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Hotels, tickets and scams: What to know about visiting Malmö for Eurovision 2024

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
Hotels, tickets and scams: What to know about visiting Malmö for Eurovision 2024
Turning Torso, one of Malmö's most famous landmarks, in the Västra Hamnen area of the city. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se

As excitement mounts for Eurovision in Malmö next year, many are thinking about where they should stay, how much they should budget, and how to avoid scams. Here's The Local's guide for visitors to the southern Swedish city.

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When is Eurovision?

Eurovision kicks off on Tuesday May 7th with the first semi-final, followed by the second semi-final on Thursday May 9th. The grand final will round off the event on Saturday May 11th.

Where is it being held?

It’s being held in the southern Swedish city of Malmö, more specifically at Malmö Arena which is in Hyllie to the south of the city.

Where can I get tickets?

Tickets went on sale on November 28th and sold out the same day. Newspapers reported around 400,000 people were in the online queue for tickets, which many Eurovision hopefuls said took hours. 

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There are tickets for a total of nine shows: the three live shows plus an evening and an afternoon or "family" rehearsal before each live show.

The rehearsals are an exact copy of the live shows, including the opening acts and any interval act, except voting, which will usually be simulated. This means they’re a great option if you want to watch the live show on TV somewhere else, maybe with friends who couldn’t get tickets to the arena. 

A second set of resale tickets were released on December 12th, which are also now sold out.

Tickets were sold via Ticketmaster as the official partner, so you should be extremely cautious about any tickets offered for sale on any other websites or forums. 

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You can also sign up for Eurovision’s official newsletter for updates.

Where should I stay?

Many hotels in central Malmö sold out within hours of the announcement or were booked up by organisers to house visiting artists and media, so we'd strongly advise you to book accommodation as soon as possible.

Many Malmö residents are also renting out rooms or apartments during the event. Be aware that Sweden has strict rules on renting, including needing permission from the housing association and how much they're allowed to charge, and many housing associations expect you to be quiet after a certain time (often 10pm but sometimes after midnight on weekends).

While it's unlikely that you as a visitor will suffer any consequences for renting an illicit sublet, you don't want to end up in a situation where your temporary landlord suddenly gets cold feet and cancels your contract.

If renting via Airbnb, hosts can cancel reservations, though it is "their responsibility to cancel in a timely manner to allow their guest time to adjust their plans," according to the Airbnb site. Additionally, hosts "may not encourage the guest to cancel the reservation."

When choosing a place to stay, be sure to plan out the transport options for getting to and from the event. 

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Hyllie has excellent transport links with buses and trains to the rest of Malmö and other cities in the Öresund region like Copenhagen and Lund, so don’t be disheartened if you can’t find anything close to the arena itself.

As far as the best area to stay, Hyllie is relatively far outside of the city centre and is dominated by the Emporia shopping centre. If you want to be close to nightlife, it might be a better idea looking for something closer to the city centre.

There are more upmarket bars and restaurants in areas like Lilla Torg and Davidshall – Etage nightclub on Stortorget is also planning Eurovision events throughout the week – while the more hipster neighbourhood around Möllevångstorget (Möllan) offers more budget-friendly options alongside larger nightclubs, many of which are also likely to be hosting Eurovision-themed events.

The Hyllie neighbourhood of Malmö. Local landmark Hyllie water tower on the left, Malmö Arena in the centre and Emporia shopping centre on the right. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Eurovision is extremely popular in Sweden – the final of the yearly Eurovision selection contest Melodifestivalen is one of the country’s most watched TV programmes – so it should be relatively easy to find a bar or club in Malmö showing the final.

Last time Malmö hosted, a Eurovision village was set up in Gustav Adolfs Torg square in the centre of the city, with a big screen hosting the final. Nothing similar has been announced for 2024, but it’s likely that a big screen will be set up somewhere in the city.

How to get around

The best way to get around Malmö, if the weather is nice, is by bike on one of the city’s many bike lanes. You can rent a bike from one of the city’s Malmö by Bike stations for 80 kronor (5 euros) per day or 165 kronor (14 euros) for 72 hours, although be aware that you will need to drop off your bike in a station with an empty spot, so it may not be the best choice for visiting Hyllie arena.

A single public transport ticket in the Malmö city zone – which includes Hyllie – costs 31 kronor, with a 24 hour ticket costing 62 kronor. These can be used on both buses and trains.

