Malmö

Malmö is Sweden's third largest city with a population of over 300,000, and the capital of the province of Skåne (Scania) on the southern tip of the country. Malmö is a port city on the Öresund strait, facing Copenhagen on its other bank, with which it is connected by the Öresund bridge. Together, the two cities form a duopolis and a core of a larger Oresund region spanning parts of Denmark and Sweden.

Malmö used to be an industrial city, dependent on its port and shipbuilding industry, until the latter collapsed in late 20th century. It has then managed to recover and reinvent itself as a modern metropolis, a poster example of sustainable development and a thriving multicultural centre, even though it lacks the recognition as a major tourist destination like Copenhagen or Stockholm. Of note is Malmö's very well-developed bike infrastructure, for which Malmö is a known as a very bike-friendly city (and indeed, biking is the preferred method of transportation there).

Understand

The modern district of Västra Hamnen with the prominent Turning Torso

History

Södra Förstadsgatan in the historic southern city centre

Founded in 1272 as a fortified port 20 km from Lund, Malmö was for centuries the second largest Danish city while Scania was under Danish rule. It served as a hanseatic port and a very lucrative trade area. Malmö dominated the south as the largest market hub until Copenhagen grew larger during the 16th century. In 1658, as a result of many years of war, Denmark ceded the city to Sweden in the Treaty of Roskilde. After an industrial revolution, Malmö grew rapidly and served as one of the earliest and most industrialized cities of Scandinavia. Until the turn of the millennium it was regarded more as a dull worker's city in the backdrop of more cultural cities in Sweden. The opening of the Oresund Bridge-tunnel in 2000 reignited the soul of a bustling hanseatic port that had lay dormant for so many centuries. Since 2011, this new landmark is featured in the acclaimed Swedish-Danish crime series The Bridge.

Today about 1/3 of the Malmö population are from various other countries, making the city the most cosmopolitan in Sweden. This has contributed to a rich cultural life and many exotic and fine food opportunities. The ship building Kockums company used to be the city's biggest employer, but today the industrial city of old has been replaced by vast areas of middle-class suburban housing and modern eco-friendly neighbourhoods.

Get in

By plane

Malmö Airport (Sturup)

Sturup's terminal is characteristically yellow

Malmö Airport, called Sturup, is actually in the Svedala municipality some 30 kilometres by road from central Malmö. It is mostly used by low-fare, charter and regional carriers. The most prominent ones operating from there are WizzAir, Ryanair and Malmö Aviation.

WizzAir connects Malmö to the largest cities in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, while Ryanair flies to London (Stansted), Spain and Italy. There are three connections to Stockholm - with SAS (Arlanda), Norwegian (Arlanda) and Malmö Aviation (Bromma). Regional airlines fly to other destinations within Sweden, and the offer is complimented by many charter and scheduled flights to vacation destinations in Southern Europe, North Africa and Middle East.

From Malmö Airport you can take the Flygbussarna coach to downtown Malmö. It takes 40 minutes, but first check the schedules at Flygbussarna's homepage because on Saturday afternoons they don't have many buses. You can also take a taxi, which is a far more expensive option.

Copenhagen Airport (Kastrup)

Copenhagen Airport in Kastrup is one of the major aviation hubs in Europe and offers a multitude of European and intercontinental connections by most European flag carriers, as well as other major international airlines.

Kastrup is right at the other end of the Oresund bridge from Malmö. There are frequent Oresund trains departing from a station inside the airport terminal that stop in stations inside of Malmö (Centralstation, Triangeln and Hyllie). The journey from the airport across the bridge to Malmö takes about twenty minutes. You can also take a bus across the Oresund, which is often cheaper than the trains.

You can also take a taxi across the bridge. Signs in the arrivals hall of Kastrup Terminal 3 direct you outside to two separate queues of Danish and Swedish taxis. Taxi fare to Malmö city center should be about 650-750 SEK. As always with Swedish taxis, check the window sticker on the taxi to check the fare before boarding to avoid inadvertently selecting an overly expensive option (there is no limitation of taxi fares in Sweden and all taxis can charge anything they want as long as it is clearly indicated), or better yet, discuss the fare to Malmö with the driver before deciding - you can expect them to speak good English.

