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Discover southern Sweden: Five of the best day trips from Malmö

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Discover southern Sweden: Five of the best day trips from Malmö
You won't run out of things to do on the island of Ven. Photo: Emma-Sofia Olsson/SvD/TT

Whether you're in the mood for seafood, leisurely walks, history or shopping – an extensive public transport network makes almost any town in southern Sweden easily accessible from Malmö.



Ven is a small island in the Öresund strait between Sweden and Denmark, with fewer than 400 permanent residents but, for good reason, all the more visitors in summer.

Bicycles are available for rent as soon as you step off the ferry, and are a popular way of getting around the island – and for the brave couples, tandem bicycles. Ven is known for its steep slopes, which offer a chance to get off your bike to rest and admire the view.

Ven became Swedish in 1660, but you can still see plenty of traces of its Danish roots around the island. Saint Ibb’s Church, built in the 13th century, offers a stunning view of the blue Öresund waters and the coast of Denmark. Visit the museum dedicated to Danish 16th-century astronomer Tycho Brahe, who was gifted the island by King Frederik II and built the observatory Uraniborg (which was torn down when he died).

How to get there: at the peak of summer there's a direct ferry from Malmö, but at 200 kronor for an adult, it's more expensive than the 90 kronor ticket from Landskrona, which is reachable by train.

Don’t miss: Spirit of Hven, the island’s own distillery.

Eat and drink: The Local has tried Pumpans Café & Restaurang, which serves vegetarian food and their own roasted coffee. Here’s a list of other restaurants and cafés on Ven, but if you’d rather save money, Ven is a great place to stop for a picnic in-between slopes.


There is no bad time of the year to visit Österlen, the south-eastern tip of Skåne with its own cultural identity steeped in farming, gorgeous scenery, artistry and fishing villages.

Go there in May or June and gaze out on the yellow fields of rape (and pay a visit to Gunnarshög, the main producer of rapeseed oil in the area), go in autumn and munch on apples in the Kivik area, go in winter and buy local crafts at the Christmas markets in the many picturesque villages, or explore the art festival around Easter.


If you’re going by train for the day only, you may not have time to venture outside of the main town, Simrishamn, but its shops and cafés will easily keep you occupied.

If you’re travelling by car, other places to pay a visit to include fishing villages Brantevik, Skillinge and Kåseberga, Kivik and its apple orchards, a myriad of pop-up flea markets, medieval castle Glimmingehus, and a walk around Brösarps backar.

How to get there: Take the local Pågatåg train to Simrishamn

Don’t miss: The Ales stenar megaliths at Kåseberga

Eat and drink: Seafood lunch at Sjöfolket in Simrishamn, or southern Swedish delicacy äggakaga at Brösarps gästgiveri (if you can’t finish your meal, you’ll get a doggy bag)

Simrishamn is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Sweden, and is reachable by train from Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT


Yes, its location just over ten minutes away makes it the obvious tip, but this over 1000-year-old town is worth your time if you haven’t been. Its university is only Sweden’s second-oldest (which people in Uppsala are not shy to mention), but it is home to the oldest school in the Nordics, Katedralskolan, a state school founded in 1085.

We suggest you go for a wander around town, do some shopping on Lilla Fiskaregatan (don’t miss the chocolate at Ahlgrens); walk through the Lundagård park past the student union building to visit Kulturen, an indoor and open-air museum with old buildings from Swedish history; and visit the crypt of the Romanesque cathedral to learn about the story of Finn the Giant, who built the church – or so legend has it.


When you’re tired of walking, head to the Botanical Garden to have a rest on a bench or in the grass – or go to the Stortorget square and buy an ice cream from Glasskulturen.

How to get there: Take a Pågatåg or Öresund train from Malmö.

Don’t miss: The Tehuset Java tea shop – buy a pack of local tea Lundagård.

Eat and drink: There are plenty of options at the Saluhallen food hall.

You can see the two towers of Lund Cathedral in the upper right-hand corner of the picture. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT


There are plenty of other towns in the Skåne region to make a day trip to from Malmö (Ystad, Kristianstad and Helsingborg to name but a few), but to make this guide a bit more interesting for the well-travelled reader, why not venture out of the region?

Karlshamn, one of Blekinge’s coastal cities – a region known for its beautiful nature – is easy to get to from Malmö. There’s a direct train and the journey is less than two hours.


Receiving its city privileges in 1664, Karlshamn’s strategic location on the Baltic Sea gave it a successful history of industry and trading, including seafaring, fishing, tobacco and punsch – a Swedish arrak-based liqueur. In the 1850s, Sweden’s “King of Spirits” L O Smith owned one of two big punsch factories in Karlshamn, but international residents may be more familiar with another one of his brands: Absolut Vodka.

Outdoor lovers won’t be disappointed by Karlshamn. Activities include walking, taking a boat to the Blekinge archipelago or fishing for salmon in the Mörrum stream.

How to get there: Take the Öresund train from Malmö.

Don’t miss: Sjöfartsmuseet, a museum dedicated to Karlshamn’s seafaring history.

Eat and drink: Seafood! Preferably at Wägga Fisk & Delikatess.

There are few things that beat a summer's evening in Karlshamn. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/


Ok, you've ventured out of the region. Now how about out of the country? The Danish capital is the closest European capital to the city of Malmö, and thanks to the Öresund Bridge, it is just half an hour away by train. Who needs Stockholm?

Although the price might put you off  – the Danish krone is much higher than the Swedish krona at the moment – it’s still possible to have a relatively cheap day out in Copenhagen if you plan ahead.

If you’re in the mood for museums, Glyptoteket near the central station is free on the last Wednesday of the month, and Københavns Museum, Thorvaldsens Museum and Nikolaj Kunsthal are also free on Wednesdays. If you’re interested in politics or Danish political drama Borgen, why not book a free English tour of the Danish parliament


If the weather is nice, hop on the metro to Kongens Nytorv and take a walk along the harbour from Nyhavn up to royal residence Amalienborg, swing by Marmorkirken and look out over the water to the Opera House and its impressive cantilevered roof.

How to get there: Take the Öresund train to København H or Nørreport.

Don’t miss: A walk around Nyhavn to see the classic multicoloured buildings by the harbour.

Eat and drink: Covered food market Torvehallerne near Nørreport if it’s raining, or Reffen or Broens Gadekøkken food markets if it’s sunny so you can enjoy your meal while looking out over the water.

The Öresund Bridge connects Copenhagen and Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT


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