But what about the night life I hear you cry? Where can a rainbow traveller go to revel in the delights of Sweden. Well the simple truth is that thanks to the amazing social attitudes towards LGBT equality you have an entire city to choose from. It also isn’t unheard of to hit the clubs and find straight people coming in to join in with the fun. But if you are in the mood for a few essential destinations, gay or mixed we have got you covered.
A perfect spot for those LGBT travellers who want a special glimpse of what Saturday night in the Swedish capital is really like. Located only walking (staggering) distance from Hotel Rival, King Kong admittedly doesn’t look like much from the outside. Indeed it was very much a case of blink and you miss it at first. But much like many of the venues I had the pleasure of visiting in Stockholm there is so much more to see for the traveller willing to look a little deeper.
Descending the staircase into the venue immediately reminded me of a night in Heaven in London, with a similar industrial treatment to the aesthetic. At first glance it seems a little dark and close, but this is merely an opening impression in what will prove to be a terrific night out.
The drinks flow fast and hard with some exotic little treats like shots of cinnamon whiskey to get patrons in the mood and a variety of music choice to suit any taste. The atmosphere demands that people run to the dance floor with gusto and it accomplishes that to great effect. The atmosphere is also complimented by local characters, like the terrific bearded Madame Heinz who shocks guests into silence by just how attractive a bearded lady can be.
In a contrast from the underground aesthetic presented by King Kong, Wonk reveals a different side to night life in Stockholm as it boasts a slightly more open environment that caters more for those who want to see and be seen. The music tends towards more main stream pop at times which might put off those with a more eclectic taste, but with with several hard working staff working to ensure that any night you visit is close to perfect.
Now Wonk is a true feast for the eyes and shows off some of the finest specimens of Swedish men that you are likely to meet. Not that I would cll Wonk a hook up bar or a meat market, in fact at times it felt like my own local and so I felt comfortable from the second I walked in. That said Swedish guys seem to have won the genetic lottery somewhat and if your intention is to meet an attractive Scandinavian gentleman, then you might find yourself spoiled for choice here with friendly patrons and visitors all enjoying a great night out.
A gay bar on a boat… it takes a while to wrap your head strange blend of ideas at first, and yet before you know it you find yourself wondering why you have never done it before. The Patricia is the name of a beautiful steam ship located on the river and many of the decks are converted into bars which cater for several different tastes in music and drink. While it is necessary to get your sea legs a little, you forget you are actually on a boat at times which makes the experience all the more extraordinary.
Similarly to Malarpaviljongen there is something of a seasonal aspect to there Patricia, with the top decks only really being open for visitors in warmer months. However, even guests travelling in spring and autumn will find something to love in the various bars with each dance floor being located within sight of a bar making it a perfect venue for anyone who is in the mood for a late night without having to make that age old decision of drink OR dance.
When things get busy the dance floor might at times seem a little crowded, but it never feels oppressively close that you would put off. Indeed some of the patrons might make you want to get a little closer at times, but it is very easy to get around. Just be prepared to laugh at the most unexpectedly kitsch and funny furnishings here which you will be remembering for a long time after you disembark Patricia.