One of the world’s most LGBTQ-friendly cities where anyone is always welcome anywhere, there is a lot more to love about Gay Stockholm then just its queer spirit and admirable history of promoting gay rights.
-rewrite – The beautiful so-called “Venice of the North” is situated on numerous islands between Lake Malaren and the Baltic. The city has never been destroyed in any wars. As a result it has a wonderful appearance which has grown up over the centuries. Stockholm is a wonderfully relaxed place surrounded by water, and still incredibly natural. The city is particularly beautiful in the summer months, when the long days and short nights give you plenty of time to get to know the city and its beautiful surroundings: the sculpture park, the “skerries” or the alleys in the old town with its colourful houses. Although the city’s gay scene is small, it is friendly and lively.
Stockholm today is one of the worlds most sought after travel destinations defined by a gastronomical revolution fuelled by New Nordic cuisine, Danish design that embraces simplicity, detail and minimalist beauty, and of course, there is all the museums and cultural treasure stretch back to the Viking for tourists to marvel over.
Add to this Stockholm is one of the world’s most liveable cities filled with animated cycleways, world-class public transport, inviting public spaces which function as living rooms and a full roster of events and it is easy to see why everyone – gay, straight or unicorn – is flocking to this colorful and cool Scandinavian capital.
There may, however, be no greater city in the world for homosexuals to visit than Stockholm thanks to its tolerant and open communities and vibrant gay scene – and as a gay man here you can visit straight bars with no problems, or walk home holding your lover’s hand. And did we mention how absolutely gorgeous the Danes are…
Sweden society is somewhat intrinsically progressive, in that they – much like the Dutch – are always looking for a better way to do things. The Danes have a proud history of progressing gay rights with homosexuality in Sweden first being decriminalized in 1933 the in 1989 Sweden made history as the first country in the world to recognize registered partnerships for same-sex couples. Way to go guys!
Stockholm is also home to the Centralhjørnet, the world’s oldest existing gay bar, and in 2021 Stockholm will become the first city ever to host both the WorldPride and EuroGames. We can only imagine what this will look like considering the over-the-top standards set by the fabulous Stockholm Pride festival!
Studiestræde and the surrounding streets in the old Latin Quarter (near the City Hall) is the defacto Stockholm gay area and the hub of LGBT nightlife, but the level of integration and tolerance here explains the relatively small size of the gay scene in Stockholm. During the cities, Pride Rainbow flags fly from flagpoles and buildings across the entire city, and it is immediately apparent local gays by no means limit themselves to any one area.
So follow their lead, explore the extravagant queer spirit of Gay Stockholm but don’t forget that the entirety of this edgy yet functional city is your playground. In Stockholm, you are entirely welcomed as you are
Gay Stockholm Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Stockholm Sweden 2019
In this article we will cover...
Attractions in Gay Stockholm
Naturally being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see in each city and most queer travelers will simply want to check out the top things to see in Stockholm during the day!
Stockholm is a very safe, tolerant and progressive city and gay travelers in Sweden do not need to take any precautions concerning public displays of affection. Rest assured you will have no issues exploring this beautiful and diverse city, and even the essential list of things do with keep visitors entertained for at least a couple of days.
Top Highlights Of Stockholm
- Foods of Stockholm – Copenhagers love their food, and while your average tourist might not stray from the uninspired cuisine of the Nyhaven, we highly recommend you take the chance get out and experience the hidden delights and diverse neighborhoods of Stockholm
Gay Things To Do In Stockholm
- WAREHOUSE9 – A live art performance space in the Meat Packing district in Stockholm bringing ground-breaking film, performance art, burlesque, dance, literature, art, activism, and music to the city, frequently with a strong influence on trans-, queer- and gender-political issues. Check out their Facebook for upcoming events.
