healthy I decided to grab a burger from Falafel and Burger. And boy was it a tasty burger! I went for the chili burger with a side of halloumi fries. It. Was. Incredible!! Oh my goodness I can’t recommend this place enough. It was the perfect cheeky meal to end my last day in Malmö with. Very decadent.
Where To Stay In Malmö
Just a short 5 minute walk from Malmö Central train station, Story Hotel is perfectly situated for your time in the city. The sleek, designer rooms were beautifully designed and depending on which side your room is, you will either get views out over the city (as was my case) or views out to the sea. Whichever you get, the views are just perfect! This hotel is centrally located so everywhere in this itinerary is no more than a 20 minute walk away. Plus, it is home to the fabulous restaurant, Kasai In The Sky. Which just so happens to double up as the breakfast bar in the mornings so you can tuck into a feast of local treats with the best view of the city. I absolutely loved my time here.
Click here for prices and availability for Story Hotel.
Or search through some of the other fantastic hotels in Malmö here.
How To Get To Malmö
So there you have it! The ultimate guide on what to do in Malmö. It genuinely was the perfect trip just before Christmas that left me feeling relaxed, recharged and ready for the festive period with my family back home. Have you ever visited before? If not, will you be adding it to your travel plans this year? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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