When the sun comes out, Sweden's capital undergoes a rapid transformation as outdoor bar areas spring open and the city's residents get a boost of energy after the harsh Nordic winter. So where can you guarantee a cool atmosphere as temperatures rise? Here are The Local's top hotspots.
1. Södra Teatern and Mosebacke, Södermalm
The oldest theatre in Stockholm, these days a major club and gig venue, plays host to three of the hippest terraces in the city during summer. Based in the Slussen district, Södra offers stunning views over the capital's old town as well as the iconic Gröna Lund theme park on Djurgården. The smaller roof garden attached to the main yellow theatre building provides the highest vantage point and a more intimate atmosphere, while the biggest crowds can be found in the cobbled Mosebacke area, which has a separate, buzzing outdoor bar. Situated in the heart of the hipster Södermalm neighbourhood and just a stone's throw from The Local's European headquarters, this is without doubt our favourite spot for people-watching when the sun's out.
Menu: Beers start from 45 kronor during happy hours (4pm - 7pm), with house wines from 50 kronor. Food ranges from bar snacks to traditional Swedish cuisine, with main courses priced at around 250 kronor.
Not the easiest name to remember, but once you've checked out this long wooden jetty bar, it will quickly become a place you'll never forget. Located on the waterfront at Norr Mälarstrand on Kungsholmen island, from here you can watch boats gliding underneath the Västerbron bridge. Mälarpaviljongen has its own garden and design shop, while evening events range from Sunday jazz sessions to dance shows and DJ nights. Unlike at most bars and restaurants in Stockholm, you can't book a table here, but with 700 seats you shouldn't have to wait too long for a spot.
Menu: A small range of hearty Swedish dishes are available, from meatballs to salmon, priced at around 200 kronor. A wide range of alcoholic drinks is available, with a changing selection throughout the summer.
Along the same stretch of water as Mälarpaviljongen, Orangeriet specialises in fresh, fruity cocktails and mediterranean cuisine. Plump cushions, wooden floors and terracotta pots sprouting brightly coloured flowers give the interior such a homely feel that you might never want to step foot into the outdoor garden. But once there, you'll be greeted with fresh air and first class views of Stockholm's Södermalm island. Sunday brunch is highly recommended.
Menu: Cocktails from 130 kronor. Beer from 69 kronor. Pizzas start at 159 kronor.
While only open until 5pm, this garden centre's cafe is a plum spot to sip some locally-sourced organic wine and beer during the summer months, surrounded by vegetables, herbs, flowers and apple trees. Located in the middle of a park on on Djurgården island, you'll feel like you're deep in the Swedish countryside. In reality, you're just a twenty-minute walk from the upmarket Östermalm district or a quick ferry ride from the city centre.
Menu: A seasonal menu that changes daily, including a variety of soups, tarts, stews and cakes. Wine, beer, fruit juices and a selection of coffees are available.
Set to reopen for the summer on May 19th after a major revamp, Josefina is where Stockholm's best-heeled crowd hangs out to watch the sun go down. While you'll find chinos and blazers aplenty and champagne flowing, this remains a relaxed venue in a city famed for its modesty and lack of excess. Situated just behind Stockholm's Nordic Museum it boasts superb views of the Djurgården canal, where you'll likely spot some large boats to match the bank balances of this jetset haunt's stylish clientele.
The Östermalm district is home to one of Stockholm's best year-round beer gardens. During the winter, Nosh and Chow's outdoor courtyard is a cosy space where you can snuggle under rugs and party away next to an open fire and a cluster of warm heaters (as long as it's not snowing). Come spring and summer, it transforms into a delightful suntrap that attracts a mixed crowd of young corporate professionals and twenties and thirties media types. The cocktails are delicious.
Menu: Global cuisine. Lunch dishes for around 150 kronor, main meals from 185 kronor. Beers cost around 75 kronor. Cocktails from 150 kronor.
The underrated Kristineberg neighbourhood on the island of Kungsholmen has had a major makeover in recent years and is now home to a strip of upmarket bars and restaurants clustered along the waterfront, in what is one of the city's top swimming spots. While the area lacks Östermalm's chic vibe or Södermalm's hipster identity, if you're a fan of minimalist modern architecture and interiors, then this glass-walled bar and restaurant is the place to be.
Menu: Fish and seafood dominate the menu here, with main courses starting from 154 kronor. Beers from 58 kronor.
Fancy a break from the water? This bar has a small but gorgeous terrace offering you a very different view of Stockholm, looking out over the most famous square in the city's Gamla Stan (Old Town) and its bright red and yellow painted town houses. It sits on the site of the Swedish capital's first pharmacy, which dates back to 1575. Since opening in 2013, Pharmarium has become one of the few drinking holes in the area coveted by locals as well as passing tourists. It specialises in original craft cocktails with a menu listing recommended small plates designed to compliment each drink.
Menu: Cocktails and small plates from around 150 kronor.
Perhaps the ultimate venue on Stockholm’s nightlife circuit, Berns is a restaurant, hotel, and club featuring several different bar areas for a capacity of 1,200. The impressive nineteenth century building includes an outdoor balcony area which is rammed with a young, mainstream crowd on weekends and a more sophisticated set during the week. There is also a slightly more peaceful terrace just across the courtyard, serving French classics, plus an Asian restaurant.
Menu: Main courses from 179 kronor, beers from around 50 kronor.
The mother ship of Stockholm's club scene, this summer-only semi-outdoor venue is set to reopen on May 8th with a much anticipated launch party. Located in Skanstull on Stockholm's hipster island Södermalm, here you can eat, drink, dance or play ping pong or boules from late afternoon until the early hours. As The Local revealed earlier this month, it is also set to host a brand new event for runners every Tuesday night, with workouts followed by a weekly afterparty.
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