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Top ten ways to spend a few days in Malmö

There's more to the capital of the Swedish south than falafels and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Our man in Malmö, Patrick Reilly, rounds up ten of the best things to do when in the city.

Top ten ways to spend a few days in Malmö
Photo: Aline Lessner/imagebank.sweden.se

Google Malmö and among the suggested search results are the local university, the airport and the football team. All of which are fine and dandy but hardly the most enticing things to check out for somebody who is just in the city for a few days.

Malmö is located on the southern tip of Sweden and is very close to neighbouring Denmark. As a result it has an identity all of its own and locals like to point just how much better things are down south compared to up in Stockholm.

The weather being just one of them of course. So along with soaking up the sun during the summer what else should one do when checking out all that is good and great in Malmö?

Fear not, as our fully-fledged Malmö convert guides you through some of the best things about the city. 

1.Take a sauna at Kallbadhus


Photo: L.E Daniel Larsson/Flickr

Plenty of cities have a Kallbadhus but none can match the location of the one in Malmö which overlooks the Öresund sound and the iconic bridge to Denmark. Literally translated as the cold bath house, it is more fun than it sounds. Users are encouraged to get naked if they want to (a 'tush mat' is provided for your behind) and enjoy a sauna before jumping into the sea to cool off. 

2. Sample some spettekaka


Photo: The Local

The tall dessert is a southern specialty requiring a careful hand and something super sharp to cut it properly. Spettekaka is also rather sweet and dry, meaning it isn't to everyone's taste, but when in Malmö you have to give it a go. Goes well with a cup of the local Skånerost. Good places to find spettekaka are Martin's Konditori on Södra Förstadsgatan, Mormors Bageri on Spångatan and Bröder & Systrar on Östra Rönneholmsvägen.

3. Folkets Park


Photo: Guillaume Baviere/Flickr

Malmö is known as the city of parks with acres of green space for walking, biking, barbecuing etc. Perhaps the best known is Folkets Park (People's Park) which often plays host to concerts and has a huge playground for children. You'll find a mini zoo with a parrot who can say hej då (goodbye) along with a water fountain in the shape of a giant flower. Revellers can party long into the night by popping into Moriska Paviljongen. 

4. Be a hipster in Lilla Torg


Photo: David Hall/Flickr

Stockholm has Gamla Stan while Malmö has Lilla Torg, a charming little square in the heart of the city centre. Granted, the drinks aren't cheap compared to other parts of town (see Möllan in next slide) but the square is a fine spot to do some people watching and mingle with locals and tourists alike. Be sure to drop into independent record store Folk å Rock and browse the vinyl section before relaxing outside with a beverage. 

5. Lap up multicultural Möllan


Photo: The Local

If Lilla Torg is the tourist hotspot then Möllevångstorget is the bohemian cousin buzzing on the other side of town. There's a vibrant market during the day selling everything from fresh fish to flowers. In the evening the area remains a hotbed of activity with lots of bars serving drinks cheaper than you will find elsewhere. Decent watering holes are Ölkaféet and Restaurang Nyhavn.

6. Get on your bike


Photo: The Local

Malmö, and indeed the rest of the region of Skåne, is as flat as a pancake, which makes it ideal for biking. Plenty of places offer bike rental such as Travelshop Malmö on Carlsgatan. There is much to discover by hopping onto two wheels, like venturing out to Bunkeflostrand to see where the Öresund bridge begins or simply biking throughout the city centre out to western harbour which brings us nicely to…

7. Turning Torso/Western Harbour


Photo: News Oresund/Flickr

No visit to Malmö is complete without the obligatory rubbernecking glance at the Turning Torso. But it's not the only thing worth seeing in the western harbour. Talk a leisurely stroll to see the epic Kockums shipyard, where submarines are built, or simply gaze at the yachts bobbing in the harbour or the penthouse apartments which sell for millions for kronor. 

8. Food, glorious food


Photo: The Local

The aptly named 'Bastard' restaurant on Mäster Johansgatan has long been fêted by critics as serving the best food in town. It is an authentic cuisine experience for all foodies out there. Not too far away is Gränden on Malmborgsgatan, which is only open for a few months every summer, and is set in a stunning outdoors location. On the other side of town is Ariana restaurant on Nobelvägen which is renowned for its Afghan Manti dish. 

