My visit to Malmö turned into a love affair that caught me off guard. Initially, it was merely a brief stopover, an extension of a larger Scandinavian trip that I assumed would overshadow it. However, upon my arrival, as I wandered the streets, savored the culinary delights of the local restaurants, and nestled into my cozy room while listening to the rain that first night, I experienced a profound shift in my perspective. No longer was I merely a tourist in travel Sweden mode, ticking off attractions; I had become a woman deeply enamored with Malmö, already yearning to return for a longer visit Malmo experience.

Malmöhus Castle / Malmo Castle 
Cost: $5

When you visit Malmö the first thing you should see is the castle – it even has 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, which opened its doors and housed almost 2,000 refugees for a few months that spring/summer

Slottsträdgården / Castle Garden
Cost: Free

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
Cost: Free

Emerging from the train station in Malmö, I was immediately enveloped by a sense of novelty and familiarity. The city’s aesthetic charmed me – the architecture, the waterfront, the vibrant street art. With each turn, I stumbled upon breathtaking sights. The seamless blend of historical and contemporary elements was both inspiring and comforting. Despite the availability of public transport, my destinations were conveniently clustered, allowing me to explore on foot, racking up over 10,000 steps each day of my visit Sweden, thanks to my pedometer and the blessing of splendid weather.

The essence of any city is often captured in its street art – the statues, murals, and sculptures that embody its identity and history. Such public art is a window into the community and its inhabitants. In this respect, Malmö’s art scene was a revelation. On my first morning, I rounded a corner and was greeted by a parking lot framed by two expansive, vibrant murals that adorned the facades of towering buildings, a testament to the city’s cultural vibrancy and a highlight of my travel Sweden itinerary. 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 through the street, by Malmö’s own born-and-raised artist Yngve Lundell.

Ebbas Hus
Cost: Free

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
Cost: Free

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 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

I must commend the Swedish food I enjoyed in Malmö, particularly the delightful tomato & hummus smörgås (an open-faced sandwich) accompanied by coffee and a charming heart-shaped cake, which I relished on a quaint patio of Lilla Kafferosteriet.

And, what’s not to like about ice cream and prosecco, wherever you are in the world even a slightly touristy place in the middle of the main square called Moosehead Bar.

But the one that 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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About Cynthia Graner

I’m always looking to travel, but don’t always have a lot of time or money, so started exploring ways to take more trips for 2 Days & (mostly) under $200 at a time!

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