Alexis Magnaval, a 19-year-old student of Global Politics in Malmö University, left Bordeaux for Sweden six months ago. One semester in, he’s ready to dive even deeper into the sights and sounds of Malmö for his final term. He presents: My Malmö.
How would you describe Malmö in just one word?
Cosmopolitan. To me this would be the most appropriate word for all of its different aspects. What struck me was the mix of the colourful façades, the city's industrial past, and the modern glass buildings. And the people, they come from everywhere.
Let’s hear more about the people.
As an exchange student I’ve had the chance to talk with people from far and wide, but it’s not just students – many of the people who have settled in Malmö came here for a short time and then chose to stay.
As for the Swedes, although they can be uptight, they’re nice and don't hesitate to help you find your way; they’re talkative and even try to speak a few words of French to me sometimes.
How would you spend an afternoon with a visitor?
Well, the best way to explore is definitely by bike – the city is made for it. I’ve taken past visitors cycling through Kungsparken, Pildammsparken and Slottsparken, which is pleasant when it is sunny as well as during the autumn, when the colours are turning to orange and red. Then it is cool to hang out along the beach path where there's a nice view of the Turning Torso.
This icon of Malmö stands at 190 metres and offers the best view on the city. All you have to do is find somebody who lives in it to show you.
Then, a quick look at the ecological district in Västra Hamnen, which is the modern part of Malmö with the university neighbourhood, and to top it all off – a fika downtown.
Do you have a smultronställe (favourite place) to enjoy this downtown fika?
Yes. Mine would be Garaget, an alternative café where you can have a fika while borrowing a book, a DVD, or taking part in a creative workshop. But there is also Kafé Kungsgatan, with its kitsch decoration close to a Vienna tea salon, which serves the most amazing crumble with cream in town.
What about that famous student life?
As a 19-year-old, you need to know a sneaky trick or two to get into the mostly over-20 nightclubs. The cheap Möllevången district (called Möllan by the locals) is the best option, and here you'll find all the concerts and the biggest concentration of clubs in town.
If you want to rock your head on a crowded dancefloor, just go to Kulturbolaget or “KB”. If you want a mystic atmosphere, go to Babel, which is a former church. There are also some good concerts at Debaser in Folkets Park.
Sounds like a blast. And finally, how does Malmö compare to other places you’ve been in Sweden?
Malmö is less expensive than Stockholm and warmer than Gothenburg. Malmö is the place to be in Sweden. And it is good to be here again for another semester!