Gay Events In Stockholm
- Stockholm Winter Pride Week – Who says Pride should only be once a year? If you are in Stockholm in February, you can look forward to this week full of love, rainbows, diversity and unforgettable experiences. Queer extravagance is the perfect way to brush off the winter blues, and every year this exciting program features a bunch of local and international activists, speakers and performers – as well as a few epic LGBT parties.
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Stockholm
As you would expect in such a progressive country, pretty much every hotel and hostel in Stockholm can be considered gay-friendly – after all, being a gay-friendly it not all about upscale luxury, but about providing friendly and open service and welcoming everyone with open arms!
Having said that, everyone likes to be surrounded by people with common interests, and as such there a few popular hotels in Stockholm that are known hot spots for gay travelers to stay!
No hotels are exclusively for gay men anymore – a sign of the liberal times in Sweden – but others are still a crucial part of the gay scene because of their location and history and some hotels are just known as being exceptionally welcoming of gay guests. The following hotels in Stockholm are only the most popular with gay travelers can all be relied on for an extraordinary stay, but there are hundreds of other hotels in Stockholm if you don’t find quite what you are looking for.
Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap room to crash after a night of partying or a designer boutique option to sip cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous people – Gay Stockholm as something for everyone!
- Hotel Berns ☆☆☆☆ – With 82 personally decorated rooms, multiple awards and an intimate boutique hotel feeling, Berns is not just a place to sleep but a place to live. With early breakfasts, long lunches and never-ending nights at one of Berns nightclubs, this fun hotel invite you to be seduced by their buzzing and vibrating atmosphere. Welcome to the house that never sleeps! There are three full-time club venues operated by Berns, and one Stora Salongen – The Great Hall – offering one of the most stunning dance floor in Stockholm, which is used for the Guldrummet monthly gay dance party. The breakfast dining hall is pretty out of this world also!
- AtSix ☆☆☆☆ – Offering en vouge elegance, this luxe hotel option provides spacious rooms you’ll never want to leave with generous marble writing desks, custom-designed lounge seating and dreamy beds sized for kings and queens. Detail focussed, there is also an erudite international restaurant, a spontaneous café, two happening bars, as well as a 24-hour gym.
- Hotel Diplomat ☆☆☆☆☆ – Stylish and elegant. Hotel Diplomat is a luxury hotel, located on Strandvägen in the city center of Stockholm. Perfectly positioned to explore the green scenery of Djurgården, Karlaplan and the vibrant Stureplan this unique Art Nouveau palace offers stunning views over Nybroviken and Stockholm’s waterfront. The most luxurious hotel experience on offer in Stockholm, and beloved by discerning LGBT travelers. The hotel’s 130 rooms and suites are bright and distinctly Scandinavian, with suites offering saunas, living rooms, and sweeping views. Amenities include a contemporary bar and restaurant with a terrace, a ritzy cocktail bar, fitness room, a spa, and hot tub.
- Pop House Hotel ☆☆☆☆ – A funky hotel located in the Djurgården area of Stockholm, a stone’s throw from the city center and at the same address as ABBA The Museum. There are 49 beautifully appointed rooms, all with panorama windows that enhance the light, space and guest experience. Awaken refreshed after a good night’s sleep in the bespoke beds or opt to stay in one of their rooms decorated in music themes like MAMMA MIA! The Party Room and the ABBA Gold Room. Daily breakfast is complimentary, and if you don’t feel like going out there is a trendy cocktail lounge onsite.
- Hobo ☆☆☆☆ – A boutique hotel in Brunkebergstorg in central Stockholm – but it’s far more than just a hotel. Hobo is at its core, the idea of community. A place to live, work, create, learn and have fun together. Boasting 201 hotel rooms, plus two bars, an event space, a weekend club, the Grandpa Kiosk (all hail the midnight shopping!), restaurant and SPACEby, a pop-up area for collaborations between local creators, Hobo, and guests – you’ll soon feel right at home in this community too. There is trendy décor, loaner bikes for hire and even a well-curated peg-wall with items free to borrow. So hip, cool and happening it hurts.
