Captivating Nordic noir drama The Bridge has had audiences in 174 countries hooked for two seasons – and it's not just the actors who've shot to stardom as a result. The show has pushed its Scandinavian setting straight into the spotlight, resulting in a specific The Bridge tour that takes in some of Malmö's finest sights.
On the Øresund Bridge that connects Malmö to Copenhagen, a dead body is discovered. Or to be more exact, two halves of a dead body are discovered, precisely positioned so that while the torso is in Sweden, the legs remain in Denmark, forcing the police forces of both countries to work together to solve the crime. Soon afterwards, the protagonists realize that they're actually faced with two dead bodies: a Swedish politician and Danish prostitute have both been murdered, bisected, and arranged on the bridge to appear as one person.
This is just the first in a series of cruelly clever twists that have unfolded over the two-series run of The Bridge, a Danish-Swedish co-production that's been hugely successful around the world and spawned two adaptations already. The central relationship between the two police officers, socially uneasy Saga Norén from Sweden and gregarious everyman Martin Rohde from Denmark, serves as a fascinating psychological study, with tensions mounting almost as rapidly as the escalating body count.
Despite the dark and gritty subject matter of the series, the city of Malmö shines through, with the stylish, moody shots casting an edgy light on the industrial landscape. The symbolic importance of the Øresund Bridge as a link between neighboring, but very different, nations is clearly illustrated through the show's central plot, but the titular bridge also has an undeniable visual impact, rising like a snake from the brackish waters of the Baltic Sea. This vast feat of modern engineering is the longest road-and-rail bridge in Europe and has a compelling off-screen history – its construction was delayed following the discovery of 16 unexploded WWII bombs on the sea floor, and before its official opening in July 2000, the first civilians to use it were 80,000 half marathon runners.
The Bridge tour sets off from Norra Vallgaten, just a five minute walk from our Radisson Blu Hotel Malmö. With a specialist guide narrating the journey, your tour seamlessly integrates fact with fiction by screening clips of the show set in the real locations you'll visit, which include tourist hotspots along with the deserted backstreets where the grisly crimes are planned and executed. Your guide will let you in on behind-the-scenes anecdotes about filming, set design and location scouting, with all tours conducted in Swedish and English. The tour lasts around two and a half hours, and includes a location map and a small mystery gift.
If your themed exploration of the city leaves you feeling a little hungry, you can follow in the cast's footsteps with a visit to Ribersborgs Kallbadhus, a spa, café and bathhouse on the edge of a pier. It's where Martin has a sudden breakthrough in the first series and inches closer to finding the killer, but for visitors fortunate enough to have less weighty matters to deal with, those delicious baked potatoes with egg, dill and lemon really do deserve your full attention.