Called Copenhagen's "little brother", the Swedish town of Malmö is often underestimated in favor of the Danish capital, which is situated only 20 minutes away by train. The two towns are part of the so-called Oresund region and are connected via the longest bridge over a body of water in Europe. Malmö is however a natural extension of the eclectic variety of Copenhagen, a sort of multicultural centre combining the exotic East and the cold Northwest.
Here are Malmö's main attractions:
Malmö Castle (Malmöhus), the adjoining museums and park (Slottsparken) - Previously a Renaissance castle and a former prison, it is now housing several museums, in which you can see all sorts of historical, technical and natural exhibitions and artifacts. You can also get on a real submarine and meet face to face with the sea creatures in the aquarium. The park of the castle is like a Monet painting - green, idyllic, tinted by different coloured flowers and peppered with spots for games and picnics. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m. daily. Entrance is free for people under 19 years of age, 20 Swedish kronen for students and 40 for adults (1 Swedish krona is approximately equal to 0.08 British pounds).
Museum of Modern Art (Moderna museet) - It is part of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Stockholm and contains exhibitions of artworks from the last, as well as the current century. Especially interesting are the family workshops, in which parents and children rediscover their talents while spending more time together and having fun. This type of activity is, for example, drawing on the ground or face painting. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 18 p.m. Entrance is free for people under 18 years of age, 50 kronen for students and 70 for adults.
The cold bath-house (Kallbadhuset) and the Ribersborg beach (called Ribban by the locals) - Here you can enjoy a relaxing wood burning sauna, or if you get too hot - take a dip in the refreshing Baltic Sea. Completely naked. You don't need to bring a bathing suit, because the bath-house has a male and a female section. And while you are sipping a cocktail (or tea) with your feet soaking in the warm water, you can enjoy the wonderful view towards the sprawling Copenhagen. Kallbadhuset is open every day. Entrance is free for children under 7 years of age, and 65 kronen for adults.
People's Park (Folkets) - People's Park is the oldest park in Malmö and the favourite place of young and old for dancing, games, picnics or just relaxing in nature, when the weather allows. Here there are golf courses and a terrarium for the little ones, night clubs and restaurants for the adults, and if you are lucky, you can even watch some football on a giant open air screen. The park is open all year round and entrance is free.
The turning bulding (Turning Torso) and Stapelbäddsparken skate park - Turning Torso is the highest skyscraper on the Scandinavian Peninsula, but that is not the only impressive thing about it. It is made in such a way that its body gradually turns 90 degrees from the base to the top. It can be seen from almost every point of the city and is an easy landmark for the lost. The building is located at the Western Harbour, which is in itself one of the landmarks of the city. Very close to it is also the skate park. It is every skater, biker or climber's dream - sprawling over 2000 square metres are ramps, jumps, stairs, a funbox for skateboard and bmx, a wall and real rock boulders for climbing. And if you're not into extreme sports, but more into extreme people, this is the right place for you, too.
Sankt Petri Church - This is the oldest building in Malmö, dating from the fourteenth century. The lovers of medieval architecture will be charmed by the exterior of the church, as well as by its beautiful interior, adorned with old murals and icons. There is also a surprise for the visitors - at the entrance you will be greeted with free coffee or tea. The church is open daily, and entrance is free. But if you decide to light a candle, you will have to purchase it. More information here.
The Katrinetorp Mansion - The beautiful mansion in the outskirts of town will transport you into the world of the Swedish aristocracy from the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. An English garden, filled with the aroma of roses, a summer kitchen, an antiques shop and an enormous vineyard are only part of the things you can see. View the exhibitions or just sit in the court or the cozy restaurant, enjoying the atmosphere. The mansion is open year-round, but the opening hours vary according to the season. Entrance is free, unless it is a market day or a special event. It is recommended to take a guided tour, so you can find out more about the hidden secrets of Katrinetorp.
The Old Town (Gamla Staden) - The Old Town is a picturesque neighbourhood in the heart of Malmö, surrounded by a beautiful canal and the three most central squares of the city - Stortorget, Lilla Torg and Gustav Adolfs Torg. Malmö Castle is also located here.
Lilla Square (Lilla Torg)/ The Small Square - The most central of the Old Town squares, Lilla is the heart of Malmö, the main place for meeting and having fun, bustling with life. The square offers some of the best cafés, restaurants and night clubs in Malmö and is situated only five minutes from the train station.
Malmö Live - This is the cradle of culture in the city. From concerts and conference rooms to apartments, offices, a hotel and a restaurant, this place offers a world of socializing, culture and art, enclosed between the glass walls of one of the newest and most beautiful buildings in Malmö.
Mollevangstorget Square (Möllevångstorget) - This is the best example of the eclectic cultural variety of the city - here you can find food, drinks and entertainment for every taste and mood from all parts of the world. No matter if you pop into a local restaurant or buy yourself something fresh from the merchants on the market or from the small shops. The chocolate factory and the brewery are also located nearby.
Emporia Shopping Centre - If you love shopping or the weather outside is simply not suitable for a walk, Emporia has a lot to offer. Here you can find anything from fashion to interior design, by many different brands, and, of course in different price ranges. You can also just sit around, cup of coffee in hand, or have a little snack. Like every other self-respecting shopping centre, it is open every day, from 10 in the morning to 8 in the evening. Parking is free for two hours if you buy anything from the convenience store. You can reach the shopping centre directly by train or with bus number 8 (get off at the last stop).
Bus - All bus routes pass through Malmö centre (Malmö C bus stop) and Gustav Adolf Square. You cannot pay in cash on the bus, but you can download the Skånetrafiken app, and pay by card through it. There is also the option of purchasing a 24 or 72-hour ticket from the Tourism Office, which cost 65 and 165 Swedish kronen respectively. The price of a one-way ticket is 22 kronen. Ask for the special cards with discounts for travelling in the region.
Train - Malmö has an extremely convenient railway infrastructure and the more remote areas are reached fastest by train. Research the train timetables and remember to buy a ticket before you get on the train. Train tickets are valid for the bus (and vice versa).
Taxi - Taxis are not the cheapest mode of transportation in Sweden, but sometimes they are a necessity. Most companies have fixed prices, but still, don't get in the car before asking how much it would cost.
Bicycle - Like most Scandinavian cities, Malmö is extremely convenient for getting around by bike. The distances are not too big, bicycle lanes are more or less everywhere, the terrain is flat, and people have enough of a cycling culture to not jump out unexpectedly in front of you, while you are moving. A lot of hotels in town offer bicycles for rent. Otherwise you can always rent a bike from Cykelkliniken or from a bicycle shop for just 120 kronen per day. Ask also about the special city maps for cyclists.
By foot - Like we already mentioned, distances are small, and what a better way to get to know the real essence of the town than getting lost in the small streets and discovering its secrets by yourself?
Airplane - Depending on the season, relatively cheap tickets can be found to Malmö from Sofia. Another option is to travel by plane to Copenhagen and there take a train to Malmö though the Oresund Bridge.