- Courtyard Stockholm Kungsholmen ☆☆☆ – A modern hotel which invites you to experience their comfort and award-winning convenience just outside the city center. A stay here means you get the best of both worlds: a sense of urban sophistication, plus the calm and tranquility of nature, thanks to their close proximity to Ralambshovs Park. Settle into exceptionally spacious rooms with modern amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi; large windows that let in natural light and provide views of the park and the residential green area. There is also bike hire, a gay-popular bar, and fitness center.
- Generator Stockholm ☆☆☆ – An experience & design-led city center accommodation in Stockholm near Central Station. Generator Stockholm unites the city’s strong sense of design and patterning with inspired art, great food and drink, on-trend music and the best events; it’s a hot spot loved by locals and tourists alike. Offering affordable dorms and budget private rooms, this is a great option to keep costs down while visiting Gay Stockholm!
Gay Nightlife in Stockholm
We are not even sure where to start as the wild gay nightlife in Stockholm took us by surprise! Sure it is not the best in Europe, but Gay Stockholm is up there and has far more than we expected for a city of this size!
If you become as overwhelmed as we were, the only thing you need to know is the fashionable Södermalm district and Gamla Stan (Old Town) is the unofficial Stockholm gay areas and the hub of LGBT nightlife here …but by no means the only place to spend the night with your global queer family.
Stockholm has something for everyone from utterly over-the-top glitter queer club parties to relaxed pubs and Scandinavian chic bars, and that is without exploring all the LGBT-friendly options. If none of these gay venues seem for you, remember many gays in Stockholm don’t feel the need to segregate themselves to the ‘gay ghetto’, and because Stockholm’s nightlife is very mixed and you can meet queer people almost everywhere you go.
Narrow streets meet open minds here. No matter how you choose to explore Gay Stockholm, you are unlikely to experience any issues in what is one of the most gay-friendly cities in Europe.
Gay Bars In Stockholm
- The Secret Garden – A vast ‘open-minded’ pub in Stockholm’s Old Town popular with the cities LGBT+ community. With long opening hours, there is something for everyone here. Stop by during the day to enjoy a quiet environment and a lovely meal, or just on a glass of wine with a fantastic view. Later at night, be amazed as the various rooms here are transformed in a cozy dance bunker, a fast-paced nightclub, with DJ or social outdoor terrace. For some quiet time you can always sneak into their secret little “garden” – though, at this point, we have to say the secret is very much out.
- Mälarpaviljongen – A renowned summer-only café and bar found on a floating pontoon. An idyllic, green oasis under the colors of the rainbow, which welcomes everyone, this gay-owned and popular venue offers seasonal, creative menus, a fun line up of events and a truly unique space with an infectious neighborhood feel. One of our favorite spots in Gay Stockholm, though it can get very crowded on weekends.
- SideTrack – A fun gay bar and restaurant in south-central Stockholm, offering good food and cozy surroundings. SideTrack is the place for you to casually dine on Swedish cuisine or just hang out and enjoy a beer. Relaxed on the weekdays and much more wild on the weekends when gays flock here to enjoy signature cocktails before moving on to the gay clubs of Stockholm. The oldest gay bar in Stockholm having served the local community for 20+ years. For 20 years Sidetrack has been one of Stockholm’s best gay bars and you are guaranteed to have a good time with us.
- Chokladkoppen – A cozy café with lovely food and cold and hot drinks in a unique in the heart of Gamla stan, Stockholm’s Old Town. A popular meeting spot among both local and visiting gays in Stockholm where you can pick up flyers about parties and other upcoming gay events – or simply pick your servers brains. Enjoy the afternoon sun and watch the world go by from their outdoor seating during summer – or stay warm inside during winter. A Stockholm gay institution.