By train

The Centralstation is right across a canal from the old town

Two ambitious projects changed the railway situation of Malmö in the early 2000s - the Oresund Bridge and the City Tunnel. Thanks to both, Malmö now has a busy and efficient railway corridor running through (or rather underneath) the city. The main stations on the line running through Malmö are:

One of the two glass-covered entrances to the underground Triangeln station

The above three stations are served by the Oresund trains to/from Copenhagen, direct trains to Stockholm and Gothenburg, as well as regional trains. Other train stations in Malmö include Persborg, Svågertorp (closed 2010-2014), Oxie, and Burlöv, which are only served by a limited number of regional trains and are of not much interest to tourists, as they are in residential locations far from major points of interest.

Trains from Copenhagen take 25 minutes from København H (Copenhagen Central Station) to Malmö. They leave all day from Elsinore (Helsingør), traversing the east coast of Sjælland, before crossing through Copenhagen and then across the Öresund bridge to Malmö, also connecting Kastrup airport to the city. Since the December 2010 opening of the Citytunneln, trains now travel every 10 minutes directly to Malmö Central, with a stop at the Triangeln station. Expect to pay 190 SEK for a return ticket to Kastrup airport or Copenhagen Central.

There are about ten daily X2000 trains to Stockholm and roughly 100 daily departures for the nearby university town of Lund (17 km north). For travel northward, there are hourly services to Helsingborg and Gothenburg with connections to Oslo. There is also an overnight service connecting Malmö to Berlin running nightly or every second night depending on season.

Night trains depart for Storlien (Friday and Sunday) with connection to Trondheim. For every-night connection, grab a train (or bus) for Gothenburg.

Frequent and regular local trains go from Malmö south throughout the province of Scania to Lund, Helsingborg, Höör and Ystad. These are known as Pågatågen, operated by Skåne Commuter Rail.

The 8 kilometre long Øresund bridge leading to Copenhagen in Denmark

By car

Another way of crossing the Øresund Bridge (both bridge and tunnel) is to drive for yourself. It is a toll bridge, with tolls charged in both directions (entering and leaving Sweden). Since the road is a motorway (one-way passage only), it is not possible to change direction after passing the last exit in Denmark. The prices for an ordinary car shorter than six meters begin at €48 per single trip. With a BroPas subscription it is possible to reduce the cost substantionally. easyGo customers qualifies for a 5% discount on cash payments. Credit cards are also accepted.

The view is much less obstructed if you choose to go by car as compared to train. Keep in mind, though, that the road over the Øresund Bridge is a motorway, hence it is prohibited to stop for other reasons than if your car should break down. There is no public access to Peberholm Island, where the tunnel and the bridge connect.

By bus

Gråhundbus, Swebus, GoByBus and Eurolines have routes to Copenhagen and other places. To Copenhagen the buses take longer (about an hour) but are cheaper than the train, especially for day trips.

By boat

Finnlines runs a ferry line between Travemünde in northern Germany and Malmö. The ferry line is mostly directed towards trucks and car drivers, but it is possible to book tickets for pedestrians. Departures that does not need a compulsory cabin booking are tuesdays to fridays at 10:00, saturdays at 11:00 from Travemünde. The trip takes nine hours, an adult passenger fare one-way trip begin at €32. A car shorter than six meters begin at €47 in the low season, €67 in the high season. Motorcycles can be taken on board for free during the low season, bicycles can be taken on board for free all year round. A booked return trip will grant a 20% discount on the return part of the trip. In the northern part of Malmö Harbour public transport does not reach the Finnlines ferry terminal.

Trelleborg and Ystad offers ferry connections to other ports in Germany and ports in Poland. The travel time of these ferries are usually between five to ten hours, and Trelleborg can be reached from Malmö Central Station by regional bus 146 in approximately 50 minutes, or by Pågatåg train line no. 9 in 37 minutes.

Get around

Bicycle

Malmö is best experienced by bicycle, the city is interlaced with lots of bicycle roads. The official bike map can be found on bike rentals and the tourist office. There are guided bike tours in Malmö during the summer.

Public transport

Skånetrafiken is responsible for public transport in Malmö and all of Scania. The green busses (stadsbuss) all have routes within Malmö city, the yellow busses are regional busses to other cities in Scania.

It is not possible to use cash as payment in busses and trains. Tickets or cards must by purchased in advance, either in vending machines, at Skånetrafiken customer centers (kundcenter), at service partners (serviceombud or ombud) or via a smartphone app called Stadsbiljetten. Pre-paid JoJo-cards in denominations of 50 and 200 kroner, in form of a contactless non personalized smart card, can be purchased at Pressbyrån, 7-Eleven and Coop. JoJo-cards can be topped-up at the previous mentioned vendors, but also online at the Skånetrafiken website, where you need to register the JoJo-card. The smartphone app also supports an English language version.

