Known as ‘the City of Parks’ and located in the far south of the country, Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city. The regional capital of Skåne is the perfect destination for a relaxed getaway. It’s a place to sit back and take in modern art or sample all kinds of delicious food and local delicacies. There’s also an abundance of opportunities to max out your credit card in the city’s mix of specialised boutiques and large department stores.
Malmö is a great place for a one-day trip or even a full weekend in order to have enough time to experience all that the city has to offer. The relaxed atmosphere and the chilled-out vibe stands in great contrast to many larger bustling European cities. Malmö has many of the same attractions to cater for a whole range of tastes, with a thriving music scene at the Opera House, vast green parks and the Malmöhus Castle. For those that want to wander through time, there’s always the city’s beautiful old town with its narrow, winding streets and traditional Scandinavian architecture.
Kungsparken, one of Malmö’s many parks, is always on my to-do list during the summer. The area was landscaped in 1872 and modelled upon the romantic English parks that feature cosy nooks and secluded corners, perfect for a dreamy outing with your special someone. But it’s also just a lovely place to chill out with friends and eat one of Sweden’s delicious and renowned kanelbullar. These cinnamon buns are the perfect accompaniment for gazing at people passing by on the canal’s paddleboats.
For something more substantial than a pastry, I like to make a stop at the famous Korvhuset – literally, the Sausage House. It offers more than 100 different types of sausage and hot dogs to cater for all tastes – all served with soft mashed potatoes and their delightful homemade mustard.
On a clear day you can see one of Malmö’s newest landmarks, the 190-metre-high residential building, Turning Torso, which can even be spotted from Denmark just over the Øresund, the strait between the two countries. This incredible building was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and consists of six large cubes, the highest one turned 90 degrees from the lowest.
The Malmö Konsthall museum is also worth visiting with its interesting experimental exhibitions alongside modern classics. Opened in 1975, its home to one of Europe’s largest single spaces for contemporary art. But if, like me, you’re an incurable shopaholic then the long pedestrian street stretching from the main square, Stortorget, all the way across the city centre will be right up your alley. You’ll find all the famous Swedish brands including Tiger of Sweden, Lindex and Filippa K on the strip alongside small boutiques and the big department stores.
Even though it is Sweden’s third largest city, it’s still a relatively quiet and small place by global standards, so if you’re after glitz and glamour then this may not be the place for you. It is, however, a great place to start a tour of the beautiful southern Swedish landscape, especially during the summer months.
Scandinavia is known for its design and at the Form/Design Centre located at Lillatorg (Little Square) you can find a well-stocked shop of Scandinavian design classics, new design products and handicrafts. If you fancy something more traditional, next door is Hokeriet, an old-fashioned general store that sells hand-painted wooden toys for the little ones awaiting your return back home.
There’s a bit of an absence of smaller B&Bs in the centre, which is mostly dominated by larger hotels. A personal favourite of mine is the Elite Hotel Savoy, located close to the old part of the city and the central train station. From here it’s easy to jump on the frequent trains heading for Copenhagen, just across the Øresund bridge, and which stop directly at Copenhagen’s well-served international airport, Kastrup. The hotel dates back to the 14th Century and is a beautiful mix of classic and contemporary. Perhaps that’s why international celebrities such as Bjorn Borg and Judy Garland chose to stay here.