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It may have a reputation for being gritty and industrial but don’t let that fool you – Malmö is home to a robust and flourishing art scene, its industrial past being part of what gives it such an edge. If you’re an art lover visiting Malmö for a day, here are the absolute must-see museums and galleries – and a few great places to relax and grab a bite to eat.
Just like the original in Stockholm, Moderna Museet in Malmö is one of Europe’s leading museums of contemporary art, with a collection highlighting the best modern art from 1900 through to today. The space itself is a converted industrial building and the exhibitions within change regularly, as does the permanent collection.
Located in the Malmöhus Castle complex of museums, Malmö’s Art Museum is one of Scandinavia’s top attractions for art lovers. The museum’s collection contains around 40 thousand works, covering Nordic art from the 16th century to the present. It is also home to a fabulous collection of furniture and crafts from the region.
Since 1975, Malmö Konsthall has been hosting exhibitions that have a decidedly international focus and a very experimental bent. The space is one of the largest exhibition halls for contemporary art in Europe, which gives room for staging some fantastic larger than life shows.
Siesta, located in the Gamla Staden, is very much a local hangout. More than just a café – it’s an experience. Great food, a well-stocked bar and of course great coffee (this is Malmö, after all). The outdoor seating area allows you to drink in the atmosphere with the scent of blooms wafting over you.
Part of Konsthall, Smak is a great place to kick back, grab a fika and catch your breath before heading out to your destination. Warm meals are also served here, leaning mostly towards Swedish fare, which is exactly what you’ll need as you whoosh through Malmö’s art scene in 24 hours.
This artist and curator collective produces and presents exhibitions, lectures and various other events that shine a bright light on the best in contemporary art, as well as exploring current affairs and cultural production. The centre also houses an archive for artists in southern Sweden.
Another of Malmö’s artist collectives, Galleri 21 is also one of its oldest. Founded in 1985, the gallery has staked claim to exhibiting some of the most interesting Nordic art in the world. The gallery also hosts lectures, theatre and music recitals.
This gallery’s main activities are art exhibitions and mediation of art, but it also serves as a forum for creative meetings and other events. Gallerie Lohme believes in sharing and collaboration, as well as ‘planned spontaneity,’ and the unique concept stimulates both innovative ideas and experiences. Both Swedish and international artists are represented here.
Innovative and quirky, More Bistro found inspiration for their new project, Cirkus, in the shape of the dining room. The food is Swedish with a hint of Asia, with vegan options also being available. In a city dedicated to food, this is one brand that takes it one step further.
Brothers Mats and Ebbe are artists in residence at their namesake restaurant, using locally sourced produce to serve up some very modern takes on traditional Swedish dishes. The restaurant itself is an ode to refined elegance.
Award winning Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson moved to New York early in his career and has brought a taste of Manhattan back home to Scandinavia. Kitchen & Table really does feel like a slice of New York – without the New York prices. The food represents everything Marcus values in his work: healthy, diverse and marrying influences from cuisines around the world.