Malmö is Sweden’s third-largest city and a short drive from Copenhagen, Denmark across the Oresund Bridge. We stopped at Falsterbo for some beach time before heading to Malmö. We made it to Malmö in time for Fika but missed all the touristy things to do in Malmo!
Fika is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee” often accompanied by a sweet treat or sandwich. Fika is similar to the English concept of afternoon tea. In Sweden pastries like cinnamon buns are often referred to as fikabröd (“fika bread”) So when we found ourselves in Lilla Torg, the medieval square we had to get ourselves some Fika.
We got our Fika at the Espresso House coffee chain, which is basically the Starbucks of Sweden. We tried the kanelbulle, which is decidedly different than its North American cinnamon bun counterpart, with less butter, more cardamom, no icing, and a flakier texture. I think I prefer the Swedish version!
After some Fika-ing we then worked our way around the lovely pedestrian square and visited some of the galleries, designer boutiques and stores. We loved the mixture of Brick Buildings, Timbered houses and the whimsical sculpture of a musical group called Optimistic Orchestra (Optimistorkestern) on one of the streets around the square. This public artwork was created to represent Malmö – “optimistic, enthusiastic and happy”.
Like any good traveler I had done my research and chalked out a plan for us to visit the old town square and then visit the St. Peter’s Cathedral and museums that cluster the city center but we thought we will come back to it after a stroll in the King’s Park that was not too far from the Lilla Torg. So we walked around the beautiful and colorful houses in Old West (Gamla Vaster) and made our way to the King’s Park (Kungsparken). We loved watching the kids play in the park, riding their bikes, friends having picnics and canoes on the water and decided we just wanted to enjoy a lazy afternoon in this wonderful green space. We spent our entire afternoon in the park and ditched our plan of visiting the city sights!
Kungsparken is Malmö’s oldest park and used to be a burial ground until it was turned into a park in 1872. It was actually a beautifully maintained and clean park with lots of mature trees, flowers and fountains. Malmö is known as the “City of Parks” because of the numerous parks and green spaces that have been around the city for over a century. Part of the park lies along the canal where we saw canoes and floating barges, we got a glimpse of the HSB Turning Torso, Scandinavia’s tallest building. It was hard not to miss this architectural marvel that looked like cubes twisting in the air. It is largely a residential building with some spectacular views and not open to the public.
Things to do in Malmo (that we missed)
After enjoying a Fika in Malmo we didn’t really get to all the sightseeing I had planned. Something tells me we will be back to visit again. Here are 3 places we should have visited and some nice tours if you are planning a trip.
St. Peter’s Cathedral (Sankt Petri Kyrka) is Malmö’s oldest building dating from the early 14th century looms over the narrow streets below.
Right behind the cathedral on Stortorget is the City Hall(Radhuset), built in 1546, it is a very stately looking Dutch Renaissance-style building.
Malmö Museum (malmo.se) is in the old moated fortress and a day ticket offers entry to the separate modern art, science and technology, and maritime museums.
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