• Sweden edition
 
Gearing up for Europride: the best of Stockholm's gay scene

Gearing up for Europride: the best of Stockholm's gay scene

Published: 25 Jul 2008 16:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Jul 2008 16:24 GMT+02:00

On paper, Stockholm should be one of the gayest cities on earth: it is not only achingly fashion-conscious and home to Abba, but also capital of a country proud of its record of tolerance. Next week, Stockholm will temporarily be elevated to the status of Europe’s gay capital, as it hosts Europride, a kind of ambulating cocktail of parties, parades and politics. This means the city’s bars, clubs and restaurants are gearing up for a gay invasion.

Tourist officials in search of the pink krona are keen to make the most of the city’s gay credentials. Gay tourists from France and the United States have been particular targets, says Bo Söderström at Visit Sweden. He says they are attracted by the “openness and tolerance of Stockholm. There is a lot on offer for this target group.”

Sweden’s reputation for tolerance is well-deserved: it was one of the first countries to introduce gay civil partnerships; these are soon likely to be replaced by full marriage. The buses are flying rainbow flags for the duration of Europride. And in this city of out-and-proud metrosexuals, your gaydar has to be on top form to sort out the gay boys from the stray boys.

During the ten days that make up Stockholm Pride, the gay crowd will be taking over a host of venues in the city. Berns, a glorious nineteenth-century gilt-encrusted pleasure palace , is turning itself over to Europride for the whole festival, culminating in the Boybar XL party on August 2nd.

It would be wrong to give the impression that the Swedish capital has a massive gay scene - San Francisco, London or Berlin it is not. It is, like Abba, not all that gay, just incredibly gay-friendly.

This is in evidence if you head out for a gay bar crawl: drinkers in Stockholm gay bars usually have to jostle for space with diners, who could just as well be middle-aged straight couples as members of the gay crowd.

Even the cruisier joints in town, such as cellar bar Sidetrack on Södermalm, serve food, mainly thanks to a law requiring all bars to have fully-equipped kitchens. The upside to this is that your chilled-out dinner can drift seamlessly into partying. There is also an undeniably glamorous edge to many of the city’s bars, with the ‘gayish’ Leijonbaren at the upmarket Victory Hotel in Gamla Stan a case in point – its vaulted ceilings tastefully complemented by hip modern furniture in its restaurant.

Roxy, on Södermalm, and Torget, in Gamla Stan, are popular with the pre-club crowd. Torget, with its big gilt mirrors and lashings of red velour, combines a chilled atmosphere with style and a sense of fun, and camp movies frequently playing in the background.

While most of the city’s gay bars are in Södermalm or Gamla Stan, there are others a bit further off the beaten track. One such place is Göken on Kungsholmen, popular with gay men and lesbians. While it might be best known for its decent food, its tiny, sparkly bar is also a good spot to chill out with a cocktail.

The nightclubs have something that makes them uniquely Swedish: their dedication to schlager. There are few gay clubs in Stockholm without at least one floor dedicated to these Eurovision ditties. Many clubs are purists, with not so much as a snippet of Madonna allowed to interrupt the stream of cheesy Swedish pop.

There are other options, though, with Lino devoting one floor each to schlager and house. This glam club, with great views over Riddarfjärden from its base in the former Swedish parliament, is these days widely viewed as the best gay party in town. Usually a Saturday night event, Lino will be also be open on Thursday during Pride week.

One place that cannot be left out of any description of the Stockholm gay scene is Patricia. This former British light vessel played a role in both the Dunkirk evacuation and the Normandy landings, before briefly serving as an extra yacht for the British royals. These days the decks throng with a different kind of queen, and Patricia’s gay night on Sunday has become a fixture. During Pride, Patricia’s gay fans will be the focus throughout the week, with events planned most evenings.

Below is our pick of Stockholm’s gay scene, to get you in the mood for next week’s big bash:

Chilling:

Mälarpaviljongen

Down by the water, this open-air bar and restaurant can get pretty packed when it’s hot, particularly on the new floating bar that opened earlier this year. But Mälarpaviljongen’s stunning views of Gamla Stan, fun mixed gay-straight crowd, DJs and reasonably-priced food make it a must for a balmy summer evening.

