The Perfect Malmo Day Trip from Copenhagen

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by Olivia Ellis

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Planning a Malmo day trip is one of the best things to do if you’re spending a few days exploring the Danish capital. Copenhagen itself is a great destination in itself to visit for many reasons. From its incredible food scene to some of the friendliest people and world-renowned architecture, another benefit to visiting is its proximity to Sweden.

If you’re spending time in Copenhagen and would like to experience Sweden and Swedish culture as well, just a quick hop over the Oresund Strait will take you to the Swedish city of Malmo (Malmö in Swedish).

Getting from Copenhagen to Malmo

By Organised Tour

Although it’s quite a quick and easy journey to Malmo from Copenhagen, you may prefer to spend one day in Malmo with a group and on an organised tour.

This way you don’t have to worry about much of the logistical planning and guesswork and can visit Malmo with an experienced tour guide.

This full-day tour or this guided day tour are great options if you’re searching for an organised tour for your Malmo visit. It begins in Copenhagen before heading across the Oresund Strait to visit the town of Lund before getting to Malmo and finally heading back to Copenhagen.

Malmo Old Town
Malmo Old Town

By Train

Of all the ways to reach Malmo from Copenhagen, train transport is undoubtedly the most efficient and fastest mode of transport as well as one of the cheapest ways.

Trains leave from Copenhagen’s main train stations, including Copenhagen Central Station and Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport just about every 10-15 minutes.

The Copenhagen airport is one of the last stops in Denmark, making it quick and cost-efficient to reach the city center of Malmo in under 35 minutes if you decide to go directly from the airport to Sweden.

From the rest of Copenhagen, expect a journey of around 45 minutes to reach Malmo Central Station. If you decide to take the train to Malmo from Copenhagen, make sure you have your passport on you as there are random passport checks once entering Sweden from Denmark.

Although these checks aren’t as frequent and strict as they used to be, they do still happen from time to time and you don’t want to be without documentation in case you run into one. You can book trains in advance here.

Malmo Train Station
Malmo Train Station

By Bus

Although not the most time-efficient mode of transport between the two Scandinavian cities, you’ll save a few euros by taking the bus in comparison to the train.

The bus trip from Copenhagen to Malmo (both bus stops are conveniently located outside the train stations) takes around an hour and 15 minutes depending on the company and service you take.

If you’re travelling on a budget and would like to save a few euros to go towards other expenses (i.e food) on your trip, I’d recommend taking the bus. You can book buses in advance here.

Otherwise, if you’re not stretched for money and would like to maximise time on your day trip from Copenhagen to Malmo, I think taking the train is your ideal mode of transport. 

By Car

Due to high toll costs, I would recommend against driving from Copenhagen to Malmo unless you’re not travelling on a tight budget.

To reach southern Sweden from Denmark, you’ll need to cross the famous Oresund Strait on the Oresund Bridge, which happens to be the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. Unfortunately, the architectural gem of the Oresund Bridge comes at a toll cost of 455 DKK (roughly €60) in each direction.

If you’re travelling throughout Denmark and Sweden, it’s definitely worth it, especially since you’re strapped for options if you’re with a car.

The bridge is extraordinary and unique, and although you do see much of it while on a train or bus, travelling by car is a different experience and if you can afford it, is worth the toll costs. 

If you need to rent a car for your trip, you can browse which compares prices across many companies.

The Øresund Bridge
The Øresund Bridge

One Day in Malmo Itinerary

The city of Malmo is the third largest city in Sweden (after Stockholm and Gothenburg respectively), the largest in Skane county, and conveniently just 28 km (18 miles) away from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Unlike other parts of Sweden and Scandinavia, Malmo isn’t dense with tourists giving a prime opportunity to discover Sweden.

The city itself is a unique blend of gothic, medieval, and modern sustainable architecture and an exciting Copenhagen to Malmo day trip filled with warming foods and interesting views. 

Old Town (Gamla Staden)

An ideal point to start is in the city’s old town, otherwise known as “Gamla Staden”. In Malmo’s old town, you’ll find classic Scandinavian architecture with buildings painted in colourful yet neutral Scandinavian hues all surrounded on three sides by the city’s canal.

Walking down the cobblestoned streets lined with florals through Malmo’s old town is a great way to first witness the city and get an idea of how far back the history of the city goes. When wandering through the old town you’ll likely pass through Lilla Torg or “little square” as well as Stortorget or “big square”.

Lilla Torg is definitely its namesake, as it’s a much smaller square than Stortorget, but not without its fair share of cafes, independent shops, and the perfect spot to watch people.

Stortorget is the city’s main market square and is the oldest square in Malmo, dating back to 1540 with a statue of King Karl X Gustav right in the middle of the action.

When spending time in Stortorget, you’ll undoubtedly understand why it’s known as the center of the city, with the complex architecture of the Malmo town hall dating back to 1544 and Kockska Huset Palace, one of the finest preserved 16th-century buildings in Malmo.  

Not far from the square, you can also take in Apoteket Lejonet – a historic (still functioning) 19th-century pharmacy.

If you want to learn more about the history of the city, you can book a walking tour here.

Stortorget Town Square
Stortorget in Malmo

St. Peter’s Church

Just a few minutes walk away from Stortorget you’ll come across the 14th-century Gothic and main church of the city, St. Peter’s Church.

Late medieval frescoes and one of the largest altarpieces in the Nordic countries are both found inside of the church and are absolutely lovely as well as worth the visit if this is something that you find interesting.

The surrounding areas of St. Peter’s are also lush and vibrant especially in the warm months, giving a nice little break from the hustle and bustle of the city in nature.

