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In spending nearly a month in Copenhagen working remotely, an itch began to develop. After looking at some maps and hearing other travel stories, I knew that taking a day trip to Malmö from Copenhagen was an option.
When else is there an option to take a day trip to another country and to do it so easily?
I wondered whether Malmö was worth visiting as I didn’t know too much about it. How do I get from Copenhagen to Malmö? What are the best things to do in Malmö? I had all these unanswered questions before I left.
But I fell in love with the cute little city after just a few hours there. After spending a wonderful day in the Swedish city, this is everything I did on a day trip in Malmö.
Getting to Malmö from Copenhagen
After waking early, I walked to Norreport train station. The first challenge was to find the entrance for the main station as I had only used the Metro station entrance before. It was easy to buy tickets just inside the entrance of the station, the big red ticket machines prominently standing there. I typed in Malmö and 96 Danish Kroner later, I had the paper ticket in my hand.
The trains run frequently from Copenhagen to Malmö, roughly every 20 minutes throughout the day. The train had large and comfortable seats and was spotlessly clean. The next stop was Copenhagen Central, where a majority of people would get on this train to Malmö. As it also goes to the airport, a lot of luggage piled on.
The train went over the famous Øresund Bridge, the double decker car and train bridge and tunnel that connects Denmark with Sweden. Looking at the photos online is a lot more impressive that being on an actual train looking out the window.
Forty minutes after getting on in Copenhagen, I arrived at Malmö Central Station.
What to see in Malmö on a day trip
I left the station and headed south aiming to walk through the Old Town (Gamla Staden). I immediately stumbled upon St Peters Church (Sankt Petri kyrka) a 700 year old church that has been welcoming worshippers since the 1300’s. With a spire of 98m high, it is as much a master of engineering from that age as it is a thing of beauty today.
The Old Town of Malmö has a series of squares and the one closest to the station, Stortorget, has the Malmö town hall (Malmö Rådhus) on the corner with a large statue of Charles X Gustav surrounded by Swedish flags.
Further south is Lilla Torg, another square with cobblestones and cute wooden nordic buildings surrounding it. The square is packed with cafes and restaurants and gets busy in the evening. Walk down Södergatan, the main shopping street to Gutav Adolfs Torg and across the river.
On a summers weekend, the river was bustling with life with kayakers and pedalos that can be rented. Relaxing on a river in a pedalo is one of the best things to do in Malmö on a sunny day.
I strolled further along the river until I came to the city library (Malmö stadsbibliotek), a beautiful old building that looks like it should belong in Hogwarts from one angle, but in a modern design museum from another. The inside is designed in the typical Scandinavian style, simple and understated but stunning.
I entered Kungsparken and enjoyed the greenery around. There’s ample open space to relax on the grass and sunbathe, statues to admire and waterways to keep cool in. The bridges connecting the various parks over the rivers make for perfect photo opportunities or even just to people watch. Crossing one of the bridges to Slottsträdgården, another one of Malmö city parks, you will see the windmill, and Malmö Castle (Malmöhus Slott).
Dating back to the 1400’s for use in defence from the threat of naval ships, parts of the original building can be seen in the outer walls. Look out for the white markings on the outer wall near the entrance. There is a museum inside the castle with an entrance fee, or you can enjoy the courtyard and pictures from across the moat for free.
Just outside the castle lies a small road with wooden huts selling fish. It may not sound like much but this is a Malmö institution. Fiskehoddorna sells fresh fish and seafood as well as excellent fish and chips caught by local fishermen in the cute laneway.
It was then a long walk to one of the most iconic buildings in Malmö. I would recommend to walk along the Sundspromenaden to experience the fresh smells of the sea and on a good day, watching locals go for a swim. I had lunch at Bar Italia on the corner of the park and tucked into a coffee, chicken sandwich and a gelato. I got there early and it wasn’t too busy but I’ve heard it fills up fast!
From there I finally walked to the Turning Torso, the twisting skyscraper that towers over Malmö. If you’re planning to visit Malmö, this is a must see. The 191m tower was, until recently, the tallest in Scandinavia. Each of the nine hexagonal blocks is built just off angle to each other giving the appearance of a 90 degree twist in the building from ground floor to the top.
There was a sign saying that it’s a private building and visits aren’t allowed, although I have read that it is possible to go to the 54th floor at certain times of year. As it is primarily a residential and office building, entry is limited.
I continued my day trip of Malmö walking through the old industrial and dock area which has been modified and gentrified with stylish new homes that blend into the surrounding so well. There are now expensive looking yachts in the harbour with fancy coffee shops close by.
As I made my way to Nyhamnen, I came across the Old Lighthouse (Malmö Inre fyr) which guided the smaller boats into the city. After reading some of the information signs exploring the history of the old harbour and port of Malmö, I was almost back at the Central Station for my train back to Copenhagen.
Inside the station, tickets can easily be bought at the red ticket machines and the train normally leaves from Platforms 1 or 2.
FAQs About Visiting Malmö from Copenhagen on a Day Trip
How to get to Malmö from Copenhagen?
The easiest way is to take the train from Copenhagen Central Station to Malmö Central Station. Trains are fast and frequent crossing the Øresund Bridge every 20 minutes.
It is also possible to take the bus across from Copenhagen to Malmö. Flixbus offer regular services from the Danish capital to Malmö and onwards to various cities throughout Sweden.
Another option is to drive across yourself. If you have your own car, this is easy to do, although the bridge does have tolls. Although it is possible to rent a car in Copenhagen, it wouldn’t make sense to do so for a standalone day trip to Malmö.
How much does it cost to visit Malmö from Copenhagen?
The train from Copenhagen to Malmö costs 96Kr and the return costing 87Kr (it was actually 135SEK (Swedish Kroner) as it was bought in Malmö).
A bus ticket on Flixbus starts at €7 one way but can be significantly more if booking last minute.
Costs in Malmö are more expensive than in other parts of the world. I found prices to be slightly more expensive than in Copenhagen for food and drink but many of the activities and things to see in Malmö are free.
Is one day enough?
In my opinion, one day is enough to see all the major highlights in Malmö. It isn’t a big city and it’s easy to walk around everywhere in a day. However, if you have unlimited time, it is always nicer to stay somewhere for a little bit longer. By staying for a weekend you have the chance to sample more of the bars and restaurants in the city especially those around Lilla Torg.
What are the top sites in Malmö?
- Malmö town hall
- Old Town
- St Peters Church
- Lilla Torg
- The city library
- Malmö Castle
- Turning Torso
- Old Lighthouse
Malmö is a beautiful Swedish city right on the border with Denmark and makes an excellent option for a day trip from Copenhagen. It has a historic centre and modern Scandinavian architecture making it the perfect place to see all that Sweden has to offer on a quick visit.
Although a day trip to Malmö was an excellent way to spend the day, I can’t wait to go back and discover more in future!
Dan is an avid traveller from London. His first big adventure was in 2010 living in Malaysia for 3 months and becoming a divemaster. He has been on the road almost constantly since 2015 travelling to destinations that aren’t on the mainstream tourist trail.