Gay friendly Hotel Rival, club King Kong and Jungle Jane

One of the most popular areas of Södermalm are the blocks around Mariatorget Square. You will find restaurants and stores on the streets of St Paulsgatan, Krukmakargatan, Hornsgatan and Swedenborgsgatan, which form the charming square of Mariatorget.

At Mariatorget you also find Hotel Rival – a small, privately owned hotel. The owner? No one else than Benny Andersson from ABBA. Hotel Rival has become very popular with the Stockholmers and it also houses a bistro with a bar, a cocktail bar in art deco style, and a immensely popular café.

“Overlooking a leafy square in the bohemian Södermalm district, this hotel, owned by ABBA’s Benny Andersson, is also flush with character. Among its features are blow-ups of Swedish film stills above the headboards, so you can drift off to sleep under the disdainful eye of Greta Garbo.” Conde Nast Traveller (UK)

Speaking of ABBA, have you been to ABBA The Museum in Stockholm?

Almost next doors to the hotel you have the very popular gay club King Kong. Open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Fridays King Kong transforms to the club Jungle Jane, the newest addition to the lesbian club scene. Don’t miss it!

 

Stockholm Pride 2015

More than half a million people and a dead king can’t be wrong: Stockholm Pride is a perfect celebration of LGBT culture.

The festivals mix of party, politics and culture turns this summer hot capital into a bustling city painted in the colours of the rainbow flag. Since it was first held in 1998, Stockholm Pride has grown to become Stockholm’s largest annual festival, as well as the largest Pride celebration in Scandinavia.

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The week-long festival culminates in the annual Stockholm Pride parade with more than 50,000 participants and more than 500,000 spectators who gather to watch the procession of Viking Bears and butches, boy toys and drag queens, gay Christians and gay policemen … you name it!

And the aforementioned dead king? Well, the extravagant king Gustav III (1746-1792) would have loved the parade, which is why it stops at his statue, located below the Royal Palace, and lays a wreath of flowers at his feet.

http://stockholmpride.org

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Explore the Royal Palace

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Did you know that the Royal Palace in Stockholm is one of the largest palaces in Europe? The Royal Palace is the official residence of His Majesty the King of Sweden, with over 600 rooms.

The Palace is open to the public and offers no less than five museums. The Palace was largely built during the eighteenth century in the Italian Baroque style, on the spot where the “Tre Kronor” castle burned down in 1697. Visit the reception rooms with splendid interiors from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Rikssalen (the Hall of State) with Queen Kristina’s silver throne, and Ordenssalarna (Halls of the Orders of Chivalry). You can also see Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, the Tre Kronor Museum and the Treasury. More on the Royal Palace>>

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The Royal Palace also contains the Armory, with royal costumes and armor, as well as coronation carriages and magnificent coaches from the Royal Stable. Make sure not to miss the parade of soldiers and the daily changing of the guard. Read more about the Royal Guards>>

Two hotels in Stockholm

Don’t hang your hat just anywhere. Stockholm is full of all types of hotels for all types of budgets. Hotels in Stockholm are as welcoming as the city they’re in, and staff won’t bat an eye at two women requesting one bed, or snuggling up together in the lounge for cocktails.These two hotels are members of the Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network and located in the city center.

BERNS HOTEL
Dance the night away at the club in the basement, eat at one of the two restaurants or go see a concert – all under the same roof. This chic art deco hotel has a lot to offer and attracts celebrities like Noomi Rapace, Bill Gates, Rihanna and Dalai Lama.

With majestic decor and stunning chandeliers, Berns offer you an exclusive environment located in an anonymous alley right in the heart of Stockholm.

Näckströmsgatan 8, +46 8 566 322 00
www.berns.se

SHERATON HOTEL STOCKHOLM
Nothing says good service as much as a hotel that looks to your every need. When a guest asked to have 19 white bear pelts delivered to his room, Sheraton hotel of course arranged it. The guest? The famous artist Prince of course. This five-star hotel is located in the very heart of Stockholm. After sleeping in one of the hotel’s 465 rooms, with their distinct Scandinavian design, you begin to understand why one guest stayed here for 25 years – in a row. Don’t miss Sheraton’s Fitness Center, the hotels gym, sauna and massage.

Tegelbacken 6, 46-8-412 34 00
www.sheratonstockholm.com

Stockholm Voices: Martin & Magnus

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Stockholm Voices is a series of interviews with the people of Stockholm. They are all strong and important ambassadors in the LGBT community. Let them introduce you to their favorite places in our city.

