For those travelling by car from Denmark to Sweden Malmö is the first town after you have crossed the Öresund Bridge from Copenhagen.
Malmö is a city of contrasts. You have the old town with historic buildings and picturesque squares such as Lilla Torg with an excellent range of restaurants and bars. And you have the modern city areas like Västra Hamnen with the Turning Torso and its vibrant waterfront. The district Möllevången provides a multicultural touch to Malmö. Eating falafel is a must when visiting Malmo.
You can find more articles about Malmö at the bottom of this page.
Malmö is the third largest city of Sweden. The city in Skåne has about 300,000 inhabitants and another 300.000 in the outskirts. There are more than 170 different nationalities in Malmö!
History of Malmö
Malmö has a rich history. The Malmøi name appears for the first time in documents from 1270. The name comes from malm (sand) and Hoghe (ridge).
Till 1658 Malmö belonged to Denmark! After the war against Denmark and the Peace of Roskilde Skåne, Halland and Blekinge were allocated to Sweden.
Malmö has been a major trading center ever since the Viking Age. They exported salted herring. Until 1600 Malmo had a golden business. Wars and epidemics gave the city a hard time. But in the late 19th century the city flourished again, thanks to the reconstruction of the port.
Västra Hamnen is my favorite neighborhood in Malmö. I could live here! You used to find port and industry here, now Västra Hamnen is the most modern district of the city. The apartment blocks are built around green parks and playgrounds and a lot of attention was paid to sustainability. Water is never far away here either. The eye-catcher of Västra Hamnen is the Turning Torso.
Along the water
The large shipyard Kockum was located here for a long time, until the crisis of the 1970s. Little by little, at the beginning of this millennium, the new apartment blocks appeared. Västra Hamnen reminds me a bit of Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm.
On sunny days, the waterfront promenade is the best place for a walk, a swim or a picnic. You can walk 8 km straight. Pontoons have been built and in the summer it is often a pleasant, busy place. From here you also have a beautiful view over the sunset and the Öresund Bridge (the bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen). My tip: get a pizza from Vespa just before sunset and eat it at the waterfront.
One of the reasons that I could live here is, in addition to the fantastic location, also the fact that the houses and the whole neighborhood are actually built CO2-neutral. The Swedes love sustainability and that was the focus when building this new district. Västra Hamnen was the first CO2 neutral district in Europe. It was an example of how you could build a densely populated neighborhood in a sustainable way. All energy is generated in an environmentally friendly way. Cars are not allowed in this neighborhood.
Although Västra Hamnen is mainly a residential area with many office buildings, there are also many parks. Skate enthusiasts can go to Stapelbäddsparken. Fans of The Bridge will also find Saga’s apartment here.
If you are looking for fresh fish and crustaceans in and around Malmö, you must visit Fiskehoddorna. In these colorful cottages you will find the daily catch of local fishermen and a range of seafood from the west coast of Sweden. There is also a fish smokehouse where you can buy delicious smoked salmon and smoked eel. You can also buy all kinds of preparations with herring.
Fiskehoddorna means ‘the fishing huts’. There were originally about 30 fishing huts and when there were plans to demolish them, Malmö Museer decided to preserve the best preserved from different time periods. These cottages are now protected.
How to reach Fiskehoddorna?
Fiskehoddorna is approximately 1.5 km from Malmö Central Station.
The nearest bus stop is Malmö Tekniska Museet, about 450 meters away. The bus stops Malmö Skeppsgatan and Malm Kronprinsen are 750 meters away.
Address: Banérskajen, Malmö
Fiskehoddorna is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 06:30 to 13:00. In the week before midsummer they are open from Monday to Friday from 7am to 1pm. The 6 individual fish cottages can sometimes have different opening hours.
One of the nicest squares in Malmö is Lilla Torg, “the little square”. Lilla Torg is located just next to Stortorget (the main market) and houses a dozen of cozy restaurants and coffee bars. Each one has unique facades. During the day you can enjoy the sunny terraces. In the evening it is the place to be for diner with friends or to have an after work. Form/Design Center (free entry) is also located in this square.
Lilla Torg during the 4 seasons
Lilla Torg in Gamla Staden (Malmö’s old town) is a lively place all year round. On sunny days it is not always easy to find a spot on a terrace. Even when it is a bit colder, many Swedes just sit outside on the terrace. Patio heaters and cozy blankets make it even more cozy, especially with the nice facades and cobblestones.
The history of Lilla Torg
In the 16th century, Stortorget gradually became too small as a market place. They decided to add this little square. The square dates from 1590. On the west side you could go to the butchers while the bakers on the south side sold their bread. Fishmongers lined the eastern side of the square and the north side was a mixture of other fresh produce. During the 17th century, the stalls were gradually replaced by houses and buildings. At the beginning of the 20th century, a market hall, designed by Salomon Sörensen, appeared on the square. About 60 years later it was demolished again to restore the square to its original state.
In the former Hedmanska farm from 1590, one of Malmö’s oldest houses, you will now find the Form/Design Center. On the west side you will find 2 old workhouses: Ekströmska huset, the house on the corner, dating from 1720. The house next door, Aspegrenska huset, was built more recently but in the same style.
Christmas at Lilla Torg
I’ve actually been here in every season. The square is also a must visit at Christmas! Candles burn in all catering establishments. The Swedes light candles all year round for fun and coziness, but from the end of November the Christmas atmosphere is really in the air here. Schedule a visit to the square at dusk for the best effect. As you can see in the picture below, it is also very magical later in the evening.
Restaurants & café
This little square is home to a lot of busy establishments: from a music store/café to the best New York cheesecake of Malmö.
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