Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the coastal metropolis of Malmö is the country's third-largest city (the one that sits just right across the sound from Copenhagen, Denmark). The drive between Stockholm and Malmö is 613 kilometers (380 miles) long and takes roughly six and a half hours. Those who have a bit of holiday funds to play with may rather spend less time and take the one-hour flight.
The recommended method of travel for both time and money is by train, as it only takes a few hours and is very affordable if you buy economy tickets. The bus, although the slowest option, goes a more scenic route. If you can drive yourself, you'll be in a better position to make stops along the way.
How to Get from Stockholm to Malmö
- Flight: 1 hour, starting at $59
- Train: 4 hours, 20 minutes, starting at $19
- Car: 6 to 7 hours, 613 kilometers (380 miles)
- Bus: 8 to 10 hours, starting at $15 (cheapest)
According to Skyscanner, there are about 176 flights between Stockhom and Malmö per week. The most popular services are provided by SAS, Norwegian, and airBaltic. The flight time is only about an hour, so flying can turn out to be a major time-saver for travelers.
The downside is that it usually costs a bit more than other modes of transportation, but even still, the $59- to $168-per-ticket price isn't all that expensive. One-way flights usually linger around $100, on average. The cheapest time to travel is in February and the most expensive is in July.
Flights depart from Stockholm's Arlanda Airport (the primary airport), Bromma Airport, and Skavsta Airport and arrive at Malmö's only airport, Sturup. Sturup is about a half hour's drive from Malmö's city center.
Taking the direct train between Stockholm and Malmö gives travelers the most bang for their buck. It's slightly more time-consuming than flying (only by a couple of hours), but Rail Europe tickets can be as cheap as $19 USD. Prices can cost up to $75.
Trains depart from Stockholm Centralstation regularly throughout the day and in just over four hours of traveling, they arrive at Malmö Centralstation. A night train is also available, and it takes almost seven hours. Departure times are more flexible in case your plans change, and another perk: The train is a great way to see the stunning Swedish countryside.
If you'd like to take your time and make stops along the way, you might want to rent a car and drive from Stockholm to Malmö. It takes between six and seven hours to cover the 613-kilometer stretch of road that lies between them, but for the most part, the journey is easy. Simply take European route E4 almost all the way to Helsingborg and from there, look for exit 30 to turn onto the E20/E6 to Malmö. On the way back from Malmö to Stockholm, follow the E20/E6 for 55 kilometers north to the Helsingborg area, and turn onto the E4 toward Stockholm.
This common route passes through Norrköping, a charming city surrounded by water; Linköping, home of the Air Force Museum; and Jönköping, which sits at the southern tip of Sweden's largest lake.
It's not advised to take the bus unless you have a lot of time or are strapped for cash while traveling. The bus is the longest mode of transportation, taking between eight and 10 hours. However, it is the cheapest option, with some tickets costing an absolute bargain of $15. Generally, though, the price keeps between $30 and $40.
Another even more budget alternative is to save money on a hotel room and take the night bus. Look for Swebus at the bus terminals; there are several direct connections every day. To get a seat, you can either pay the driver or book a ticket on the Flixbus website.
What to See in Malmö
Malmö's smaller size and neighborhood-like feel will probably be a welcome respite from the bustling city of Stockholm. Despite the fact that it's not as big or busy as the capital, however, there's still plenty for a tourist to do.
First, follow the typical sightseeing route to the centuries-old Malmöhus Castle, which plays host to the city's Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, and an aquarium (you could probably spend an entire day here if you wanted). Other popular attractions include the 16th-century City Hall, Folkets Park (an amusement park), the Turning Torso skyscraper, and the vast Øresund Bridge, which connects the city to Copenhagen.
When you find yourself tired of the crowds, then set off to see Malmö's adorable "mice shops," an art installation of magical little storefronts around town. It's like a street art tour, Sweden-style. Then, take a gander at the Knotted Gun sculpture, a symbol of nonviolence, and stroll through the cobblestoned streets of a medieval village (Jakriborg, a 17-minute drive out of the city).
When you get hungry, head to Malmö Saluhall, a food market near the harbor. Here, a restaurant called Hedvigsdal is a favorite for pizza. Bastard is a longtime mainstay for Swedish food (think: pig’s feet and boudin blanc). Whatever you do, though, don't be hungry when you visit the Disgusting Food Museum, which showcases about 100 different "gross" foods like durian and casu marzu.