Shop my Scandinavia guide with 200+ tips and map

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 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 with it’s own unique local culture and experiences. It’s a city filled with world-class restaurants, creativity and innovation, and incredibly kind locals. Spend a few days in Malmö and you’ll surely understand what makes the city so special why so many locals are to proud to call this city home.

Looking for a local Malmö experience? I’m giving you the inside scoop with all my favourite things to do in Malmö here in this Malmö city guide.

Want me to curate your own personalized Malmö itinerary? Click here to learn more.

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 väster, I particularly love both 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 Malmö’s summer 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 cozy neighbourhoods with local shopping, cafes, and fun local restaurants. Every neighbourhood of Malmö has it’s own unique personality, and here’s a few that I’d recommend you check out.


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, or grab a drink on the patio at Pivo, a Czech beer bar. 

Finish your afternoon in Möllevången off with a visit to Folket’s Park, a quirky park that is undeniably the heart of the neighbourhood. Here, you’ll find an outdoor stage space where there may be some 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 (it’s also a great spot to grab a beer or glass of natural wine in the sun).

Västra hamnen

Västra hamnen, or the Western Harbor in English, is a newer development in Malmo and is home to the cities most recognizable landmark: The Turning Torso. This twisting 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 greenspace and jumping off the piers into the water – so don’t forget your bathing suit! If you’re feeling brave, you can even take a winter swim like the locals do.

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

Malmö sunset
Sankt Knuts

Sankt Knuts is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Malmö. Sankt Knuts Torg, the neighbourhood square, is lined with cafes, a flower shop, and great lunch spots. In the neighbourhood you’ll also find small local shops selling handmade goods.

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!

Later in the afternoon, you can wander over to Ava vinbar in Karlskronaplan for a glass of wine.

Cafe in Malmö

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. And if you’re craving some really classic British pies, I stop at Marvin is a must.

Explore Malmö from the water

One of the best ways to see Malmö is from the water. The city is filled with canals and it’s so much fun to rent a boat or a kayak and spend an afternoon on the water.

The city is filled with rental options depending on the activity level you’re looking for. Here’s a few options:

  • Boat rental in Malmö: My favourite way to explore the canals is by boat and both BookABoat and GoBoat offer boat rentals in central Malmö. You can choose your rental duration, bring along snacks and drinks, and cruise the canals.
  • Kayak rental in Malmö: I love to rent a kayak from Kayakomat and explore the waterfront of Malmö. Renting a kayak is easy – you just visit their website, make your purchase, and they give you a pin code to unlock a kayak at one of their unmanned locations.
  • Pedal boat rental in Malmö: Located right next to Amiralsbron, you’ll find Cityboats which is a great spot to rent a pedal boat.

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. 

If you’re just looking to relax at the beach, Ribersborgstranden is 2.5 kilometres long and 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).


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.

Malmö city library

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 variety of vendors, with food options ranging from ramen to pizza to local Swedish fare.

Read more about my favourite places to eat in Malmö here.

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.


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 in the 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!

Take a Malmö bike tour

Did you know that Malmö is the 6th most bike-friendly city in the world? If you want to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time, or just take an interesting tour, opting for a bike tour is one of the best ways to see the city. 

Travelshop offers many different experiences and packages to help you visit Malmö like a local and explore our food scene. 

Learn about Malmö art and history

Malmö is home to many different cultural institutions where you can learn more about the city, and explore different art exhibits. 

Malmö Konsthall is an art museum that is free to visit because they believe that art should be accessible to everyone. They feature rotating exhibitions and you can find out more about their latest exhibitions on their website.

Moderna Museet is another art museum featuring modern and contemporary art. It is also a rotating exhibition space and features artists from across the world.

Malmö museum features Malmö Art Museum, the City Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Science and Maritime House Museum and is located in Malmö castle. Many of the exhibitions are kid-friendly and you can check off all these great museums in one spot!

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.


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.