9. Hit the library


Photo: Per Egevad/Flickr

Yes, you did read that right. Malmö's city library is an architectural marvel which is the pride of the city after having a makeover in the late 90s. The so-called 'Calendar of Light' allows the sun to shine brilliantly inside the building, where you can enjoy views of the city. Over a million people visit the library each year and there are always events going on to keep you entertained. 

10. Take a ride on a pedal boat


Photo; News Öresund/Flickr

If biking or walking isn't your thing they you can always put your feet up (for a bit) and sample a pedal boat. Explore Malmö's canals and check some of the sights from water level including Malmöhus Castle, where there are several museums. Don't venture too far as you may end up in Denmark. If pedalling is too much effort you can always hop on one of the regular tourist boats (pictured). 

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How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans

After long months of lockdowns and curfews Europeans are looking forward to jetting off for a bit of sun and sand -- only to find that their long awaited holiday plans go awry due to a shortage of rental cars.

How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans
Tourists wait outside of rental car agencies in Corsica. Photo: PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP

In many areas popular with tourists cars are simply not available or subcompacts are going for a stiff €500 euros.

Car rental comparison websites show just how expensive renting a vehicle has become for tourists this summer.

According to Carigami, renting a car for a week this summer will set tourists back an average of 364 euros compared to 277 euros two years ago.

For Italy, the figure is 407 euros this summer compared to 250 euros in 2019. In Spain, the average cost has jumped to 263 euros from 185 euros.

According to another website, Liligo, daily rental costs have nearly doubled on the French island of Corsica. At the resort city of Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca, rental prices have nearly tripled.

Today’s problem is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Faced with near absence of clients, selling off vehicles to raise cash made a lot of sense for car rental firms struggling to survive.

“Everyone drastically reduced their fleet,” said the head of Europcar, Caroline Parot.

Until the spring, most companies still had fleets roughly a third smaller than in 2019, she said.

Car rental firms are used to regularly selling their vehicles and replacing them, so rebuilding their inventory should not have been a problem.

Except the pandemic sent demand for consumer electronics surging, creating a shortage of semiconductors, or chips, that are used not only in computers but increasingly in cars.

“A key contributor to the challenge right now is the global chip shortage, which has impacted new vehicle availability across the industry at a time when demand is already high,” said a spokesman for Enterprise.

It said it was working to acquire new vehicles but that in the mean time it is shifting cars around in order to better meet demand.

No cars, try a van

“We’ve begun to warn people: if you want to come to Italy, which is finally reopening, plan and reserve ahead,” said the head of the association of Italian car rental firms, Massimiliano Archiapatti.

He said they were working hard to meet the surge in demand at vacation spots.

“But we’ve got two big islands that are major international tourism destinations,” he said, which makes it difficult to move cars around,
especially as the trip to Sardinia takes half a day.

“The ferries are already full with people bringing their cars,” he added.

“Given the law of supply and demand, there is a risk it will impact on prices,” Archiapatti said.

The increase in demand is also being seen for rentals between individuals.

GetAround, a web platform that organises such rentals, said it has seen “a sharp increases in searches and rentals” in European markets.

Since May more than 90 percent of cars available on the platform have been rented on weekends, and many have already been booked for much of the summer.

GetAround has used the surge in demand to expand the number of cities it serves.

For some, their arrival can’t come fast enough.

Bruno Riondet, a 51-year-old aeronautics technician, rents cars to attend matches of his favourite British football club, Brighton.

“Before, to rent a car I was paying between 25 and 30 euros per day. Today, it’s more than 90 euros, that’s three times more expensive,” he said.

In the United States, where prices shot higher during the spring, tourists visiting Hawaii turned to renting vans.

In France, there are still cars, according to Jean-Philippe Doyen, who handles shared mobility at the National Council of Automobile Professionals.

“Clients have a tendency to reserve at the last minute, even more so in the still somewhat uncertain situation,” he said.

They will often wait until just a few days before their trip, which means car rental firms don’t have a complete overview of upcoming demand, he added.

He said business is recovering but that revenue has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels as travel is not yet completely unfettered.

SEE ALSO: British drivers will no longer need an insurance ‘green card’ to visit Europe, EU rules

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