If ever you needed evidence that Scandinavians know how to party, you can find proof in the streets of Malmo at 2 a.m. on any given Saturday morning. The nightlife in Sweden's third-largest city rivals that of Stockholm and Göteborg. This coastal borough is not just a destination for history and nature, but for late-night reveling, too.
Travelers looking for a party will be pleased with Malmo's plentiful offering of Swedish pubs, karaoke bars, and dance clubs. No need to get in a hurry, either, because the nightlife here starts late and ends late (sometimes not until 5 a.m.). Whether you're looking for a low-key tavern, a bustling disco, or a bit of midnight bowling, Malmo has all of the above.
The bar scene in Malmo is known for being wildly diverse. Its cozy pubs will fool you into thinking you're having a pint in England; its cool breweries could teleport you to the hipster hangouts of Brooklyn. All the while, its cocktail bars are the epitome of chic. Don't miss:
- Fagans: If it's an authentic Irish pub you're looking for, Fagans—with its handsome, rustic interior and a collection of ciders on tap—is the most Irish thing outside of Ireland, itself.
- Moosehead: Lilla Torg is Malmo's dining and drinking hub. It's home to Moosehead, a friendly-but-loud Swedish bar with lots of rustic wood and moose memorabilia decorating the walls. Moosehead is where you can order authentic Scandinavian food and a glass of wine.
- Big Bowl: This unconventional hangout is something between a bowling alley and a nightclub. The lanes are liable to be lit up like a disco and in-between turns, folks take to the dance floor. It's open until 2 a.m. on weekends.
- Malmo Brewing Co.: The good old-fashioned tradition of brewing ale is older than written records in Sweden. Malmo Brewing Co. keeps the custom alive by offering nearly 50 varieties of locally brewed beer, mead, ciders, and more on tap.
- Care/Of: Some people might rather have a fruity cocktail than a house-made mead and for that, there's Care/Of, a little lounge-type bar with sleek and modern flair located just off the canal.
After having a casual craft beer at one of the pubs, taverns, or breweries in town, head to one of these high-energy dance floors to party until the wee hours of the morning:
- Étage: At this eccentric club, you can boogie to old-school classics on one dance floor, and to more current tunes on another. This vast hangout houses six bars and a casino. Everyone in your group will find what they're looking for (karaoke, dancing, gambling, and the like).
- Babel: Have you ever danced until 4 a.m. in a church? Now's your chance. Babel is known by Malmo locals as the party church because its housed in a former holy place, but now, it's a bonafide nightclub that regularly hosts music acts.
- Club Privé: The clubs in Sweden don't mess around. Multiple floors is the standard here and Club Privé has four. Translating as "Club Private" in English, this nocturnal spot looks sleek and luxurious on the inside, but don't be fooled: The crowd can get wild.
- KB: KB, short for Kulturbolaget ("culture company" in English), is not your average nightclub. Rather, it caters to a rock 'n roll kind of crowd. You can find bands and DJs jamming live in this industrial venue on any given weekend night.
While it isn't known for being a gambling destination, per se, Malmo does have a casino for those who feel more at home at a blackjack table or a slot machine. Casino Cosmopol, located at Kungsparken, is one of Sweden's largest casinos. It has all the games you would expect to find in a traditional casino, but it certainly isn't a sweatpants type of place. In Malmo, you dress up to try your luck, so don't err on the side of casual.
Tips for Going Out in Malmo
- Malmo is a pretty walkable city, especially if your hotel is in the center, but if you feel unsafe walking after dark, some routes on the public bus run until 1 a.m. or 3 a.m. Check the Skånetrafiken webpage (which is the department of motor vehicles) to see timetables and fares.
- Swedish people are night owls. They go out late and party until 5 a.m. More conservative bars close at 3 a.m.
- Tipping is not required or customary in Sweden, but if you're particularly pleased with the service, 10-percent gratuity is standard.
- No need to worry about a language barrier if you happen to not speak Swedish. Most locals speak English to a high degree.