Is it worth taking a day trip to Malmo from Copenhagen?
I’d rather begin with the whole story of how we got to Copenhagen in the first place.
There are extremely cheap flights between Debrecen (Hungary) and Malmo (Sweden) with WizzAir (the cheapest ticket I found was 17 euro both ways!) and as Debrecen is so close to my hometown Oradea, it was just a matter of asking a friend nicely to give us a ride across the border. Once landed in Malmo, we directly hopped in a shuttle bus (Neptunbus, to be more exactly, with tickets bought in advance on the internet) right from the airport that dropped us at the Central Station in Copenhagen. We did get to see some nice views of and from the Oresund Bridge and spotted the famous Turning Torso in Malmo somewhere in the distance, but other than that we didn’t get the chance to see much of this Swedish town.
While researching the things to do in Copenhagen, this question kept popping up on almost every blog post and travel forum from other travelers: “is it worth taking a day trip to Malmo from Copenhagen?”. The answers weren’t unanimous at all. So, given the fact that we were staying only a few days in Copenhagen, which had so much to offer that we just couldn’t even cover in such a short time, we decided to offer Malmo only our last day, considering that we had to spend the night there anyway to arrive early next morning at the airport.
This time we took the train from Copenhagen to Malmo (note that it’s not a direct train, we had to change somewhere along the way – or at least that was the case for that day) instead of the bus, so we didn’t get to enjoy the Oresund Bridge views again. We arrived in Malmo sometime after noon and checked in at Comfort Hotel, which was so conveniently located close to the train and bus stations and 5 min walk away from the historic center.
The excitement wore off in about 30 mins, after seeing pretty much all that was to see of the cute center. I loved the interior design and decorations shops and the crowd and atmosphere in Lilla Torg, a square filled with restaurants and terraces and people soaking up the warm sun, but other than that we didn’t know where else to go or do. We pretty much checked everything we had on the list.
So we just wandered aimlessly farther away from the center, a wandering that got us to a lovely park where people were fully taking advantage of the wonderful day, families playing with their kids, walking their dogs, groups of teenagers playing the guitar in the grass, couples jogging or pedal boating on the rivers. I later found out this was King’s Park (Kungsparken) and quite a big deal, with lots of events taking place here during summer. We also stopped at Slottsträdgårdens (yes, had to copy paste that :D) a lovely outdoors restaurant, where we silenced our moaning stomachs with huge, delicious salads.
By the time we left the park the sun was already setting down, so we headed back to the center to catch there the last rays of sunlight. We took a different route, though, and we bumped into even more interesting settings. New contemporary architecture and street art, unusual interventions on historic buildings, funky restaurants and bars, beautiful alleyways in the center that we missed previously, ending it up with the same crowded Lilla Torg.
So, was it worth the day trip to Malmo after all? My answer would be yes.
But. It depends on how much you’re staying in Copenhagen. If you’re there for less than 5 or 6 days, I wouldn’t recommend going to Malmo. You see, I liked it and I’m sure it has much more to offer than I got to discover, but it didn’t even come close to what Copenhagen showed me. Malmo gave me the impression of a town that is only now slowly growing and evolving (and after reading a bit about it’s history, I realized I wasn’t very far in my assumptions) and trying to define it’s unique “personality” after rather low times or stagnation. Like a troubled teenager that’s slowly maturing into adulthood.
I’m completely against setting foot in a new city for a few seconds for the simple reason to check another country off the bucket list, which I’ve seen many people recommending doing in regards to Malmo. You can’t judge a country by a sole city and you can’t even get a hold of how that particular city is in such a short time. But if you’ve got the time, do give Malmo a chance to unravel itself in front of you. The experience will be interesting nonetheless!