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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
mediabank.visitstockholm.com

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, Absolut Icebar in the Nordic Sea Hotel at Vasaplan 4 is the world's first permanent bar to be constructed entirely out of ice: including the glasses. Spend around ten pounds (includes a drink) to spend around twenty minutes wrapped in a thermal silver poncho downing vodka as surely Thor intended - at minus 5 deg C. See Stockholm and its myriad surrounding islands from the water on an Archipelago boat tour - regular departures from Stromkajen, outside the Grand Hotel.

TO STAY

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 here

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.

TO DANCE

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 bubbles!

TO CRUISE

South of centre, Stockholm's raunchy leather/Levi/uniform club SLM (pictured right) is a maze of dark, smoke-filled rooms that sport enough cuffs, slings and things to keep you tied up for hours. Visitors welcome: if they don the right garb, and pay a small entrance fee.

To take airs, take the tube to Hornstull station, then cross the bridge onto Längholmen island and veer west towards the cliffs where there are some truly amazing sights! As ever, tryer beware!

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Berns Hotel (Nåckströmsgatan 8; T: +46 (0)8 566 32200; Website)
Clarion Hotel (Ringvägen 98; T: +46 (0)8 462 1000; Website)
Chokladkoppen (Stortorget 18; T; +46 (0)8 20 3170)
Urban Deli (Nytorget 4; T: +46 (0)8 59 909 180; Website)
Patricia (Stadsgårdskajen 152; T: +46 (0)8 743 0570)
Rival Hotel (Mariatorget 3; T: +46 (0)8 545 78900; Website)
SLM (Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 18; T: +46 (0)8 643 3100)
Strandbryggan (Strandvägskajen 27; T: +46 (0)8 660 37 14; Website)

Stockholm Pride happens every year, late July or early August, focused around a city centre parade and concerts at Tantolunden Park. More info at StockholmPride.org.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines offer daily flights to Stockholm from all major UK airports. Check out the best prices at FlySAS.com. Alternatively, KLM also fly from London, but you will find that the flights aren't cheap.

For more info on Stockholm & Sweden: StockholmTown.com or VisitSweden.com.

Book Hotels In Stockholm At Special Rates With Bookings

Revised May 2017.


Andrew Collins' review of Stockholm

 

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