Things to Do in Malmö Sweden: A Local’s Perspective

Things to do in Malmö

As a Malmö local, I feel so lucky to live in this beautiful city with seemingly never ending things to do. Not only is Malmö the gateway to the rest of southern Sweden, it is also more than just a day trip from Copenhagen. Spend a few days in Malmö and you’ll surely understand why many locals are to proud to call this city home. Looking for a local Malmö experience? I’m dishing all my favourite things to do in Malmö here in this Malmö city guide.

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Things to do in Malmö
Things to do in Malmö

Roam around Malmö Old Town (Gamla Staden)

Gamla Staden, or Malmö Old Town, is undoubtedly the most charming neighbourhood in Malmö. Narrow streets lined with beautiful old buildings, you’ll find yourself transported back in time and dreaming of what life once looked like in Malmö. You’ll find the most picture-perfect alleyways and cobblestone streets in Gamla Vaster Malmö, I would specifically recommend visiting Jakob Nilsgatan and Jöns Filsgatan.

Visit Lilla Torg and Stortorget

Located in the Malmö old town, Lilla Torg and Stortorget are picturesque squares surrounded by restaurants and old buildings. Lilla torg is a great place to grab a drink when the sun in shining, or take in one of Malmo’s festivals. Like any city square it gets touristy in the warmer months, so if you want a more local restaurant experience I would opt for one of the options in my Malmö Food Guide instead.

Stortorget is home to Apoteket Lejonet, a beautiful old historical pharmacy that is worth a visit. It dates back to the 1800s and is now one of only four state-owned pharmacies in Sweden to preserve the cultural heritage of the building.

Malmö stortorget

Leave the Old Town and visit some of the best Malmö neighbourhoods

Malmö is fully of cosy neighbourhoods with local shopping, cafes, and fun local restaurants. Every neighbourhood of Malmö has it’s own distinctive vibe, and here’s a few that I’d recommend you check out.

Möllevången

This neighbourhood is the trendy multicultural epicentre of Malmö with popular bars and restaurants, parks, and other cultural activities. An afternoon spend in Möllevången can start at Möllevångstorget, the neighbourhood square. Here you will find a great farmers market during the afternoon, where you can pick up fresh produce or flowers. 

Afterwards, head over to Mitt Möllan, a small shopping centre with vintage shops and fun locally-owned boutiques. For lunch, grab an open-faced Sandwich at Scandwich or a bowl of ramen at Ramen to Biiru.

In the summer months, Friisgatan turns into a bustling pedestrian-only street lined with patios. Here you can stop by Köld for the best handmade ice cream in Malmö. 

Finish your afternoon in Möllevången off with a visit to Folket’s Park, a quirky park that is the heart of the neighbourhood. Here, you’ll find an outdoor stage space where there is often free live music playing. There is all kinds of sculptures and fun playgrounds and activities for children. In the summer months you can grab a beer at the Mikkeller pop-up beer garden. And if you’re looking for dinner, Far i Hatten serves up delicious pizza on their terrace in the middle of Folket’s Park.

Västra hamnen

Västra hamnen, or the Western Harbor in English, is a new development in Malmo and is home to the cities most recognizable landmark: The Turning Torso. This uniquely designed skyscraper cascades over Malmö and really can’t be missed when you’re exploring the city.

The waterfront in Västra hamnen is a must-visit. Here you’ll find Swedes and visitors of all ages sun bathing in the green and jumping off the piers into the water – so don’t forget your bathing suit!

Take some time to walk along the water-side parks, including Daniaparken and Scaniaparken to take in beautiful waterfront views. On a clear day, you can even see the iconic Malmö-Copenhagen Oresund Bridge in the distance. This is the perfect place to watch the beautiful Malmö sunset. 

Malmö sunset
Sankt Knuts

Sankt Knuts may be my favourite neighbourhood in Malmö because it is super quaint and charming. Sankt Knuts Torg, the neighbourhood square, is lined with cafes, a flower shop, and great lunch spots.

On the corner of the square you’ll find a pastel-coloured cafe called Uggla kaffebar that is a great place to enjoy coffee in the sun. Around the corner, a stop at Söderberg & Sara is a must for their famous sourdough bread. If you’re in the neighbourhood around lunchtime, Spoonery is a great place to try traditional Swedish meatballs!

Sankt Knuts
Davidshall

For the best shopping in Malmö, head to trendy Davidshall. Here you’ll find some of Malmö’s coolest shops and loads of Scandinavian design stores. A local favourite is AB Småland for beautiful Scandinavian home goods. Onsite you’ll also find a cafe so you can shop, and then have a fika.

If you’re in search of Scandinavian brands, Grandpa, APLACE, and Designtorget are other great options for shopping. The neighbourhood is also known for having plenty of cool vintage shops like Pop Vintage and Love Street Boutique

After you spend some time shopping, a stop at St. Jakob’s is a great choice for Swedish fika (coffee and a pastry), or I love sitting on the terrace at LU for authentic Chinese food.

