Malmhaug: Gravel Pile, Ore Hill
As mentioned in the previous post, Copenhagen, visiting Malmo was part of our original plan in both 2011 and 2016 trips. If back then was with a friend, now was with my family, but the reason remains the same. Being just across the Oresund Bridge, that near from Copenhagen, it is a great chance for being able to visit and enjoy them both. On this occasion we had plenty more time and actually ended up exhausting the entire city of Malmo in a day before returning to our base in Copenhagen from where we came early in the morning. After all, remember this is a small city and there is no need for spending any further time, therefore a day is more than enough.
From Copenhagen Central Station there are very frequent trains (every 20 minutes), and so in the opposite direction from Malmo Central Station. Just take note the train is not cheap at all considering the short distance travelled in barely just 20 minutes. Less was in our case since we took the train at Copenhagen’s Airport train station where our hotel was meters from. It took us only 15 minutes and we were there!
Upon arrival, it is quite obvious to see the level of live in here is somewhat higher; even it is already well known Danish people enjoy one of the wealthiest nation. But once you compare both cities, here in Malmo you will see an extremely clean, nice and quite spotless city, like anywhere in Sweden. People tend to be extremely polity, helpful and nice feeling overall, and managed to actually speak to us quite well in Spanish!
Mind about the overall prices for everything. These are higher than back in Denmark, and also note that you will need to change currency to Swedish Corona. Unfortunately, Sweden and Denmark are not in the Euro zone, so prepare for having to change twice. Keep it simple and plan ahead so you do not change more than you need since changing back to Danish Corona, Euro or other currency will take a further cut in commission. Beware of a new behaviour being slowly (and quietly) implemented not only in Sweden, but Denmark and the Nordic Countries overall; they are pushing stronger for card payments only. Many places do not longer accept any cash!
Navigating around the city is very easy and you will not require any public transportation. Distances are not big and the city centre where most of the sights are is very compact. The only farther place from the city centre is the Västra Hamnen (Western Harbour), famous for the Turning Torso Tower, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and nowadays landmark and symbol of the city. It is a nice walk through the recently redeveloped former industrial area by the harbour into the modern Malmo of the 21st century.
Food and drinks, although expensive, are totally acceptable and a look around few restaurants will give you a clearer view. While some happened to be really expensive, just next to this were other at decent prices and incredible good food. This is something I will always remember about Sweden, wherever I’ve been eating in any city it has always been extremely good, great amount and great quality. Here in Malmo I would recommend you having a look at the many restaurants surrounding the Lilla Torg square.
For more information about the city visit Wikipedia and Wikitravel sites. Sweden’s currency is the Swedish Krona (SEK). Please note that any price reference is true as from when this guide was created, therefore check prices in advance as with the time they change.
What to see and do in Malmo
- Västra Hamnen (Western Harbour) Until recently a former industrial decaying area at the northwesternmost point of Malmo, nowadays transformed with new office and residential buildings of modern architecture.
-The Turning Torso Designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and at 190 meters high, is the new symbol of Malmo for its striking architecture and design.
- West of the city Across the Rörsjökanalen this area is notorious for its large parks and gardens, and the famed castle.
-Malmöhus Castle Built in 1437 by Erik of Pomerania is not far from Gustav Adolfs Torg and houses various museums. At the front façade you will find the tourist old tram which you can take for a small journey around.
-Slottsträdgården The Castle Garden, just south of the castle together with the smaller Kungsparken (King’s Park) on the east with the canal cutting through, offer nice views of the castle.
-Casino At the south side of the Kungsparken, nice villa home to the Cosmopol Casino of Malmo.
- North of the City/Train Station Area Just north across the canal Rörsjökanalen that surrounds the entire old town.
-Central Train Station Originally built in 1856, with majority of the buildings you see today dating from 1872.
-Former Stock Exchange The Börshus is now a conference centre where its facade has been retained and restored, facing directly the train station head.
-Central Post Office Built in 1906 by Ferdinand Boberg, who also worked in the design of the Central Post Office in Stockholm.
- Old Town Completely surrounded by the Rörsjökanalen canal making it an island. Most of the sights are located within, a combination of historical buildings with the early 20th century ones.