Open every day (weather permitting) 11am-1am

Planned for Pride:

Friday 25th July and Friday 1st August: We love Fridays, with DJ Marcus Ullmarker.

Saturday 26th July and Saturday 2nd August: Club Before, featuring DJs and live performers.

Location: Norr Mälarstrand, by the water. T-bana Fridhemsplan.

Website: www.malarpaviljongen.se

Dining

Torget

This popular, stylish bar in Gamla Stan is a stalwart of the gay scene and is a popular place to get fuelled up before a night on the tiles. For those who stay late, it can get pretty busy and there’s always a friendly vibe. Decent menu, featuring DJs every night from 10pm-1am during Pride. Tickets for Pride on sale here.

Location: Mälartorget 13. T-bana: Gamla Stan

Website: www.torgetbaren.se

Dancing

Lino

Since Lino burst onto the scene a few years ago, Stockholm’s gay scene has never looked back. The most sophisticated gay party the city has to offer, with house/trance on one floor competing with Swedish schlager on the other floor. Usually a once a week thing, Lino is slotting in an extra night on the Thursday.

Planned for Pride:

Saturday 26th July, 10pm-4am - PPP@Lino (pre-Pride party) – Lino gets the party started

Thursday 31st July, 10pm-5am – Neo vs Lino – A ‘very well-known’ personality will be guest DJ during the evening

Saturday 2nd August, 10pm-5am – Europride Specialos – ‘Party until dawn’ with September on stage.

Location: Restaurant Riddarkällaren, Södra Riddarholmshamnen 19. T-bana Gamla Stan.

www.linoclub.com

Berns

If this was a gay club all the time, it would be rated as one of the best in the world. The magnificent nineteenth century ballroom, the stunning modern terrace and a harbourside location make this one of Stockholm’s fanciest nightspots. Berns is ‘going gay’ for the duration of pride, with a couple of big parties slated for the latter half of Pride week.

Planned for Pride:

31 July 10pm – 2am - The Swedish Legend -This years most glamorous gay party

Boy Bar XL – This is Disco2 - 2 August 10pm – 4am

Location: Berzelli Park, Stockholm. T-bana Kungsträdgården

Website:

www.berns.se

www.boybar.se

For complete gay listings in Stockholm, visit Swedish gay site www.qx.se/english

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert
Terrorism expert Ranstorp and a policeman in Norway. Photos: TT

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert

A Swedish terrorism expert has come forward criticizing the way Norway has handled its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total problem in intelligence". READ  

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

A nurse in southern Sweden has been reported for abuse at a senior care centre after she allegedly waved to a colleague with the hand of a recently-dead resident. READ  

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo
Plopp and Polly, the offspring of Pandora the panda. Photo: Kolmården

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo

A pair of red panda cubs have been born in central Sweden, a wildlife park announced on Monday. READ  

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

The Green Party's views are 88.6 percent "LGBT-friendly", a Swedish LGBT rights group claimed on Monday, making the Greens the most gay-friendly of all Sweden's parliamentary parties. READ  

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife
Police on the scene. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife

Updated: Police arrested a man in Copenhagen on the suspicion of killing his wife, whose body was found at the couple's home in southern Sweden during the weekend. READ  

Arlanda, Stockholm
Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Swedes bound for New York learned on Monday morning that their plane had been cancelled after it was hit by lightning during Sunday's thunderstorm. READ  

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

The County Administrative Board of Skåne has decided to confiscate the 35 cats of an 81-year-old man who was forbidden from having more than nine of the furry felines. READ  

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew
Photo: TT

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew

With Sunday's thunderstorm reported as the worst of the year so far, Sweden is bracing for round two on Monday as meteorologists predict more of the same. READ  

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Last year 1,600 people in Sweden took their own lives - and for Swedes aged 15 to 24, the numbers haven't been so high since 1989. READ  

Floods replace Swedish heatwave
The Viking Lines ferry pictured was ripped away from the dock as a result of the storm. Per Gustavsson / TT

Floods replace Swedish heatwave

The Swedish summer was washed away on Sunday as thunderstorms caused chaos in Stockholm, including torrents of water flooding down stairways at metro stations. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

730
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se