Did you know the Swedish city, Malmo, is just 27 miles from Copenhagen in Denmark? After realising this during our trip to the Danish capital, we decided to hot-foot it over to Sweden and tick off TWO countries in one go!
It couldn’t have been easier to do. The journey by train is just 35 minutes. From our hotel (we were staying at the Scandic Palace Hotel) it was a short walk to Copenhagen central station and we simply bought our tickets from a machine which had an English language option. We narrowly caught the train to Malmo although I’m not sure the train operator was particularly pleased with me shoving the buggy in the closing doors in our bid to climb aboard.
If we had missed it, it wouldn’t have been a disaster as they depart every half an hour. The journey involves going over the five-mile long Öresund bridge – the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe.
My three-year-old daughter, Mrs T, is a big fan of trains and she enjoyed looking out at the sea, counting the number of planes flying over during our short journey into Sweden (it was four). Oh, and taking selfies too.
We had heard varying accounts about Malmo and didn’t have huge expectations of Sweden’s third largest city but after wandering just a few metres from Malmo train station, over quaint bridges and into the old town, we were suitably impressed.
In 2013, Malmo hosted the Eurovision Song Contest and since the bridge opened in 2000, it has attracted technology industries into the city and is also home to a university. We had no plans about what to see or do during our visit, we just wanted to soak up the atmosphere and have a wander in the short amount of time we had while my husband, yes, my husband, was keen to do some shopping.
Malmo’s array of shops was very good and as it is a small city, easy to walk around. My husband’s keenness centred around the realisation that two of his favourite brands were Swedish so in his head he was thinking ‘I can save some money’. I’m not sure the savings were worth the outlay but we bought some Christmas presents and ski gear in Peak Performance and I got him a shirt from the tailor shop, Eton. In both places we encountered the most friendly staff who were keen to help and chat. By the time we had done with shopping, our bellies were rumbling.
“I know a great place which I read about,” my husband informed me. Great. In fact Malmo has become quite a hit with foodies. The only problem was finding it. After two days of walking around Copenhagen in my warm but not particularly practical boots, the last thing I needed was going on a wild goose chase around Malmo trying to locate a restaurant. Being in the early stages of pregnancy probably didn’t help either.
There was much wandering down wrong roads, Paul frantically trying to find the eatery. Me, giving him unimpressed stares as I unenthusiastically pushed the buggy after him (our daughter being a little more patient). But we DID locate the restaurant in the end and it was worth finding – so all was forgiven. We enjoyed an excellent three-course lunch menu at Atmosfar which included the most delicious cod dish while the friendly service couldn’t be faulted, even making a special plate of food for our daughter.
To walk off the lunch we headed to a beautiful park,Slottsparken, just across the road which had a children’s play park nearby by too. We managed to glimpse Malmö Castle as we stood at the edge of the castle’s moat.
The castle was originally founded in 1434 but was destroyed and then rebuilt by King Christian III of Denmark in the 16th century. Yes, this area of Sweden used to belong to the Danes – hardly surprising I suppose due to its proximity. The castle is now a museum but has a colourful history with tales of political prisoners, beheadings and wild parties.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to explore castle. From the park we could also see some of the newer buildings, including Scandinavia’s tallest skyscraper, the futuristic Turning Torso.
On our way back to the old town we walked through the charming Lilla Torg area (small square). Filled with restaurants, which during the warmer months spill out onto the cobblestone pavements, the square which was built it 1592, still has buildings from the time which remain, just adding to its charm.
I particularly liked the lamp shade installation which was there at the time.
It was soon time to leave Malmo (although not before I managed to lose my husband). After he was found, we caught the train home, thoroughly glad we made the day excursion and wowed by the friendly people and charm of a city we had unexpectedly visited.
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