Essential Gay Shopping Online
    First Published: Before August 2002
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
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.


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.


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.


Roxy is a stylish gay-owned bar-restaurant just south of centre overlooking a pleasant grassy square - friendly service and mod Med nosh to drool for. Strandbryggan is a delightful, intimate floating restaurant, just east of centre attracting some of Stockholm's most gorgeous boys. Alternatively, down some fish aboard M/S Gerda - a gay-managed landing craft that once saw some serious action on the bloody Normandy beaches on D-Day!

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. A beautiful space with vast gilt mirrors, high ceilings, tiled floors and sweeping velvet drapes, Torget, in the Old Town, is right by the water - perfect for romance or cocktails before hitting a gay club.


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!

An Old Town eatery turns into the sprawling-yet-intimate Bohemian club Connection every Friday and Saturday, for the relatively young; lots of R&B on the small dance floor, and more ethnically mixed than elsewhere. And nearby Lino is a male-dominated, mixed-age club, just west of the Old Town. One space with fairly so-so dance; the other crammed with local Swedish "Schlager" Euro-pop trash: take a breather outside on the terrace.


South of centre, Stockholm's raunchy leather/Levi/uniform club SLM (pictured right) is a maze of dark, smoke-filled rooms that sport enough slings and things to keep you tied up for hours. Visitors welcome: if they don the right garb. Or Basement is a busy video club, darkroom and glory-hole complex, again a little to the south: for when all else fails - yet nature still calls. 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!

Basement (Bondergatan 1; T: + 46 (0)8 643 7910)
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; +46 08 20 3170)
Connection (Storkyrkobrinken 9; T: +46 (0)8 20 18 18)
Lino (Restaurang Scorpio, Sodra Riddarholmshamnen 19; T: +46 (0)8 411 6976)
M/S Gerda (Norr Mälarstrands Kajplatser 466; T: +46 (0)8 650 80 31; Website)
Patricia (Stadsgårdskajen 152; T: +46 (0)8 743 0570)
Rival Hotel (Mariatorget 3; T: +46 (0)8 545 78900; Website)
Roxy (Nytorget 6; T: +46 (0)8 640 96 55)
SLM (Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 18; T: +46 (0)8 643 3100)
Strandbryggan (Strandvägskajen 27; T: +46 (0)8 660 37 14; Website)
Torget (Mäalartorget 13; T: +46 08 20 5560)

Stockholm Pride happens every year, late July or early August, focused around a city centre parade and concerts at Tantolunden Park. It hosts EuroPride in 2008: More info at

SAS Scandinavian Airlines offer daily flights to Stockholm from all major UK airports. Check out the best prices at or

. For more info on Stockholm & Sweden: or

Book Hotels In Stockholm At Special Rates With Bookings


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