Malmö is Sweden’s third most populous city after the capital, Stockholm, and beautiful Gothenburg. The metropolis of over 600,000 people sits across the Öresund Strait from Denmark and Copenhagen. Thus, the Danish capital and Malmö have a distinct and special relationship. The Öresund region itself is home to just under 4 million people.
Since July 2, 2000, Copenhagen and Malmö have been bound together by the spectacular Öresund Bridge. The road and rail span and tunnel broke records in Europe upon completion and is one of Scandinavia’s unequivocal architectural marvels of the new millennium. The structure not only serves as a vital connection between two nations and two large urban areas, it also joins mainland Europe with Nordic Europe. As a result, the Öresund Bridge is of paramount importance to Malmö. With the advent of the remarkable Strait project, new light was shed on the Swedish city, with myriad unforeseen economic impacts as a result. Spin-off tourism and new home owners from Copenhagen, new foreign investment and a new brand of international visitor have all come over the last decade.
The truth is that the city has always been a superb destination, bridge or not. But hey, now that the Öresund Strait is navigable by car and high-speed rail, there is no excuse. So give Malmö a try and check out ten must-see attractions in the capital of Skåne County.
10. Turning Torso
With the construction of the extraordinary Öresund Bridge has come a bevy of other avant-garde industrial and commercial design projects. Malmö’s most famous skyline attraction is one such prominent example. The Turning Torso is the brainchild of Santiago Calatrava Valls, the brilliant architect behind such indelible landmarks as the Auditorio de Tenerife, Milwaukee Art Museum and Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, Valencia. The contorting skyscraper is the tallest residential tower in the European Union.
Many of Malmö’s most handsome attractions hinge on a network of old streets and squares that hail from the city’s Hanseatic days. Other landmarks, like the superb Davidshallstorg, are more recent urban addenda. The lovely square is ground zero in Malmö for posh restaurants, chic cafés, hipster clothes, and designer shops.
8. Malmö Stadsbibliotek
Malmö’s exquisite public library is a memorable point of interest inside and out. A marvelous extension by Danish architect Henning Larsen was built between 1994 and 1999.
Möllevångstorget is a multi-cultural, immigrant hub in Malmö that contrasts with swish Davidshallstorg. Come on Saturday and Sunday for the fabulous open-air market.
6. Stortorget and Lilla torg
Malmö’s Big Square and Little Square form a contiguous pedestrian nerve center in the old city and contain heritage landmarks like City Hall and Kockska Huset and numerous restaurants and bars.
5. Kungsparken and Slottsträdgården
The land on which Malmö Castle sits is the remarkable Kungsparken or King’s Park. The gorgeous Romantic English-style garden and park date back to the late 19th century. Do not miss the organic community garden, or Slottsträdgården, on-site.
4. Tekniska och Sjöfartsmuseet
Malmö’s Technical and Maritime Museum is the best place to learn about the city’s vital dual heritage. Just west of the castle, the museum has a vast repository of old planes, ships, and industrial machinery.
Malmöhus, or Malmö Castle, was built at the behest of King Christian III of Denmark in the early 16th century and is one of the most impressive castle fortress landmarks left in Scandinavia.
2. Gamla Väster
Gamla Väster is Malmö’s premier elegant thoroughfare, with plenty of shops and restaurants to enjoy.
Malmö’s world-class city park, Slottsparken, connects with Kungsparken and the public library and contains a wide range of inherent points of interest. The best spot in the city for a stroll and picnic and pre-eminent home of the annual Malmöfestivalen.