Malmö: old city with a modern vibe

Next stop on our European trip was Malmö, Sweden. This was our second visit to this beautiful Scandinavian country, but our first time visiting this city. Marco actually has an uncle that lives in Göteborg, which we visited a few years back. This time we decided to spend a couple of days in Malmö, before making our way to Göteborg.

Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden and is situated in the south, near Denmark. Much of the city has an old-world feel, characterised by the decorative buildings, beautiful large squares, castle and parks. However, there are also modern feats of Swedish architecture that are just as stunning to the eye.

We were only in Malmö for a day and a half, so we tried to see as much as we could. We walked around Gamla Staden (the ‘Old Town’), tried all the classic Swedish pub food; visited Sankt Petri Church; saw the Turning Torso and nearby Scaniaparken; visited the Malmöhus Slott (Malmö Castle), Malmö Museer (Malmö Museum) and nearby Kungsparken; and tried enjoyed a selection of smörrebröd.


We actually flew into Göteborg, so we had to take a hire car down to Malmö. This took about 2.5 hours. It was a really lovely drive through the countryside. We saw so many of these enormous Vertical-axel windmills, tunnels carved through mountainsides and pristine farmhouses. I’m not sure how, but nothing looked old and dilapidated, everything was so so well maintained. Driving into the city of Malmö was also an easy drive and we didn’t face any traffic.

We stayed at the historic boutique hotel, The Mayfair Hotel Tunneln. This historic hotel is packed with artwork and news clippings to give educate the guests as they walk around the lobbies and halls. The building itself is actually 700 years old and is the oldest surviving building in its Malmö. The best place to see the remanence of its medieval past is in the basement restaurant. We were lucky enough to have the buffet breakfast included in our stay, which you can see below.


We couldn’t wait to get out and explore, so we checked in quickly and headed out on foot. We made our way through Gamla Staden (the ‘Old Town’), passing the beautiful squares of StortorgetLilla torgGustav Adolfs torg. We walked all the way down to the river,  Södra Förstadskanalen, which is part of a moat that encircles all of the ‘Old Town’.

Unfortunately, all the shops were closed, but the streets were still full of people out and about.  The streets are mostly lined with old restored buildings. Some as old as the 16 century. Yet nothing looks old or dilapidated, everything was perfectly restored and the roads were so clean.


For dinner, we went to Bullen Restaurang Två Krögare, which is a classic Swedish pub. We really loved this place. The atmosphere, the beer and the food were fantastic. The menu offered classic Swedish dishes, that we were really looking forward to trying. We decided to order a few dishes to share so that we didn’t leave anything off our to-eat list.

We ordered the Pyttipanna (potato and ham hash) with fried egg, beetroot and pickles; Krämiga fisksoppa (creamy fish soup) with salmon, shrimp, saffron, white wine, with bread; and Kalvköttbullar (Swedish meatballs) with lingonberry, cucumber pickle and potato mash. Everything was perfectly delicious. The serves were massive, so all three of us were so full.


After dinner, we were looking for coffee. We had passed at least five Espresso House Coffee Shop’s before dinner. So we kept walking south down to Triangeln Shopping Centre. With no luck, we walked back to Lilla torg and found Cafe Pronto. They had an amazing selection of cheesecakes. We were a bit too full from dinner so we just ordered coffee. This was probably the best coffee we have had so far on our trip. We also stocked up on Swedish chocolates.


The next day we had breakfast in the medieval dining room of The Mayfair Hotel Tunneln. It had a quite nice selection of classic Swedish breakfast items, including pastries, crepes, oats with wild berries, smoked fishes, eggs, fruit and juices.

Later, we went for a drive to get some coffee. Sweden has amazing coffee culture and is probably the closest thing to what we are used to. In Australia, we are big coffee drinkers and we like our coffee strong with milk (or a dairy-free alternative). I found this amazing coffee shop Solde Kaffebar. They roast their own coffee, make their own croissants and oat milk. My oat milk cappuccino was definitely the star caffeinated beverage of my entire trip.


After breakfast, we walked around the corner from our hotel to Sankt Petri Church (Saint Peter’s Church). This is the oldest building in Malmö, built in 1319. The architecture style is ‘Baltic Brick Gothic’. It’s just so gorgeous inside and is probably one of the nicest churches I have come across in Sweden. There were many interesting graves stone on the ground, many featuring skulls. I also love that it had a designated child’s playing area.


After coffees, we drove to see the Turning Torso building. Although the building doesn’t seem so high to the eye, it is actually the tallest skyscraper in Scandinavia, with 54 floors.


Not far from the Turning Torso is waterfront park, Scaniaparken. It has a great view of both the Turning Torso, the shoreline and the Øresund Bridge, which goes across to Denmark. There were many different birds and children playing. In amongst, the apartments were little restaurants and cafes, but none were open that we saw.


After we made our way towards the Malmöhus Slott (Malmö Castle). It was built from 1537 to 1542 on the ruins of an old fort. It is actually the oldest preserved Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. It is surrounded by two moats and parkland. Inside the castle walls is a large square, with some installations and both the Museum of Natural History in Malmö and Malmö Art Museum.


We visited only the Museum of Natural History. It featured exhibitions native wildlife, prehistoric wildlife, animals from across the wild and an aquarium. It was actually a really fun place to visit. Octavia really enjoyed the aquarium, which had live fish, snakes, frogs and lizards.


Afterwards, we visited Kungsparken, which is beyond the second moat encircling the Malmöhus Slott (Malmö Castle). It was such a beautiful place to take a walk and meet some lovely duck families.


After all that sight seeing we were pretty hungry for lunch. We went to Smörrebröd by Freda49, which is located in the Centralstationen (Central Station). In the station, there are many little eateries. You can find sushi, soups, salads, burgers and more, We came for the smörrebröd, which is a buttered rye bread with toppings, such as cold cuts, fish, cheese and spreads. We ordered the  Roast beef with remoulade,  Smoked cod with fresh cheese and Räkmacka (prawns). They were all so delicious and fresh. Afterwards, we got Octavia a smoothie, to make sure she consumed at least one vegetable for the day.


For the rest of the afternoon, we just did some shopping between Södergatan and Södra Förstadsgatan. I quite liked the shopping here. Although prices were quite comparable with Australian and the fashion was a lot more conservative and for taller figures. I am not tall, but I managed to find a few thing that suited me. After that, we made our way to the Ystad Stone Henge or Ale’s Stones. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry neither had I. So I’ll share my adventure to Ystad in my next post.


7 thoughts on “Malmö: old city with a modern vibe

    1. Thanks Jennifer! It was actually very cold especially in the evenings. It’s hard to tell since they have daylight until 10-11pm. The wind is also really strong, it goes straight through your clothes but it’s such a beautiful place.


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