Just Across the Pond…
Well, really just across the sea…your Copenhagen adventure can transform into a Swedish one if you are willing to take a train, bus, bicycle or car. Of course to be a good Scandinavian visitor, you will leave out that last one! Let’s start with the trip itself!
To the point, in less than 30 minutes you can travel from the center of Copenhagen to the center of Malmo and find yourself in another country with a similar connected culture but a different language.
The History of Kissing Cousins
Denmark and Sweden were once both Denmark as part of the Kalmar Union between 1397 and 1523. It was the only time the countries of Denmark, Sweden, most of Finland’s populated areas, and Norway were united under the Danish Crown. However, the history is conflicted. From 1448 to 1790 the two kingdoms warred multiple times – there have been 11 wars between Denmark and Sweden, occurring between 1521 and 1814.
At one point King Erik of Pomerania, who resided in Malmo, Sweden. walked across the frozen Øresund Sea and sacked Denmark and walked home!
Today, the countries are still separated by the Øresund, which links the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Denmark has an embassy in Sweden’s capital of Stockholm and 2 consulates general (in Malmø and Göteborg/Gothenburg). Sweden has an embassy in Copenhagen along the historic and revitalized Copenhagen Harbor along with 16 honorary consulates. Both countries are full members of the Nordic Council, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. Approximately 21,000 Swedes live in Denmark – mostly in Copenhagen and approximately 42,000 Danes live in Sweden – most in Malmø.
Traveling to Malmo
Buses leave Central Station regularly every day as do trains. The ride is about 20 minutes. As you travel across the bridge the train runs at the lower level and the road is upper level. Always have your ticket available and your passport to identify yourself. Your train ticket also gets you free passage on a city tour bus once you arrive at the station in Malmø (Malmø C)
There is so much to see once you arrive in the City. Some of these include:
The Stortorget or Big Square is the largest and oldest square in Malmo – it is right at the centre from the train station. It was created in 1540 and has a statue of King Karl X Gustav right in the middle. A blend of modernization and historic architecture, the square itself is surrounded by buildings dating back to the 16th century.
The Lilla Torg
The Lilla Torg or Little Square is a smaller cobblestone square and dates back to 1592. While there is a Starbucks in the train station, save your thirst for teh many coffee shops and restaurants around the city if you enjoy coffee/tea and pastries!
St Petri Church
This is the oldest building in the city and dates back to the early 14th century. The architecture is brick gothic. More interestingly, the church was a spiritual center during the Protestant Reformation, and was one of only a few churches that suffered damage due to iconoclasm during the Protestant Reformation (iconoclasm is the social belief in the importance of the destruction of icons and other images or monuments, most frequently for religious or political reasons and this happened in many churches as they made Lutheran reforms of the Roman Catholic Church. St. Peter’s Church today contains late medieval frescos of recognized high quality, as well as a number of unusual furnishings such as the altarpiece altarpiece (1611) – one of the largest in the Nordic countries.
Malmø Slot (also called Malmo Hus, Malmo House) was the royal residence and later became a prison before being used as a museum. It holds
The Turning Torso
A slightly newer structure (2005) in Malmo is the Turning Torso which is a neo-futuristic apartment building and the tallest in Sweden!
Also be sure to check out the Technology and Maritime Museum, the fishing ports and huts and delightful small shops. There are plenty of places to sit and people watch.
Finally, be sure to spend an hour or two in the pastry shops (such as Konditori Hollandia, Lilla Kafferosteriet, Solde Kaffebar & Kafferosteri and Cafe No. 6).