Sweden’s third-largest city has a progressive contemporary feel. Home to Scandinavia’s tallest building, beautiful parks, edgy contemporary museums and some seriously good cuisine, the opening of the Öresund bridge in 2000 has also been undeniably positive, connecting the city to bigger, cooler Copenhagen and creating a dynamic new urban conglomeration.
Such a cosmopolitan outcome seems only natural for what is Sweden’s most multicultural metropolis – 150 nationalities make up Malmö’s head count. Here, exotic Middle Eastern street stalls, urbane Italian coffee culture and hipster skateboard parks counter the town’s intrinsic Nordic reserve.
Even the city’s lively historic core echoes its multicultural past. The showpiece square of Stortorget evokes Hamburg more than it does Stockholm, while nearby Lilla Torg is a chattering mass of alfresco supping and half-timbered houses that give away the Danish connection.
Gamla Staden (Old Town) is Malmö’s heart, encircled by a canal. There are three principal squares here: Stortorget, Lilla Torg and Gustav Adolfs Torg. The castle, Malmöhus Slott, in its leafy park setting, guards the western end of Gamla Staden. Across the canal on the northern side is the snazzy redeveloped harbour precinct, home to some excellent cafes and restaurants.