Both the physical ticket (from vending machines) and the electronic ticket (JoJo-card and smartphone app) is valid for one hour as single fare (enkelbiljett), which begins immediately when the ticket is printed, scanned or activated. Transfer between rides is unlimited within this one hour. Public transport fares in Malmö also include train rides between the three stations: Malmö Central, Triangeln and Hyllie Station. The violet-colored Pågatågen and the silver-colored Øresundstågen normally stops at all three stations.

Taxi

Taxi is also an option, fixed rates begin at 49/59/79 SEK for trips within Malmö city.

See

The Stortorget in winter

Main squares and streets

At the heart of Malmö lie three squares, called Gustav Adolf's Square (Gustav Adolfs torg), the Big Square (Stortorget) and the Little Square (Lilla torg). Stortorget and Lilla Torg are directly connected at one corner, and a pedestrians only shopping street connects them with Gustav Adolfs torg.

Historic buildings and modern architecture

Malmöhus Castle
St Petri church in Malmö

Museums and cultural institutions

Technology Museum
Form/Design Center

Do

Kungsparken, Malmö

Guided tours and sightseeing

Parks

Slottsträdgården

Sports

Festivals

Buy

Street shopping

The main shopping streets are Södergatan and Södra Förstadsgatan, where you can find all kinds of shops. Look out for Village, well designed homeware, at reasonable prices.

Experience the multicultural area around Möllevångstorget. Here you can find exotic shops selling Asian and middle eastern food stuffs and a wide selection of pubs and bars. In the mornings there is also an open market where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

Les Trois Roses (Gustav Adolfs torg, Davidshallstorg) is a great chocolaterie.

Shopping centres

Malmö has five shopping plazas in the centre:

There are also some shopping plazas outside the city centre, like

Eat

Look out for pepparkakor, literally pepper cookies, but flavoured with cinnamon, ginger, molasses and cloves. Traditional accompaniment to glögg (mulled wine).

Budget

Mid-range

There are a lot of restaurants in the Little Square with outdoor seating (with heating year-round).

There are also lots of mid-range restaurants in other parts of town.

Splurge

Drink

Malmö has a vibrant night life, but prices are for the most part substantially higher than they are across the bridge in Copenhagen. Lilla Torg is the epicentre but prices are high, you could also try Möllevångstorget where any of the many bars, cafés and restaurants in this bustling part of town is good value. Like in Copenhagen, and indeed most of Scandinavia, expect most of the drinking to be limited to Friday and Saturday except at the height of summer where many Swedes have vacation. You can pick up the free Nöjesguiden and Dygnet Runt magazines in various stores to read more about Malmö's nightlife. They are only available in Swedish though.

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget less than 500 SEK
Mid-range around 700-900 SEK
Splurge over 1000 SEK

While prices in Malmö may seem high, especially in the summer, and there is little variance in prices across properties, staying in the city may be your best option in the region, as hotels are generally expensive in Sweden (and even more so across the bridge in Copenhagen), while Malmö boasts a wide selection of properties unusual for other Swedish city.

As in the rest of Sweden, breakfast is generally included in room price, as is WiFi. Do make sure to double-check the rates at different dates, as they may vary greatly depening on local events and time of year. The highest season is around the end of May and in June, when the days are the longest and the weather the best.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Malmö is relatively low-rise on average, so the 20-storey Hotell Triangeln can serve as an orientation point

Connect

Internet cafés

Stay safe

In December 2010, the Jewish human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal center issued a travel advisory advising Jews to boycott Malmö due to a rise in antisemitic attacks.

The biggest problem facing a tourist is the unregulated taxi market. There are many instances of tourists being charged exorbitant prices by unscrupulous taxi drivers. To avoid this happening to you, stick to the well known companies like 171717, 232323, Taxi Skåne, Taxi Kurir etc. Avoid unmarked taxis (taxis in Sweden have yellow registration plates), and always ask for the price of your trip before getting in.

Immigrant-dominated areas have seen a rise of gang criminality in the last few years. Neighborhoods like Rosengård should be avoided for your own safety.

If traveling on foot or by car, keep an eye out for bicycles, which expect others to yield.

Cope

Consulates

Copenhagen, with many embassies, is a short train trip away.

The Öresundsbron between Malmö and Copenhagen

Go next

Routes through Malmö

Göteborg Landskrona  N  S  Trelleborg
Kolding Copenhagen  W  N  Landskrona Göteborg
Sassnitz () Trelleborg  S  E  Lund Kalmar


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.