Sweden and Denmark have spent more time fighting throughout history than you and your roommate when there’s only one free shower right before your 9AM.
Though not official, it’s widely believed that no two countries have gone to war as often as these, and Malmö was right in the thick of it all. Positioned just across Oresund from Copenhagen, the city changed hands multiple times, eventually falling under Swedish control for the long haul. The resulting city is diverse and independent with visible reminders of its Danish past such as from Malmöhus Castle and the occasional smørrebrød restaurant. It’s also increasingly young and modern, especially since the completion of the Öresund Bridge, which connects Malmö to Copenhagen. From ancient Gothic churches to Scandinavia’s tallest skyscraper, American-style burger joints to New Nordic Cuisine, and swing dancing bars to hard-charging nightclubs, Malmö has it all. The small city vibe is real here, but, if you ever get bored, Copenhagen is just a short, border control-free (how civilized!), train ride away. That probably won’t be necessary, though. Malmö has sights ranging from brick-building-lined squares to absolutely baffling modern art exhibitions. And for those of you who accidentally booked a ticket to Sweden instead of Spain, fear not: there are beaches here, and two of them are nude. That’s Malmö for you.
Though Malmö doesn’t have the vast, diverse neighborhoods of a city like Stockholm, there are still distinct areas. The heart of the city is Gamla Staden, which contains Malmö C, as well as most of the city’s cultural and historical landmarks, like Malmöhus Castle and Lilla Torg. To the west is Ribersborg, home of Malmö’s main beach and open-air bathhouse, Ribersborgs Kallbadhus. North of the city center is the exclusive neighborhood of Vástra Hamnen, which claims to be Europe’s first entirely carbon-neutral district. It’s also home of Turning Torso. Things get a bit more residential south of Gamla Staden, but no less fun. Möllevången, known by the cool kids (and you want to be a cool kid around here) as Möllan, is Malmö’s hip, no-hands-bike-riding, polaroid-camera-wielding, beanie-in-the-summer-wearing neighborhood. Catch a live show at Folkets Park, choose from a huge variety of international cuisines, or just head out for a stroll through the cultural spectrum that is Malmö.
Malmö Airport (MMX), sometimes called by its old name, Sturup, is a small airport about 30km east of the city center. It connects to a number of major cities in Europe, especially in central Europe. Flygbussarna Airport Coaches travel regularly between the airport and city center, and can be purchased online (www.flygbussarna.se) for SEK 105. Also consider Copenhagen Airport (CPH), which flies to far more cities, including a few in North America. Malmö’s train station is Malmö Central Station (Malmö C). Trains to destinations throughout Sweden are operated by SJ. Malmö C is open M-F 4:40am-midnight, Sa-Su 6am-midnight.
Malmö is super walkable. If you want to use public transportation, your best bet is to buy a Jojo card (available at Malmö C), which can be used on buses and trains (1-day pass SEK 65, 3-day pass SEK 165). You can also load money onto the card, in which case (single-fare SEK 17). Malmö is another bike-friendly Scandinavian city, and city bike stations can be found all over the city center (1-day pass SEK 80, 3-day pass SEK 165). They can be purchased online (www.malmobybike.se). Rentals are for 1hr. each.
Tourist Offices: Malmö has no dedicated tourist office. Instead, maps, informationcan be found at “InfoPoints” around the city. Look for a green “i” logo in shop windows. The closest InfoPoint to Malmö Central Station is Travel Shop (Carlsgatan 4; 040 330 570; open M-F 9am-5pm, Sa-Su 10am-5pm).
Banks/ATMs/Currency Exchange: Credit and debit cards can be used almost everywhere in Malmö. If you need cash, ATMs (Bankomat in Sweden) can be found on the street, and currency exchange is possible at banks like Forex (Malmö Central Station; 10 211 1664; open M-F 7am-8pm, Sa-Su 10am-6pm).
Post Offices: PostNord Postombud at ICA Malmborgs Caroli (Stora Kvarngatan 59; 020 23 22 21; open M-F 8am-8pm, Sa 8am-6pm, Su 11am-6pm).
Internet: Free Wi-Fi is available at most cafés, including independent shops and chains like Espresso House. Malmö Central Station and the City Library also offer free Wi-Fi.
BGLTQ+ Resources: RFSL is the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Rights (Stora Nygatan 18; www.malmo.rfsl.se).
Emergency Number: 112
Police: Malmö Porslinsgatan (Porslinsgatan 4B; 77 114 14 00; open M-F 7am-10pm, Sa-Su 8am-5pm).
Hospitals: Skåne University Hospital (Södra Föstadsgatan 101; 040 33 10 00).
Pharmacies: Apoteket Gripen (Bergsgatan 48; 0771 450 450; open daily 8am-11pm).