St. Peters Church in Malmo
St. Peters Church in Malmo


After spending time in Malmo’s old town, I suggest having a walk along the Sodergatan, Malmo’s pedestrian-only shopping street.

The street of Sodergatan is lined with buildings dating back to the 16th century to modern Swedish architecture from today and a stroll along it is one of the best things to do in Malmo.

Although in most of Europe, the main shopping streets will have most of the same options and high street stores, in Malmo you’ll find a lot of independent Swedish shops and cafes, giving a great opportunity to stop for a Swedish fika.

Fika is the Swedish ritual of enjoying a hot coffee or drink with an accompanying sweet treat and just about any cafe on the Sodergatan will give you a joyful break. My recommendation is to go with either a cardamom bun or a chocolate ball!

Spoonery for Lunch

At this point of your day in Malmo, you’ll likely have built up an appetite. With such a short time in Sweden, I highly suggest making a point to try traditional Swedish food if you have an interest.

Ironically, Swedish meatballs are quite difficult to find in restaurants in Sweden but there are a few exceptions well worth the visit. My recommendation is to visit Spoonery, a cosy Swedish cafe/restaurant offering delicious plates including traditional Swedish meatballs and many others.

If you decide to make the stop, be prepared for a wait during peak hours as it’s a small location with high popularity.  

Malmo Castle

Your final stop that can’t be missed on a Malmo day trip from Copenhagen, is the Malmo Castle, or “Malmöhus Slott”.

The Malmo castle was built in 1537 and is magnificently the oldest preserved renaissance castle in all of Scandinavia. The inspiration for the castle desired by King Christian III came from Dutch-Italian fortress architecture and just looking at the building you will be able to see how that was manifested.

You’ll notice the moat surrounding the castle which was built to keep Danish invaders out and in today’s world it’s interesting to think about how much has changed over the years. Take the time also to stroll in the Slottsträdgården – a lush park below the castle – and take in the Slottsmöllan, a historic wooden windmill.

The Malmo Castle and its museum are a short and pleasant walk from Malmo Central Station.

Malmo Castle
Malmo Castle

Have More Time?

If you have more time to spend in the city, there are plenty more things to do in Malmo.

The coastal Skane region, of which Malmo is the capital, is an abundant region rich in history, culture, nature and more. The city of Malmo itself also has many other things to do; from museums to outdoor parks like Kungsparken. 

The city of Lund is an affordable and quick 15-minute train ride away from Malmo and has a completely different atmosphere in contrast to the industrial city of Malmo. Lund is one of the oldest towns in Sweden and walking through the quaint university town makes you feel like you’re in the living history of 14th-century Sweden.

If visiting Lund, I recommend heading to the “Kulturen” museum. The museum is located in the center of the city and here you’ll experience an outdoor museum featuring replica buildings and environments from medieval to 20th century Sweden. 

Lund, Sweden
Lund, Sweden

I also opted out of adding multiple museums to this Malmo itinerary as it’s just for one day and museums tend to take up a big chunk of time. Nonetheless, Malmo is full of all different kinds of museums and if you’re particularly interested in visiting a museum during one day in Malmo or if you’re staying longer than a day, there are many museums that are worth your time.

For example, the Modern Museum of Malmo is one of the most well-known and respected modern art museums in Europe. Located in the center of Malmo, the Modern Museum is a great option for both lovers of modern art as well as those visiting the city and hoping to get a quiet moment of inspiration in one of Sweden’s largest cities.

And if you’re visiting Malmo and searching for a truly unique museum to visit, you’re in the right place. Malmo is home to the top-rated Disgusting Food Museum located in the center of the city. You can book tickets here.

Likely one of the strangest museums you’ll ever visit, the Disgusting Food Museum is a collection and exhibit of “80 of the world’s most disgusting foods”. Your ideas of what is considered gross will be tested as you learn that foods in one culture may be a delicacy in another.

Where to Stay in Copenhagen

Ascot Hotel – Located in the center of Copenhagen, this hotel makes for an excellent base for exploring the city and also as a base for day trips from the Danish capital. Situated in a 19th-century building, this is a great place to stay if you’re looking for something a bit more high-end in the city.

The Square – This trendy hotel is a great option for both exploring Copenhagen and as a base for your excursion to Malmo. Located a stone’s throw from Tivoli Gardens, they have a number of cool, clean, and comfortable rooms available and a friendly staff that will help you with great recommendations throughout the city.

Copenhagen Downtown Hostel – Those trying to save some cash in this notoriously expensive city will love this hostel. They have a number of both dorm and private rooms available, excellent common spaces, 24-hour reception, and an affordable (for Denmark, at least) bar on site!

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Copenhagen hotels!

Colourful buildings on Copenhagen's harbour
Colourful buildings on Copenhagen’s harbour

While just having the time to see Malmo in one day may seem limited, it’s the perfect day away from nearby Copenhagen. From exploring medieval Sweden to exploring the modern design of the city, charming and industrious Malmo deserves a spot on your Scandinavian travel radar.

Are you planning a day trip to Malmo from Copenhagen? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.


  1. Thank you for this great guide! We are traveling to Sweden/Denmark at the end of March for about a week and was wondering how to set up our itinerary. We are taking the SJ from Stockholm to Copenhagen but wondered if it made more sense to take an early train to Malmo, stay the night and leave early next morning to Copenhagen since it’s such a short train ride over. Alternately, considered going straight to Copenhagen then taking the train to Malmo just for the day and coming back that evening/night. What would you suggest?

    • Hi Miriam – happy you found this helpful! I think both of your options are feasible so one isn’t necessarily better than the other. I think just choose the one that suits you most 🙂


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