Five reasons we love south Sweden (and you should too)
Emma Löfgren · 16 Mar 2016, 06:59
Published: 16 Mar 2016 06:59 GMT+01:00
- How to make southern Sweden's farmers' egg cake (19 Feb 16)
- Five reasons why Malmö is Sweden's happiest city (09 Feb 16)
- Southern Swedes cheer top 2016 travel ranking (08 Jan 16)
Spring arrives in the south earlier than anywhere else in Sweden and it enjoys a more temperate climate than the rest of Sweden year-round too, with an average winter temperature of zero to -2C and a record summer high of 36C (in June, 1947). Take that, northern Sweden and your snow sports.
But we won't bore you with stats. Just close your eyes and think of sandy beaches, open-roof road trips, eating fresh strawberries in April and having a cold beer at a Malmö outdoor bar when the rest of Sweden has barely forgotten Christmas.
Sunbathers in Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/SCANPIX
Oh, we're not just talking about that Swedish footballer from Malmö you may have heard of. Skåne boasts so many celebs you can hardly walk out your door without bumping into one of them, including both Sweden's 2016 Eurovision entry Frans (who's from Ystad) and last year's winner Måns Zelmerlöw (Lund). Compare that to northern Sweden where you can walk several miles without bumping into any people at all.
It recently got another name to add to the list, after Sweden's newest royal baby, Prince Oscar, was named Duke of Skåne by his grandfather, King Carl XVI Gustaf, earlier this month. Others include now-retired footballers Henrik Larsson and Fredrik Ljungberg, acting legend Max Von Sydow and of course British actor Hugh Grant, who bought a house in Torekov last year.
Sweden's Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
It's not for nothing that Skåne was named ninth coolest place in the world by the New York Times earlier this year. The region boasts four Michelin star restaurants, from Sweden's first female Michelin chef at Bloom in the Park in hip Malmö, to Daniel Berlin's relaxing hang-out in Tranås, in Skåne's countryside.
If those are too pricey, there is no falafel as cheap or as tasty as the one you can get in Malmö (we recommend Jalla Jalla on Bergsgatan in the rugged-but-trendy Möllevången area), which could also give several European cities a run for their money with a long list of hipster-friendly budget eateries.
Bloom in the Park's head chef Titti Qvarnström. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT
There's no other place in Sweden as close to another European capital. While a train ride from Malmö to Stockholm takes more than four hours, you can hop on a train across the Öresund and get to Copenhagen in Denmark in 30 minutes (at least before Sweden's infamous border checks began last year). Not to mention that the region itself is quite small, so it is easy to get around as well – unlike Stockholm where you're pretty much forced to break up with your friends if one of them moves to the opposite side of the city (unless you want an hour's journey changing between two metro lines and the commuter train).
Copenhagen, just a stone's throw away (well, almost). Photo: Helena Landstedt/TT
5. Nordic Noir
When was the last time a Swedish crime drama was not set in Skåne? British comedian Ricky Gervais recently joined the ranks of fans of The Bridge, the police series that takes place on the Öresund bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen. And Sweden's most famous fictional detective of all time, Kurt Wallander in author Henning Mankell's novels, is from Ystad on the picturesque south coast, where both the Swedish TV series and the BBC version were filmed.
Just finished The Bridge. Consistently the most beautiful, innovative and compelling drama on TV.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 14, 2016
Finally, we like to offer balanced reporting here at The Local, so here's our northern correspondent Paul Connolly's five reasons why northern Sweden beats the south.