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Split image of Malmo river and Matthew Moore in an arena© Matthew Moore

When I explored the Swedish city of Malmo, I found much more than I was expecting

Malmo is more than just a Eurovision host

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Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
June 17, 2024
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When I travelled to Eurovision this year, it was with a sense of trepidation. There had been numerous headlines and calls for boycotts in the run-up to the main event and I can't say I was particularly in the mood to celebrate a night of Euro-pop like I generally am.

However, despite the Song Contest itself being a bit of a mess this year, you will no doubt remember loud boos that echoed across the arena, the same cannot be said for host city Malmo, which as a first-time traveller to Sweden proved to be an incredible first impression of the Scandinavian country.

WATCH: Take a stroll through this beautiful Swedish park

During my time in the city, I discovered a whole host of unique museums, cobblestoned paths that take you back to olden times and some of the most beautiful parks I've had the pleasure to stroll through.

Join me as I walk you through the best things to do in this Swedish city if you're ever lucky enough to travel there…

What to do

As much as Eurovision was the main thing on the agenda for my recent trip, given it's a one-time only exclusive to the city, you won't find any tickets going spare. However, if you still fancy the arena experience, then the Malmo Arena is still the place to go. Traditionally, the space is used for sports and is home to the Malmo Redhawks, boasting a capacity for 12,600. However, music events are still put on and with some jiggery-pokery, the Arena can hold over 15,000 people. During Eurovision, I was sat towards the rear, but outside of choice staging from certain artists, I had no issues seeing everything that was happening, and there were certainly issues with hearing anything. Even when French artist Slimane stepped away from the microphone, his voice filled the entire arena.

A small turtle eating lettuce© Matthew Moore
The Malmo Museum hosted a whole range of critters

Outside of music, the best places you'll want to stroll through are the surrounding parks. During a stroll between visiting museums, more on them later, I was lucky enough to walk through the Kungsparken. The stunning natural space looked straight out of a fairytale with pristine green grasses, expansive spaces and a river flowing through the middle, which allowed for both rowing and for using a pedalo.

Museums vary all throughout Malmo from the typical ones themed around modern art and natural history, to the more unique ones including the Disgusting Food Museum. I must confess, out of all three of these, it was the latter that really grabbed me. After getting a sick bag at the front door (yes, really), you can walk among learning all about major food scandals throughout the world and foods that might be more of an acquired taste. Whether they be cheese eaten by maggots, chickens baked into cakes or a food so smelly a landlord successfully evicted a tenant for owning it, this proved to be the busiest museum of the three I visited with age groups ranging from children to people in their senior years. And if you can stomach it, there's even a tasting section at the end, although I will confess to not having been brave enough to sample this… buffet.

A painting of a winter scene© Matthew Moore
Some of the artwork you can find was awe-inspiring

The Malmo Museum is another place that needs to be high up on your list of places to visit, with the expansive grounds located within the Kungsparken and its castle-like exterior adds to its natural beauty. Inside is the natural history museum, an incredible aquarium with all host of underwater life and a stunning art gallery that could rival the pieces inside London's National Gallery. Moderna Museet Malmo wasn't my favourite of the three I visited, but then again, modern art isn't always to everyone's taste.

Where to stay

While Malmo offers many hotels, I have to recommend the Elite Hotel Esplanade. It has great connections and I was able to walk to all three of the museums I spoke about above with no issues. Meanwhile, it's also connected to a nearby square where you will find plenty of restaurants, bars and karaoke for your nights. It was lively as anything during Eurovision, and I imagine it will be exactly the same during these quieter times. The hotel is also just a 15-minute walk from a nearby metro station, so you can explore the rest of the city with ease.

The rooms are also incredibly spacious, feeling like a mini-apartment and while the view from my window wasn't anything to write home about, the views as you walk to the hotel are something special. Arriving just as the sun was setting took my breath away as I walked along the banks of the nearby river.

Find out more here...

Eurovision

Having been to two Eurovision finals now, I still feel the event is best watched on the TV, something that was offered by Royal Caribbean, a sponsor of the event, this time around. However, with Eurovision season over and Wimbledon fast approaching, if you do fancy hitting the waters while still making all your favourite sports events, they have you covered.

Nemo performing on a rotating disc© Martin Sylvest Andersen
Swiss singer Nemo triumphed for a controversial Eurovision

Not only will their Voyager of the Seas take you around the Mediterranean, but you can watch Carlos Alvarez hit the courts all while on the open waters.

Prices for the  7 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise start at £1,047. Find out further details at Royal Caribbean.

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