Rent a boat and cruise the Malmö canals

The best way to see Malmö is from the water. The city is filled with canals and it’s so much fun to rent a boat, grab some drinks and groceries, and spend an afternoon on the water.

You can rent a boat like the one below from from BookABoat.

Take a dip in the Baltic sea at Ribersborgs Kallbadhus

Ribersborgs kallbadhus is a beautiful Swedish bathhouse that was opened back in 1898 and continues to operate today. Here you can take a swim in the Baltic sea year-round and then go inside to enjoy the saunas, a practice that make Scandinavians swear is the secret to staying healthy. When visiting the bathhouse, it is required to bathe nude which means that there are separate sections for men and women. 

And if nude bathing isn’t you’re thing, Ribersborgstranden is the best beach to sunbathe and go for a swim right in the city centre.

Walk through the best parks in Malmö

Malmö is full of beautiful green spaces. In fact, when I first moved here I was blown away by how much central city real estate was allocated to park space. The most central parks, Kungsparken and Slottsparken, offer many picturesque walking trails, flower gardens, and lakes. Here you’ll also find Malmö’s iconic windmill, Castle Mill. If you’re stopping by Castle Mill, make sure you also walk through the beautiful gardens next to them called Slottsträdgården.

Other favourite parks include Pildammsparken and the green space along Kungsgatan (where you can also check out the iconic Sankt Pauli’s Church).

Pildammsparken

Stop in at Malmö Stadsbibliotek

Malmö’s city library is beautiful and features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the park next door. It is absolutely worth a quick stop in just to see the architecture.

Eat your heart out at Malmö Saluhall

Malmö’s indoor food market is a great place to stop for lunch, or to shop local goods. This indoor space is home to a bunch of vendors, with food options ranging from ramen to pizza to local Swedish fare.

Try local fish at Fiskehoddorna

You can eat local fish at Malmö’s fish market. Here, you can have homemade fish and chips in the garden behind these picturesque fishing huts. It is also a great spot to take photos in Malmö.

Fiskehoddorna
Fiskehoddorna

Go on a hunt for Malmö street art

Malmö has all kinds of corners of hidden street art. Wander around and see what you can find! Shown below, the left photo is a piece of art int he Davidshall neighbourhood, and you can find the right quote at Malmö’s Modern Art Museum.

Play a game of boule at Malmö Boulebar

Boulebar is a local favourite spot for playing boule with friends and having some drinks. Rent out a boule court (the outdoor ones are amazing in the summer months) and play a few rounds of boule!

The best restaurants in Malmö

Check out my blog post all about Where to Eat in Malmö Sweden for details on where to eat, drink, and have the best fika in Malmo.

Aster Malmö

How to get to Malmö

Copenhagen to Malmö: Most people access the city from Copenhagen, which is a short train ride away (about 30 minutes from Copenhagen Airport or 45 minutes from the Copenhagen city centre).

Malmö Airport: You can also fly into Malmö Airport from select cities. However, based on the location of the airport, it is often more convenient (and cost effective) to fly into Copenhagen.

For more details on train prices and times, download the Skånetrafiken app.

How to get around Malmö

Malmö is an incredibly accessible city, with a lot of transportation options available.

Malmö by foot: Malmö isn’t a very big city. One of the reasons I love living here is because you can get virtually anywhere you need to go by foot within 30-40 minutes.

Malmö by bike: Get around the city the way the locals do – by bike! In fact, Malmö is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, and is very easy to navigate, even for a novice rider. For more information bike rentals, visit Malmö by Bike.

Bus and Train in Malmö: Malmö is extremely accessible by bus, or train. The buses run frequently and cover a significant portion of the city. Just download the Skånetrafiken app to easy view schedules, buy tickets, and more.

Where to stay in Malmö

Ohboy Hotell: Located in Västra hamnen, this hotel offers affordable loft style hotel rooms and boasts a unique industrial-inspired design. It is designed with sustainability in mind and offers rental bikes to explore the city.

Clarion Malmö Live: This new hotel is very modern and over looks Malmö’s harbour and The Turning Torso. It is centrally located and home to Malmö Kitchen and Table, a restaurant on the top floor that overlooks the city.

MJ’s Hotel: Arguably the more beautiful hotel you’ll find in Malmö, this trendy centrally-located hotel is hotspot for both visitors and locals. It has a chic hotel bar, and greenery-filled restaurant atrium. The rooms are tastefully designed, too.

Day trips from Malmö

There are tons of great day trips you can take from Malmö. Read about all the things you can do outside of Malmö in this Things to do in Skåne Travel Guide.

Looking for a Malmö map?

I have spent over three years exploring hidden gems all across the southern Sweden and Denmark, tasting the best of Nordic cuisine, and inspiring others to visit the Scandinavia. Inspired by my slow, sustainable Scandinavian lifestyle, here you’ll find 200+ of my top tips to help you explore my home a bit deeper and more responsibly.

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