We visited five ‘murder spots’ in Malmö

Don't worry, we're talking fiction. But the crime scenes from The Bridge are no less thrilling for that!

We visited five 'murder spots' in Malmö
The Öresund Bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen. Photo: Pixabay

Over the course of nearly four seasons, ‘The Bridge’ (or Bron in Swedish) has firmly put Sweden, and Malmö in particular, on the map. The Swedish/Danish crime drama has captivated audiences all around the world with its blend of Nordic noir, quirky characters and gripping storylines.

The show has been a shot in the arm (rather than the head) for local tourism with fans flocking to see many of the landmarks featured in the programme.

“About 80 percent of the locations from The Bridge are to be found in Malmö, although when you watch the series you get the impression it’s 50-50.  But for economic reasons, for money and time, production is largely in Malmö even for the scenes representing Copenhagen. They have their headquarters here so it’s easier,” Eva Roos Davidsson, who runs The Bridge Tour in Malmö, told The Local.

As the fourth (and final) season draws to a close, The Local paid a visit to five of the murder spots in Malmö, which have featured in the show since it first hit our screens in 2011.

The Öresund Bridge

Photo: Martin Höst/Flickr

On screen:An obvious place to start and the location of the first murder in the series. The show begins with a corpse discovered at the border of the bridge, which links Sweden and Denmark, and the first encounter of the show’s main protagonists: Swedish cop Saga Norén and her Danish counterpart Martin Rohde. Turns out the grim discovery is actually two bodies: half a Swedish politician and half a Danish prostitute. And so it all begins. The Öresund Bridge also crops up in the last episode of the first series when Rohde has a showdown with his nemesis; the so-called ‘Truth Terrorist.’

In real life: Thousands of people cross the bridge every day to commute to work in both countries – or to get to Malmö from Copenhagen Airport. Attempting to visit the actual location (and get a selfie) featured in the series is a tall order as the bridge is for vehicles and trains only. Despite regular warnings from the police, there have been numerous arrests over the years of people trying to cross the bridge by foot. Not recommended!

Korpens parkeringshus, Norra Skolgatan 23

Photo: The Local

On screen: In season one vulnerable young girl Anja Björk goes out for a walk on a dark Malmö night. Naturally, with this being The Bridge, she can’t be just heading out for a falafel and instead winds up being shot in an underground carpark. She survives, only to die in hospital after the strain of sketching her killer proves all too much.

In real life: The carpark location is more accustomed to witnessing deliveries for a well-known supermarket, prompting late-night shopping rather than shooting sprees. Directly opposite the carpark is a primary school and a busy bike lane. Just around the corner is the bustling street (Friisgatan) where you can find all manner of delights including a comic book store, tattoo parlour, surf shop, indie clothes stores and plenty of places to enjoy some Swedish fika. The police station, which features in the show, is only spitting distance away too. Speaking of which…

Möllevångsgatan 42

Photo: The Local

On screen: One of the more brutal murders of the first series takes place in the hipster location of Möllan. Social worker Stefan Lindberg, who sports a terrific 70s style moustache, savagely beats to death another man in his apartment with a steam iron, which he has just used to iron his shirt. Classy.

In real life: Bridge spotters will have a whale of a time at this location. The facade of the police station, used in the first season, is directly opposite the murder location. In real life, it is a health care centre. Just around the corner is the facade of the police station used in the second and third seasons – in reality, it is home to numerous offices including a yoga studio and a jobseekers centre. The street (Barkgatan) is also where Saga regularly screams to a halt in her distinctive green Porsche, which nowadays can be found on display in the Malmö Technical Museum (presently on loan for shooting of the new series).

Malmö Stadium

Photo: The Local

On screen: Another gem of a scene takes place within the spooky confines of the old Malmö football stadium. Gang member Julian attempts to meet up with the aptly named ‘mother of three’ and asks his sister (Laura) to come along and film the whole encounter, which takes place at night. Thing is, Laura fails to record the meeting and instead can only see her brother’s dead body before trying to make a break for it herself across the roof of the stadium, with the killer in tow.

In real life: Malmö Stadium was built for the 1958 World Cup and was the home of the local football team (Malmö FF) until 2009. Nowadays it is a throwback to a bygone age with its rusty turnstiles and paint flaking off the terraces. Malmö FF’s funky new home is adjacent to the old ground. It has been mooted that Malmö Stadium may soon be demolished so catch it while you can.

Old cement factory in Limhamn

Photo: Karl Isakson for The Local

On screen: In the second season this is the place where four of the bizarrely named ‘eco-terrorists’ are discovered dead in a container. The quartet were apparently poisoned and then ditched in the remote location. Incidentally, the cement factory crops up again in a later episode when it is being evacuated.

In real life: Precious little remains of the old cement factory, most of which was knocked down shortly after filming took place. One large tower is still standing tall and there are a handful of partially demolished smaller towers. The location is now a large scale construction site of high-end apartments; yours to own in 2017. Once built the apartments will offer fine views of a Malmö landmark; the Öresund Bridge.

