20 Things to do in Malmö

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Malmö is a must-visit Scandinavian city and the perfect coastal getaway in Sweden that blends historical architecture with the modern, creating a vibrant destination. Malmö is often paired with a visit to Copenhagen in neighbouring Denmark, located across the Öresund strait. It is a staggeringly beautiful stretch of water with a road and rail bridge spanning its width. If you are spending time in Malmö, pack your camera, as there are plenty of beautiful buildings and natural scenery to see. You’ll also find lots of things to do in Malmö too.

Malmö was originally part of Denmark before becoming part of Sweden in 1658. Its rich history has filled the city with unique historical attractions. The heart of the city is Gamla Staden, the old town, where you will find some of the most beautiful buildings, plenty of narrow cobblestone streets to explore, and of course, lots of opportunities to enjoy fika, the Swedish custom of relaxing and enjoying a cup of coffee and something sweet with friends.

Aside from history, Malmö has plenty of family-friendly museums, art galleries, shopping opportunities and parks to fill your city break. Its coastal location makes it highly popular in the summer, with many visitors visiting the parks and the beaches to relax. If you are planning a city break, here are 20 things to do in Malmö.

Malmo, Sweden

Top Tours

Malmo: City Highlights Express Walking Tour with a Local
Seeing the “Points Of View” Sculpture is one of the fun things to do in Malmo Sweden.

20 Things To Do In Malmo

1- Visit Malmö Castle

Malmo Castle
Exploring Malmo Castle is one of the best things to do in Malmo Sweden for history buffs.

King Erik of Denmark had a fort built on the current site of Malmö castle in 1434 and, following its destruction and bitter civil war, was built in its current style during the mid-1500s.

Marten Bassett, an architect, designed the castle to reflect the Continental European style of Danish-Italian fortresses seen in many countries.

This Renaissance castle is the oldest in Scandinavia, and thanks to its rule by Denmark and Sweden, today houses an impressive historical collection.

Inside the castle museum are several paintings, galleries dedicated to Nordic art and even a collection of torture instruments.

Malmö Castle is at Malmöhusvägen 6, 211 18 Malmö.

Recommended tour: Malmo: City Exploration Trail

2- Take The Kids To The Disgusting Food Museum

While this museum may not be for the squeamish, the Disgusting Food Museum will certainly make for a memorable day out and one that kids will love.

The museum is dedicated to the weird and the wonderful from the world of food.

There are 80 food offerings on display in total.

While some may think they are disgusting, the museum has chosen to use these unique dishes and ingredients to educate visitors on cultural differences.

Dishes displayed in the museum include a cheese from Sardinia filled with maggots, stinky Durian fruits, and jars of traditional Scandinavian pickled fish.

The Disgusting Food Museum is at Södra Förstadsgatan 2, 211 43 Malmö. Book your tickets here and skip the line.

3- Cycle Around Västra Hamnen

Malmo: Rundan Sightseeing Boat Tour
Wandering around Vastra Hamnen is one of the things to do in Malmo Sweden.

Västra Hamnen is another of Malmö’s must-visit neighbourhoods.

This city area, which includes the Turning Torso, is part of Malmö’s waterfront area and has undergone significant renovations in recent years to transform it into a desirable area filled with bars, restaurants and parks.

The architecture here is modern and is a true contrast to much of the city’s ancient structures.

There are many places within Västra Hamnen to rent bicycles to allow you to explore the area easily.

Visit after sunset for some of the best views across the water towards Copenhagen and Denmark.

Västra Hamnen is an area of Malmö.

Recommended tour: Malmo: Rundan Sightseeing Boat Tour

4- Learn About The City At Malmö Museum

Malmö Museum encompasses a collection of buildings and museums, including Malmö Castle, to tell the city’s story.

The museum is a must-visit destination for those looking to learn more about the city.

Inside the complex is the castle, an aquarium and a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions.

The museum also has a large science centre with exhibitions on cities, nature, the human body and vehicles.

Malmö Museum houses more than 500,000 objects and approximately 4 million more archeological finds kept in their archives waiting to be displayed on a rotational basis.

Malmöhusvägen 6, 211 18 Malmö.

Recommended tour: Lund & Malmo: Guided Tour of 2 Countries in One Day

5- Admire The Turning Torso

Malmo Skyline With Turning Torso Skycraper
Gawking at the Turning Torso is one of the iconic things to do in Malmo.

Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish architect, designed the now iconic Turning Torso, a residential skyscraper and landmark in Malmö.

The skyscraper is the tallest building in Scandinavia, standing at 190m (623ft).

The building was completed in 2005 and reflects the neo-futurist style by gradually twisting nine cubes and a white finish.

The top two floors of the tower consist primarily of meeting rooms, however, there is a viewing deck at the top of the tower where, on a clear day, it is possible to see as far as Copenhagen.

The lower floors of the building are filled with trendy residential apartments.

Turning Torso is at Lila Varvsgatan 14, 211 15 Malmö.