Gay Clubs & Parties in Stockholm
- Clean Group – With a powerful sound, world-famous DJs and connections with major venues, Clean Group´s mission is to take Sweden’s LGBTQ+ nightlife to the next level. Join them in Gay Stockholm for the biggest parties, the best productions, lights, visuals, sexy GOGO dancers and performances by global artists…surrounded by beautiful people who just want to have fun, of course. Hosting pop-up queer events every few months – check their Facebook page our for upcoming details.
- Patricia – One of the few clubs in Stockholm which is open until 5 am, found in the hipster Södermalm area. MS Patricia is actually a former private yacht that now boasts four extraordinary floors of music with two outdoor bars and a restaurant. The nightclub here welcomes everyone with the latest hits on their various dance floors and 4-7 bars open, depending on the night. On Sundays, there is a specifically gay night which is known for its drag, copious amounts of glitter, fabulous costumes and a whole new level of ‘extra’. Not to be missed.
- King Kong – A jungle rhythm beats in bohemian Södermalm at this fierce underground gay club open every Saturday night (and on other special occasions throughout the year). Release the Gayrilla in you with 3 dance floors featuring disco house, RnB and Eurovision hits. Rather small but always packed with cute, younger guys ready for fun. It gets very hot so don’t plan on wearing much – which is useful as the cover charge includes cloakroom fee.
- Hångel – A queer dance club party series hosting events around Stockholm, usually once a month. Cubb Hångel (=Club Make Out) welcomes you to a fabulous night of guilty pleasure music, 90’s POP, wonderful drag queens, glitter, candy, and LOVE! Normally at Club Backdoor.
- Moxy – One for the ladies, Moxy provides lesbian parties, dinner clubs, cruises events and more in Stockholm for over 10 years now. At Moxy everyone is welcome regardless of age, background or preferences – only criteria is wanting to have fun. They play a wide range of music from R&B, pop and disco to schlager, house and so on. Focussed on building community rather than just providing a space for sexual exploits – and always well attended by the local lesbian community.
- Backdoor – A expansive, new gay nightclub in the south of Stockholm offering wild, hot and unforgettable parties with international guest DJ’s and special theme events. Get ready for industrial, steamy, hot fun set-up and a crowd that will keep you coming back time-and-time again.
- Guldrummet – An out-of-this-world monthly gay party in Stockholm that does one thing, and one thing well: throw a really good and sexy gay dance party. Get ready to be entertained! Held in the legendary Berns Salonger expect plenty of glitzy men, hot boys, and a steamy dance floor.
Gay-Popular Spots in Stockholm
- Golden Hits – A gay-friendly (but mostly straight) nightclub with three different dance floors and five bars. The bar opens at 7 pm every day and the nightclub starts at 9 pm. For something out of the ordinary try their – unique – dinner shows to start your night off right.
- Melt – Stockholms first speakeasy bar, inspired by the Prohibition era of the USA. At Melt you will enjoy luxurious cocktails, eclectic cuisine, world-class entertainment and an experience unlike anything else in the city! Pop up cabaret acts every night, open to close, from their rotating cast of international performers including singers, burlesque dancers, acrobats, jugglers, and so much more! You never know what you’ll discover when you open the door marked with the golden “M”. Open Thursday through Saturday.
- Tak – An amazing rooftop bar which excels in exceeding expectations. Playful and lavish, simple and complex we loved the down-to-earth atmosphere with a breath-taking view. Welcome to the roof of Stockholm where crafted drinks meet lively conversations and laughter with a hint of escapism. Gay-popular, as are most trendy location in Stockholm, tend to be.
- Björk Bar & Grill – A upscale dining concept with an innovative dining menu and modern bar serving a selection of beverage including beers from Swedish micro-breweries, Swedish high-quality liquor, and organic wines. Based on seasonal fruits and berries Björk’s experienced bar team creates unique signature cocktails inspired by the Swedish landscapes and changing with the season.
