Things to do in Malmö (updated for 2024!)

It’s one of Sweden’s most diverse and cosmopolitan cities, and there are loads of cool things to do in Malmö.

Malmö is packed with fun free things to do
Peter Alfred Hess (CC)

Linked to Copenhagen since 1999 by the iconic Oresund bridge, the Swedish city has adopted some of its Danish neighbour’s free-thinking and progressive ideas and is now an appealing eco-friendly city with an alternative vibe.

Not only that but in May 2024, Malmö is hosting the 68th Eurovision Song Contest – the ultimate in cool! This is the third time the city has hosted Eurovision and the seventh time Sweden has won the contest.

But we know that Sweden can be pricey, so we’ve checked out a load of things to do in Malmö that won’t break the bank – and many of them won’t cost you anything at all. So, if you’re looking for fun, free and cheap things to do in Malmo, you’ve come to the right place!

Sights and attractions

1) Explore Stortorget. Malmö’s oldest square is the centrally located Stortorget, which was once Europe’s largest market square. Dating from 1540, the square is surrounded by grand buildings including Malmö’s sixteenth-century town hall.

There are loads of cool free things to do in Malmo
Stortorget / Christian Beiwinkel (CC)

2) Admire the Kocksa Huset. This unusual, ornate gabled red-brick building was built in 1523 for the mayor of Malmö and master of the Danish mint, Jörgen Kock. You can’t look round the house itself, but to get an idea of the opulence you could treat yourself to a glass of wine at the upmarket restaurant Arstiderna in the former wine cellars.

To celebrate the building’s 500th birthday, they are offering a three-course anniversary menu this year for a bargain 500 SEK.

Fun and entertainment

3) Party in the summer. There are plenty of fun things to do in Malmö, especially during the longer summer days. For eight days each August, Malmö’s streets, squares and parks come alive to the sound of music, dance, food and fun. The Malmo Festival is a completely free city party, with musicians, art and craft workshops, films, theatre and food trucks.

The Malmo festival is an annual event that is free for all
Johan Jönsson (CC)

4) Feel festive at Katrinetorp. One of the best things to do in Malmö in winter is to visit the Christmas market in the Katrinetorp country estate. It’s free to visit the manor house and its attractive landscaped gardens year-round, but if you’re here at Christmas, check out its market, one of the most beautiful in the region.

Museums and galleries

5) Get arty at Malmö’s Moderna Muséet. The city’s contemporary art museum costs just 50 SEK to enter and is worth visiting for the building alone, which combines a former steam turbine hall dating from 1901 with an imposing contemporary annexe built in 2009.

It hosts a variety of exhibitions from Scandinavian artists, as well as the odd display of works by the likes of Andy Warhol, Picasso and Matisse.

6) Check out some cool Scandi design. Housed in an attractive former grain warehouse, Malmö’s Form Design Centre is free to visit and has exhibitions on design, architecture, furniture, textiles, ceramics and all things Scandi chic.

7) Visit the Disgusting Food Museum. Malmö’s Disgusting Food Museum exhibits more than 80 unappetising foods from around the world, from Sweden’s own surströmming (stinky fermented herring!) to roasted guinea pig from Peru and maggot-infested cheese from Sardinia to aged shark from Iceland.

You can even sample some of them if you’re brave enough!

Walks and bike rides

8) Have a waterside walk. Take a stroll around the regenerated dockland area of Western Harbour, or Västra Hamnen, with its landscaped canals, vibrant waterfront and the impressive Turning Torso building (see below).

There are plenty of lively waterfront cafés, bars and restaurants and you get great views over the Öresund Bridge.

9) Get on your bike! One of our top things to do in Malmo is to explore by bike. Malmö is one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities with plenty of dedicated cycle lanes and paths where you can ride safely. It also has the advantage of being very flat! 

You can rent a bike for as little as 200 SEK a day.

Cycling is great in Malmö
Kullez (CC)

10) Cycle the Sydkustleden. This long-distance cycle path runs from Helsingborg to Simrishamn, via Malmö. The sections north and south of Malmö both make for a fun bike ride, following flat trails alongside windswept beaches and through pretty countryside.

11) Explore with a local guide. Walking is the best way to get round the city centre and this guided walking tour will take you all the city centre sights, including the pretty cobbled Sodergatan and the historic town hall.

A knowledgeable local guide will fill you in on all the history and inside gen on the city and Sweden’s royal family.

Parks and nature

12) Chill out in Slottsparken. One of the best things to do in Malmo is to enjoy its many parks and green spaces, and Slottsparken – or the Castle Garden, in English – has plenty of mature trees and lawns to relax on.

Together with neighbouring Kunsparken, it has two ponds, a lake and a canal, and this landscaped green oasis is also home to a windmill and the Malmöhus, or castle.

Malmo has loads of parks that are free to visit
Claudia Gold (CC)

13) Picnic in Pildammsparken. Malmö’s largest park is a lovely leafy spot with a large lake, plenty of lawns to picnic on and a pretty pavilion built for the 1914 Baltic Exhibition.

Tours and day-trips

14) Go Danish. If you’re looking for things to in Malmö in one day, you could always go abroad! It’s not quite free, but fares for the bus trip from Malmo to Copenhagen start from about £6 if you book well in advance, and the journey takes just 50 minutes. So, why not take a day-trip to a different country, just for the fun of it?

Explore the canals of Malmö on a boat trip.

15) Take a boat trip. See Malmö from the water on this fun open-top boat trip through the canals and under the bridges of the city. This 50-minute sight-seeing tour takes in landmarks such as the Kungsparken, the Turning Torso and the historic Malmöhus Castle.

