The majority of cruise passengers who embark or disembark in Copenhagen (København) are unaware of the city of Malmö located a few miles across the Øresund, which has for the past decade been connected by a combination bridge-tunnel. If are spending some time in Copenhagen either before or after a Baltic Sea or Norwegian fjord cruise, it is worth a few hours of your time visit Malmö.
- Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city with a metro area population of more than 650,000
- The city dates back to the year 1275, and has many examples of Gothic architecture as well as Art Nouveau
- There are extensive and beautiful parks and gardens adjacent to the city center that offer tranquil settings for long walks or bicycle rides
- There are more than 250 miles of bicycle paths in Malmö, making this one of the world’s friendliest bicycle oriented cities
- This is a city of delightful cafes, most serving outdoors during the summer months, specializing in tempting seafood dishes
It is easy to reach Malmö from the main Copenhagen railway station, or from the Østerport Station just north of the city center. The sleek Øresundtåg operates on a schedule of approximately every 20 minutes and the journey takes 30 minutes, crossing on the spectacular Øresund bridge after first crossing the part of the strait via a tunnel just past the Copenhagen airport.
The city has a very rich history, relating it both to Denmark and Sweden.
- It was founded as a port for the Danish Archbishop of Lund in 1275
- In the 15th century, it was a major Hanseatic marketplace and major herring fishing port
- The Citadel was built in 1434, and replaced in the 1530’s by the one seen today
- By the 16th century it was the first Scandinavian city to totally convert to the Lutheran faith
- In 1658, Malmö became a part of Sweden, but it was attacked unsuccessfully by Denmark in 1677
- In 1840, one of the largest shipyards in Scandinavia was opened
- In 2005, the tallest building in Scandinavia was built along the waterfront
Today Malmö is a thriving manufacturing center, but its city center is still filled with many landmark buildings and squares that date back to its early history.
- The Malmö Town Hall located on the Stortoget was built in Gothic style in 1546
- Sankt Petri Church was built in the 14th century
- Gustav Adolfs Torg is a vibrant and beautiful town square.
- The Slottsparken just west of the city center surrounds an old royal fortress
- The Western Harbor boardwalk stretches along the Øresund and is a popular summer venue for the city’s young people
- The Turning Torso is not only the tallest building in Scandinavia, but its twisted design gives it a very strange, yet futuristic shape
- Lund University – One of the oldest universities in Europe is only 15 minutes by train from Malmö station, and Lund is a charming town with much traditional character
If you are staying over in Copenhagen either before or after your cruise, you might check out the major hotels in Malmö, as they offer four-star luxury at prices that are on average 40 percent those of Copenhagen. One of the best known is Marriott’s Renaissance. With the Øresundtåg, you can ride into central Copenhagen and still be able to explore all of that great city’s major venues, especially Tivoli Gardens in the evening.
By staying in Malmö you have the advantage of lower cost, comfort, good restaurants and a quieter atmosphere. And the distance from the Copenhagen Airport is no greater than from the city center of Copenhagen. But you are farther from Langeline where the cruise ships dock, but still easily accessible by taxi.
For more information about cruising the Baltic Sea, please check out my popular traveler’s companion book A Travel Companion for Cruising the Baltic Sea.
Submitted by, Dr. Lew Deitch www.doctorlew.com