A Local Guide to Malmö, Sweden

I've lived in Sweden's third largest city of Malmö for over fourteen years. And the truth is, not only do I love it, but I'm also super proud of this town too. It's laid-back, buzzing with creativity and you can cycle everywhere in under 30 minutes (beach, parks, cafés, bars, musuems, art galleries, you name it!). So many fabulous places have popped up since my last guide to hip places to eat, drink and shop in Malmö that I thought it was about time for a new guide. So I put on my thinking cap, sourced a wonderful sponsor (thank you Malmö Turism) and chatted to all my Malmö friends to bring you a true, bang up to date local's guide to 24 hours in Malmö!

Where to stay
Oh Boy Hotel - located in Västra hamnen (Western harbour), Oh Boy is a short hop to the swimming bridges,10 minutes walk to the central station and comes with two bicycles (and a bicycle taxi service)!

It also comes with a skateboard (handy when you live opposite the skateboard park

Other places to stay:
Mäster Johans
Story Hotel Studio

(also see 20 instagrammable places to stay in Sweden) 

Great places for an aperitif
Gustavino Wine Bar - on the corner of Stortorget ('the large square')in a beautiful old building - these guys do the best Aperol Spritz in town (and of course, many decent wines!)! 

Lilla Torg (outdoor heated area lined with bars in the 'little square')
Möllevångstorget ( drinks on me if you're able to pronounce this outdoor heated area in the area of Möllevång)

Malmö Opera House
Västra Hamnen, Sundspromenaden - grab a bottle from Systembolaget (the off license) and enjoy a cool one looking out over the Öresund at sunset. In the summer you might even be treated to salsa, live music and other events as part of Malmö Sommarscene (check out what's happening this summer here).

Where to eat

A relaxed local hang-out near St Knuts torg packed with vintage finds. Enjoy organic wine, great beer and yummy food - inside or out.

Riket - a relaxed neighbourhood hangout with great food just off beautiful Davidhallstorg.

Bastard - this place always has a great atmosphere - start with a cocktail! Need to book in advance.
Saltimporten (where the media folk hang out on weekdays lunchtime)

First thing to do when you wake-up

Morning Dip
Nothing nurses a hang-over and gets you ready for the day better than a 'morgondopp'! Do as the locals do, don a dressing gown, walk / cycle down to the nearest swimming place and brace yourself!

Followed by breakfast or a long old brunch....

Breakfast / brunch hangouts

The Raw Food House 

The Raw Food House is on a street that's also great for antiques and vintage finds and right next door is Malört tattoo, which my friend (and fellow local) Sofie says uses "only vegan inks, William Morris wallpaper, and a small selection of naughty books for sale." She does actually have a tattoo from this place and it's beautiful (and I'm not even really into tattoos) - if you're tempted, you'll need to book well in advance! 

Other Brunch places:
Lotta Love Superfoodbar
Jord Malmö 

Although it's tempting to sit around eating and drinking all day, soaking up the atmosphere - there are some activities that should definitely not be missed:

Kalbadhus - my friends visiting from England insist on calling this place the 'naked sauna' which amuses my Swedish husband no end. Located on the end of a pier off Ribbersborg, this place is well worth a visit, if only just for the relaxed cafe / restaurant. I'd totally recommend going for a sauna and cold bath too!

Matkaravan food tour - foodies will love this guided food tour of Malmö (book in advance!).

Boating around the canal - pack a picnic and hire your own motorboat to putter around Malmö's canals - it's a great way to see the city centre!

Folketspark - take a stroll around the boho 'People's Park' (especially if you're with children as it's a bit of a kids paradise). Don't miss Far i Hatten for wood-fired pizzas in the little old cottage and beer garden! 

Museums: I love Moderna Museet & Konsthallen for modern art (they both have great gift shops  too!) and Malmöhus for a spot of history. My kids love Tekniska & Sjöfartens hus  (Science and maritime museum) it's totally interactive and you can leap in and out of a submarine, cars etc and do other science-y stuff.

If you really want to enjoy Malmö like a local it's essential to enjoy a 'fika' (coffee break with something sweet) every half hour or so. In the summer I like cycling through the many parks and stopping at Slottsträdgårdens Cafe or enjoying a take-away coffee on a blanket in the park.

Other great places to fika
Söderberg & Sara on St knuts Torg is a wonderfully hipster café selling stone baked bread and the most divine cinnamon buns.

If you'd like combine your fika with shopping (err, hello!) you're in for a treat...

Great places in Malmö to Shop for Clothes and Interior

AB Småland - a café and eco butique rolled into one. Bonus: you can even buy the furniture you sit on to eat.

Grandpa Store - conveniently (or should I say dangerously?!) placed next door to AB Småland on the main walking street- this is a great little shop for clothes, interior items and some of Sweden's coolest bags, shoes etc.

Miloii - great for things for the home and clothes! I once featured the owner's home here (as an indication of her great taste!).

Geijersgatan 53 - fairly new on the scene, this wonderful café and shop is 15 minutes cycle from the town centre (just along the beach) and well worth a visit.

Meloa - always worth nipping into this little shop for clothes, jewellery, bags etc!

 Hathyllan - and just next door is this fab hat shop!

