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A Top LGBTQ+ Friendly Travel Destination in Sweden's Capital City

 stockholm book overlooking stockholm

I'm sure you lovelies saw back in April on our social media that we went on a fantastic press trip  to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, with Stockholm LGBT and a group of fellow LGBTQ+ influencers. We decided to stay two extra days on our own in Stockholm exploring more of what the fabulous city had to offer and it did not disappoint. Everyone thought we were Swedish, which was great and made it even more amusing that we once got asked if we're 'swedish sisters' in Hawaii. & even more surprising when we came across a 'swedish sisters' statue, which we will reveal all about later in the post. 

With its colourful LGBTQ+ culture, gender-fluid fashion scene and unisex bathrooms, as well as rumoured gay historical royals, it's no wonder that Sweden is known for its progressive values. Inclusivity permeates through hotels, restaurants, bars and fashion and Stockholm hosts the biggest Pride celebration in Scandinavia!

Here's a round up of everything you need to know to have a great time in the vibrant, welcoming and open city.

GETTING THERE:

We flew directly in to Stockholm from London Gatwick on Norwegian Airlines and it only took around 1 hour and a half before we touched down in Stockholm, after a very smooth and comfortable flight.  


From there we hopped onto their train from the airport to the city. Super quick and easy. Stockholm is great to walk around but also there is great public transport in the forms of buses, trams, ferry and underground. Plus, it's even more interesting to find all the different art that they have in their underground stations. 

WHERE TO STAY:

We had the pleasure of staying at two wonderful hotels, which had very different vibes, decor and location and we highly recommend both.

HOTEL RIVAL:


You will love this hotel if you're an ABBA fan especially, as it is owned by Benny from Abba.  Hotel Rival is a lively, colourful and a plush boutique hotel located in the Södermalm area of the city. We very much enjoyed our stay at Hotel Rival with its very friendly staff, spacious rooms and a delicious breakfast.  Our room also had a balcony with great views of the different coloured buildings; providing the perfect backdrop for photo opportunities. 








Rival also is a great place to have a glass of champagne or / and a cocktail. Keep an eye out for their drag nights as we had so much fun and were so impressed! 


 With Roxy, Deputy Editor of DIVA.

HOTEL DIPLOMAT

We stayed our two last nights at the very stylish and elegant Hotel Diplomat, located on Strandvägen in the city center of Stockholm. We adored this hotel as it had such a wonderful charm and overall opulent feel to it. The hotel was gorgeous, the staff were very friendly and the food in their restaurant was also  delicious for both breakfast and dinner (Megan loved making her own waffles, plus they served avocado so that makes us very happy). We also loved our balcony in our room which provided such an amazing view of views over the small bay of Nybroviken



How gorgeous is this elevator with a spiral staircase around it? It was a classic to say the least and you could actually only fit around two people and luggage max. Be sure to close the door behind you for it to work!  




The below photo was taken at Nobis Hotel in Stockholm as we had to visit due to it's incredible and iconic staircase. It is also another gorgeous hotel and we would recommend staying here as well. 


WHERE TO EAT & DRINK: 

If you're a coffee fan like us, then you'll be please to know that they are so many hip cafes where you can get a great cup of coffee. Nothing worse than not being able to get a good cup of coffee when you're away!

JOHAN & NYSTROM

Johan & Nyström roast their own beans and they have great choices from different ways to make coffee; including coffee press, Chemex or AeroPress. They also have great pastries and vegetarian options (which we devoured).



Tip: If you're a fan of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, keep an eye out for Mellqvist Kaffebar in Hornsgatan as it's where Steig Larsson would write and also Kaffebar on Sankt Paulsgatan 17 is featured in the Hollywood version of the films. 

HOTEL SKEPPSHOLMEN:

If you like a view with your fresh and seasonal food, then the Hotel Skeppsholmen, located on the island of the same name, is a must for brunch or lunch, especially if you want to try traditional Swedish meatballs. They of course cater to vegetarians, though I would have loved to have tried vegetarian meat balls!


GREEN QUEEN:

Green Queen is a vegetarian/ vegan lunch and dinner spot serving up delicious plant-based street food in an intimate ambiance. The menu offers great comfort food from vegan sloppy joes to chickpea burgers, and we wanted to try the whole menu! This is owned by the same people as Mälarpaviljongen and located within a couple minutes walk from one another (see further down in post). 



TAVERNA BISTRO

Taverna Bistro was the first place we had dinner at in Stockholm and it's trendy and vibrant atmosphere set the bar high. The cuisine is Italian-inspired with a Swedish twist. Their truffle mac & cheese, truffle, honey & Swedish cheese pizza and gigantic doughnut are a must. Trust us. Taverna is unique in that it is open from early morning to late evening, and there's sometimes a live DJ.




SODRA TEATERN

Södra Teatern is an ornate 19th-century theatre-turned-vegetarian-restaurant-and-club. Head to the rooftop Champagnebaren for expansive views of the city. 

