While some people dread the moody, cold and rainy autumn weather, I personally love the days when the end of summer approaches and fresh air fills the streets. Living in a country where it’s hot all year long and seasons basically don’t exist, I miss European autumns. Like a lot. So when I got the chance to visit southern Sweden beginning of October, I wasn’t only excited about exploring beautiful Malmö but I was hoping for some autumn-like days too.
Malmö wasn’t a stranger to me. I grew up at the German Baltic Sea and as kids, we were joking that we could see its city lights on a clear day. My hometown Rostock is situated on one side and Malmö on the other side of the Baltic Sea. During my childhood, we would travel to Sweden almost every summer and even though I had visited Malmö many times, I honestly couldn’t remember much about it anymore.
Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and once upon a time, it might have been a city that didn’t get much attention from tourists. But this has changed and it has become a popular destination for weekend getaways and family vacations. With more than 150 nationalities calling Malmö their home, it is wonderfully urban, wordly and cultured. The mix of Swedish aesthetics and international influences combined with its Nordic coolness makes Malmö a great place for a short city trip. Busy Middle Eastern markets and cozy Italian-style coffee joints happen right next to sweet-smelling Swedish bakeries and hip eateries. The Scandinavian coastline and historic old town counter coexist with modern skyscrapers and an impressive collection of galleries, boutiques, and shops.
It’s a city of contrasts but that’s what it makes so fun to visit. I spent 2 night and 3 days in Malmö at the gorgeous Hotel Master Johan. Most of the time I explored Malmö by foot but I equally loved using the self-serve bikes of Malmö by Bike to get around the town more quickly. A lot of the places I ate and drank at offer vegan options but all of them always offer vegetarian options. For more travel and food inspiration also have a look at @Malmotown’s Instagram account and website.
Malmö is full of picturesque alleys and streets but the Jacob Nilsgatan is particularly beautiful. It’s located in the city center and just a short walk away from the train station and old town.
Right next to the Jacob Nilsgatan begins the gorgeous and lush city park Slottsträdgarden (Castle Garden). Do yourself a favor and pack a freshly baked cinnamon roll with some coffee and have a little picnic next to the channel or the public green space provided by Human Gardening.
Davidshall is probably my favorite neighborhood in Malmö. The combination of delicious coffee shops, trendy boutiques and gorgeous architecture stole my heart on the first day. Some stores are a little hidden, others you can find on its main street but overall it’s a great place to do some strolling and shopping.
What Davidshall is for shopping, St. Knuts is for eating and drinking. Though you also find some gorgeous stores here too, I especially liked this neighborhood for all its cozy coffee shops, bakeries, and eateries. I could have easily spent all three days in St. Knuts, eating my way around because the options are endless and all so delicious.
If you are looking for a little change in (architectural) scenery, head over to Malmö’s canals and western harbor. This part of Malmö is in total contrast to its medieval old town but equally impressive. The weather and my broken umbrella didn’t really allow me to explore much of the beach-side but I heard it’s beautiful, especially in summer.
Eat & Drink
There are two things I don’t lose much time on when I land in Sweden. First, I always have an oatmilk (Oatly) cappuccino the second after I have checked in to my hotel or Airbnb. Followed by a freshly baked cinnamon, cardamom or saffron bun. Though I feel like there hasn’t ever been an oatmilk cappuccino I didn’t like at all, there only have been a few I really loved and will tell my children about one day. One of those I drank at Solde Kaffeebar, an Italian-style coffee shop that was recommended to me by a few people. Solde only sources coffee that is traceable to the farmer and they roast their beans in-house, too.
One of those places where you instantly feel at home, Jord is a cute and light-filled cafe and boutique that serves amazing breakfast and pastries. I tried the millet porridge which did not taste like your average oatmeal but had a beautiful texture and was topped with delicious berries, seeds and figs. Jord also hosts a little shop section which is filled with gorgeous items, most of them from local designers and artists.
If you don’t find a table or seat at Uggla, there are two other cafes just a stone throw away. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to visit them but heard only good things about their quality of coffee and food: Cafe No. 6 (Mäster Henriksgatan 6, 211 58 Malmö) and Söderberg & Sara (Mäster Danielsgatan 3, 211 58 Malmö).