Recommended tour: Malmo: City Highlights Express Walking Tour with a Local

6- Wander Around Slottsträdgården

Another hidden feature inside the walls of Malmö Castle is the spectacular Slottsträdgården, the castle gardens.

The gardens are privately owned but are open to the public year-round.

A pleasant garden cafe is open from April to October, with excellent views across the plants and shrubs.

Slottsträdgården includes a range of ornamental plants especially cultivated to thrive in the, at times, harsh Scandinavian environment.

Explore the Japanese garden, the kitchen garden and its wealth of herbs, and the sweetly fragranced rose garden before immersing yourself in the tropical climate of the greenhouse.

Slottsträdgården is at Malmöhusvägen 4, 211 18 Malmö.

7- Visit Castle Mill

Slottsmollan - Castle Mill In Malmo
Exploring Castle Mill is one of the things to do in Malmo this weekend.

One of the most impressive historical sites in Malmö is Slottsmöllan or the Castle Mill.

Built in 1851, the mill was an important part of the city’s industrial heritage, with developments to make it steam engine powered in 1895, transforming its efficiency.

The mill ceased to run in 1945 and has since been transformed into a museum to show visitors what life was like for a miller and their family.

Castle Mill is instantly recognisable in its Dutch style with a wraparound white wooden balcony and black facade.

After exploring the mill, spend some time in Slottsträdgården, which surrounds the mill.

Castle Mill is at Kung Oscars väg 2, 211 33 Malmö.

8- Admire The Altar In St Peter’s Church

St Peter’s Church is one of the most iconic religious structures in Malmö and is highly worth visiting simply for its architectural significance.

The church was originally built during the 14th century in the Gothic style and was considered a key monument during the Reformation.

Inside the church are many well-preserved medieval murals by an unknown artist covering the walls and the spectacular vaulted ceiling.

The most intriguing internal feature of the church is its altarpiece.

Jacob Kremberg, alongside several other local carpenters, designed the large altarpiece from oak, showing depictions of the Last Supper, the crucifixion, the ascension, and prominent biblical figures Moses and John the Baptist.

St Peter’s Church is at Göran Olsgatan 4, 211 22 Malmö.

9- See The Collection At Malmö Konsthall

Another of Malmö’s excellent museums is Malmö Konsthall, a space dedicated to art.

Each year the museum offers between three and four temporary exhibitions focusing on local and international artists, covering various topics and artistic media.

The museum aims to make art accessible to all and was designed with an open floor plan to reflect their overall aim.

Alongside their regularly changing exhibitions, Malmö Konsthall runs tours, lecture series and workshops to encourage all to immerse themselves in art and learn something new about a process, culture or idea.

Malmö Konsthall is at St Johannesgatan 7, 205 80 Malmö.

10- Stroll Around Lilla Torg

Lila Torg is the ideal destination in Malmö to take a gentle stroll surrounded by beautiful architecture and a wealth of history.

The small square dates back to medieval times and is accessible through a small archway in red brick and timber-clad building.

Despite its small size, this medieval cobblestone square is well worth exploring or to call into to enjoy fika with a view.

The square is lined with old buildings, many of which date from the 16th century and feature exposed timber beams or are painted in vibrant colours.

Lila Torg is a square in Malmö.

Recommended tour: Malmo: Fairytale Outdoor Exploration Game

11- See An Exhibition At Moderna Museet Malmö

Moderna Museet Malmö is an excellent contemporary art museum considered one of the best in Europe.

The museum’s contemporary art theme begins with the building, which is a work of art.

John Smedberg designed the original building in 1901 as an electricity plant, which was later developed and transformed into the museum by the architecture firm Tham and Videgård Arkitekter, who added a vibrant orange annex to contrast with the traditional red brick of the plant.

The museum has various changing exhibitions focusing on important topics such as contemporary and historical issues.

Moderna Museet Malmö is at Ola Billgrens plats 2-4, 211 29 Malmö.

12- Step Back In History At Katrinetorp Country House

Katrinetorp Country House is one of the most important historical buildings in Malmö and is well worth a visit.

Rent a car or book a guided tour, and travel 10 minutes outside the city centre to the beautiful Katrinetorp estate.

The house dates from the early 19th century and, for generations, was the home of a wealthy family who transformed the house and its grounds into a grand centre for entertaining.

Within the grounds are intricately designed green spaces, including an English rose garden, a manor garden in the Baroque style and an orangery.

The manor itself is open to the public on guided tours, allowing visitors to walk through its carefully renovated period rooms.

Katrinetorp Country House is at Katrinetorps allé 1, 215 74 Malmö.

13- Wander The Aisles Of Malmö City Library

Malmö City Library is a public library that is well worth a visit if you love books or architecture.

The library is architecturally intriguing as it features part of an ancient castle contrasting with the modern 90s architecture of Henning Larsen.

The library has wide open spaces and a vast window wall, adding a bright and airy feeling.

The library is, as would be expected, filled with shelves upon shelves of books in Swedish and a range of other languages.

If the cosy feeling of being in a library wasn’t enough, enjoy fika in Kok and Bok, the library’s house restaurant that serves a range of freshly made dishes, including main meals, light bites and sweet snacks.

