Emporia:Evolved, a former shopping-mall turned creative hub in Hyllie, is one of the most significant and popular meeting spots for Malmöites, young and old. Though its glass and concrete exterior is pretty hideous—unless you’ve got a particular thing for that 2010s late-pomo architectural-spectacle vibe—what’s hidden inside is a treasure trove of making, breaking and re-making spaces, along with rental libraries for everything you might need: toys, books, furniture, clothes and more. Whatever sort of broken thing you’ve got, you’ll find a specialist somewhere in Emporia who knows just how to fix it, or who will help you fix it yourself… or, if you’re the impatient type, you can trade it in for a working equivalent, if you’ve got the money.
While repair and exchange is arguably the backbone of Emporia’s offer, there’s a whole lot more tucked away in its somewhat baffling warren of arcades and escalators. There are fortune tellers, for those who feel they’ve lost their way in life; LARP labs, for those want to try out a different life entirely; there’s even a completely energy-neutral hotel for those desperate for a good night’s sleep. Meanwhile, there’s always something happening around every corner (or rather curve), from improvised theater to pop-up lectures, painting workshops to philosophical salons. Drop the young ones off at one of the creches, deposit the teens in a VR arcade, and see what you can see! Getting involved with whatever’s popping is a great way to meet local people and learn new things. That said, you might also just want to sit down with a chicory brew and watch the craziness unfold—there are plenty of worse ways to spend a day.
(The Rough Planet editors would also recommend the re-wilded rooftop park, with a bar serving top of the line cocktails made with locally produced juices and spirits, and a cherry tree-encircled stage that plays host to Malmö’s hottest up-and-coming musicians, performers and comedians. If you can, try to catch the eco-jazz nights, which take place every second Saturday of the month—it ain’t dusty, grandma!)
Of course, Emporia:Evolved wasn’t always a high-end hotspot of culture and creativity. On the contrary, throughout the 2010s and 20s it was the most popular shopping mall in Skåne: a Mecca of consumption, and a hotspot for the wasteful “fast fashion” and “influencer” cultures of the time. This came to an abrupt end in 2030, however, when a group of young environmental activists occupied the rooftop to protest the government’s underwhelming measures against combating climate change. A year after the occupation ended, Emporia went bankrupt as a result of dwindling visitor numbers; it reopened a couple of years later in its current form, and drew record numbers in 2037. Guided tours are sometimes available, in which those who took part recount the highs and lows of the occupation, and talk about how it was back in the old days—a real treat for those who like to understand the history of the cultures in which they immerse themselves, but honestly recommended to anyone.