Shopping

16) Go bargain-hunting in Malmö’s second-hand shops. Malmö is a great destination for pre-loved and vintage shopping, where you can pick up a bargain.

There are loads of fascinating second-hand and charity shops to browse round: for more ideas, check out our guide to second-hand shopping in Malmö.

17) Take a peek inside the Apotek Lejonet. You don’t have to be ill to visit Malmö’s oldest pharmacy on Stortorget. Its grand gabled exterior is impressive while the interior is lined with old wooden shelves, cabinets and balconies.

18) Lose yourself in the Drottningtorget flea market. On Sundays in summer, this huge open-air flea market has stalls selling everything from genuine antiques to junk sold by locals having a clear-out. Come for a bargain or just enjoy wandering around and marvelling at the quirky things that people sell!

19) Go window shopping along Sodergatan. Malmö’s main pedestrianised shopping street, Sodergatan runs from the Stortorget down to the canal. It’s the place in Malmö to browse around the shops – and look out for the quirky Optimists Orchestra street sculpture at the Stortorget end.

Viewpoints and lookouts

20) Don’t miss the Turning Torso. Definitely up there in our top 10 things to do in Malmö is to check out Scandinavia’s tallest skyscraper, the towering Turning Torso, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Check out the Turning Torso – it's a fun free thing to do in Malmo.
Nextors (CC)

At nearly 200 metres high and with 54 floors, it can be seen from pretty much anywhere in Malmö. Unfortunately, it’s closed to the public, but you can get a good idea of its height from the Western Harbour area below.

Eating and drinking

21) Hang out at the Lilla Torg. If you’re looking for things to do in Malmö at night, head over to the pretty medieval Lilla Torg which is packed with bars, restaurants and cafés, whose tables spill out from half-timbered buildings onto the cobbled square. It’s the place to come for an evening meal or drink to just to soak up the lively atmosphere.

The pretty Lilla Torg Square in Malmo, is packed with bars, restaurants and cafés.

22) For cheap eats head to the food hall. The Malmo Saluhall has a wide selection of food stalls, serving up everything from falafels and toasted sandwiches to noodles, sushi and salads. For more ideas on where to eat on a budget, check out our guide to cheap eats in Malmo.

23) Go wine-tasting by bike. You don’t have to worry about drinking and driving with this vineyard and tasting tour by bike. Pick up a bike from central Malmö and cycle out to the Hällåkra vineyards, where you’ll get a tour of the vineyard and taste some of the local wines with tapas. 

24) Take a food tour. Learn all about Malmö’s culinary traditions and ethnic influences with this self-guided food tour. You’ll sample Swedish fika, locally grown and caught food, plus some foreign delicacies with a Swedish twist, such as falafel à la Malmö!

Things to do with kids

25) Have fun on the beach. Just a twenty-minute walk from the city centre,  Ribersborg beach is a 2.5 kilometre-long stretch of sand where kids can run around and swim, or simply sunbathe on a summer’s day.

Going to the beach in Malmo is free
Ribersborg beach / SwedishStockPhotos (CC)

26) Practise your skills in the half pipe. Malmö is home to one of Europe’s largest skate parks, the Stapelbaddsparken in Västra Hamnen, which is completely free to use. There’s also a climbing wall and roller-skate track here too.

27) Hang out in Folkets Park. This busy urban park, whose name means the People’s Park, hosts plenty of kids’ entertainment in summer, including bouncy castles, family-friendly theatre performances and crazy golf.

Sports and wildlife

28) Learn how to windsurf. This fun introduction to windsurfing teaches you the theory, provides all the kit and will have you up and whizzing around on your windsurf on the Öresund before you know it. 

Visit a seal colony from Malmo in Sweden.

29) See the seals. Visit a seal colony about 35-minutes outside Malmö, where you can watch the seals swimming, playing and basking. Your guide is professional photographer, who will help you get the best pics and give you all the lowdown on the seals and their habitat.

30) Go climbing. Malmo is home to Sweden’s biggest bouldering centre – and, this being Sweden, there’a also a sauna and gym on site too. For 175 SEK, you can drop in and climb for as long as you like. 

Where to stay in Malmö during Eurovision

The two venues that are hosting Eurovision in May are the Malmö Arena and the neighbouring Malmömässan, the Malmö Exhibition and Conference Centre. 

Both are in the suburb of Hyllie in the south of the city centre.

The nearest hotel

The nearest hotel to the arena is the Best Western Malmo Arena Hotel. A high-rise conference hotel, it has comfortable, clean rooms and is close to the action.

The garden flat

If there’s a group of you, Kulladal Malmö is a good choice, just a mile away from the venue. It’s self-catering, sleeps up to five people and has a open-plan kitchen/living area – perfect for pre-Eurovision drinks.

The fun option

Stay in a circus wagon on a disused railway lot at the Grand Circus Hotel. There are plenty of wagons to choose from, including the strong man’s wagon, the bearded lady’s room, or the snake charmer’s wagon, each decorated in a different style.

It’s the other side of town from the Eurovision venue, but each wagon comes with two free bikes, so you can easily cycle there. 

The designer choice

In an attractive brick converted chocolate factrory, the stylish More Hotel Mazetti has smart modern comfortable studios. 

They come with kitchenettes and all equipment for self-catering – and some even have a private sauna.

The camp choice!

For those who like camping, First Camp Sibbarp has pitches for tents and camper vans, as well as cabins, cottages and caravans to rent. 

It’s right by a sandy beach on the Öresund Strait, about 10-minutes by car from the arena.

See also:
Where to stay in Malmö
Getting around Malmö
Cheap eats in Malmö

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