Malmö City Library is at Kung Oscars väg 11, 211 33 Malmö.

14- Explore Gamla Väster

Malmo: Highlights Self Guided Old Town Walking Tour
Wandering around the old town is one of the top things to do in Malmo.

Get to know the area, and the locals, by exploring Malmö’s old town of Gamla Väster.

Gamla Väster dates back to the mid-1500s, however, the oldest building in the neighbourhood, and one of the oldest in the city, dates from the late 13th century.

Take your camera and enjoy wandering around the neighbourhood without a map to discover the best examples of historic architecture, quaint cobblestone streets, independent boutiques and numerous coffee shops.

Gamla Väster is a neighbourhood in Malmö.

Recommended tour: Malmo: Highlights Self-Guided Old Town Walking Tour

15- Eat Local Food At Malmö Saluhall

Malmö Saluhall is a must-visit destination in Malmö for anyone who loves good food and trying a variety of tasty dishes.

The market offers everything imaginable, with stalls selling meats, fish, vegetables and fresh fruit, various cheeses, bakery items, restaurants and street food, and so much more.

This is the ideal destination to gather picnic items before a day in the park or if you are unsure of what to have for lunch or dinner.

Malmö Saluhall is at Gibraltargatan 6, 211 18 Malmö.

Recommended tour: Malmo: Self-Guided Food Tour

16- Go Shopping In Davidshall

Davidshall is one of the trendiest areas in Malmö and one that cannot be missed during your city break.

The area is filled with some of the best restaurants in the city, all set inside Instagrammable buildings and dining rooms.

Davidshall is also a great destination for shopping, with various clothing, homeware and gift shops lining its cobblestone streets.

Enjoy window shopping along Södra Förstadsgatan, Malmö’s main shopping street, or meander through its narrower side streets searching for something more unique.

Davidshall is a neighbourhood in Malmö.

17- Sit On The Sand At Ribersborgs Beach

Malmo: City Bike Rental
Spending time at Ribersborgs beach counts among the top 10 things to do in Malmo.

Ribersborgs Beach is a popular summer destination when the waters aren’t as icy, and the light sandy beaches are packed with locals.

Along the beach’s edge is a boardwalk with access to cycling routes.

While enjoying the beach, check out Kallbadhuset, the beach’s sauna experience.

At the end of the pier is a small wooden building with a sauna inside, and jumping into the ocean from the pier after to cool off is encouraged.

Ribersborgs Beach is at 217 75 Malmö, Sweden.

Recommended: Beginner Dynamic Windsurfing in Malmo

18- Try Delicious Baked Goods At Leve Bakery

For the ultimate fika experience in Malmö, look no further than Leve, a spectacular bakery.

The bakery is so popular that they have an online booking form for customers to pre-order their treats, including their famous doughnuts.

The doughnuts, available to pre-order on Thursdays to collect on Fridays, come in a range of flavours and are all filled with delicious custards and creams.

If doughnuts aren’t for you, try one of their artisanal sourdough loaves or a delicious fruit tart.

Leve prides itself on their vast offering, which includes many plant-based baked goods and gluten-free options.

The bakery not only serves a range of delicious baked goods, as it offers visitors the opportunity to book one of their weekend courses to learn how to make sourdough bread.

Leve is at Östra Rönneholmsvägen 6, 211 47 Malmö.

19- Have Fun At Folkets Park

Enjoy some quality family time at Folkets Park, an excellent Malmö destination for children and adults who are young at heart.

Opened in 1893 and heavily influenced by Tivoli in neighbouring Copenhagen, this small amusement park is the oldest in Sweden.

The park is filled with plenty of green spaces and traditional folk and amusement park touches, including a children’s theatre, petting zoo, playground and carousels.

The park is a great destination for those interested in architecture as many original buildings from its opening still standing built in the Moorish style, including the pavilion, and many buildings inspired by Japan’s tori gates and temples.

The park is free to enter however, some attractions have a separate charge.

Folkets Park is at Amiralsgatan 35, 214 37 Malmö.

20- Relax In Pildammsparken Malmö

If a more traditional park is more for you, explore the 45-hectare park of Pildammsparken.

The park is the largest in Malmö and includes some of the city’s historical treasures.

Several ponds within the park were originally part of the city’s water reservoir during the 17th century.

Pildammsparken is also home to the Royal Pavilion, the only surviving building built for the 1914 Baltic Exhibition.

The park’s most popular area is a large circular meadow often used for concerts and performances and picnicking during summer.

Pildammsparken is at 217 46 Malmö.

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sarah holmes travel writer
Sarah Holmes is a travel and fashion writer living in the heart of England. From family adventures in numerous parts of the UK and Europe to exploring cities as an adult, Sarah has a wide knowledge of the best areas, sights and local tips that the UK and the neighbouring continent can offer. Sarah grew up in the North East of England, with incredible sights and landmarks only a short drive away. Her favourite places to visit include Seaham Beach, the Lake District and Alnwick Castle. Sarah has written for a range of fashion and travel blogs and print publications.