Our few days in Malmö provided a lovely smaller-town respite between Copenhagen and Stockholm. Malmö, the third-largest city in Sweden, is the capital of Skåne, the country's southernmost county. In addition to it being an obvious pass-through if training between Copenhagen and Stockholm, Malmö and Skåne showed up several times in the Martin Beck crime series I'm so fond of, so I figured I just had to see the place. Literary pilgrimage just a bit. ;)
Parts of it were really lovely (parts may have been those where (fictional) crimes were set), everyone was incredibly friendly, and we had some delicious food and drink. I'm not saying you need to make a special effort to visit Malmö, but if you're there, here are some recommended to-dos.
1. The Knotted Gun
Officially entitled Non Violence, this sculpture by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd was put up in 1985. He created it after John Lennon's murder, as a tribute to Lennon's peace work and as a way to process his own grief about the assassination (Reuterswärd was a friend of both Lennon and Yoko Ono). There are several replicas around the world, including at the UN in New York and in Berlin. Though the piece is smaller than I expected, it is very powerful, especially for an American who desperately wishes the US would do something meaningful to address the gun violence raging across the country.
2. Malmö Saluhall
This saluhall, or food hall, has both fresh produce/meat/cheese/fish/etc and stalls at which you can order prepared food. It has a great selection! Tom went to Pink Head Noodle Bar and got a bowl of hand-pulled wheat noodles with pork, bean sprouts, peanuts, and such, while I went next door to Papi and chose the pasta with pork cheek and gremolata. Both were really delicious. On our way out of town, Tom got a pulled pork sandwich and a falafel salad for us to take on the train. Again, both were quite good. And the coffee was excellent.
3. The Turning Torso
This residential skyscraper, and the tallest building in Scandinavia, was designed by famed architect Santiago Calatrava. It was based on a sculpture he'd done called the Twisting Torso. Construction on the building, which sits on the Öresund Strait finished in 2005, and on certain days, the public can visit an observation deck on an upper floor. It's not mind-blowing, but again, if you're in the area, why not see a Calatrava work.
4. Lilla Torg
Lilla torg, or small square, is a popular plaza in the old part of central Malmö. It seems like a lovely spot to sit and enjoy cocktails as evening rolls in. We ate elsewhere both nights but enjoyed the architecture around the square as well as the people watching. (Have I mentioned my love of manhole covers?)
5. MJs hotel and bar & MJs restaurant
Just steps from Lilla torg, MJs is a wonderfully-located, welcoming, comfortable hotel with a great bar and restaurant and spacious rooms (if ours was an indicator of the usual). We couldn't have enjoyed our meal at MJs more nor the drinks and conversation at the bar with Erik. I told him I hated gin, and next thing I knew I was tip-toeing my way through a gin flight and then a Bee's Knees which is an exceptional cocktail (because the gin taste was hidden, in my opinion). The service throughout the place is impeccable.
5. Coffee and quiche at Eida
Maybe two blocks from MJs is Eida, a coffeeshop that also offers quiche, baked goods, and a salad bar. We loved it because it seemed like a real locals spot and also the coffee was wonderful. Additionally, the staff was super friendly, and my quiche was scrumptious.
6. Gamla Kyrkogården
In this park is an old, beautifully tended cemetery. It hails from the early 1820s and has been designated of cultural importance. The tree canopies, flowers, and sculptures around the lovingly kept graves make for a very peaceful, thought-provoking walk.
7. Final bits: Raoul Wallenberg park, Bastard, the Maxi, just walk and ride.
Restaurant Bastard gets rave reviews, and it's worth a visit. Not amazing, but a fun vibe, really cool wine list, and centrally located. (It's two steps from MJs.) There is also a small park dedicated to Raoul Wallenberg which is nice to see, and if you're hankering for a Super Walmart sort of place, complete with Post, gardening supplies, food and so forth, head to the Maxi. It's very near the Turning Torso. A good place for inexpensive travel essentials, and Tom also managed to find an excellent selection of Gardena garden products and we are heading home with a new nozzle for our hose. LOL.
Lastly, walk. And ride a bike if you'd rather or want some variety. Donkey Republic is a great bike rental service with an easy-to-use app, and we made great use of their bikes in both Copenhagen and Malmö. You never know what wonderful view is waiting for you to see it!