Stockholm is called the “Venice of the North” by some, but we think Stockholm is unlike any other city in Europe. The city is made up of 14 islands connected by 30 bridges on Lake Mälaren, which flows past an archipelago of 24,000 islands on its way out to the Baltic Sea. Thirty percent of the city is waterways and another thirty percent is dedicated to green space, so this city sparkles with freshness. Gay life in Stockholm is like the city itself: easily accessible, hugely fun, easy on the eyes, highly varied, warm and welcoming. Stockholm can be gay, gay-friendly, or simply friendly.

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Stockholm really has it all. It’s a big city, spread out over 14 islands in the archipelago, but it never really feels like you’re moving far between neighborhoods. And the typical Swedish culture just adds to the allure of the city.

Before visiting, it’s good to know that Stockholm really embraces trends. Probably the coolest city in all of Scandinavia, Stockholm seems to get all the latest trends while the news is still hot in Brooklyn

As one of the most liberal countries regarding gay rights, it’s no surprise that Sweden has become a choice destination for gay tourists. The Culture Trip bring you the best gay bars and clubs in Stockholm.

With long summer days, Stockholm is one of those cities with seemingly never-ending nightlife. Club life in Stockholm also varies from the über-trendy to even underground, alternative venues. Head to a club like Trädgården on a summer night and you’ll feel as if the place accommodates every type of person. The city is also very gay-friendly, meaning that gay tourists will find fun clubs throughout the city, though there are still a handful of clubs that have remained strictly gay or lesbian. 

Torget Located in the picturesque district of Gamla Stan, the Old Town, Torget bar and restaurant is one of the oldest gay establishments in the city. It’s a great place to meet for early evening drinks, or while the night away with cocktails while enjoying dancing to one of the excellent DJs.

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday 5pm-1am

Mälarpaviljongen Marketing itself as an ‘oasis, extending a rainbow-colored welcome’, this lakeside café is perhaps the best gay bar in Stockholm, though sadly open only in the summer.

Located on a pier extending into a floating deck on Lake Malar, the stunning setting alone is enough to warrant a visit. What better way to spend an evening than by sipping cocktails while watching the sun set.

ZipperThis award-winning club took a hiatus but is back: bigger, better and with more wild fun than ever. The club, open on Friday and Saturday nights, throws open its doors at 11pm and then the party goes on until the wee hours (4AM to be exact).  This is not the place for the gawker crowd; this is where you go to fly your rainbow flag any way you want to.

The former British light vessel Patricia, which actually served at Dunkirk, now functions as a bar, restaurant, and nightclub on the waterfront in the hip Södermalms district. While not marketing itself as a gay club or bar, it hosts a hugely popular gay night every Sunday from 11pm, making it a mainstay for Stockholm’s gay community.

Admire the views of Gamla Stan while dining or having cocktails on the sun deck, or paint the town red on one the four dancefloors. 

The new Bitter Pills bar is an answer to that: this friendly lesbian-owned establishment in Hornstull, the western part of Södermalm, welcomes people of all orientations but doesn’t hide where its main interest lies.

Drinks have hilarious names like ‘Don’t even try, a**hole’ or ‘It was so much better på [at] Roxy’, a reference to the now permanently closed bar mentioned above. It gets very busy at around midnight.

King Kong Opened in late 2014, King Kong is a hotspot for Stockholm’s gay community on a Saturday night. It features two dancefloors: one with modern pop and dance music—all in all what you’d expect from a typical club—and one with schlager (generally old or ‘old-sounding’ pop songs). Despite the mainstream beats, the crowd is decidedly young and trendy. King Kong also occasionally organises Sunday brunches to recover from the previous night. 

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