If you’re coming over from Copenhagen, you can buy your ticket for the train over the Öresund bridge in local transport company Skånetrafiken’s app, and this will include public transport in both cities while the ticket is valid.

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Tourists are also often the target of unlicensed taxi operators, so if you’re getting a taxi in Malmö, always check the window for a yellow and white sign with the jämförpris or comparison price, as well as yellow registration plates at the front and back of the vehicle.

This is a legal requirement and will show you the price of a 10 kilometre journey taking 15 minutes at different times of day, although beware that they are allowed to add an extra fee for pickup/dropoff at stations or terminals, as well as a waiting fee. Malmö also has Uber.

How to get there

If you’re flying to Malmö from outside Sweden, be aware that although the city does have an airport, it is actually much easier to get to and from Copenhagen airport in Denmark, which also has a much larger range of international flights.

Malmö has good train links to Denmark and Germany as well as other parts of Sweden, and there are ferries from Germany and Poland to the Scanian port of Trelleborg, which also has a direct train link to Malmö.

Are there any gay bars?

At the time of writing, Malmö does not have a gay village or even a designated gay bar, after its only gay bar, Red Shoe Bar, recently closed, reopening in neighbouring Copenhagen in April.

Moriskan nightclub in Folkets Park. Photo: Anna Karolina Eriksson/TT

This doesn’t mean you won’t be welcome if you’re gay, though. Moriskan, a moorish-style nightclub in Folkets Park near Möllan, has a history of hosting queer club nights (they often host the closing party of Malmö Pride), and the city has a large queer community.

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If you want to visit a designated gay bar, you can head to Copenhagen, which has a few. Centralhjørnet claims to be the world’s oldest gay bar, G-A-Y Copenhagen is one of the Danish capital’s most popular gay bars, while four-storey nightclub Mirror will be hosting a Eurovision watch party. You can search bøssebar or homobar plus Copenhagen for more options.

Is Sweden an expensive country?

At the time of writing, the Swedish krona is low against both the euro and the dollar, which is bad news for those of us who live here but great news for tourists coming from elsewhere whose money will go further.

Having said that, food and drink in Sweden can still be expensive. Expect to pay around 150 to 230 kronor (around 13 to 20 euros, all prices and conversions as of January 2024) for a meal in a standard restaurant.

Alcohol is also expensive, although beer and wine are cheaper than spirits. An average half litre of beer, known as a stor stark, will probably set you back around 65 to 80 kronor (6 to 7 euros), while cocktails often cost upwards of 100 kronor (8.80 euros).

If you’re planning on buying alcohol to drink at your hotel or rental apartment, be aware that Sweden has a state-owned alcohol monopoly, Systembolaget, for all alcohol over 3.5 percent ABV, which closes at 3pm on Saturdays and is closed all day on Sundays.

You need to be aged over 20 to buy alcohol in Systembolaget, while the drinking age in bars and restaurants is 18.

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As far as hotels or apartments are concerned, prices are likely to be inflated during Eurovision, and most of Malmö’s hotels sold out of rooms within days of the announcement that it would be hosting the contest.

At time of writing, the closest hotel to Malmö listed on Booking.com with a spare room during the event was in nearby city Lund, offering a room for 8,300 kronor (730 euros) for two adults on Friday May 10th to Saturday May 11th. Apartments on Airbnb were listed at around 5,000 to 8,000 kronor (440 to 700 euros) per night during the same period, depending on size and location.

Local tourism site Visit Malmö has more information on accommodation.

If you’re planning on staying in Copenhagen or heading over there to enjoy Danish nightlife, be aware that Denmark is much more expensive than Sweden, so it’s a good idea to budget accordingly if you’re planning on spending time in the Danish capital.

What about scams?

Big events like Eurovision unfortunately attract scammers, so you should be careful to book accommodation only through regulated platforms and only buy tickets through official sites – there are no licensed third-party sellers for Eurovision, you should get your tickets only from the official ticketing platform.

Malmö is not a particularly touristy city so scams seeking to target tourists are rare, but that doesn’t mean they won’t happen during Eurovision.

Beware of anyone trying to sell you a special ticket or pass for the event or for public transport, especially if they ask you to pay in cash, as Sweden is an almost cash-free society.

Pickpocketing in the city is also rare, but again, Eurovision tourists could be targeted, so keep an eye on your belongings at all times and try to split any valuables across multiple pockets in your bags.

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