The LGBT community finds life in Stockholm much like Stockholm itself: welcoming, warm, greatly varied, massively fun, and easily accessible. It's no wonder gays and lesbians travel from counties far and wide to gather with their proud Swedish brothers and sisters. Now... what to do once you're there?
Curious why to visit during Pride? For starters, this Pride Celebration is one of Scandinavia's largest and most grand. It has matured since 1998 to become a top contender for biggest and best annual festival in all of Stockholm.
One of the most iconic experiences is also a gay and family friendly spot. This perfectly located (Kungsholmen waterfront) combination lounge/bar, beer garden, and open-air cafe offers a prime opportunity for strolling along Norr Malarstrand's promenade. Floating decks, a roofed and heated lounge, and a glass gazebo are just a few of the special features that make this everyone's favorite bar. Coincidentally, everyone is exactly who's welcome here.
Be sure to include a stay at this beautiful hotel, located right at the city's heart. This boutique hotel is the lap of luxury and a landmark in Stockholm since 1963. Amenities include a workout room, WiFi, bar/lounge, restaurant, and room service - all with a modern spirit but old world charm. The Bern's also hosts regular gay parties on a weekly basis, usually on Wednesday nights.
Attention Dancing Queens! Take the ABBA City walk and check out the ABBA Museum. Avoid long lines and pick your own time to visit by buying your tickets online (audio guide SEK40; family ticket SEK520, and single SEK195). Plan on spending 2 hours or more singing, dancing, and enjoying the world according to ABBA. Open 10 am to 8 pm during summer.
Enjoy a night out on the town at Candy (at Le Bon Palais) but plan on a late night (or early morning) and on paying 140-160 SEK for admission. Set aside your Friday from 11 pm until 4 am in the morning because it's your only shot at this, the best party in town. Music: R & B and House, Swedish Schlager songs, and Pop.
From Stockholm, travel by ferry; book a tour or sail via luxury cruise to the Baltic Sea's second largest archipelago and Sweden's largest. Open sea, tranquil coves, rocky cliffs, and wooded islands all combine to make up no less that 30,000 rocks, islets, and islands. More than that, however, it is a cultural district with a collection of cottages, hotels, and hostels plus meals prepared over an open flame and restaurants and inns filled with the finest culinary delights.
Enjoy some downtime and great people watching at Torget in Gamla Stan, but be sure to get in early on crowded weekend nights. A bar by night and a restaurant by day, this Old Town favorite is small but mighty in its popularity with the LGBT community.
More than 150 artists have contributed some incredible engravings and reliefs, installations, sculptures, paintings, and mosaics. The 110 kilometers of subway can also help you navigate all the best gay stops in town.
If you're hungry, then be sure to stop by Chokladkoppen from 9 am until 11 pm Friday and Saturday, but only from 11 am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday. Another Old Town stop located on one of the favorite squares, this cafe is gay friendly and cozy.
Still need just a bit of convincing? Visit the Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network blog for inspiration. It contains a wide range of not only inspiring but helpful information.
Have you ever visited Stockholm? Whats your top recommendation?
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Auston grew up in Phoenix before escaping to Chicago in 2008. After 4 years working as an engineer, he sold his belongings and embarked on a round-the-world trip. After traveling non-stop for a year, he finally settled in Spain with his husband where he now calls home. When he's not traveling or writing guides about events, festivals or the best LGBT destinations, he enjoys the long sunny days and nightlife of Madrid. Read Auston's blog at Two Bad Tourists, or follow him on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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