Malmö lives up to its name as ‘The City of Parks’. Even though the city is small in size at 76.81 square kilometres (30 square miles), it contains a surprising proportion of green spaces. Pack a picnic and head to any one of these spaces for lush greenery, historical buildings, family activities, music events and even a masterclass in biodiversity.
Opened in 1872 by King Oscar II, Kungsparken is the oldest park in Malmö. To this day, its official name is still Kung Oscars Park, but its most commonly known as Kungsparken. At one time, it held the Park Restaurant, located in the most southern part of the park. But nowadays, this area is home to the Casino Cosmopol – worth a visit if you’re feeling lucky. The park features several ponds to stroll around, an impressive cast-iron fountain at its heart and a large inventory of about 130 tree species from three continents.
Located near Margaretavägen and Malmö Stadium, Pildammsparken is the largest park in Malmö. Built around a system of several ponds that were originally created as a water reservoir for the city, it’s now more popular for picnics and cultural events. The old water tower sometimes holds art exhibits and there are usually free performances and concerts held in the amphitheater. The park is also home to a diverse population of birds; head to the ponds to check out the ducks or listen for the parrots, peacocks and more that take shelter in the park’s bird house.
This Brutalist-esque stone park is the best place to go if you want to understand Scandinavian residents’ love of harbour swimming. Located on the site of a former Saab car factory, the flatness of the stoney space is countered by the inclusion of a number of terraces, balconies and platforms. There is also a man-made grassy area for al-fresco dining, and seating that allows for relaxation, reading, sunbathing and other leisure activities.
Inspired by the Tivoli amusement park in Copenhagen, Folkets Park was opened in 1893 and is the oldest theme park in Sweden. Together with the carousels and rides, a large playground, children’s theatre, terrarium, petting zoo, miniature golf, restaurants, cafés and changing entertainment programs, the park offers something for the whole family. Sprawling green space is also available for those looking to sunbathe. Make sure to visit Far i Hatten for a takeaway pizza to enjoy on a grassy bank. General admission is free and the park is open all year round, though some attractions may have separate fees and operate at different times.
Scandinavia is at the forefront of the sustainability movement, and this roof garden is part of it. Augustenborg Botanical Roof Garden is a 9,500-square-meter (102,257-square-foot) sustainable roof development, which has 20 patches built on top of the Department of Internal Services building. It is a harmonious space for inspiration, research and education, featuring an urban farm, a test site for future green-roof products and a biodiversity refuge for rare plant species. It can be visited by booking a tour all year round and is open to the general public in the summer season.
The Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark, located near the end of the Old Town, holds the Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs. Find the park’s weeping willow sculpture created by Imre Varga, which is a touching tribute to the 400,000 Hungarian Jews murdered by the Nazis. There is also green space, a waterfront and an area to sit and reflect. This tranquil spot tucked away within the city will give you rest and shade after a morning exploring the old town.
Located on Malmö’s fortress island, Slottsträdgården is nestled behind the castle Malmöhus. Spread across 12,000 square meters (129,166 square feet), the green space was initiated by a group of enthusiastic garden lovers who still oversee its operation today. It is home to a large number of crops and ornamental plants that are cultivated and sold, plus a historic windmill. Slottsträdgården is open all year round, but the castle garden café is only open from early April to late October.