8 Great Shops in Malmö for Design:
One of my fortes as you can imagine! I'm so grateful for all of these wonderful interior design shops - do not miss a single one of them if you'd like to pick something up for your home!

Olsson & Gerthel

Malmö Modern
Form Design Centre
Design Torget
En Familj  

And while in shopping mode, here are:

5 fab things made by local designers to pick up on your spree:

1.  Torso Chair by Lisa Hilland

2. Big darling and Little Darling lamps by Swedish Ninja

 3. Dressed in Clay candlestick by Kajsa Willner and Straight Ceramic pots by Pernilla Norrman

4. Modern art by Maria Leinonen

5. Beyond Local Collection by Anna Gudmundsdottir

And last but no means least, I never leave town without stopping to say hi to Sophie and her Cocker Spaniel Farfar on my way home to pick up some fresh flowers...


I think that might be it. I've no doubt left out a ton of amazing places - feel free to add your favourite Malmö haunts in the comment section below or on instagram using the hash tag #makeitmalmo.


PS You can also visit Malmö Town for more tips!

All photography ©Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home unless specified.

This post was made possible thanks to Malmö Turism, who kindly supported my endeavour with a hotel and expenses. All words and opinions are absolutely my own (and that of other locals!).

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7 Design Things To Do in Helsikini + Habitare

A few weeks back (OK slightly more than that, this post is long overdue *red face*!) I was invited to Helsinki to attend the interior, design and furniture fair Habitare. I totally fell in love with the Finnish capital all over again. It really is one of my absolute favorite European cities (and I'm not just saying that because I have a penchant for all things Scandinavian - honest!). If you're into design and looking for a weekend break - this is your bag. For those of you further afield, make a week or two of it and visit the Finnish archipelagos as well as the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort (it's on my wishlist!).

Helsinki Marketing - photo by Jussi Hellsten

Our chaperone was Annika Suomi, who knew just about everything there is to know about the best design spots in Helsinki! Over the space of three days, bloggers Holly Becker, Mette Jakobsen, Katariina Kalda, Stefan Nilsson and I enjoyed a design-packed schedule which included supper out on the island of Lonna,  holding a panel discussion at the Habitare fair and a tour of some of the most incredible stores, museums and galleries around the city (oh and we ate some delicious cuisine too!!). It was a whirlwind tour of some of the best design spots in town. If you're visiting any time soon, here are my tips:

7 Things to Do in Helsinki for design lovers

1. Take a tour of the Helsinki Design District and shop for books, design and craft at independent concept stores and galleries like Lokal and TRE!

Image courtesy of Lokal.
2. Take a guided tour of Alvar Aalto's House

2. Enjoy a morning at the Design Museum

Image by: Patrik Lindell/Vandalorum

3. Relax in a sauna at Löyly (beating yourself with branches optional!).

Helsinki Marketing by Pekka Keränen

5. Wile away a few hours at Iittala & Arabia Design Centre (check out this post by Holly Becker over at Decor8 to feel inspired).

Photo by Holly Becker / Decor8

6. Visit the island of Lonna for lunch.

Image - Salla Kantokorpi

7. Eat supper at Grön

Image courtesy of Grön

Where to stay: I loved my stay at Hotel Haven (I have to say, I kind of lucked out with this one!). And sister residence Hotel Fabian is also very central.

For more tips, the book Helsinki: People make the City offers some great advice from the locals and has been my bible both times I've visited (it captures the atmosphere of the city beautifully!).

Habitare design and furniture fair

While we were there, we also spent a few days at Habitare design and furniture fair. Suffice to say, it was hands down the prettiest fair I've ever attended (and I've been to a few!). It helps of course, that the Finns have an innate sense of style and this shone through across the stands! Here is my round-up of 2017 highlights.

1. To celebrate 50 years in the industry, Finnish interior design magazine Avotakka  collaborated with interior designer Maija Rasila (take a tour of her home here) to create a beautiful stand showcasing some of Finland's finest design pieces!

2. Scandinavian design is often about keeping things minimal and working with subtle colour changes. Pentik demonstrated this beautifully on their stand which was decorated in subtle shades of grey and dusty pink with the help of their ceramics.

3. A pile of design books including works by the famous architect Alvar Aalto (who's home we visited!) and Finnish design brand Artek were part of the Asun magazine stand. 

4. I kind of wanted to curl up on the Anno stand and get cosy among all their sumptuous textiles (and enjoy a fika at this table too!).

5. Toimittajien Tusina (The association of interiors journalists) selected their favourite 12 Finnish interior design products 2017 - which were showcased on this beautiful stand near the entrance.  

6. Having worked on a collaboration with Be&Liv in my own home earlier this spring I was so happy to finally meet the team in person and check out some of their new products - like the Peony Lamp.

8. And something for the children - the multi-purpose Nuppu sustainable ceramic children's tableware collection by Maija Puoskari caught my eye - in fact, I awarded it my design choice from the fair! Isn't it beautiful?

Kittos Annika and the Habitare team for inviting me to visit. I hope this post has inspired you to visit Finland some day soon too!

If you'd like to add any tips of great things to see and do in this wonderful city please add them to the comment section below!

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