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You’ve probably heard that Sweden is expensive for tourists and in some ways you wouldn’t be wrong. Yet, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Sweden’s third-largest city, Malmö, without breaking the bank. Here are the best ways to budget travel while in Malmö.
Nordic Street Food
Food trucks have slowly started to make a splash in Malmö in recent years and Nordic Street Food is universally considered the best – not just in Malmö but in the entire country. Using local, seasonal ingredients, the truck offers two daily options, one meat and one veg, at extremely reasonable prices. The truck has been so successful, they’ve now opened a stall at Malmö Central Station. So if you can’t find the truck – check here for the schedule – just pop by the train station and grab a bite.
About a decade ago you’d have been hard-pressed to find a single Thai restaurant in Sweden. These days, though, every city and many small towns are spoiled for choice when it comes to Thai food, and Malmö is no different. The tiny little Tamnack Thai is among the best in the city, both when it comes to taste and to your wallet. It’s a local favourite and no reservations are taken, so while you might have to wait for a table, it’s so worth it.
Once a gloomy, old-fashioned mall, Mitt Möllan has been transformed into a bustling hub, home to both up-and-coming creatives as well as more established types. The concept is to make the space a centre of handcrafted cuisines and cultures – and the food court is doing this is spades. The fare might be low in cost but it’s high in quality and some of Malmö’s best up-and-coming foodies are plying their trade here. Look for vegan ice cream and fantastic Indian food from The Masala Box.
If you’re going to be shopping, be sure to download the Malmö City Kort (Malmö City Card) app, which gives discounts at more than 600 shops, cafés, and restaurants. The app is free and it’s automatically activated the first time you use it. Handy maps help you discover where you can get a discount, making your shopping and eating experiences just that much cheaper.
Hit the pavement
Malmö is a very walkable city – it’s big enough to be interesting but small enough to be manageable, so the best way to explore the city is to hit the pavement and see where the road takes you. Don’t bother with taxis – if after a long day of sightseeing you’re tired, the public transport system is comprehensive, clean, and very safe, so just hop on a bus and you’ll save yourself a fortune.
Sweden is big on making sure culture is accessible to everyone, and that means a lot of museums are either free all of the time, or on specific days, or at specific times. Housed in a disused power station, Moderna Museet Malmö has not just a stunning permanent collection, it also hosts excellent exhibitions that are changed up regularly – and it’s completely free.
While Malmö Museer is not free, entry fees are basically the price of a cup of coffee: everyone up until the age of 19 gets free entry, while students pay 20 Swedish kronor (2€) and adults pay 40 Swedish kronor (4€). And for that piddling fee you get to discover everything from the Nordic region’s oldest surviving Renaissance Castle and a submarine to the new aquarium and photography exhibitions. To say this is a bargain is an understatement, as it could take several days to take all the exhibitions in.
Visiting St Petri Kyrka is to step back in time. It’s the oldest building in Malmö, dating back to the 1300s and you’re free to join the services. When services are not in session, explore the Gothic exterior and the surprisingly modern interior – particularly the organ, which is a truly astounding sight. The grounds are small but beautiful and you’re free to walk about them.
Explore public art
Malmö loves its public art and it really likes its public art a bit quirky. As you explore the streets, you might run into the usual ‘man on horseback’ type sculptures, but you’ll also discover things like Optimistic Orchestra, a grouping of modern musical sculptures that reflects an ‘optimistic, enthusiastic, and happy’ Malmö. Or head to Davidshallsbron, where you’ll find the Way to Go installation: along the side of the bridge are nineteen pairs of bronze shoes lined up, with each pair representing an artist who has meant a lot to the city.
The People’s Park
Folkets Park is the oldest ‘people’s park’ in the world and here is where you’ll find everything from open air concerts and theatre, clown festivals, seminars, and annual flea markets to playgrounds, adventure golf, ice skating and a fire festival. And if there’s a big game happening, the city puts up huge screens. People gather on the grass and cheer among their fellow city dwellers. Entry is free, and although some activities do charge, the prices are kept low – in keeping with this park being a park for everyone.