Our 13 best Gay Travel Tips for your trip to Sweden’s capital City after EuroPride in Stockholm – We put the Swedish capital Stockholm on our gay travel itinerary testing gay-friendly hotels, vegetarian and vegan restaurants as well as LGBT friendly activities like shopping, the music heritage of ABBA… 😉 and falling in love with Scandinavian design and architecture. The self-proclaimed “Capital of Scandinavia” is known for being open-minded, inclusive, welcoming, and is especially but not only during Pride Season a great destination for lesbian, gay, and queer travelers planning their gaycation in the northern part of Europe. In 2018, Stockholm and Gothenburg were hosting cities for EuroPride. They were once again inviting the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to raise their rainbow flags and proudly stand together for love, equality, respect, and against homophobia, hate, and racism. But now enjoy our Gay Travel Stockholm Sweden Tips and see the Swedish capital through a couple of men‘s eyes!
Our Gay Travel Tips for Stockholm
Good to know about Stockholm: Together with the rainbow family of Stockholm LGBT, we collected the best tips for a city trip in July and August to experience why Sweden is considered the most gay-friendly country globally and why you should travel to Stockholm after EuroPride. We explored Stockholm for four days trying to find the best gay and lesbian locations, collect information about the most important events, and had fun nights in some of Stockholm’s best gay bars. But there is, of course, more to discover! ABBA fans will fall in love with the interactive ABBA Museum and the well-known dinner musical “Mamma Mia The Party.” In contrast, fans of Swedish history should definitely not miss visiting the Vasa Museum and Skansen, one of the biggest open-air museums in the world. Theme Park fans like us should not forget to ride ALL rollercoasters of Gröna Lund. And there is more to explore on your Gay Travel Stockholm!
Experience Stockholm after EuroPride
You are welcome anyhow, JUST AS YOU ARE! – With this motto, Stockholm was inviting LGBTQ+ travelers from all over the world to join their EuroPride 2018 celebration in the Nordic country of Sweden. Today, the city continues to be an LGBTQ+ hotspot in Europe. Book your flight, make a reservation for your gay-friendly hotel, and don’t forget to pack your rainbow flag (alternatively rainbow umbrella) for the annual Gay Pride and take a stand against homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia, and racism together in a peaceful and including celebration. Check the video clip of Visit Stockholm, and we love it!
Sing along with ABBA at the ABBA Museum
You won’t be able to avoid ABBA during your gay travels to Stockholm, even less when during EuroPride, for sure! So, why trying and, instead, embracing the cultural heritage of Sweden, even today. There is almost (!) no better way of getting in touch with ABBA than visiting ABBA The Museum with its interactive exhibition. Fascinating background stories, unique ABBA items from the couples Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and unique way of dancing, singing, dressing, and playing together. Don’t miss a selfie with the ABBA figures, the helicopter arrival, and, who knows, maybe you will be the next person picking up the phone when one of the ABBA four is calling directly to the orange telephone in the museum. We will never forget ABBA’s Mamma Mia song! What’s your favorite song? Get your ABBA tickets here >
Go crazy at Gröna Lund, Stockholm’s Theme Park
Stockholm’s theme park Tivoli Gröna Lund captures the imagination of its annual 1.5 Million visitors already for 135 years. Justifiably. We spent a whole day riding Gröna Lund’s 8 rollercoasters and some 25 rides throughout a well-themed park right next to the waterside and with a stunning view over the islands of Stockholm (at least from the highest rides!). Additional to the rides, Gröna Lund is hosting multiple events throughout the year as a venue for concerts. This year alone, more than 70 concerts of popular bands and singers like Marilyn Manson will give their best to impress the audience like The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Lady Gaga did before. Have fun in Grüna Lund Stockholm! Check the best ticket offers here >
Stay in the best gay-friendly hotels in Stockholm
Sweden is considered to be the most gay-friendly country in the world. Therefore, lesbian, queer, and gay travelers can be pretty relaxed when thinking about their LGBT-friendly accommodation. Especially the capital city offers multiple great and gay-friendly hotels in and around Stockholm. We could test two of the gay-friendly accommodations during our stay, the HOBO Hotel in Stockholm’s neighborhood Norrmalm and the Hotel Skeppsholmen on the identically named island Skeppsholmen. The HOBO Hotel was a perfect match for us: modern, stylish, with a very hipster note, from the interior design, the staff to the events taking place all year round. Located just a stone throw away from the royal palace and the cherry trees of Park Kungsträdgården, the Hotel HOBO is a great base for your city trip to Stockholm, also during EuroPride 2018! The Hotel Skeppsholmen offers an entirely different atmosphere, starting with the building constructed in 1699. Noble interior, spacious rooms, and an excellent eco/ vegan/ vegetarian-friendly cuisine was a spot landing for our second part of the trip. It is remarkable how Skeppsholmen feels like you are staying in a quiet and green environment far away from everything when you are just a bridge or ferry away from the city center. You can’t go wrong when booking these two hotels. Check them out:
