Royal Palaces, Nobel Prize ceremonies, thousands of islands, mesmerizing architecture, and the ABBA Museum. Stockholm is a gorgeous waterfront city that literally has it all. Upon visiting Sweden’s capital, you will immediately be taken by its undeniable charm. As the country’s largest city with a population creeping above 2 million, this Scandinavian metropolis is a must-visit when touring Europe. Gamla Stan, the city’s Old Town, is a beautiful place to stroll around, grab a bite to eat, and admire the colorfully detailed buildings splashing up along the city’s never-ending coastline.

Table of Contents

1. General Tips
2. Transportation & Airport Transfer
3. Gay Hotels in Stockholm
4. Sightseeing & Activities in Stockholm
5. Stockholm Gay Tours
6. Restaurants & Cafes in Stockholm
7. Stockholm Gay Bars and Clubs
8. Stockholm Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars
9. Gay Events in Stockholm
10. Day Trips from Stockholm

General Tips

Unlike many large cities around the world, Stockholm does not have a well-defined gay district. In a way, this speaks to the way in which LGBTQ+ life is so normalized in the city. Stockholm bars, clubs and restaurants are scattered throughout the city attracting both gay and mixed crowds. There’s a range of distinct venues that any Stockholm guide will mention like Patricia, a restaurant/club on a former yacht that’s Sunday’s dining and dance spot or Malarpaviljongen, one of the best restaurants/bars to grab an evening cocktail in the summer on the water.

Still, Sweden’s capital is home to over 2 million people and has one of the largest gay scenes in Scandinavia. The captivating, historic center compromises 14 islands, connected by over 50 bridges. Essentially everywhere in the city is gay-friendly, and people will certainly not bat an eyelid at same-sex couples holding hands. All in all, traveling to Stockholm as an LGBTQ+ person is extremely easy. The main cohort of gay action in Stockholm takes place around Gamla Stan.

Transportation & Airport Transfer

Stockholm Arlanda Airport is the main airport in Stockholm and is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Stockholm City. The Arlanda Express train is the fastest way to Stockholm Central Station except catching an Uber or taxi. The shuttle service is underneath the arrival terminals and departs every 10 or 15 minutes, taking around 18 minutes. Alternatively,  Flygbussarna Airport Coaches depart every 10-15 minutes from the airport and take around 45 minutes, stopping at several bus stations around the center.

It's easy to talk around Stockholm but the “Stockholms tunnelbana” is the reliable metro service. There are three coloured lines, as shown on the tube maps, which form seven numbered routes with different termini. A 24-hour pass, valid for buses and the upscale Stockholm subway, is priced at 115 SEK. For a single ticket to travel within the same zone, the minimum price is 36 SEK.

Gay Hotels in Stockholm 

There aren't currently any gay hotels in Stockholm, but there are many gay-friendly options.

Hotel Rival – The Rival is a luxury boutique hotel in Södermalm. Enjoy 99 designer hotel rooms, bars, bistro and café, modern meeting facilities and a theatre.  The hotel is owned by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and is located only ten minutes walking from Stockholm’s breathtaking old town. Opened in 2003, the stylish property was the first to offer boutique accommodations in Stockholm.

Berns Hotel – Berns is located at the center of Stockholm’s dynamic shopping and restaurant district, overlooking Berzelii Park and the Baltic Sea. With 81 personally decorated rooms, multiple awards and an intimate boutique hotel feeling, Berns is not just a place to sleep. This is where you can eat brunch, take an afternoon cocktail, eat long dinners and listen to live music – during all hours of the day. The well-decorated ballroom at the Bern’s Hotel occasionally hosts LGBTQ+ themed parties during pride and on other special occasions.

Backstage Hotel – located in the magnificent Djurgården area of Stockholm, just near the city center and at the same address as ABBA The Museum. Around the corner, you will find cultural establishments such as Skansen, Gröna Lund, and Cirkus, as well as lots of walking and jogging trails. Pop House Hotel is perfect for guests who like to stay in a central location while enjoying the calm of nature.

