I fell in love with Malmö. Which surprised me, because my visit there was almost an afterthought – a tag on to a larger trip that I thought would take precedence. But when I arrived and saw the streets, and ate in the restaurants, and cozied up in my room listening to the rain, I felt something shift as I looked at the city and I realized it was my perception. I wasn’t looking at the city through the eyes of a tourist, checking things off her list, but through the eyes of a woman who already knew she wanted to come back here and stay longer.
Malmöhus Castle / Malmo Castle
First of all, Malmö has a castle – with a moat! Granted, there are castles all over Europe so I suppose it’s to be expected, but as someone who grew up in the U.S. where there aren’t really any castles, these are always fascinating to me. This one is Scandinavia’s oldest surviving Renaissance castle. Built in 1434 and remodeled in the 16th century, it currently houses a museum with a variety of old and new art to enjoy. One of the most interesting things I learned was that the Malmö Museum served as a refugee camp for survivors of World War II. In 1945, over 25,000 survivors of the Nazi concentration camps arrived in Malmö and many of the city’s public spaces were given over to house them, including this museum, who opened its doors and housed almost 2,000 refugees for a few months that spring/summer.
Slottsträdgården / Castle Garden
There is a beautiful garden behind the castle, open to the public year round. The sun shone warmly and everything was blooming when I was there, so I took my time exploring the different gardens. With everything from a perennial to a rose to a Japanese garden, winding pathways, and a windmill, walking thru the garden brought me a sense of peace I don’t often feel when I’m a tourist and rushing furiously to see everything I can in my two days somewhere. But here, I felt like I could slow down, so I did.
Exploring the City
From the moment I stepped outside the train station, I felt both like I was somewhere new and completely at home. I loved the look of the city – the buildings, the water, the street art. Every time I turned a corner I found something stunning to look at! The mix of old and new, side-by-side was inspiring and comforting all at the same time. There was plenty of public transportation, but everywhere I had planned to go was all within walking distance of each other, so with my pedometer on and the gift of amazing weather, I walked my way to over 10,000 steps on both days I was here!
One of the most amazing things in any city is their street art – the statues, the murals, the sculptures put up by the city to reflect who they are and who they have been. It always speaks to the community and tells me a little about the people who live there. Malmö certainly didn’t disappoint me here. The first morning I went out, I turned the corner and unexpectedly found myself at a parking lot facing two large, colorful, gorgeous murals covering the entire sides of multi-storied buildings. The second morning, I deliberately set out to find The Knotted Gun; by Swedish sculptor Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, this piece was designed in 1980 in reaction to the death of his friend John Lennon. Another favorite was the famous Optimistorkestern, a quirky sculpture of an orchestra marching thru the street, by Malmö’s own born-and-raised artist Yngve Lundell.
The smallest house in Malmö also serves as a historical museum, showcasing what a typical family residence looked like in the early 1900’s. The last owner of the house, Ebba Olsson donated her home to the Malmö Museum when she passed in 1989. They kept it furnished it with all of her own items and opened it as a museum in 1991.
Moderna Museet Malmö / Museum of Modern Art in Malmo
Housed in a former power station, this museum is a branch of the famous Swedish Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm. Although quite small and a little different from my usual taste in art, it was only a few blocks away from Ebbas House, so I thought I would take a quick look in to see what it was. In the end, I preferred to look at the architecture of this 1901 building over the exhibition, but it never hurts to experience something different cause you never know, you might find something new to like!
Food in Malmö
Finally, I have to say I had some great meals here. I thoroughly enjoyed my tomato & hummus smörgås (an open-faced sandwich) lunch with coffee and a delightful heart-shaped cake on the patio of Lilla Kafferosteriet. And, what’s not to like about ice cream and prosecco, where ever you are in the world even a slightly touristy place in the middle of the main square called Moosehead Bar. But the one that really made me sit up and take notice was the melt-in-your-mouth-delicious Corn Fritters Appetizer at the Bastard Restaurant. Yes, that was the name of the restaurant, but don’t focus on that, just hope that if you ever get the chance to go there, you will get a chance to have these amazing bites of parmesan sprinkled deep-fried corn goodness!
My itinerary and budget for my two days in Malmö:
My budget has been translated to USD, based on my final credit card charge or a google conversion where I paid in cash.
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