A journal of our sustainable Gay City Trip to Malmö. Did we already mention that we love Sweden? The Scandinavian country is one of our favorite European travel destinations, currently ranking in the top position of the annual Gay Travel Index. Having experienced the ongoing welcoming and LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere in Malmö as well as the countryside of the South Swedish county Skåne first hand, it was time for us to dig deeper. Because the city on the Baltic Seashore is not only the 2021 World Pride co-host. Malmö is also one of the front runners for sustainability, aiming to integrate environment-preserving and green initiatives into Malmö’s DNA. So join us on our sustainable Malmö city trip to Southern Sweden and experience the 5th most bike-friendly town in the world through a Couple of Men‘s eyes.
– paid collaboration with @malmotown/Malmö Tourism –
Summer city trip to sustainable Malmö
On our Malmö Bucket List: Exploring Malmö by bike and boat, finding vegetarian- or vegan-friendly restaurants, enjoying relaxing hours in a Swedish sauna and at the Baltic Sea shoreline, meeting the local LGBTQ+ community, and talking about sustainability regarding World Pride and the acceptance of the queer life in Malmö. It was a full program for the third-biggest city in Sweden with a strong connection to its neighbor Copenhagen. The weather forecast looked good when we arrived in Malmö. This time not by plane, but by car and ferry coming from Germany.
Malmö is very well-connected by train, bus, ferry, and car, making it an ideal sustainable city trip destination in Europe. We started our journey in Amsterdam, crossing Germany to the German city Rostock on the Baltic Sea. Rostock is a big harbor city offering, among others, the ferry connection between Germany and Sweden, to Trelleborg, to be precise. After boarding the huge car and passenger ferry, it was time for us to enjoy the view of the Baltic Sea, some ice cream, and a fresh sea breeze. For those of you, who’d like to have a bit more privacy, you can book a private cabin with a bed and a shower, too. The best thing for us was to avoid five 7-8 hours of driving and support our sustainable trip to Malmö.
Sustainable & gay-friendly Hotel in Malmö
Our home for the next days in Malmö was the Ohboy hotell, a bike hotel close to one of Malmö’s landmarks, the Turning Torso. Modern, minimalistic design paired with rental bikes and the location not far from the seaboard. This LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation is a green choice for an active and self-catering gaycation. But now, let’s show you some of Malmö’s sustainable highlights – by bike!
Gay-friendly, bike-friendly, and centrally located – We stayed in a Scandinavian designed loft room at an LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation in Malmö’s Western Harbor, just 5-minutes from the beach as well as from the City Center. Read our Gay Couple Hotel Review, book your stay, and get complimentary bikes!
Biking around Malmö’s Architectural Highlights
Just around the corner from our accommodation, we found the first architectural highlight of Malmö: Calatrava’s Turning Torso. The white skyscraper, visible even from the Öresund bridge, became Malmö’s landmark as the tallest building in the city and Scandinavia. However, we loved looking at it from the residential area nicknamed Little Amsterdam. Why? Because of the small canal and cute little Swedish garden houses. The next stop on our bike tour itinerary: the little blue houses close to Malmö Wake Park. Definitely an Instagram tip! From here, it was just a short tour to another landmark of Malmö, Ribersborgs open-air bath and sauna. Definitely, a spot where we liked to spend extra quality time relaxing in the sauna and taking a swim in the refreshing Baltic Sea.
Ribersborgs Kallbadhus was definitely a spot where we liked to spend some extra time relaxing in the sauna and taking a swim in the mild Baltic Sea. Good to know: The sauna is considered one of the top places for the gay community in Malmö. Once a month, the gender separation is lifted, and the whole queer community can enjoy some skinny-dipping after a long hot sauna session.
Electric rental boat tour around Malmö
Exploring Malmö by bike is just one way of getting around. Another and for us familiar way to explore Malmö is by rental boat. We asked our friends and queer travel buddies Roxanne and Maartje from Onceuponajrny to join us for a gay couple cruise through Malmö with BookABoat. These large and modern boats are running on electricity and are easy to maneuver. We booked the rental boat online on the ‘bookaboat’ website, receiving a link to activate (and end) our trip via phone. Very convenient, we must admit.
Furthermore, the boat comes with a map and a captain’s hat, and the option to connect your phone with a speaker for some extra atmospheric music for the trip. We loved to cruise by the old Lighthouses of Malmö, the view from the water at the parks and cemetery from the Rörsjökanalen, Södra Förstadskanalen, and the Malmöhus Slott.
Alternatively, you can book a seat on a group boat tour, as we did during our second trip to Malmö. Together with a queer group of locals, the queer captain showed us her skills maneuvering the much bigger boat through the city center. Finally, after two relaxing hours, we arrived back at the Bastion Älvsborg boat pier. A boat tour is a must-do!
Vegetarian & vegan Swedish cuisine in Malmö
It is not all about Köttbullar, the Swedish meatballs we all know from IKEA. Already last summer we dived into the varied and delicious vegetarian-vegan Swedish cuisine. We stopped at various restaurants and accommodations in southern Sweden, some of which were run by gay couples, and couldn’t stop enjoying them. Even a vegetarian burger chain was among the establishments we tried. Malmö also has a diverse cuisine to offer, prepared primarily from local and organic ingredients. Our very personal tip is the restaurant called Mineral.
You know, Daan is a vegetarian. Also, Karl loves some meat-free cuisine! During our trip to Malmö, we were looking for the best vegetarian place in town and found it south of the old town city center. The restaurant isn’t only vegetarian but vegan, offering a diverse menu of organic all-plant-based food, natural wines, beers & ciders.
Sustainably queer-friendly beyond World Pride
Additionally, we also talked to the Tourism Board of Malmö and the organization behind Malmö and World Pride 2021 to learn more about the bigger picture. Because the city of Malmö is in the process of integrating LGBTQ+ rights, equality, culture, and visibility into the city’s DNA sustainably, and not only for the momentum of World Pride. In our opinion, Malmö is on the way in the right direction. Queer sustainability at World Pride and beyond in Malmö – We like the sound of that!
Have a look at our 20 minutes documentary “Queer Locals about their Malmö” >
Our trip to Southern Sweden didn’t end in Malmö. Actually, it was just the beginning. We rented a car and started our 5-day road trip along the coast of the Swedish county Skåne. Stunning sunsets, incredibly beautiful nature, the gay couple owned cafés & restaurants and a clothing-optional gay beach – Sweden has it all.
Queer Voices of Malmö’s LGBTQ+ Community
Sustainability is a big topic for the people of Malmö. The fifth bike-friendly town globally, a diverse vegetarian and vegan culture, and the strategic location close to Copenhagen and the Baltic Sea give Malmö the platform for its aspirations to be(come) one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the world. But how about Malmö’s (sustainable) LGBTQ+ friendliness?
During our second trip, we talked to five queer people from Malmö about their experiences being LGBTQ+ in Malmö. One question we asked all our interview partners was: Is Malmö actually LGBTQ+ friendly? Independently, respondents unanimously answered “YES” to this question! Kai, for example, replied to us: “[Malmö] is my favorite city in the whole world. It’s the city in Sweden I feel most safe in. Malmö is the [Swedish] capital city of veganism, LGBTQ+ people, feminism. It is like the most politically correct city.”
Good-bye Live Music at Malmö Titanic Lovelock Point
The best way to end a day or even a trip to Malmö is to buy a couple of beers, pack a jacket, and make your way to the Malmö Titanic Lovelock Point for sunset. This is a beautiful Instagram hotspot where you can stand on the small outlook above the rough serge. There are different dates where musicians will play live music here during the summer. We felt very welcome as LGBTQ+ travelers and a gay couple and could fully enjoy this wonderful romantic moment during a setting sun over the Baltic Sea.
Bye, Bye Malmö! It has been a pleasure! See you soon again, hopefully for World Pride in 2021!
Your turn: Plan your sustainable Summer Adventure to Malmö
In our opinion, Malmö will be a worthy co-host of World Pride 2021 together with Copenhagen. The city is very charming with a special multi-cultural touch. As you can see, we especially liked the close connection to the Baltic Sea with stunning sunsets and a real vacation feeling due to multiple beaches and opportunities to go swimming. And, of course, the option to bike around the city and to drive a boat ourselves without a driver made us feel just like being home back in Amsterdam, a little at least.
Do you want to know and see more of us gay couple travel bloggers? Stay tuned on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook! See you around in Malmö, Sweden, and on one of our next gay pride trips around the world!
Karl & Daan.
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Please note: This trip was made possible in close collaboration with Tourism Malmö, Tourism Skåne, and RFSL, as well as tips from our wonderful readers, followers, new and old friends from all over the world. Nevertheless, our photos, our videos, our opinions, and our writings are our own, as always.