Over the decades Sweeden has provided us with two major
social inspirations - equal marriage and Abba. Sweden is one of the most socially and politically progressive countries in the world and
one of the first nations to legally recognize gay marriage. It also brought us Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid in the form of Waterloo during
the Eurovision Song Contest. Two of our reporters Adrian Gillan and Andrew Collins have been to Stockholm to enjoy the Smörgåsbord of delights
that this city offers.
The Venice of the North: grand architecture built on islands, cleaved by canals,
joined by bridges. Stockholm's gay scene is spread throughout the city like
splattered pearls, but especially in Södermalm & Gamla Stan districts. And Swedish
men are a glory to behold: initially reserved, yet animals in bed, reports OutUK's Adrian Gillan.
Stockholm City Hall - Henrik Trygg
TO SEE & DO
Just east of centre the Modern Art Museum on Skeppsholmen brims
with everything from Picasso to present day arty pants. Over the water from the Warhols,
Vasamuseet at Galärvarvsvägen 14 features a perfectly-preserved,
400-year old warship which sadly sank in Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage, along
with many crew. Magnificent and ghostly, it exceeds expectations!
The Nobel Museum
on Börshuset in Stortorget opened in 2001 to celebrate a
centenary of Nobel Prizes and is full of constantly-changing, inspirational exhibits.
Near the main railway station, ICEBAR Stockholm in the Hotel C Stockholm
at Vasaplan 4 is made of ice - and so is the glass that your drink is served in. The bar has
has a constant temperature of -5°C (23°F) and room for up to 60 people. Your entry fee includes
a drink and a 45 minute visit. Children are welcome, and are served a colorful non-alcoholic drink. All
visitors borrow an ice cape and a pair of gloves to keep themselves warm and to protect the ice from
their body heat. This is not just a drink in a bar in central Stockholm – it’s a slice of northern Sweden’s
polar magic and a totally unique experience. You are greeted with cool crisp air, a beautiful and unique interior,
artistic design and a memory for life.
The hotel also offers a delicious night out with cold drinks and warm food, and on the terrace they offer regular Ice Sculpting
classes for about 45–60 minutes. 10–50 people work in teams of two and the objective is to create an art piece out of ice.
Stockholm isn't just about being cold and playing with ice! For other water activities why not take in the city's myriad of surrounding islands
from the water on an Archipelago boat tour. There are regular departures from Stromkajen, outside the Grand Hotel.
Super trouper! Check out chic modern
Rival Hotel, part of a café-eatery-cinema complex co-owned
by Benny from ABBA!
The Garbo Suite. Book the Rival Hotel at special rates
One of the city's finest and most historic lodgings, Berns Hotel on Nåckströmsgatan has cutting-edge
rooms, complemented by the intimate old drawing room where great playwright Strindberg oft relaxed;
and the dramatic, gold-gilt theatrical breakfast-salon-cum-ballroom-cum-club-venue where the
likes of Dietrich and Chevalier have hitherto entertained. Throws regular, spectacular gay club nights!
Or, just south of centre, Clarion Hotel on Ringvägen is vast swish, modern and gay-wooing.
TO EAT & DRINK
Chokladkoppen is a packed Old Town hang-out, famous for homemade sweets and cakes, plus
eponymous white hot chocolate that'll make your willy wonka. Not far away on Nytorget you'll find Urban Deli which has a fantastic
selection of fresh fish and other traditional sweedish delights and although a mixed crowd, seems popular
with gay men.
The Secret Garden has twice been awarded Gay Place of The Year. They proudly stand for respect, diversity and love in all its varieties
in a cozy, colorful environment with a lounge & outdoor seating, serving global mains & nibbles and some veggie options.
The Blue Oyster is also an award winning bar located in the Hornhuset develpment on the Långholmsgatan. Cocktails, drag bingo, drag Queens
and dj’s are all there on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
One of Europe's most unique gay nightlife events: the three-level Sunday tea party on the
moored old steamship Patricia (actually built in Middlesbrough). The crowd is young
and up-for-it. And there's no better place to snog than on the upper deck, as watery
ripples reflect twinkling Stockholm lights. Occasional "foam parties" all add to the
swell: where semi-naked men writhe hard against each other, up to their necks in
The subtly named Club Backdoor is a Gay night club located in the Tele2 Arena, Johanneshov, in the southern part of Stockholm. It's Scandinavias biggest Gay club,
open every Friday and Saturday. They have regular themed nights including Locker Room night, Stroke a Pose, RuPaul Night, Madonna experience and many more.