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Stockholm walking tour: 8 locations every Millennium fan has to visit

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Stockholm walking tour: 8 locations every Millennium fan has to visit
Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander in 'The Girl in the Spider's Web'. Photo: Nadja Klier/CTMG
09:26 CEST+02:00
Much of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy about hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist is set on the Stockholm island of Södermalm. The Local takes a tour of some of the spots you'll want to visit if you're a fan of the series.

Larsson's three novels took the world by storm, with approximately 80 million copies sold worldwide by March 2015. Sadly, he did not live to see the success of his trilogy, after dying in 2004 shortly after he had handed in the first manuscripts of the series – which he had planned to consist of ten novels.

Swedish writer David Lagercrantz is now in charge of continuing the series, with his first book, The Girl in the Spider's Web, published in 2015. The movie version by director Fede Álvarez premiered in Sweden three years later on October 25th and even features The Local in a couple of scenes.

INTERVIEW: Claire Foy talks #MeToo, Lisbeth Salander and Stockholm


A still from The Girl in the Spider's Web, featuring a fictional article by The Local. Photo: Sony Pictures/CTMG

Here's a look at some of the Stockholm spots that feature in the original trilogy.

Bellmansgatan 1

Protagonist Carl Mikael Blomkvist lives in the penthouse of this 17th century building. The novel states that Blomkvist was able to buy the 70-square-metre apartment inexpensively due to its former owner leaving the country – a stroke of luck in Stockholm's competitive housing market. He then redecorated it and is now quite fond of it (partly because he knows that he can't afford another place like that one).

It isn't clear why Stieg Larsson decided on this place as the home of the journalist. There was a real family named Blomkvist living there – but they were not known to Larsson. Maybe he just wanted to provide one of his main characters with a nice view of the rooftops towards the Baltic Sea and Stockholm's Old Town. Or perhaps it's because of the street itself, which was named after Swedish poet Carl Michael Bellman – whose initials and first names are the same as Blomkvist's.


Mikael Blomkvist's top-floor apartment, with the view of Gamla Stan in the back. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local

Kvarnen, Tjärhovsgatan 4

The traditional bar and restaurant Kvarnen ('The Mill') is featured several times in the books, and in real life is a great place to enjoy traditional Swedish food in an atmospheric location. At the 100-year-old beer bar, Lisbeth Salander meets up on Tuesday nights with her friends from the rock band Evil Fingers to discuss feminism, music, men and politics, and to drink. Blomkvist also frequents the bar with his Millennium colleagues. 


Kvarnen, the traditional Swedish restaurant where Salander meets up with her rock band. Photo: Leif R Jansson/SCANPIX/TT

Slussen

Milton Security, Lisbeth Salander's workplace, has its office next to Slussen. The fictional company is one of Sweden's most trusted security firms according to the books, and its location is in one of the glass buildings in the area. The exact building is not specified, there are not that many glass buildings to choose from. In the building, the freelancing Salander has her own office – a tiny cubicle, which she visits only a couple of times a year. Underneath the building is a garage for the company's cars, which Salander borrows from time to time.


The location of Milton Security in the books. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local

Fiskargatan 9

When you stand in front of this old, majestic building, have a look at the penthouse in all its glory. That is where Salander buys a gigantic apartment after the events of the first book. It has 21 rooms, of which Salander uses just three. On the door it says 'V. Kulla', a nod to the Villa Villekulla, where Astrid Lindgren's character Pippi Longstocking lives. Lisbeth Salander has been described as Larsson's version of a grown-up Pippi Longstocking, including by her boss at Milton Security in the book. From the top of the building, Salander has a view over Stockholm's Old Town and the island of Djurgården. 


The apartment below the copper roof of Fiskargatan 9 is Salander's home. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local

Götgatan 17, on the corner of Hökens gata

The office of the fictional monthly magazine Millennium (which gives the trilogy its name) is located on Götgatan, one of Södermalm's busiest shopping streets. It is stated that the rent for this place is a bit too high, but the magazine's employees decided on keeping the space anyway. The interior, especially the room of Erika Berger, Blomkvist's lover, is described as having spartan décor, with almost exclusively Ikea furniture. It lies on the third floor, above the offices of Greenpeace. That office was actually been located there at the time Larsson wrote the books – nowadays, these offices are gone, but the building still stands. As of today, fashion brand Monki has a store on the ground floor, and above that is an architectural office. 


On the busy road of Götgatan. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local

7-Eleven, Götgatan 25

In the books, Salander often goes to a convenience store on Götgatan to grab a quick snack. It's repeatedly stated in the novels that she doesn't invest a lot of money in food, so 7-Eleven fits the bill.


The 7-Eleven at Götgatan that Lisbeth Salander frequents. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local

Kaffebar, Hornsgatan 78 / Bysistorget 6

Back then called Mellqvists Kaffebar, this is a significant location often visited by Blomkvist. Kaffebar was Stieg Larsson's regular café as well – he reportedly wrote some passages of the novel there. The office of anti-racist foundation and magazine Expo, co-founded by Larsson, was formerly located in the premises above the café.


Stieg Larsson's and Mikael Blomkvist's regular café, Kaffebar. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local

Lundagatan

Before Salander moves to Fiskargatan, she lives in one of the elegant buildings of Lundagatan (it's not specified which one that is). The book does say that she pays around 2,000 kronor ($222) per month – which is shockingly little for Stockholm. After Salander moves out, her friend and part-time lover Miriam Wu moves into her old apartment. According to the books, Salander regularly takes the subway from Zinkensdamm.


Salander used to live in one of these buildings on Lundagatan. Photo: Nele Schröder/The Local

Various other locations:

St Eriksplan and Upplandsgatan

The street in Vasastaden is where Salander's social guardian Nils Bjurman lives. This is also the place where he rapes her and where she takes revenge on him. His office is located somewhere on St Eriksplan.

Tomtebogatan

Another significant street in Vasastaden is Tomtebogatan. Salander's friend and occasional lover Miriam Wu lived in an apartment there before she moved into Salander's old apartment on Lundagatan.

Höklintavägen

This road in the northern area Sundbyberg is not very central, but still crucial to the story: Salander's hacker acquaintance Plague lives in one of the apartments there, with the name Svensson next to his doorbell.

Here's a route along the main locations on Södermalm:

 

If you prefer a guided tour, there is also a Millennium Tour in Stockholm which follows in the footsteps of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander.

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