Visit the Golden Royal Palace (& handsome Royal Guard)
The Swedish Royal Palace was the first major sight we visited, taking a tour through Swedish, Scandinavian, and European history. But before our tour started, we witnessed the changing of the royal guard on the palace square. Some guards would look much better with a beard and not clean-shaven; what do you think? Anyway, the royal palace tour took us on a journey through richly ornamented rooms and halls back in time when king Carl Gustaf XXX conquered the world. It also gave us an interesting insight into how Sweden became one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Get the best ticket offers here >
Shopping for Nordic fashion & Design
Shopping is an essential part of a trip to Stockholm, aside from sightseeing, eating, and roller coasters, of course! Especially if you are a fan of Scandinavian design items to decorate your house and looking for some great fashion statements from the cool, hip, gender-neutral north of Europe. For an exclusive shopping experience, you should visit Stockholm’s fashion district “Bibliotekstan,” located just a 5 minutes walking distance from the ferry terminal Nybroplan behind the Berzelii Park. The area offers a wide variety of high fashion statements like HOPE, the gender-neutral clothing brand, or the old-time favorite Scandinavian H&M. For a break in between. We recommend a short coffee stop at Brasserie Vau De Ville or, for the Italian cuisine lovers, Eataly. If you like your purchases to be a bit more alternative, then you will find more than enough special little shops spread over the city. Also, definitely check out the Hornstulls Marknad on Södermalm.
Sing & dance along MAMMA MIA The Party Musical
ABBA seems to be omnipresent in Stockholm. And that is not a bad thing at all! To become even more part of the success story of Agnetha, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny, and Anni-Frid, we decided to book a dinner show for MAMMA MIA The Party – Musical. A great location themed in a Greek island style, delicious food, and an interactive and positive atmosphere sent us on a dinner trip to Greece singing and dancing along with a dozen of ABBA fans and great musical actors and dancers. A highlight of the night was the after-show party, where we could literally sing and dance together with guests and the stars of the night. The show is located right next to the entrance of Grüna Lund theme park. The songs are in English, but the texts are in Swedish. Those among you who would like to see an English version should check out the website for info about the musical coming to London! Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t see an ABBA musical for the storyline… so enjoy the jabber and sing along with the songs. Check the best ticket rates here >
Test some of the best Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurants
Stockholm has a very diverse food scene specialist in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Definitely on our top highlight food list for Stockholm is the restaurant “The green queen” on the island Kungsholmenright (Check reviews here >). Just across the street from the restaurant, we found another wonderful place, the restaurant and bar “Mälarpaviljongen” right next to and on the water with pride beer, very handsome waiters, a romantic pavilion and stunning view over the water “Riddarfjärden” (Check reviews here >).
But we discovered some more great places in Stockholm to have lunch and dinner. For example, by connecting a visit to the East Asian and Modern Art Museum with the delicious creation of the Skeppsholmen hotel restaurant “Långa Raden” (Check reviews here >). After a shopping and sightseeing tour, we recommend having dinner at the restaurant “Taverna Brillo” with great Italian cuisine and changing art exhibitions (Check reviews here >). And if you get hungry during your visit to the world-famous ABBA Museum, you definitely should check the restaurant’s menu of the POP HOUSE Hotel (Check the review here >). Finally, theater and fans of extraordinary performances and party events should not miss a dinner night at Södra Teatern with a fantastic view over the city from their balconies (Check reviews here >).
Travel for Pride
All over the world, LGBTQ+ communities are standing together for equality, love, and peace celebrating their achievements and trying to point out hassles, injustice, and hate. The rainbow stands for a diverse culture of all genders and identities, respecting anyone loving another human being.
