Stockholm at night.
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, might be better known for its medieval history, art galleries and famous waterways than its nightlife for now, but this is all set to change in 2014.
The Summerburst electric dance festival has really put Stockholm on the map of best party destinations, rivalling Ibiza, – with past headliners including Avicci, Calvin Harris and David Guetta. As well as festivals, Stockholm attracts big name music acts with recent visitors including Rihanna, Beyonce and Miley Cyrus.
However it’s not all pop music and dance festivals, the foundation of Stockholm’s nightlife is based on a good mix of exclusive VIP nightclubs juxtaposed with relaxed live jazz music clubs and bohemian bars.
Whatever you consider a good night out, Stockholm can provide. The best areas to go out in are Stureplan and Södermalm, two different areas with two very different nightlife styles. Find out which one suits you best below:
Described by the Swedish tourist board as ‘Glamorous Stureplan’, this part of town will really appeal to visitors who want to see how the other half live. As well as designer shops like Versace and Gucci, here you’ll find the most expensive bars and restaurants, which of course are also Stockholm’s most famous.
Laroy, Spy Bar and Sturehof are just some of the more well-known nightlife venues to visit, but there’s plenty to pick from with Stureplan’s extremely dense concentration of bars and nightclubs.
Many of the venues are decadent, with lots of white and purple furnishings and guests who regularly splash out on bottles of champagne.
A number of the clubs, like the posh sushi restaurant East, start as restaurants before transforming into clubs – but forget bar snacks of fries and chicken wings, you’re far more likely to dine on red snapper carpaccio or beef tenderloin sashimi here.
- Word of advice: If you’re going to do Stureplan’s nightclubs properly get on a guest list. It’s not as hard as it sounds; usually you can sign-up to a guest list online at the club’s website. Although open to the wee small hours, the best clubs reach maximum capacity very quickly, so head there before midnight to make sure you get in before they fill up.
Best of Stureplan
- Although it now attracts Stockholm’s fashionistas, hipsters and anyone working in media, Spy Bar used to be reserved for just B-list celebrities and wannabe stars.
- The door policy can still be tough however, and although the bar really gets going between 3-5am, it’s worth getting there before 1am to increase your chances of making it past security. But once you’re in, the long queue (and pricey drinks) don’t seem to matter – the decadent rooms, beautiful locals and visitors and excellent music make it all seem worthwhile.
- Stockholm’s largest nightclub is also one of the city’s oldest, giving it a legendary status. With four halls over two storeys, there are different music themes in each room with an elaborate interior of period ceilings, marble and carved roses. Sign up to the online guest list to increase your chances of getting in.
The Wall at V
- A club within a club, you can only access The Wall by going through Sturecompagniet to get to the V Club. The Wall is the al fresco courtyard within the V Club, complete with its own conservatory style bar. The secret location makes the club very alluring to those with enough swagger to try their luck at getting in.
Forget pretentious staff and unforgiving bouncers, Södermalm is Stockholm’s more inclusive part of town. The bars here are all about the music and prefer to focus on creating their own niche style rather than creating a contrived VIP scene.
Pet Sounds Bar
- Ran by Pet Sounds Records you can rely on this bar for top class music and guest DJs. With Rock history inspired cocktails and a restaurant serving up decent food at reasonable prices, Pet Sounds provides the whole package for a solid night out without any self-important attitudes.
Snotty Sounds Bar
- Don’t be put off by the name, Snotty is another bar that’s all about the music. Specialising in loud indie rock, (both in music and décor) Snotty is popular with locals and visitors alike as a relaxed hangout during the week and attracting larger crowds over the weekend.
- THE venue for live music in Södermalm, Debaser Medis spreads over three floors with live gigs, DJs and clubs. A laid-back atmosphere, choice of restaurant and bars and brilliant live performers all contribute to make this a must-visit club in Stockholm mid-week or at the weekend.
Glenn Miller Café
Glenn Miller Café
Stockholm has a really strong live jazz scene, with a number of high and low profile clubs and cafes all over Stockholm.
The Glenn Miller Café is Stockholm’s most highly rated jazz café, with a 1930’s eastern European feel and a hideaway location in a very central part of the city.
The café has a loyal, local crowd and is always busy yet still very welcoming to visiting music lovers. Guests can enjoy a drink or make a reservation for dinner and the café boasts a live music program practically every day of the week.
See more jazz bars and reviews in Stockholm here.
Find out more
As well as this short snapshot of Stockholm’s nightlife, find out more about Stockholm’s restaurants, hotels and museums with these videos from London City airport.
Guest post by Stephanie Sheehan