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Malmö

Sweden’s third-largest city revels in contrasting the old and the oh-so-now: from the gabled Dutch-Renaissance buildings of Gamla Staden (the 'Old Town'), to the unapologetically modern architecture of Västra Hamnen's redeveloped waterfront. Here, Scandinavia's tallest building twists its way skyward, gazing down over the vast Öresund bridge – both modern engineering marvels that reflect multicultural Malmö's progressive outlook.

'The bridge', connecting the city to cool-cat Copenhagen and its busy international airport, has helped forge a dynamic urban conglomeration. This, and the fact that Germany is just a short hop across the Baltic, helps explain why more than 150 nationalities call Malmö home.

Indeed, Malmö is the worldliest, grittiest and most continental of Sweden's major cities, a place where Middle Eastern markets, Italian coffee culture and edgy, gritty bars challenge Nordic stereotypes at every corner.