Malmö, Sweden hasn’t always been at the top of most people’s bucket lists. Many tourist visit it as a quick day trip from Copenhagen just so they can say they saw Denmark and Sweden, but many people have no idea what to do in Malmo (spelled Malmö in Swedish) once they get there. I absolutely fell in love with this little town because it’s quaint (even though it’s the 3rd largest city in Sweden) and it was even voted as one of NY Times Top 52 Places to Visit in 2016. There are some mind blowing shops, cafes, restaurants, and artists that you definitely need to know about because I’m quite certain that you will want to visit for more than a tick on your “Sweden” box.
I met up with my dear friend, Niki Brantmark, the well known blogger behind My Scandinavian Home and author of Modern Pastoral, who happens to have married a very dashing Swedish man and made a home with him and their two girls in Malmö. I brought my camera so we could share all of our favorite places to shop, eat, and drink coffee and I couldn’t be more delighted to share our top picks for what to do in Malmö! We’ll start with the video of my absolute favorite way to arrive in Malmö… via the Øresund Bridge, which connects Denmark and Sweden. (The train takes the same bridge underneath the cars!)
CENTRAL MALMO :: If your time in Malmo is limited, this is the best place to see and do as much as possible. It is also easily accessed by foot if you happen to have arrived by train.
WHAT TO EAT & DRINK ::
NOIR :: This cafe is the perfect place to dash out of the rain, cozy up with a great cup of coffee and catch up with a good friend. (Especially if she has a charming British accent!) Outside seating is perfect on a sunny day for people watching, too.
BASTARD :: This local favorite is brimming with charm, whimsey, and an ironic name to match. Catch a candlelit dinner or a late evening cocktail, but don’t forget to make a reservation!
LILLA TORGET :: Swedish for “Little Square”, this beautiful gathering space is a local favorite place to stroll, sit, and people watch, especially on sunny days. Niki recommends grabbing a table for drinks or light lunch at Moosehead or Mello Yello, especially if you want to try authentic Swedish food.
CENTRAL MALMO :: WHERE TO SHOP ::
BLOMSTER PIGAN :: Of all the florist I have visited around the world, this one was particularly captivating. The secret rooftop terrace, located up the winding spiral staircase is a truly magical oasis.
GRANIT :: This shop is a Swedish chain that is an absolute must. Imagine all things raw, minimalistic, organized, and industrial all in one location. Cool Factor? A++ ( I might be guilty of planning multiple trips across the bridge just to visit this shop.)
MINI RODINI :: Here you will find a flagship store worthy of this Swedish children’s brand, which was founded on the principles of childlike imagination, possibility, and playfulness. (Find their collections in the US & save 20% off all sale items here.)
MILOII :: You will want to pack this place up in your suitcase. It’s definitely a “I’ll have one of each” kind of clothing and home store! I recommend Ganni Clothing, French A.P.C., and Mad et Len fragrance.
MALMO CENTRAL :: MOST PHOTOGENIC ::
Located in one of the city’s most significant buildings, dating back to 1896, The Apoteket Lejonet is a beautiful example of the neo-rennaisance period. Not only is it still a fully functioning pharmacy, the building is one of the most photogenic in all of Malmö.
ST KNUT TORG :: If you want something that is just a little off the beaten path, ride your bike or grab a taxi to St. Knut Torg. This neighborhood is a rare hidden gem brimming with small boutiques, local coffee shops, and one-of-a-kind restaurants in the ST KNUT TORG Neighborhood.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK ::
SöDERBERG & SARA :: If the temptation for a Swedish fika (mid day desert + coffee) hasn’t tempted you enough, the aroma of fresh bread and coffee will bring you here.
SPOONERY :: Want a hearty soup, salad, and fresh baguette? Got it. (No judgement if you feel the sudden urge to stick your spoon into your girlfriend’s Chili Stew.)
FLORA LINEA :: Want hanging Kokedama (aka a Japanese bonsai where the root grows in a special soil wrapped in a moss ball), succulents, and a mix of whimsical ceramicists? And an owner so sweet you might be tempted to hug her when you leave? Found it.
MOST LIVE-LIKE-A-LOCAL EXPERIENCE ::
KALLBADHUS / RIBBERSBORG :: THE SWEDISH SAUNA
Maybe it was Niki’s retelling of her family’s visit from London and their trip to the “naked sauna” (her Swedish husband wanted to know if there was any other kind) or her talk of tiny towels and plunges into the Öresund strait, but I was having mixed feelings about Kallbadhus, but when in Malmo, do as the Malmöiter. (Apparently that’s what you are called if you live in Malmö.) But don’t worry. There is a great cafe, a tempting brunch, and some of the best views of the water if getting naked isn’t your thing.
WHERE LOCALS ARE HAVING THE MOST FUN::
Located at Drottningstorget, famous for it’s farmers, flea, and Christmas markets you will find the most brilliant and utterly fantastic local hang out. Here you can try your hand at Boule, grab a bit to eat, and find some good natured fun all day long. (Perfect for families during the day or for adults after bedtime!) Get your own Boule set to practice before you visit!
MOST FAMOUS MALMO TOURIST EXPERIENCE ::
Even if you are now an experienced Malmöiter, you may still want to see what Malmö is most famous for, according to the guide books. Check out Malmö’s skyscraper (and Sweden’s tallest building.)
I’m ready to grab a flight back. Really. I was already checking pricing on cheap flight options! Anyone want to join me?
ALL PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO :: Valentina Fussell