-Norra Vallgatan This is one of the landmark streets parallel to the canal all the way along the north of the old town from west to east. Many stone mansions from the 20th century align its length; to name a few:
-Norra Vallgatan 64 Right across the Maria Bridge from the train station.
-Elite Hotel Savoy Opposite Norra Vallgatan 64, in eclectic style with its characteristic tower.
-Appeal Court On the westernmost point of Norra Vallgatan, corner with Slottsgatan and meters from the Castle.
-Uppsala Bastion One of the very few remnants from the fortifications, is a little garden overlooking the canal. Located to the east along Norra Vallgatan.
-Red Cross Museum Housed in a nice small single floor old building.
-Norra Vallgatan 8 The next building after the Red Cross Museum, another elegant up-scale residential block.
-Stortorget Square Translates as Big Square, is the heart of the city and largest square. Meters from the train station just across the Maria Bridge a street ahead.
-Scandic Kramer Hotel One of the famous historic hotels in the city from the 19th century, with its 2 castle-towers like. At northwestern corner.
-City Hall Built in 1546 is one of the most elegant buildings in the square. At the northeastern side.
–Statue of King Karl X Gustav of Sweden Depicted to the man who took the city from the Danish domination.
-Kockska Huset Is the former house of a German immigrant who became the major of the city achieving a big wealth.
-St Peter’s Cathedral The oldest building in the city from the 14th century, built in Baltic Brick Gothic style. Just a street east of Stortorget Square.
-Caroli Church A street east ahead from the Cathedral, originally built in 1680.
-Lilla Torg The Small Square as it translates it is directly linked to the Big Square at one of its corners. Also filled with historical buildings hosting many cafes and bars.
-Gustav Adolfs Torg It is the third of the squares that form the core of the city centre. Connected to the other two by the main pedestrian Södergatan shopping street.
-Gamla Kyrkogården This old cemetery garden aligns the entire western side of the square and it is connected to the rest of the parks and gardens on the west of the city.
-Södra Promenaden The southern street running parallel to the Rörsjökanalen canal from west to east along the old town island. Small parks, nice buildings and plenty of bars, cafes and restaurants make this a thriving place day and night.
- South of the Old Town Across the Rörsjökanalen canal, one of the wealthiest areas in the city, the Rörsjöstaden, with rows of streets and avenues in a grid plan full of elegant mansions.
-Kungsgatan Kings Gate as it translates is the main tree-lined avenue south of the canal where the very wealthy inhabitants live in impressive mansions and streets nearby.
-Synagogue A very beautiful art-nouveau style building, in the street parallel to Kungsgatan.
Malmo is served by Malmo Sturup Airport, east of the city. It does offer some low-cost carrier routes across Europe, however, not the best choice. It is very well communicated within the rest of Sweden and Scandinavian countries. From the airport, the airport bus Flygbussarna connect with the city centre, with frequencies in coincidence with arrival/departure of flights.
For a more convenient and greater choice of air routes, nearby Copenhagen airport, 24 kilometres west of Malmo across the Oresund Bridge could potentially be your best choice. After all, from the airport is less than 20 minutes to Malmo’s central train station. Ticket prices are not cheap though, still, will be easier to find a better deal to Copenhagen instead, or probably it is worth you check an open-jaw way, arriving either into Copenhagen or Malmo, and departing from the other city. If visiting both cities is your intention then make sure you check this option that will highly likely save you some cost, apart of saving you from having to pay a train journey across the Oresund.
Within the city there is no need to take any public transportation since distances are very short within the historical centre, and it’s best to visit on foot through the pedestrian streets and nice squares. The only public transportation should you need it, are buses, and a tourist historical tram line by the Castle.
I cannot recommend you any hotel in Malmo since both of the times I’ve come to the city we did not stay overnight but instead in Copenhagen where we did our base. Something I am positive sure of, is that they do not come cheap, like for any other Scandinavian cities. Your best option nevertheless is to consider staying instead in a bigger city as its Copenhagen just next door, as long as this is optional.
For a complete travel guide and information about transportation and the hotels we’ve been back in 2011 and recently in August 2016 check the article for Copenhagen here.