The Simple Things
MY CITY*: MALMÖ
FRESH AIR, GREEN SPACES AND AN AMAZING QUALITY OF LIFE DREW PEGGY JUCHE TO MAKE THIS SWEDISH CITY HER FAMILY HOME
*There’s no better way to get to the heart of a city than through the people who live there. Every month, we ask someone, clearly in love with their city, to take us on a personal tour and tell us what makes it so special. You may feel inspired to visit one day or to rediscover the charms of a city closer to you, but for now just sit back, relax and enjoy some armchair travel.
How long have you lived here?
My husband and I and our three children moved here in summer 2013. I am originally from Berlin and my husband from Paris. Before Malmö we lived in Amsterdam for nearly six years. We love to move and are very curious to learn and discover new cultures, people and countries. My husband’s company offered him a job here. We packed, moved and started a new chapter in our lives. We’re a family of six now and enjoying our fourth spring in the city.
Tell us what makes your city unique
Malmö is very green, in both senses – there are many parks as well as a great eco-friendly lifestyle. The majority of people living here are younger than 35, so you see a lot of children. The city changed tremendously after the Øresund Bridge was opened in 2000. The famous bridge connecting us to Copenhagen and therefore to Europe gave Malmö a new direction. For example, what used to be an industrial zone around the harbour, Västra hamnen, has transformed into a fashionable area. With the opening of Malmö Live in 2015 (a big concert hall and events centre) and the Saluhall (amazing food market), the city is attracting more people and the start-up scene is growing.
What’s it like in spring?
The days are longer, people are outside again, the city becomes more colourful with trees and plants starting to blossom. You can feel the city’s period of hibernation come to an end and Malmö returns to life. I love these weeks of change.
What time of day do you most enjoy and why?
Morning. The sun comes up early again and getting »
“Working days end rather early and family time is important. We love the work-life balance here”
out of bed becomes easy. The light is crisp and really special. On a good day you get so much energy from it.
What’s the nature like?
Malmö is known as the City of Parks – they're in every direction – and we're surrounded by forests, too. We also have the beach. From our home we can walk or take bikes to Ribersborgs city beach. Malmö stretches along the coast and you can cycle or drive all the way from Västra hamnen to Bunkeflostrand.
Where is your favourite outdoor space?
Folkets Park, which translates as ‘ People’s Park’ and that’s exactly what it is. There are several really cool playgrounds, a children’s theatre, mini golf, various kiosks and even a tiny zoo with turtles and birds. The beer garden always has live music during summer – it’s a great melting pot for people in Malmö and around.
Tell us about the light and colours of your city.
The light is amazing; it gets me all the time and especially when we come back after being away. Think about light blue, ice and, if you like, the new colour of the year, ‘greenery’*. The air is really good as well. In summer it truly feels like you are on holiday here with the beach, long days, clean air and water.
Tell us about the people who live here.
Swedes are very polite and calm; maybe a little hard to get to know, but once you do they are very kind. The mix of locals, Swedes that have moved to the ‘Côte d’Azur’ of Scandinavia, immigrants and so on make Malmö a really interesting city. Working days end rather early here and family time is important.
Where are your favourite places to gather with friends?
My absolute favourite is the Slottsträdgårdens Kafé (slottstradgardenskafe.se), which is open from around March until September/October. It’s a great organic café – outdoor seating only – in Slottsparken.
What’s your favourite way to get around?
By bike. The city isn’t that big which makes it quick and easy to get from A to B. Bike lanes are everywhere. Since May 2016 there are many ‘Malmö by Bike’ spots all over the city (malmobybike.se/en).
Tell us about the food and eating out.
The food scene is thriving here. People enjoy dining out. In the afternoon, we like to gather for fika (coffee break with a little sweet snack). Swedes love coffee and you can find a café on every corner here. For an amazing Swedish dining experience go to
Katrinetorp, a manor house just outside of Malmö. It has great pastries, shrimp sandwiches and belly of pork done the Skåne way (Malmö is in Skåne County): salted, thick-sliced, pan-fried until it’s really crispy and served with onion gravy and boiled potatoes.
What’s been your best discovery?
Sankt Petri Kyrka (St Peter’s Church): its exterior is red brick, but the inside is bridal white. Sunlight streams in through the windows, illuminating the interior like sunbeams on an iceberg. It’s truly magical.
What’s the shopping like?
If you love good design and are passionate about interiors then there are two shops you really must visit: Svenssons i Lammhult (Södergatan 28) and Olsson & Gerthel (Engelbrektsgatan 9). A great cheaper option is Granit (Södergatan 3): they sell designer furniture, small deco objects, accessories – all lovely things to make your home more beautiful.
Where do you like to escape to?
One of our favourite outings is to Tirups Örtagård, a garden and nursery outside Malmö (tirupsortagard.se). You can buy wonderful plants, the kids can climb trees or explore the playground. There is a café that serves lovely homemade cakes, too. Slättarps Gård is a brilliant lunch and fika spot with a huge terrace. There are two good shops as well – one interiors and kitchenware, one clothing (slattarpsgard.se). »
What would surprise a newcomer to your city?
The food scene. Hardly anyone knows about it. We have three Michelin-starred restaurants: one went to a female chef, Titti Qvarnström, at Bloom In the Park ( bloominthepark.se). There is no menu – every dish depends on her daily whim and boundless imagination.
If you could change one thing, what would it be?
Keep it alive 365 days a year. Once the cold season starts, people hide in their houses. Places around the city are closed. It makes for a long and dark period.
Where would you recommend to stay? What keeps you in Malmö and where would you like to live if you couldn’t live here?
Life here with kids is really very relaxed. We love the work-life balance we can achieve. Finding another place with the same level of ‘family life’ in Europe is tricky, so I would say – if not Malmö, then Canada! Master Johan Hotel is a charming hotel within easy walking distance of many attractions (masterjohan.se).