Malmö was named the happiest city in Sweden in 2016 and it shows. This multi-cultural city is brimming with life and laughter and is home to some of the friendliest people in Sweden. That famous Swedish reserve is in short supply here so slap on a smile and enjoy.
Malmö is a city that loves to get outdoors and why wouldn’t they? With more parks than you can shake a stick at, a waterfront that draws visitors in, and the rural beauty of Skåne waiting just beyond the city borders, there are few reasons to stay indoors.
A big part of the outdoor life that Malmö residents embrace is cycling. The city is pretty much made for hopping on your bike. It has an extremely well-developed cycling path system, the land is pretty flat, and because the city is compact it makes sense to get around on two wheels. It’s also been named the sixth best city for cycling in the world.
Malmö offers more vintage and second-hand shops than you’d expect in a city this size. Even better, the shops tend to be clustered together so head over to Möllebångsgatan, Claesgatan, and Friisgatan for both designer items and funky bargains.
Farmer’s markets, flea markets, fruit and veg markets – Malmö has plenty of markets to cover most of your needs. You’ll find a great farmer’s market at Drottningtorget, while Möllevångstorget is the place for fruit and veg. Flea markets pop up everywhere but try the one at Drottningtorget, Sloppis in Slottsstaden, or the little ones in the courtyard at Möllegången.
Malmö’s 500,000 people are made up of more than 200 nationalities, which has given the city a multi-cultural buzz that any big city dweller will recognise in a second. The incredible mix of people is a big part of Malmö becoming one of the coolest cities around, with a rich cultural life – and the tastiest falafels you’ll ever sink your teeth into in Europe.
Did someone say falafel? Yes, Malmö really does offer up absolutely amazing falafels but the food fun doesn’t stop there. The city is crawling with great restaurants and while the Middle East restaurant scene deserves a big nod you’ll also find wonderfully traditional Swedish eateries, proper pubs, New Nordic cuisine, and a café scene that will blow your mind.
Formerly a declining industrial city, Malmö decided that part of its reinvention was to embrace sustainable living. The result is its status as a pioneer in sustainable city planning, such as the Western Harbour neighbourhood, where you’ll find Turning Torso, a sustainable marvel all in itself. All this green means the city centre is filled with parks and other things that promote healthy living and clean air.
No, we’re not talking about the moody TV series (although that is another reason to visit). We’re talking about the Øresend Bridge, which connects Malmö with Copenhagen. Since it opened in 2000 it’s made Malmö and Copenhagen feel like two parts of the same city, mainly because it’s just 20 minutes by train between the cities, and you can live in one and work in the other. For travelers it means you can take in two great cities at the same time.
Malmö may be eagerly embracing the future but it hasn’t forgotten its past, as evidenced by the plethora of museums. Malmö Museer is a collection of museums covering everything from Nordic heritage to aquatic life – and Malmö Castle, at the heart of it all, is an absolute gem. There are also some great art museums, such as the Malmö branch of Moderna Museet.