The promise of florals as spring approaches has us dreaming of pastel hues, and Malmö is the place to get your fill. Just across the winding Oresund Bridge from Copenhagen (you can easily pair the two in one trip), it's the third largest city in Sweden after Stockholm and Gothenburg.
Rent a bike and spend a mild weekend pedalling along cobblestone streets past multicoloured cottages fronted by rosebushes and fit for a fairytale. You needn't do anything more than get lost on these charming bungalow-lined roads for a few days of pure escapism. Make like a local and grab some rye bread and smoked salmon from a local market for a picnic at the Western Harbour boardwalk. If you're feeling brave, join the residents taking an icy dip.
On a lazy afternoon, pick up a couple of notebooks and attempt to sketch the city's iconic Turning Torso, a twisting skyscraper dreamt up by neo-futurist architect Santiago Calatrava that dwarfs the remainder of Scandinavia's buildings.
A trip to Sweden wouldn't be complete without full-on design envy, so continue your tour with stops at both Moderna Museet Malmö and the Form / Design Centre. The Modern Museum is set in an immense red block which immediately catches the eye thanks to its juxtaposition with the older stone buildings surrounding it. Be sure to check out the Picasso collection during your visit. The Design Centre is a must for Scandi design fans; we're a little embarrassed to admit it but the shop might just be our favourite part, packed with Crayola-coloured Foreo toothbrushes and sculptural candlestick sets.
Who to take with you
A Scandinavia obsessive who has already hit all of the other major Nordic cities.
When to go
Late spring to catch a glimpse of the city's abundant blooms in the Malmö Garden Show, and for the National Day of Sweden, both of which happen in June.
Most likely to bump into...
Couples from the north of the country who have come for a weekend on Sweden's southernmost tip.
Essentials to bring with you
Minimalist garb in neutral tones to blend in with the stylish locals.
How to get there
Fly into Ikea-lookalike Malmö Airport.