Apartments - misterb&b

We’ve partnered with misterb&b to help curate the most LGBT+ friendly homestays. misterb&b is not a hotel or chain, but rather a booking platform for rooms, apartments and homes and it allows you to book from gay and gay-friendly hosts around the world. They have hosts in more than 200 countries and territories with more than 1 million total listings. Understanding the gay scene is much more easily done with the help of a local and home-sharing is one of the best ways to meet someone living in the city who knows how things work, where and when are the best nights to go out, and what places to eat at and which to avoid. misterb&b is our top choice if your priority is exploring the local gay scene.

Special Offer! Sign up with misterb&b and you will receive a free $10 credit to use on your first booking!

Sightseeing & Activities in Stockholm

ABBA The Museum – ABBA is one of the world’s most successful pop groups with more than 380 million albums sold. At ABBA The Museum you can be a part of the success story. Get up on stage with ABBA, sing karaoke in the Polar Studios and dance in an ABBA music video. You can also record and download all the fun you’re having using the personal ID number on your ticket. Don’t miss the audio guide, in which Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Frida share their personal memories and stories from their fantastic career. Here, you’ll also find ABBA’s spectacular costumes, gold records, original items, memorabilia and much, much more. Book tour →

The Royal Palace – one of Europe's largest and most dynamic palaces. The Royal Palace of Stockholm is His Majesty The King's official residence and is also the setting for most of the monarchy's official receptions, open to the public year-round. The palace is built in baroque style by the architect Nicodemus Tessin and is formed as a Roman palace. The palace has more than 600 rooms divided between eleven floors with a state apartment facing the city and smaller living rooms facing the inner courtyard.

Vasa Museum – Stop at the Vasa Museum, the most visited maritime museum in the world. Marvel at the nearly 400-year-old wooden ship that is remarkably intact despite being underwater for more than 300 years. Enjoy a 30-minute tour of the museum, which will be the end of the guided tour. Book tour →

Royal Djurgården – board the Djurgården ferry for the short trip to the island of Djurgården. On the way, you’ll be able to see parts of Stockholm from the water, including Old Town and the island of Södermalm. Book tour →

Skansen – Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum, showcasing the whole of Sweden with houses and farmsteads from every part of the country. The venue also includes a funicular railway, aquarium and zoo. Book tour →

Stockholm City Gay Tours

Gaily Tour in Stockholm – Start your exciting LGBTQ+ friendly walking tour from Gamla Stan, Stockholm's historical center. Here you will find the Swedish Parliament, Riksdag, and the Royal Palace. Continue towards the spectacular Vasa Museum, a very impressive museum displaying the historical 17th century Vasa warship. Your tour will end at Skansen Open-Air Museum, where you will be free to enjoy a spectacular visit to a unique museum that encompasses Stockholm's Zoo, a display of living history, and an exhibition on traditional Swedish festivities. Book tour →

local gay guide – find various tours offered by local gay guides in the city. Their guides create an authentic experience for you and make you feel like a local as well. Check out neighborhoods outside of the tourist areas, see the LGBTQ+ scene, get recommendations only locals know and of course, visit the iconic places too. The Queer Stockholm tour is currently being offered in Stockholm. Book tour →

Restaurants & Cafes in Stockholm

Chokladkoppen – This cute and tiny café right in the center of Gamla Stan (Old Town) is a very well known gay hangout. It’s a good place to people watch (and maybe flirt) and also pick up flyers and information about upcoming events in the gay scene.

Mälarpaviljongen – This upscale restaurant, which only opens in the summer, is half on land, and half floating on the water. It advertises itself as a straight-friendly LGBTQ+ restaurant, and it’s an extremely popular option with locals, gay, straight and everything in between. Since the owner, Arto, has recently opened a vegetarian organic street food style restaurant just across the street, there are many options for vegetarians and vegans. This lakeside restaurant opens in the summer months only and is the perfect place to grab a beer in the sunshine and enjoy the long summer evenings with a cocktail, nice meal and a group of friends.

Mosebacke– With what is apparently Stockholm’s best view, this gay-friendly bar and restaurant located inside Södra Teatern, live music and art venue, does indeed offer stunning views over Gamla Stan and beyond. It’s a fantastic place for a sunset drink on a summer evening, mingling opportunities and also offers very nice food. The menu is pretty heavy on meat and seafood, but there is always at least one vegetarian option, which may be veganizeable.

The Green Queen Organic Streetfood & Bar – Open from April through September. Find plant-based street food and a cozy bar featuring organic, gluten free eating & drinking. Try their vegetarian burgers, Sloppy Joe´s, quesadillas,  wines, beers or cold pressed shots.

