Malmo is Sweden’s New Must-do Destination

Western Harbour, MalmoeSweden’s third-largest city, Malmo hasn’t always been a popular city on Swedish vacation itineraries. Formerly a very industrial area, it experienced a lot of hard times, especially in the 70s when industry faltered and then again in the 90s when all of Sweden suffered a financial crunch. For years, a large portion of the city’s work sector was unemployed and things looked grim for Malmo.

Enter the Øresund Bridge project, which took flight in 1995. With this massive bridge-tunnel opening in 2000, connecting Malmo with Copenhagen, Denmark, suddenly Malmo had a new reason to live. In addition, Malmo University opened in 1998 and programs to re-gentrify the city in general, especially the harbor area, made it a much more attractive place to spend time. Now, it’s a much more cultural, much more visitor-friendly spot, and worth a few days time if you’re heading to Sweden or Denmark.            Staying in Malmo

If you decide to take more than a day to visit Malmo – and you should – there are a number of excellent options for accommodations. You won’t find the selection that you’ll have in Stockholm, or perhaps even Gothenburg, but there’s more than one choice for travelers looking for luxury lodging.

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Hi   Hilton Malmo City – This very lovely, very contemporary hotel sits in the middle of the city, convenient to everything you’ll want to visit. Situated in a glass box-type high-rise, it has 216 rooms and suites that are simply furnished but comfortable and sizeable. Some even have views of the Øresund Bridge! There’s also a train station quite nearby. The restaurant serves excellent food, the fitness room is quite well equipped, and the service is what you’d expect from a high-end Hilton.

·         Radisson Blu Malmo – Situated in the heart of the city center, the Radisson Blu is close to the Malmo Central Station and within walking distance of many notable attractions. Rooms are styled with typical Swedish furnishings and they are more spacious than most. The health and fitness room is adjacent to a “Relax Centre” where guests can take advantage of a sauna or book an appointment for a massage. The restaurant sits inside an old half-timbered house dating back to the 16th century and serves excellent Swedish dishes.

·         Elite Hotel Savoy – Elite Hotels of Sweden offers a lovely lodging option in a really cool building that dates back to the 14th century. The rooms and suites have been recently refreshed and you’ll find that the company has been able to artfully combine the modern with the classic here at the Savoy. The onsite Café le fil du Rasoir French brasserie is quite wonderful as is the adjacent English-style pub. The service, overall, is outstanding.

Sightseeing in Malmo

While there are a few “attractions” in Malmo that you’ll want to see, it’s mostly just a cool city for exploring on foot. Visitors find that the public squares are lovely, filled with great architecture, statuary, fountains, and plenty of shops and good restaurants offering a variety of cuisines.

If you’re looking for a charming café or a good nightspot, check out the square known as  Lilla Torg, with its many traditional half-timbered buildings and fun-to-browse covered marketplace. It’s a good place to purchase local handicrafts and other such items. The main square, Stortorget, is also fun to explore and is noted for its nightingale fountain. There aren’t a lot of shops there, but it’s still worth a stop if just to take a few photos.

Visitors will also want to take a few hours to explore Malmo Castle (Malmohus Slott). The current structure, built in the 16th century by King Christian III of Denmark, now functions as multiple museums and there’s plenty to see and do that will appeal to a variety of ages. The area known as the Konstmuseet offers art by the Scandinavian masters while the Naturmuseum provides exhibits on the geology of Skane County. There’s also a Stadsmuseum, which concentrates on the history of Malmo in particular. Kids will love the onsite aquarium and tropicarium, too.

If you enjoy viewing old churches – both inside and out – you should include Sankt Petri Kyrka (St. Peter’s Church) on your itinerary. Though it’s not technically a cathedral, it’s a magnificent church that is worth a gander. Built in Gothic style in the 14th century, it has a massive 344-foot-tall tower that you can spot from just about anywhere in the city. Concerts are held at St. Peter’s quite often, so check the church’s schedule for the opportunity to enjoy some music inside this wonderful structure.

It’s pretty easy to walk from most of the city hotels to all of the above sites, but public transport and plenty of cabs are available if you need to hitch a ride.

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