What to do in Malmö, Sweden!
Welcome to Malmö, the city I live in! Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden and has many great qualities – the food scene, ease of getting around, and diversity of cultures (to just name a few!). Today I will be diving into these topics and more!
My favorite thing about Malmö is the diversity of cultures. In fact, Malmö has the biggest Middle Eastern community in Sweden. This is due in large to the Syrian refugee crisis and the thousands of asylum seekers that Sweden has taken in over the years. While diversity doesn’t come without some culture clashes, I love seeing the availability of different foods and hearing so many different languages on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, a cultural melting pot itself, I feel pretty at home surrounded by so much diversity.
Interestingly though, Malmö doesn’t always feel traditionally Swedish to me. Since it is so diverse here in terms of cultures, the thickness of the Swedish culture is diluted – just like pouring oat milk into a Swede’s typically dark and strong coffee. The coffee is still good, but it isn’t classically Swedish any longer. I’ve talked about this with my partner and many other expat friends of mine living here as well. If you are looking for a true Swedish experience, visiting in a small town or village is the way to go. If you want to experience a more modern and inclusive Sweden, come to Malmö.
As Malmö is very international, so too is the food scene! Malmö is a great city for food. There are 10 restaurants here on the Michelin Guide and one with two stars! With that in mind, if you want something super formal and gourmet, try Vollmers. If you are looking for options that are a little less formal, but still nice, my favorites are Västergatan and Namu. Want to go totally casual? Try Malmö Saluhall for plenty of order-at-the-counter spots.
Malmö’s Gastronomy Award is another great resource for finding your next favorite spot. I’ve been to every spot in 2020’s kafe section (and I actually live right above one! Believe me, it’s dangerous being so close to a fabulous bakery). I can really recommend each cafe but would also add on a few that I mentioned in my fika post.
Although beer and wine are quite expensive and closely regulated in Sweden, Malmö has some great spots to get an after work (the Swedish equivalent of Happy Hour without the discount). Try Julie for a wine bar, Mineral for some cocktails and live music, and San Greal for a fantastic champagne bar!
Looking for some good takeout for your fredagsmys (Friday cozy)? You can’t go wrong with Dal Sud for pizza or falafel, the national dish of Malmö. Try Jalla Jalla for the best falafel in town. Malmö – and Sweden in general – is so vegetarian and vegan friendly. Some good options are Plant Magic’s Kitchen and Mutantur.
You will definitely want to walk off all that food and Malmö has plenty of parks and walking paths on offer. Take a long stroll through Slottsparken (the castle park). While here, be sure to check out the city library (stadsbiblioteket). As a huge reader, it is hands down my favorite place in all of Malmö. It has been open since 1905 and is half castle / half glass box (known as the “Calendar of Light” and designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen, who also designed the Copenhagen Opera House). When you are ready for your next fika, be sure to check out Slottsträdgårdens Kafè.
Pildammsparken is another large park in Malmö. Take a long walk around the water reservoir, get a workout in at the utegym (outdoor gym), or stop for Sunday tea service or dinner at Bloom in the Park. Not only is Bloom a Michelin Guide restaurant, they also have a secret menu concept, meaning the menu is set and you are presented with your food, but not a description of what you are eating! Did I mention that Malmö is a great food city?
In addition to food and parks, Malmö also has many museums, beaches, cute shops, and our famous skyscraper the Turning Torso. All-in-all, it is a city not to be missed and definitely worth a day trip the next time you find yourself in Copenhagen, Denmark. Who knows, you might even see me biking around town!
- Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden with population of over 330,000 people. For scale, the entire country is about 10 million people.
- Malmö was first mentioned as city in 1275!
- Want to see Malmö in action on the big screen? Check out the show Bron/Broen (the Swedish and Danish words for “Bridge”, respectively). Young Wallander is also set in Malmö but wasn’t filmed here.
- Want to learn about other Swedish cities? Check out my post Sweden and Lund – it is only a 10 minute train ride from Malmö!
- Malmö and Copenhagen are just 20 minutes apart by train and are connected by the Öresund Bridge (Øresundsbron). It is the best thing about living in Malmö!
Hope you learned some new Swedishness today and I’ll see you in the next post!