When I visited Copenhagen, I was quite surprised at how close neighbouring Sweden was. You can actually spot the other side of the border across the Øresund strait!
Since I had some time to spare, I decided to cross the border and tick one more country off my list by visiting the Swedish city of Malmö. I didn't have any expectations, so it turned out to be a very interesting day trip!
The easiest way to go from Copenhagen to Malmö is by train, crossing the spectacular 8km long Øresund Bridge. The ride takes about half an hour and trains depart every few minutes from Copenhagen Central Station, which makes it a very convenient method of transport.
Even though both countries belong to the European Union, don’t forger to bring your passport or ID with you. The border police asked for mine inside the train and controls have increased recently, since most refugees reach Sweden by crossing from Copenhagen.
The train will leave you in Malmö Central Station, located just a few minutes walking from all the main tourist attractions.
A good way to start exploring the city is turning right following Norra Vallgatan street towards Malmö Castle.
The castle is a fortress from the 15th century by the king of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, countries that at that time were a unified kingdom. Today, the castle is part of the Malmö Museer, a collection of museums where you can visit from the oldest Renaissance castle in the region to exhibitions of history, technology and even an aquarium.
Tickets have a price of only SEK 40 for adults (approx. €4). They offer 50% discounts for students, and visitors under 19 years of age can visit free of charge.
Not too far from Malmö Castle, you can spot one of the symbols of the city, the Turning Torso.
This neo-futurist skyscraper, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is the tallest building in Scandinavia, reaching the 190 meters.
The city of Malmö is also famous for its parks. With a total of 16 parks, Malmö is one of the greenest cities in Scandinavia. Three of the main parks are located in the city centre and they are the perfect place for a relaxing stroll.
If you're coming from the Castle, you can't miss Slottsparken with its beautiful Slottsmöllan: the Castle Mill.
Back to the city centre, you will be able to enjoy some very well preserved examples of Swedish architecture.
One of the most charming squares is Lilla Torg. Back in the 16th century, this was the market square, and you can find multiple buildings dating from these times. The buildings around the square create an enclosed courtyard that is extremely lively, full of outdoor cafes and restaurants for all tastes (and budgets!).
Just around the corner, you will reach the Stortorget, a historic market square also from the 16th century. With over 2500 square meters, it is the largest and also the oldest square in the city.
Right in the middle, you can find the equestrian statue of King Karl X Gustav, famous for conquering and uniting some of the former Danish provinces to the Swedish Empire.
The most remarkable building is the Malmö Rådhus or town hall. It was finished in 1547 when Malmö was one of the largest and most important cities in Scandinavia.
Just behind Stortorget is Sankt Petri Church, a Gothic construction of the 14th century and the oldest building in Malmö.
The interior has a beautiful pulpit made in stone, and even though the original mural paintings on the walls were lost over the years, one of the chapels still has very rich decorations from the 16th century.
The city of Malmö might not be the most spectacular place that you can visit in Scandinavia, especially when compared to Copenhagen or Stockholm, but personally, it was a pleasant surprise.
The old town, with its cobbled streets and narrow alleys, is extremely charming and picturesque. It is also very interesting to see how they've managed to integrate the modern architecture while respecting the heritage and green areas that characterise Malmö.
If you have some time to spare during your trip to Copenhagen, you should definitely consider visiting this neighbouring city even if just for a few hours!
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