What you need to know about Malmo
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.
- The currency of Sweden is called the Swedish krona.The krona has been the currency of Sweden since 1873. Both the ISO code “SEK” and currency sign “kr” are in common use; the former precedes or follows the value, the latter usually follows it but, especially in the past, it sometimes preceded the value. In English, the currency is sometimes referred to as the Swedish crown, as krona literally means crown in Swedish. The Swedish krona was the 11th most traded currency in the world by value in April 2013.
One krona is subdivided into 100 öre. However, all öre coins have been discontinued as of 30 September 2010. Goods can still be priced in öre, but all sums are rounded to the nearest krona when paying with cash.
- Banks are generally open Mon-Fri 10:00-15:00. Additional opening hours apply in the afternoon at least once a week. All banks are closed on public holidays.
Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted in shops, restaurants, hotels and taxis. Restrictions may apply to American Express and Diners.
Travellers’ cheques are generally accepted as payment throughout Sweden. Change will be given in Swedish kronor. Please note that a nominal fee is charged when using the cheques as payment.
Malmo has a four season climate whose temperature is regulated by the ocean. Summers in Malmo are cool in rainy, cloudy weather, but reach hot temperatures in the 70´s-80´s (22-29C) during the long sunny days of July and August. Days in Malmo during the summer are very long due to the latitude of the city, with first light appearing around 3 and darkness falling before 11 pm (23), with light always visible in the northern skies. Coming in the summer can be great for this reason, staying out late and enjoying the “‘midnight” sun is a rare treat for most visitors.
Malmo is actually an all year round destination. However, summer is the high season as most people prefer the long daylight hours. If you are up for coming in the winter, make it a point to come during the ” Winterland” holiday in January, right after New Year’s, when the city is at its most beautiful.
Swedish is the official language of Sweden. The vast majority of Swedes also speak English, and generally to a very high level. Many Swedish multinational organisations have English as their corporate language, and a large number of university degree programmes and courses are taught in English. Sweden is home to five official national minority languages, and countless other languages are spoken by Sweden’s diverse population. The largest, after Swedish, are Finnish, Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, Kurdish, Spanish, German and Farsi.
Health and security
- These are usually open weekdays from 08.00-17.00 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Your first contact should be with a general practitioner (GP) reception or the local health centre. There are both private and public general practitioner surgeries/offices. To get information about the general practitioners in your area, please call the telephone hotline 1177.
For urgent medical care on weekends or after clinic hours, you need to visit the hospital. In Malmö, the Malmö University Hospital (MAS) is one of Sweden’s leading university hospitals and is located near Södervärn in Malmö.
Prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine are only available at local state-run pharmacies (Apoteket). These are open during normal shopping hours. The number in Sweden for emergencies is 112.
- Considering Malmö being one of the smaller cities compared to other Swedish cities. Malmö is a very safe town. However, on the outskirts of Malmö, it might be a bit more “dangerous”. If you’re not selling drugs and illegally selling alcohol to minors, you should be fine. The police force in Malmö is very good so there should be no reason to call Malmö a dangerous city.
We should all be careful in these times, what people don’t realize the dangers surrounding us, whether it’s someone nearly being run over or someone being shot. We need to start breaking the bubble around us and start seeing the clearer picture that not everyone is completely always safe.
Anything can happen anywhere around the world, and if you’re not prepared then there will be a consequence.
- Malmö (along with Stockholm and Lund) are the cities in Sweden where cheating with prices seem worst when it comes to taxi rides. Be aware of this and do not hop into just any taxi you see at the Central station rank or elsewhere. Look for taxis with prints on the side of the cars and not just a taxi light on the roof.
- Malmo is a city of parks and right in those parks are hungry birds of all sizes. If you have a bird, you’re better off not visiting these places. Those creatures are as persistant as your average vacuum cleaner salesman. They’ll hound you till you give them what they want.
- Visit the magnificent Oresund Bridge lies a 15-minute drive from Malmö city center. Decades in the planning, and famous throughout the world since opening in 1999, the bridge has gained further infamy as the central focus of the smash hit Danish/Swedish TV drama “The Bridge.” Those familiar with the series will instantly recognise the magnificent structure that now links Sweden to Denmark, and in turn, the entire European continent. The bridge is multi-faceted – a road, a railway, and a tunnel.
- A must-see for any visitor, Malmöhus Castle houses several of Malmö’s major museums within its historic walls including Malmö Museum of Art, the City Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Tropicarium. Permanent exhibitions here feature topics such as natural history, ocean voyages, and technology, and the museum hosts several temporary exhibitions each year. The castle itself was originally a minor citadel dating from 1434. Denmark’s currency was coined here in the Middle Ages, and during the 19th century, the castle served as a prison. Today, the restored Malmöhus Castle transports visitors back to the 16th century.