WOW! 300 years old Vasa Ship at Vasa Museum
Do you know the story of the glorious Swedish ship that sank during its maiden voyage in 1628 even before it could leave the harbor? No? It is the tragic but true story of the Swedish warship Vasa, which was considered one of the biggest and most heavily armed ships of its time. In 1961, after more than 330 years at the bottom of the bay and several unsuccessful recovery attempts, the well-preserved ship Vasa was raised successfully. Today, the ship is exhibited in the Vasa Museum around the corner of the Nordic Museum and Junibacken, the children’s attraction devoted to Swedish children’s literature, especially Astrid Lindgren. For us, it was impressive to see the beauty of the ship, the restored sculptures, and to get to know about the influence of the Vasa dynasty on Swedish history. Find reviews & your tickets here >
Night Out in Stockholm’s Gay Party Scene
Although the gay/ LGBT community seems perfectly integrated into Swedish society (at least in Stockholm), gay travelers will find some great gay parties, bars, events, and hang-out hot spots all over the city. We started our gay night out in Stockholm at Mälarpaviljongen for a pride beer and a glass of Pride sparkling wine with our gay travel buddies Whitney & Megan, aka WEGAN. The spot on the water is just magical and a popular LGBT hot spot in Stockholm. From there, we headed towards Secret Garden, a popular gay bar and meeting point for the LGBT community on the island “Gamla Stan.” Ready for the night? Yes!
We went out to actually three parties during our stay. During our first gay night out, we went to Club Backdoor in the south of the city center at Arenavägen 75 (Tele2 Arena) with a very young mixed crowd and international and Swedish pop songs. For the second night, we chose the party King Kong right next to the park Mariatorget. KING KONG Sthlm is a gay club primarily for gay men and a hub for the entire LGBTQ community. The club is located in a cellar, and although it fits the jungle theme, we thought it was warm and moist and not good. Check the Facebook page for theme parties to avoid denied access. Finally, on our list is the gay party on Sunday in Stockholm on the ship Patricia. It is a popular gay party that started 20 years ago and is still incredibly popular with Stockholm’s gay scene. You might have to dance to mostly Eurovision songs, but then again, the view over the water is spectacular.
The stunning photo exhibitions at Fotografiska
LGBT travelers interested in the art of photography probably know about the photography museum “Fotografiska” in Stockholm. Located in a former customs house in the Södermalm district of Stockholm, it is actually not a museum but a modern center for contemporary photography hosting varying exhibitions worldwide. Lucky us, we could see the magnificent art of Christian Tagliavini, “The Extraordinary World of Christian Tagliavini,” which will be on view until June 10th this year. But “fotografiska” in Stockholm means more than “just” watching photography. It is meant to be a place to meet, drink, eat, and enjoy the amenities of appreciating the art of photography together. Get your ticket here >
Explore Sweden’s history at open-air museum Skansen
The end of April (April 30th) in Sweden means it is time for Valborg (Swedish: Valborgsmässoafton), the official arrival of Spring. We got the tip from the Swedish Tourism board to join hundreds of Stockholm people and attend the singing celebrations with performing dancers and singers on a huge stage and the gigantic bonfire inflamed by women dressed in traditional Swedish garments at the world-oldest open-air museum called Skansen. Located close to the ABBA museum, the traditional Swedish houses and farmsteads from every part of the country, together with typical Swedish animals like the Eurasian moose, made us travel back in time to experience the origins of the Swedish culture. Goodbye, Winter, and welcome Spring – Stockholm is ready to welcome its guest for EuroPride 2018! Check reviews & ticket prices here >
Stockholm has some great photo spots to offer. Our favorite spot of them all was Monteliusvägen right behind Ivar Los Park. The short narrow, and unpaved trail is only accessible for pedestrians in approximately 15 minutes walking distance from Gamla Stan or 5 minutes from Park Mariatorget. And the view is spectacular. Lucky us, we caught the sunset during our stay after a whole day of rain when the air was clear and the view simply stunning…
Our Tips for your trip to Gay Stockholm
Before you are starting your travel planning to visit Stockholm, we have some general information for you! The main airport of Stockholm is Stockholm Arlanda ARN. We took the Arlanda Express train to reach the city center of Stockholm. Please purchase your tickets before you board the train. This applies to all public transportations as far as we know. We encountered ticket inspectors on the train as well as on the tram. Sweden still has its Swedish Kronor currency (100 SEK = 10 Euro), but payment by card is widespread. Taxis are unregulated in Sweden by law. We recommend the ubiquitous “Taxi Stockholm” company, characterized by the 15 00 00 phone number. Other companies might be good and be aware of the sometimes significant price difference from a taxi company to a taxi company. That all being said, we love Stockholm with its close connection to nature, the open-minded and free-thinking people, and the LGBT friendliness we experienced during our five days in the Swedish capital. Have fun in Stockholm, and drop us a line if you see anything new in the Swedish capital.
Do you want to know more about our travels in Europe and around the world? Stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. See you soon again in Sweden and in Stockholm!
Karl & Daan.
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