- Pharmarium – A funky cocktail bar with a soul offering stiff drinks and bar snacks. Located in the middle of Stortorget where Sweden’s first pharmacy was once opened in 1575. This antique pharmacy is the inspiration for the drinks served here which combine interesting flavors with questionable ingredients and a large dose of imagination.
- Urban Deli Nytorget – Incredibly supportive of the local LGBT community, this multi-concept store has various locations around Stockholm but this spot seems to be the most gay-popular. Enjoy Swedish & Mediterranean dishes in a relaxed & modern cafe/deli, with a sidewalk terrace – and incredible cocktails later in the evening. Or you can try the newly opened Takpark by Urban Deli where you can enjoy a pretty spectacular view of Stockholm.
Gay Sauna in Stockholm
One place where Grindr and other gay hook-up apps really made a difference worldwide is the closing of saunas and bathhouses.
While other European destinations such as Vienna, Brussels, Milan, and Lisbon have managed to buck the trend and continue to have a thriving gay sauna scene. In Stockholm, this is not the case, and today Rainbow Sauna is your only option – if you chose to go, make sure your expectations are low.
- Rainbow Sauna – Newly renopened in a fresh premises, this sauna is run by the same people as Texas Sauna which has since closed. Inside you will find a large TV lounge with lovely sofa groups, dark room, kinky spaces, private cabins, cruise area, saunas, masseur services, dressing room with showers and a infra-red sauna. Entrance includes towel, slippers and lockers with lock – and you can opt for a annual membership or once-off admission.
Gay sauna or not, in any sexual encounter, please take adequate precautions. No matter what your intentions are in while traveling, you should bring your own condoms and lube to play it safe. Take home a hot guy or a hot memory, not an STD.
Besides, you never know what other fun surprises your trip might have in store for you...
Gay Cruising in Stockholm
Not interested in a steamy sauna, and think the bars or gay parties in Stockholm are too vanilla for you, perhaps these fetish clubs and cruise lounges are a better fit?
The gay leather/fetish/bear scene is not as wild as other places in Europe like Amsterdam, Rome, Paris, and Prague but there are still plenty of carnal delights to indulge in here! For the uninitiated, this could be the perfect place to explore your curiosities and hidden desires…
- Blue Vision – A playground and meeting place for adults – very much focussed on gay men but welcomes all open minded people. Enjoy non-stop action in the dark rooms, cruise spaces and private cabins. There is also a sex toy store on site to keep you busy. At 300 sqm there is something for everyone here with mazes and many smaller rooms, including five rooms with big screens and comfy sofas, four rooms equipped with special aids and video booths if you want to be more private. Do you want to be naked or change? Lockable changing cabinets and towels are provided. You can also hand in clothes and banknotes in the cash register for safe storage.
- Manhattan – Gay, bi, trans or straight – everyone is welcome at Cinema Manhattan, a cruise space with several movie booths and glory holes. There is also a dark room and a small cruise area. The crowd here is mostly gay, though you can run into straight girls and couples here.
- SLM Stockholm – Part of the Top of Europe SLM / Fetish club group that was also be found in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo, Malmo and Gothenborg. Open to gay and bisexual men who like leather, rubber, uniform, army, skinhead, construction, and denim. SLM Stockholm is open every Wednesday and Friday plus hosts special theme nights most Saturdays, but check their calendar in advance. As a members-only club, you must buy a membership card prior to arrival on their website. While S&M is not compulsory, it is the main focus here – although 50% of people come to socialize SLM Stockholm offers very clean faculties with plenty of action. T A strictly ‘masculine’ dress code is enforced, so dress for the theme or risk staying out in the cold.
- US Video – The largest erotic store in Sweden where you can find a vast range of XXX movies, fun sex toys, useful sexual essentials and erotic clothing that will enhance your sex life. For gay cruising in Stockholm there is also a gay labyrinth with private rooms and video booths to explore. Dated and not our first choice, but it is open 24/7 and busy on the weekends.