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New Year’s Eve is for fun, celebration, and thinking about the year that’s just passed and the one that is right in front of us—and Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, is like most other great cities in that it’s packed with loads of ways to celebrate and great places where you can do it. So forget those who say New Year’s Eve is for amateurs, and get ready for some fun.
Moriska Paviljon in Folkparken is hosting a Black & White Ball that harkens back to one of the greatest parties in modern history, Truman Capote’s Black & White Ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in 1966 (which was itself a copy—or maybe an homage—of a Black & White Ball held a few years earlier by fellow writer Dominick Dunne). The 3-course dinner and all night party kicks off at 7 p.m.—and while tails and gowns are not necessary (they say all styles are welcome) it’s a great excuse to get the glad rags out. Grab your tickets early, as seating is limited. Dancing kicks off at 11 p.m., and will include everything from disco and guilty pleasures to R&B and Swing.
What better way to kick off your New Year’s celebration than with a cracking good New Year’s Eve Concert? Swedish actress and comedienne Anna-Lena Brundin will make her long-awaited return to Malmö to act as host of the event, with Patrik Ringborg conducting. Award-winning tenor Bror Magnus Tøndenes will perform, along with critically acclaimed mezzo soprano Jenny Carlstedt. And don’t think this is some po-faced event. Instead think of it as a variety show with some truly stellar talents from across the spectrum. Even better is that there is an afternoon show, as well as an evening one.
If you’ve got the kids with you, head over to Magistrat Park, where they are putting on the perfect celebration for families. The main thing is that this is something of a circus, literally, but it’s also about everything that surrounds a circus, so you can do a circus workshop, dress up in circus clothes, meet the circus performers, and even try your hand at circus art. There is also food available and the experience, which runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is free, ends with a fantastic fireworks display—and still gives you time to hand the kids over to the baby sitter and get out and have some adult fun.
Eurovision—and Sweden’s Schlager, which is the annual contest that picks Sweden’s Eurovision entry—is huge in Sweden and Hipp makes sure to feed to masses of Schlager fans with a party that begins with a three-course meal and ends with everyone on the dance floor, singing their favorite songs from through the years. You don’t have to attend the dinner but it’s part of the whole experience—and if you’re a Eurovision fan you’ll be among your people all night long.
Malmö Opera hosts the biggest New Year’s celebration in collaboration with Malmö city, and it’s got something for everyone. From afternoon activities for the kids through to evening performances with some of Sweden’s most famous and accomplished performers, the entire square in front of the Opera turns into one massive party—and it’s one of the best places from which to enjoy the fireworks at midnight. You can also book into the opera itself and enjoy dinner and the show, as well as a great light show.
Sometimes all you want to do on New Year’s Eve is gather with some good friends, drink some good pints, and have some good chats. Bishop’s Arms, the Swedish gastropub with franchises around the country, might just be the perfect place to do this. Leave the tux at home and enjoy a three-course meal accompanied by some beer or whiskey—or even champagne—as the clock strikes midnight, before going back to your deep chats that lay our your plans for the new year.
Located in the heart of multiculti Malmö, Möllevångstorget—known as Möllan locally—is more hipster than glam, and the bars and restaurants in the area serve up great food and drink in an atmosphere that is fun, a bit hectic, and definitely something you want to experience. You don’t need to dress up but you won’t be shunned if you do. This is egalitarian Sweden at its finest—and it’s a great spot from which to view the fireworks.
Located on the boat Prince Bernhard, this dance-hard, party-hard event opens its doors to the public at just ten minutes before midnight, and will feature top DJs playing house, R&B, hip-hop, and everything else you can think of across its many floors. The top deck, open to the skies, will be fitted with heaters, so you can catch your breath while taking in the beautiful waters that hug Malmö’s shores. The party continues until the wee hours, so make sure you’re rested.
Lilla Torg is party central pretty much all year round, but come New Year’s Eve this square in the heart of Malmö’s Old Town is hopping with the city’s bold and beautiful. You definitely want to dress in your party finest and while hopping from bar to restaurant to bar might sound exhausting, it’s actually great fun, because the square is essentially one big party, with people spilling in and out of the various establishments with abandon. Just make sure the famous Talking Lamp doesn’t take you by surprise.
Naturally, some of those among us want to dance their way into the new year and there are plenty of places to do this in Malmö on New Year’s Eve. One of the best is KB A.K.A. Kulturbolaget, where the party doesn’t start until the last firework is fired—and then continues until 5 a.m. There’s also the “guaranteed first pizza of the year,” along with top DJs. And oddly enough for Sweden, which is quickly becoming a cashless society, cash is king here, so make sure you hit the cash machine before you arrive.
Use this handy map to find the best spots to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Malmö: