Gay Malmö Travel Guide
The Swedish city of Malmö is the third-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg with a population of over 310,000 thousand people. Located at the seashore in a western direction (you can see Copenhagen at the horizon), the sixth-largest city in Scandinavia owes its historic importance for Sweden to the Öresund region, the strait between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. After the Öresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden was opened in July 2000, Malmö started to change and to transform into the modern, developed, and open-minded city that it is today. The close connection to water, the beautiful historic buildings in the city center, huge parks, and a lively queer community that is attracting LGBTQ+ travelers from around the world to come to Scania.
During our two trips to Malmö for our Gay Malmö Travel Guide, we could experience this independent and free atmosphere first hand. As part of our research before the World Pride 2021 events together with Copenhagen, we had the chance to talk to different people from Malmö of our community representing the several letters of the LGBTQ+ acronym. One thing they all have in common: They love and appreciate Malmö for its LGBTQ+ friendliness, diversity, and sustainability. Let us show you what they were talking about…
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How LGBTQ+ & Gay-friendly is Malmö?
Just because a country is considered to be LGBTQ+ and gay-friendly, doesn’t always mean that local queer, lesbian, gay, or trans people are experiencing it the same way. Malmö is a very positive example of how a city’s LGBTQ+ friendliness goes hand-in-hand with its countries reputation. We could experience Malmö’s LGBTQ+ and gay-friendliness first hand, but also because members of the queer community themselves confirmed it on several occasions. Malmö Pride, the annual Malmö Queer Filmfestival MQF, LGBTQ+, and gay parties as well as the only gay bar in town, the Red Shoe Bar, are great ways for locals and LGBTQ+ travelers to experience open-mindedness in Malmö. We also had the chance to talk to the tourism board of Malmö and learned about their aim to integrate LGBTQ+ and queer equality into the city DNA. Moreover, Malmö will turn into the world’s LGBTQ+ capital in 2021 by co-hosting World Pride 2021.
Our experiences in Malmö have been unexceptionally positive. Holding hands in public, giving each other a kiss, or checking in at a hotel asking for a double bed: we never faced any difficulties and could thereby fully enjoy our trip to the South Swedish city of Malmö. And now, Malmö is getting to host World Pride 2021 together with Copenhagen!
Gay Travel Index 2020: Rank 1 for Sweden | Visit Sweden: LGBT+ & Gay Sweden | Wikipedia: LGBT rights in Sweden
Gay Malmö Pride
Our first-ever trip to Malmö was in 2019 to attend Malmö Pride. But Pride in Malmö has tradition. Already since 1995, the back then called Rainbow Festival Malmö celebrates equality, love, and respect in the South Swedish city of Malmö. In 2015, the non-profit organization Malmö Pride was found bringing every year more than 15,000 participants and spectators to the streets of Malmö. The city at the Baltic Sea is getting ready for the big party when it is co-hosting World Pride together with Copenhagen in 2021. Find all about Malmö Pride and World Pride 2021 in our blog!
Official Website Malmö Pride: malmopride.com
Official Website Copenhagen Pride: copenhagenpride.dk
Official Website World Pride 2021: copenhagen2021.com/worldpride
Gay-friendly Hotels in Malmö
During our trips to Malmö, we could stay in two different hotels: the Ohboy Bike Hotel in Malmö and the Best Western Plus Hotel Noble House. Our Hotel during our first trip to Malmö was Ohboy hotell, a bike hotel close to one of Malmö’s landmarks, the Turning Torso. Modern, minimalistic design and interior paired with rental bikes and the location not far from the seaboard makes the gay-friendly Ohboy hotell a good choice for a self-catering gaycation. Our second hotel, the Best Western Plus Hotel Noble House is located right in the heart of Malmö’s old town city center. The modern, hip and luxurious style of the gay-friendly hotel with an excellent breakfast is a great choice for a city trip, not far from gay locations and sights. But there are, of course, more LGBTQ+ and gay-friendliness hotels and accommodations in Malmö!
Gay-friendly Activities & things to do in Malmö
Well, what to do in Malmö?! Let us tell you, it won’t get boring. Outdoor enthusiasts, museum lovers, fans of the Swedish culture – Malmö has something for everyone. A boat tour over the canals Rörsjökanalen and the harbor area, exploring the Malmö by bike leaving the car in the parking garage, spending a whole day in a Swedish bathhouse and sauna including skinny dipping in the Baltic – just a view of the activities we would recommend for your Malmö to-do list. And don’t miss visiting Malmö castle, one (or all) of the city parks and gardens, and take a stroll around the historic city center with a stop in one of the museums Malmö has to offer. And after dinner, it is time for a Theater or dance performance with some drinks in one of the bars, like the Red Shoe Bar. Malmö has all you need for an active gay-friendly vacation in southern Sweden.
Enjoying the sun at Malmö Kallbadhus, a gay hot spot of Malmö © Coupleofmen.com
Malmö Gay City Trip South Sweden Biking around Malmö City with Rainbow Flag © Coupleofmen.com
Malmö Gay City Trip South Sweden Stunning views of the Western Harbor Malmö from the Rental Boat © Coupleofmen.com
Gay Bars and LGBTQ+ Clubs in Malmö
Sweden is known for its gay-friendliness, that’s a fact. No wonder that most LGBTQ+ people we asked about gay bars and other LGBTQ+ places always answered the same way: We do not have such places, we just go out where we want to. Many LGBTQ+ places are gay-friendly and open-minded, so the queer crowd would just mix in. As simple as that. But of course, we found the only gay bar in town just a 5-minutes walk from the center, the Red Shoe Bar. Modern design, art decoration, and stylish interior are creating a welcoming atmosphere. And although the bar isn’t that big, it was crowded on a Friday and Saturday night when we had a drink there.
We also learned that many gay and LGBTQ+ people love and enjoy the nightlife in Copenhagen. The Danish capital is just a 20-minute train ride away and attracts many queer people with its different clubs, bars, and diverse location for a fun night out. Good to remember during the World Pride 2021 festivities!
Gay Malmö Travel Guide Red Shoe Bar © Coupleofmen.com
Gay Malmö Travel Guide Red Shoe Bar © Coupleofmen.com
Gay Sweden Travel Guide
Once again it was time again to travel to Sweden this summer. We spend a couple of days of our road trip in the Swedish state Scania by the Baltic Sea. The LGBTQ+ friendly city of Malmö was our first destination. But there are more LGBTQ+ and gay-friendly places to go to in Sweden. Lesbian, gay, and queer travelers exploring Sweden can expect unforgettable beautiful nature, delicious (sea) food, and a rich cultural heritage also in the rest of Sweden. Besides Helsingborg and Kivik as well as the Southern Swedish coast of Skåne with its amazing beaches at the Baltic, Stockholm is definitely a place to go. In the Swedish capital, everything is about music, and, hey, honestly, who doesn’t agree that the Swedish band ABBA produced some of the best Gay Pride Songs ever!? Nevertheless, we cannot wait to see more of the Scandinavian country in the future!