7-Eleven – if you’re on a budget and looking for a quick bite, the local 7-Eleven convenience shops actually have a good selection of tasty and quick food options. You won’t find a better value of price, speed and surprisingly decent quality in all of Stockholm.

Stockholm Gay Bars and Clubs

SideTrack – This small but buzzing venue is always packed with locals and tourists looking for an unpretentious evening where the emphasis is on having an excellent time. They serve food until 11 pm, at which point things really start to get lively in this gem of a gay bar in Stockholm.

The Secret Garden – This popular cafe and bar only opened in 2014 but has already become a firm favorite on the Stockholm gay scene. They host regular events and have an excellent wine menu. If you’re looking to eat here the lamb burger and chips come highly recommended.

The Blue Oyster – Cheap cocktails, drag shows and fun DJ’s. What more do you need from a gay bar? Well…comfy sofas, ambient blue lighting and hot Swedish men certainly add to this new bar’s appeal too. Found in a rather jazzy looking building in the center that used to be a sports bar, it’s open Wednesdays through to Saturdays. 

Patricia – This former British vessel, which served in Dunkirk during WW2, is now a bar, restaurant, and nightclub. Docked on the waterfront in the trendy Södermalms district, it is not actually a gay venue but their legendary gay night every Saturday has become the place to party into the small hours.

Queer Beat – this club night has been part of the Vienna gay clubbing scene for over 13 years and draws a mixed crowd of gay men and women and their allies. Pumping out pop, RnB and dance music through the night.

Club Backdoor – this gay club was opened in the fall of 2017. Since then the club was an Ahlbom Family immediate success and it’s now one of Sweden's largest and most popular gay clubs. On Friday they play hits and raj raj and on Saturdays, both House and techno acts as well as hits.

Xcape – This monthly gay party in Stockholm is kept fresh and exciting by a revolving selection of themed nights. As such, you can expect to see the likes of hot viking or gladiator GoGo dancers up on their stages. This high-quality event is not just the biggest circuit party in Sweden, but in all of Scandinavia. Xcape plays electronic beats throughout the best clubs in Sweden but is most commonly held in Fallan, a huge space with both outdoor and indoor areas – suitably placed in Stockholm´s meatpacking district. Xcape also occasionally plays host to some of the other biggest circuit parties in the world, including Revolver and Forever Tel Aviv.

Stockholm Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars

SLM – Sweden's biggest – and somewhat legendary – fetish club for gay and bisexual men with different themed nights, live DJs and more. Fetish dress code and membership required – which can be applied for through their website – except on open house nights.

Rainbow Run – this sauna/gym describes itself as a safe and secure meeting place for men. It has all the necessities, like changing rooms and showers as well as a lounge, club rooms, slings, dry sauna, darkrooms and glory holes. Gay-friendly masseurs are also at hand to help you relax.

Gay Events in Stockholm

Stockholm Gay Pride – There are three main components to Stockholm’s Pride: Pride Park, Pride House, and Pride City. Pride Park is where all the action can be found. A large stage hosts great performances from the famous to the up and coming. Many exhibitors have booths setup where you can gather information on relevant LGBTQ+ issues, get free HIV testing or pick up some free underwear at Bjorn Borg’s booth. While Pride Park hosts the entertainment, Pride City is the cultural aspect of the event. Various exhibitions, films, discussions, and workshops throughout the week focus on political and cultural LGBTQ+ issues. As Scandinavia’s largest Pride festival, Stockholm Pride brings out a diverse crowd of all ages and orientations. Families, foreigners, and sexy Swedes all turn out throughout the six-day event. All are welcome and every type of person under the rainbow happily attends.

Day Trips from Stockholm

Stockholm Archipelago Sailing Tour – Explore the pristine beauty of thousands of islands in the Stockholm Archipelago on this full-day sailing tour. Hop aboard a comfortable yacht to discover untouched wilderness, and make this a truly relaxing day on the water. Book tour →

Kayaking Tour in the Archipelago – Embark on a day-long kayak trip to explore the Stockholm Archipelago. You’ll paddle at an easy tempo with your guide among thousands of uninhabited islands, discover the area’s wildlife, and enjoy a tasty lunch in the wilderness. Book tour →

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