POP HOUSE FOOD AND BAR

POP HOUSE Food & Bar is a fun spot to dine at before or after you check out the ABBA museum and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their bistro menu has European influences.

MALARPAVILJONGEN

Mälarpaviljongen was one of our favourite places that we visited. It is an LGBT-friendly floating bar with amazing views and lots of great rose wine... does it get any better than that? Well it does because the bar makes a donation to the Rainbow Fund with every purchase. Yes way to rosé!




With our new adorable friends Couple of Men

WHAT TO DO:

Stockholm is a great city to walk around and discover lots of great architecture, history and views.


STOCKHOLM'S OLD TOWN

We really enjoyed our walk through Stockholm's Old Town,  it's such a great way to truly appreciate the beauty and character of the city. You'll find lots of little cafes and independent shops as you meander through its cobbled streets. In Gamla Stan, there's also the cosy cafe Chokladkoppen, Stoclhom's first LGBT friendly establishment. We sadly didn't get to visit it this time but we hear the hot chocolate is amazing. Let us know if you go!

THE ROYAL PALACE

Also located in the Old Town is Kungliga Slottet (the Royal Palace), one of the largest palaces in Europe and the official residence of the King of Sweden, the longest reigning Swedish monarch.  We had a wonderful private tour and got to see the silver throne belonging to the famously unconventional 17th-century Queen Kristina, who we later found out is rumoured to have been a lesbian! King Gustav III is also rumoured to have been gay, and he brought grand culture and opera to Stockholm... Yas Queen!






ABBA: THE MUSEUM

If you're a fan of ABBA, and even if you're not, a trip to ABBA The Museum is a lot of fun! There's lots of interactive digital features such as the chance to sing and dance with a hologram of the band themselves! Megan even got up on stage, ha! You have to see it to believe it in Part 1 of our Swedish vlogs. 





VASA MUSEUM:

Vasamuseet is Sweden's most-visited museum and worth checking out to see the world's only complete 17th-century ship in all its ill-fated glory (it sank on its maiden voyage). We found this to be completely fascinating and the size of it is hard to comprehend until you're there. Even the mask goes through the ceiling of the building and pokes out the top!



FERRY:

Did you know that Stockholm is actually made up of 14 islands? We didn't until we got there! This means you can reach lots of places by ferry and it's fun to do just for the experience and the views.








SISTERS STATUE:

Opposite Södra Teatern, we found statues of 'sisters' called systrarna by Nils Sjögren. What appear to be sisters are actually lesbian lovers and based on a true story. They sadly committed suicide together because society wouldn't accept their love. A grave reminder of how times have changed and how lucky we are to be living our lives out and proud now.

RAINBOW CHAIRS:

Not far from the sisters statue, you'll find murals and a great instagrammable spot with rainbow coloured chairs. We of course had to have some photo's in the pink chairs!



 FOTOGRAFISKA

 Fotografiska houses contemporary photography exhibitions from the likes of the renowned German photographer Ellen von Unwerth (basically super sexy photo's that instagram removed from my stories ha). 


FASHION DISTRICT:

If you're hoping to take away some Swedish style, the Stockholm fashion district Bibliotekstan is where you'll find likes of Hope and Acne Studios. We even got to have a talk from the designer from Hope!

 CHERRY BLOSSOMS:

We love pink cherry blossoms and we were so pleased to stumble across a whole park full of them! It was a beautiful sight to see, but also so busy that it took us a while to get a photo without lots of people in it, ha.



NIGHT CLUB:

Finally, if you're looking to dance the night away, then Club King Kong has rooms playing different of genres of music to suit a variety of tastes. We had a great time dancing with Roxy and Couple of Men!

VALBORG- SWEDEN'S BONFIRE NIGHT

Fortunately on our last night in Stockholm we had the opportunity attend Valborg at Skansen. Skansen is the world's oldest open-air musuem and it the whole of Sweden with the different houses found throughout the country. We got to have a tour before Valborg started and loved seeing the different houses and meeting elk/ moose. They're so tall! Valborg is Sweden's annual Bonfire night and the celebration of welcoming soring. It is held on the 30th of April every year in Sweden.   As well as gathering round a massive bonfire, you'll also get to enjoy a concert and choral singing. We attended with our pals, A Couple of Men and Bella Qvist and fiancee Cyd and had a lovely time.  



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We hope you enjoyed our low down on the LGBTQ+ scene of Stockholm. Let us know if this has inspired you to visit! Be sure to check out Stockholm LGBT for all their recommendations of LGBT friendly businesses. Also, we hear that Stockholm Pride is not one to be missed!

Check out our Lonely Planet article about Stockholm.

Get to see Stockholm in action in our vlogs below or watch via YouTube.



This trip was in partnership with Stockholm LGBT and Visit Stockholm. Flights were provided by Norwegian. All views are our own.

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