Canadian’s guide to Malmö

So having lived in Malmö for a while now, I think that it’s important to share my thoughts and observations about the place.

Public Transportation

The public transportation here is pretty good. The one thing that I like the most is that there is a digital display at every single bus stop. This means that you can see the schedule displayed live for you, and the arrival time is updated in real time. This is very helpful, especially if you’re not really sure when the next bus will arrive.

However, it can also be a bit confusing. The one thing that you have to know is that you cannot buy a ticket on the bus or train. You must purchase it beforehand, and it’s usually a machine or using your smartphone. Make sure that you have a smartphone or a Jojo card purchased and loaded up before you start traveling.

Money

The money used here is the Swedish Kroner (crown in English). Its a bit difficult, because it’s not always an easy conversion to do in your head. It’s about a 6 to a 6.5 to 1. I tend just to go for a 6-to-1 ratio, its just easier. The most important thing to know is that if you use cash, people will immediately know that you’re a foreigner. Everyone uses card here, pretty much exclusively. I’ve never really had a problem using cash, just weird looks.

The People

The people here are polite, but not necessarily what you’d call friendly. They aren’t the most welcoming people, but that’s only because they are quite reserved. Bu from what I know, this seems to be a theme in Scandinavia. You don’t talk to people randomly, and they really like their personal bubble.

One thing that is really cool is that EVERYONE speaks English. There has only been one person that I encountered in three months that didn’t speak English, and that was a cab driver. I don’t want to stereotype or anything, but he was an immigrant. The reason I know this, is that it’s (as far as I’ve been told) impossible to get through the Swedish education system without being able to speak English. And nobody will care that you don’t speak Swedish, even off the beaten path.

Cost

I would say that generally everything is pretty much on par with Canada (once you take into consideration the conversion rate). There are a few things that are simply much more expensive. Anything that you’d find a “sin” tax on at home is more expensive (i.e. Beer, Wine, Cigarettes).
A Big Mac at McDonald’s is 67 Kr (Kronor or SEK) which translates to around $10. Any eating out will be in this range. You should expect to pay 65-100 Kr, with 100 being a nicer meal.
Food in the grocery store is cheaper, you can buy Apple/Orange juice for around 38-42 Kr, Chocolate bars for 6 Kr, Canada Dry for 12 Kr (this is expensive for pop). The fresh stuff seems to be a bit more expensive, but marginally so. Packaged stuff seems to be cheaper for certain goods.

Activities

If you ask anyone who is from Malmö what to do, they’ll tell you “Go to Copenhagen.” This is true, and it’s a nice activity, but what about the stuff to do in the city. Well, of course, you can go to IKEA and eat some Köttbullar (Swedish meatballs). There is also the Malmö castle, which has 3 different museums in it and gives you access to Tesniska museet (Science/technology museum) which is really cool. There is also wandering around the city and discovering the different food available to you.

Overall

Malmö is not a bustling metropolitan, which is one of it’s strong suits. It’s a very beautiful city with lots of different food options for those who like to eat out. People are polite and helpful, and English is no problem. They probably speak better English than you do, even if it’s your first language.

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