By: Kylie Condon
Lez Explore: Stockholm
Stockholm, Sweden, is a stunning city on the water comprised of several islands. Known for its progressive and open minds, Stockholm is a very LGBTQ+ friendly place. It is so inclusive and LGBTQ+ friendly that the city doesn’t really have one designated gayborhood. Instead, everything is just kind of mixed, friendly and open to everyone. My girlfriend and I recently traveled there this summer and found a few places to be especially accepting and cool.
Only open 6 months out of the year, Mälarpaviljongen is a Stockholm staple which embodies everything that is great about warm weather in Sweden. The open-air bar and restaurant is situated on the water, quite literally with part of the bar on floating barges. The old bar that once stood as just a small cafe in a garden has gotten a fabulous addition with seating space that holds over 700 people. Beyond the bar’s aesthetic appeal, the story behind Mälarpaviljongen is even more fascinating. The owners have been an important part of the Stockholm LGBTQ+ community for years and made it a goal for their business to reflect their beliefs and values. Each year, Mälarpaviljongen prioritizes taking on refugee employees who are seeking asylum from their non-LGBTQ+ accepting countries of origin. Additionally, Mälarpaviljongen also produces its own house rosé that gives a portion of proceeds to aiding LGBTQ+ persons in persecuted places like Chechnya and Uganda. So you can sip Stockholm’s warm weather drink of choice while feeling good that your money is being put toward an important cause. Also worth mentioning is the delicious vegan spot, Green Queen, which is located right across the street and owned by the same people.
Södra Teatern is a must-visit on the hipster Södermalm island with breathtaking views overlooking Stockholm. Translating to “southern theater,” Södra Teatern is Stockholm’s oldest theater still in use, welcoming musical acts from all over the world. Though the space is much more than just one theater. Södra Teatern boasts four other stages, several bars, and even a restaurant. Mosebacke Etablissement, their restaurant, is definitely worth a stop. The menu focuses on vegetarian comfort food served up in a small-plate style. I may have had one of my best meals in Stockholm here! Once you’re done with dinner, you have a number of bars to choose from within Södra Teatern. Each bar offers a different vibe and genre of music to suit your specific tastes. Regardless of which bar your choose, all of Södra Teatern welcomes a mixed crowd of people so you can feel comfortable whether you hang out on the outdoor terrace overlooking the beautiful city or dance the night away in the club on the top floor.
Located on the museum-filled island of Djurgården, the ABBA Museum is hands-down the most fun I’ve ever had in a museum. While not an explicitly gay museum, the Swedish pop supergroup definitely has a number of fans in the community, so naturally, the ABBA museum opens its doors to everyone. Having just opened 5 years ago, the museum is full of information on the successful group with plenty of entertainingly interactive exhibits. There’s something for everyone, whether you prefer remixing your favorite hit on a soundboard or simply want to karaoke and dance with holograms of the ABBA members. The museum also contains a special phone that will occasionally ring with a call from a real ABBA member who a lucky visitor can chat with. You could definitely get lost in the museum for hours, which is pretty much what we did. With over 80% of museum visitors being international, the museum is wisely connected to the Pop House Hotel. The amazing hotel is complete with ABBA themed rooms including an ABBA Gold room and even a Mamma Mia room. Why not go all out when visiting the home country of the supergroup? I know we will on our next visit!
Read More, to find more LGBTQ+ friendly places in Stockholm.
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