Bonus locations

No murders took place here – but they’re still great Malmö hotspots featured in The Bridge! So if the mood should strike you, head on down to…

Ribersborgs Kallbadhus

Photo: Susanne Nilsson/Flickr

A must do for any visit to Malmö is to go for a walk along the beach and visit the cold bath house, which is more fun than it sounds. The bathing house, with the distinctive long boardwalk, is featured in the first series when Saga and Martin go to interview a waitress who works there. It’s not a place to be shy as it is recommended to leave all your clothes in the dressing room when you enter the sauna!

Jalla Jalla

Photo: Jalla Jalla

Malmö’s best-known falafel restaurant is located on Bergsgatan, which is only a short walk from the police station featured in the show. It crops up in series two when Saga’s boyfriend calls her from Jalla Jalla to end their relationship. She memorably asks if they can continue having sex!

Anna Lindhs plats

Photo: Maria Eklind/Flickr 

The busy thoroughfare, named after the late Swedish politician, is where the newsroom in the first series is located, in a top-floor office. It leads to Malmö Central Station, which also features on several occasions throughout the series.

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Malmö Tourism.


Denmark’s ‘freetown’ Christiania hangs onto soul, 50 years on

A refuge for anarchists, hippies and artists, Denmark's 'freetown' Christiania turns 50 on Sunday, and though it hasn't completely avoided the encroachment of modernity and capitalism, its free-wheeling soul remains intact.

Denmark's 'freetown' Christiania hangs onto soul, 50 years on
Christiania, one of Copenhagen's major tourist attractions, celebrates its 50th anniversary on Sunday. JENS NOERGAARD LARSEN / SCANPIX / AFP

Nestled in the heart of Copenhagen, Christiania is seen by some as a progressive social experiment, while others simply see it as a den of drugs.

On September 26th, 1971, a band of guitar-laden hippies transformed an abandoned army barracks in central Copenhagen into their home. They raised their “freedom flag” and named their new home “Christiania, Freetown” after the part of the city where it is located.

They wanted to establish an alternative society, guided by the principles of peace and love, where decisions were made collectively and laws were not enforced.

Soft drugs were freely available, and repurposing, salvaging and sharing was favoured over buying new.

It was a community “that belonged to everybody and to no one”, said Ole Lykke, who moved into the 34-hectare (84-acre) enclave in the 1970s.

These principles remain well-rooted today, but the area has changed in many ways: tourists weave through its cobblestone roads, and the once-reviled market economy is in full swing.

Perhaps most importantly, it is no longer a squat. Residents became legal landowners when they bought some of the land from the Danish state in 2012.

Now it is home to some 900 people, many artists and activists, along with restaurants, cafes and shops, popular among the half a million tourists that visit annually.

“The site is more ‘normal’,” says a smiling Lykke, a slender 75-year-old with ruffled silver hair, who passionately promotes Christiania, its independence and thriving cultural scene.

Legislation has been enforced since 2013 — though a tongue-in-cheek sign above the exit points out that those leaving the area will be entering the European Union.

‘Embrace change’
It is Christiania’s ability to adapt with the times that has allowed it to survive, says Helen Jarvis, a University of Newcastle professor of social geography engagement.

“Christiania is unique,” says Jarvis, who lived in Christiania in 2010.

“(It) endures because it continues to evolve and embrace change”.

Some of those changes would have been unthinkable at the start.

Residents secured a bank loan for several million euros to be able to buy the land, and now Christiania is run independently through a foundation.

They also now pay wages to the around 40 people employed by Christiania, including trash collectors and daycare workers.

“Money is now very important,” admits Lykke, who is an archivist and is currently exhibiting 100 posters chronicling Christiania’s history at a Copenhagen museum.

But it hasn’t forgotten its roots.

“Socially and culturally, Christiania hasn’t changed very much,” he says, noting that the community’s needs still come first.

‘Judged a little’
Christiania has remained a cultural hub — before the pandemic almost two dozen concerts were held every week and its theatres were packed.

But it is still beset by its reputations as a drugs hub.

Though parts of Christiania are tranquil, lush and green with few buildings, others are bustling, with a post office, mini-market, healthcare centre, and Pusher Street, the notorious drug market.

Lykke says it’s a side of Christiania most could do without.

“Most of us would like to get rid of it. But as long as (marijuana use) is prohibited, as long as Denmark doesn’t want to decriminalise or legalise, we will have this problem,” says Lykke.

While still officially illegal, soft drugs like marijuana and hash are tolerated — though not in excess.

Since early 2020, Copenhagen police have seized more than one tonne of cannabis and more than a million euros.

“Sometimes I don’t tell people that I live here because you get judged a little bit. Like, ‘Oh, you must be into marijuana and you must be a smoker’,” says Anemone, a 34-year-old photographer.

For others, Christiania’s relaxed nature is part of the appeal.

“It’s different from what I know, I really want to see it,” laughs Mirka, a Czech teacher who’s come to have a look around.