|Stockholm Travel Guide|
The late evening summer sun in Stockholm seems to stretch on forever, while the long winter nights need to be filled with fun. The result is a city committed to its nightlife. Strong jazz traditions and smart bars cater to older or smoother patrons, while the club scene – often Spanish in flavour – parties hard. The area around Stureplan is the most happening place in the city. Admission to clubs can cost anything between SKr5 and SKr100, while a litre of beer will cost in the region of SKr70–100 and 4cl of vodka around SKr70. The minimum age for buying alcohol is 20 years – 18 years in restaurants or nightclubs. The sale of alcohol is restricted to 1200–2400 (from 1300 on Sunday), although nightclubs or the occasional favoured bar, such as Kvarnen on Södermalm, sell drinks later into the night. Standard hours for bars and clubs are from about 0900–0200, with restaurant bars opening earlier and some clubs closing later (at around 0500).
What’s On magazine (website: www.whatsonwhen.com) is available locally and provides excellent information on Stockholm’s nightlife events.
Bars: Halv Trappa Plus Gård, Lästmakargatan 3, is a ferociously trendy bar-restaurant and a great retreat for local celebrities. Another hot spot is Spy Bar, Birger Jarlsgatan 20. Wih, Ynglingagatan 26, offers good eating and drinking, while Gondolen, Stadsgården 6, serves drinks to match its unbeatable view. The Sturehof Bar, Stureplan 2, and its upstairs cousin, O-bar, are benchmarks in the style-conscious re-branding of the old Sturehof Restaurant. The Grand Hotel’s Cadier Bar, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8, is the place to enjoy a classy cocktail, while the Opera Bar, Karl X11’s Torg, offers quiet surroundings for a relaxing drink. Conversely, Kvarnen, Tjärhovsgatan 4, is a beer hall with a typically rootsy Södermalm charm, open until 0300 and hugely popular. Tennstopet Bar, Odengatan 50, is over 100 years old and another solidly traditional drinking hole.
Casinos: The Radisson/SAS Royal Viking Hotel, Vasagatan 1, and the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel, Tegelbacken 6, both operate casinos, as does the Café Opera, Kungsträdgården, and Tre, Vasagatan 17, near Stockholm Central station. Dress code is smart and only those over 18 years are admitted; passports are required at all venues. All the casinos in Stockholm are similar in games, with Black Jack, French Roulette and High Jack.
Clubs: Some of Stockholm’s liveliest clubbing goes on under the palm trees at Blue Moon, Kungsgatan 18, which incorporates the Havana Bar, dispensing Cuban cigars along with the drinks, and the Ice Bar, as cool as its name suggests. Equally Latin in flavour but more upmarket, Sophie’s Bar, Biblioteksgatan 5, plays host to the rich and funky. Monkey Bar, St Eriksgatan 46, is a staple venue with space for chilling out and a young crowd – their parents head for Penny Lane, Birger Jarlsgatan 29. Café Opera, Kungsträdgården, draws an eclectic crowd of all ages and tastes to its fabulous interior, plying mainstream partygoers with cutting-edge sounds. Fasching, Kungsgatan 63, has jazz, soul and Latin American sounds at the weekend. Tre Remmare, Vasagatan 17, feeds, waters and entertains night owls long after the other venues close and boasts the Sinatra bar, offering cocktails in a mini-shrine to crooner Frank.
Live music: The hotel bar at the Lydmar, Sturegatan 10, regularly holds unadvertised soul and jazz gigs. Right in the Old Town, Kristina, Västerlånggatan 68, offers good food as well as nightly live music. Stockholms Stadion, Lidingövägen, is the venue for large-scale stadium rock. Hardcore goths and punks are among those heading for the bashes at Kafé 44, Tjärhovsgatan 44.