With autumn already arriving in some parts of northern Sweden it's best to make the most of the capital's sunny weather while you still can, so now is the perfect time to enjoy a few outdoor evenings in the city. Combine sunshine with a good view and you have a recipe for success, so with that in mind, The Local looks at seven of Stockholm's best rooftop bars.
1. Take in central Stockholm's best view at the Scandic Continental
Anyone who has walked down Vasagatan or Klarabergsgatan in Stockholm city centre will probably have noticed a towering, striking building right across the road from the central station.
The mammoth glass structure in question is the Scandic Continental, which after two years of construction finally opened in April 2016. The hotel contains several bars and restaurants, but it’s on the 11th floor that the real summer gem is located.
Decorated with pools of water and minimalist furnishing, the rooftop bar and terrace screams Scandinavian cool, and perhaps most importantly, it's a good size, which means you may actually have a chance of getting a comfortable spot despite the locals inevitably squeezing in to soak up the brilliant views of the Old Town.
2. Get into the Latin spirit at Barrio
Barrio means neighbourhood in Spanish, and the rooftop bar of the same name located in Södermalm’s increasingly popular Hornstull district certainly has a more relaxed, no-frills feel than some of the city’s other outdoor venues.
The terrace is deliberately rough and ready, decorated with old crates of Sol beer, fairy lights, and bright colours, and topped off with a corrugated metal shack of a bar that looks like it came straight from Latin America.
Drinks are mostly what you would expect: tequila, Mexican beer and cocktails, but there’s also a Swedish twist in the form of a decent rage of alcohol free options. The downside is that the space isn’t huge, so turn up at a decent time on a warm summer night, or prepare to be disappointed.
3. Get out of the city centre at Slakthuset
Located in the old meatpacking district south of Stockholm's southern toll station, Slakthuset has been a staple of the city's clubbing scene for a number of years now, with the Swedish rarity of cheap and sometimes even free entry on the door making it worth the effort of crossing the bridge from Skanstull.
At the height of summer, the club’s rooftop bar is its biggest selling point. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the décor is too, a mixture of exposed wood and spray-painted boards fitting the laid back ambience. The bar staff are helpful and know their stuff, and perhaps most importantly, the bar is long enough to make sure queues aren’t too long, even when it’s busy.
Slakthuset’s terrace is one of the bigger rooftop venues in Stockholm, but even then, it can get pretty busy on a warm evening, so if you prefer ample space, come early. That shouldn't be too much of a problem considering doors open at 3pm on a Saturday.
There’s even some basic grilled food on offer if you get hungry, and while the view isn’t breathtaking by any standard, there is the unusual sight of the southern side of the nearby Globen arena.
Slakthuset's roof terrace before doors open. Photo: Slakthuset
4. See Stockholm's mini-High Line at Urban Deli
Urban Deli is perhaps best known for its food, but the Sveavägen branch has an extra trick up its sleave, boasting a vegetation-filled rooftop terrace inspired by New York’s High Line.
Getting up to the bar in the first place can be a bit of an effort if the queues for the lift are long on a busier night, but the pay-off is a great panoramic view of central Stockholm, and a spacious area with an unusually green feel.
Urban Deli on Sveavägen from above. Photo: Urban Orzolek/Urban Deli
5. Fall back on a Stockholm classic at Mosebacke
Calling Mosebacke a rooftop bar is perhaps debatable, though if we're going to split hairs, entering from the Klevgränd entrance makes it apparent that the terrace is indeed on top of a building. In any case, there is no debating just how brilliant the view it offers is.
The large outdoor seating area is a Stockholm summer classic, and provides a breahtaking panorama of Gamla Stan, Östermalm, and Djurgården, including the iconic Gröna Lund amusement park. Seating is plentiful, and with several different bars serving drinks ranging from the basics to wine and specialty beers, there should be an option for everyone.
If that’s not enough, head inside to Södra Teatern and take the lift up to the second floor, where there’s a champagne bar and, if you’re lucky enough to find some space, a balcony offering an even better view which also allows you to see Kungsholmen and the City Hall thanks to its higher vantage point.
Expect the terrace to be busy, but relaxed. A dependable Stockholm favourite on a summer night.
Mosebacke terrace and the balcony at Södra Teatern's champagne bar. Photo: Conny Fridh/imagebank.sweden.se
6. Go to the top of Stockholm's newest entertainment district at Tak
Stockholm’s newest roof terrace is also said to be one of its best. Located 14 floors above the newly redeveloped Brunkebergstorg, Tak ('roof' in Swedish) has DJ sets from Thursday through to Saturday, and offers a panoramic view of central Stockholm
7. Discover a new side of an old favourite at Pane Fresco
The Åhléns department store in the centre of Stockholm isn't necessarily somewhere you'd expect to find a bar with a view, but these days you can, thanks to Swedish celebrity chef Paulo Roberto, who has opened Neapolitan pizzeria Pane Fresco at the building's top floor. Being placed right next to the city's biggest subway station means the location is particularly convenient, and who doesn't like pizza?
Article orginally published in July 2016 and updated in April 2018