• 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)

Today's headlines
Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

989
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
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
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