This time we’ve asked Martin “Miss Inga” Johansson and Magnus Engvall some questions about our city. Martin is the nightclub manager at Södra Teatern and the drag queen Miss Inga. Magnus is doing Marketing and PR for Lufthansa in Stockholm and therefore have both a personal and professional interest in people from the whole world discovering and returning to Stockholm.

We love restaurants, bars and clubs! What’s your favorite place?
Martin: My favorite place (besides my own) is Berns. Amazing food and great clubs. If I want to go out on a good rave I go to Slakthuset and dance the night away. If I want to camp it up I go to Candy or King Kong.

Magnus: I suggest everyone to go and spend their night at “Natten”. This is a club hosted in a venue called “Färgfabriken”, so you must be lucky if this concept is on while you are visiting Stockholm. If not it is a good reason to plan your visit around their schedule. Why? Because everyone should, once in life, experience this. It is a big club in a cool old paint factory setting – so far all is normal. Then they only play power ballads! It is a must see, hear and take part in when over a thousand people dancing and singing along to “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, “Wind of Change” and probably every song Celine Dion ever recorded and many, many more.

Favorite neighborhood?
Martin: I love Södermalm. Great people, food, and bars.
Magnus: For sure the whole of Södermalm and more specifically Hornstull, where I choose to live myself.

Where do you go for shopping?
Martin: Unfortunately, I like expensive things. So Ljung, Acne Studios, Hope, NK, Prada and Nathalie Schuterman. My drag gear is often from my friend (and Army of lovers designer) Camilla Thulin.
Magnus: To take a stroll on Götgatan is always a safe card if you want to shop clothes and accessories. Work your way towards the mall “Bruno” which has several Swedish and international fashion brands. And Weekdays just opposite is the home of Cheap Monday and other very affordable fashion. Then continue to “SoFo”. Aim for the store “Grandpa” and you’re not only in a great store but also right in the epicenter.

 

Places for breathtaking city views in Stockholm

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Thanks to being built on 14 islands and with barely any high-rise buildings, Stockholm has a unique landscape. It’s mostly church spires that pierce through the otherwise almost unobstructed skyline.

Grab your camera and the hand of someone you like and head to one of these outlooks for breathtaking city views:

Monteliusvägen
Fjällgatan
The Kaknäs Tower
Skinnarviksberget
SkyView
Skansen Open-Air Museum
Fotografiska

The Stockholm Pride Dogtag 2015

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Today Stockholm Pride announced the designers for this years dogtag, and they are Gunn Lundemo and Kristin Amparo! This year the dogtag us a unique unisex necklace.

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What is Stockholm Pride?

More than half a million people and a dead king can’t be wrong: Stockholm Pride is a perfect celebration of gay culture!

The festivals mix of party, politics and culture turns this summer hot capital into a bustling city painted in the colours of the rainbow flag. Since it was first held in 1998, Stockholm Pride has grown to become Stockholm’s largest annual festival, as well as the largest Pride celebration in Scandinavia.

The week-long festival culminates in the annual Stockholm Pride parade with about 50,000 participants and more than 500,000 spectators who gather to watch the procession of Viking Bears and butches, boy toys and drag queens, gay Christians and gay policemen … you name it!

And the aforementioned dead king? Well, the extravagant king Gustav III (1746-1792) would have loved the parade, which is why it stops at his statue, located below the Royal Palace, and lays a wreath of flowers at his feet.

www.stockholmpride.org

Our gay guide and lesbian guide to Stockholm

For years now, Stockholm has not only become a favorite destination of the tourist in search of the latest trends, culture, fashion, design, music, entertainment, good food and relaxing atmospheres, it has also become a favorite spot for gays and lesbians who want more than just a neighborhood with gay-friendly bars. Some people say that if there was ever a capital city designed by gay people for gay people to enjoy, Stockholm would be it!

Check out our Gay GuideLesbian Guide, and our Shopping Guide.

Midsummer in Stockholm

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The most characteristically Swedish tradition of all may be Midsummer, which is celebrated on the weekend closest to June 24, the longest day of the year—when the sky never darkens.

It is a celebration of our love to nature, so many Stockholmers leave for the archipelago or the countryside during the weekend, but those who stay behind have options, too. Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, holds a grand Midsummer celebration, with games and dancing to Swedish folk music around the maypole, which is decorated with flowers and leaves. Many participants wear traditional folk costumes and flower wreaths in their hair. Midsummer is celebrated outdoors in a similar fashion throughout Sweden. And in the evening there’s a big party at Södra Teatern.

A traditional Midsummer meal includes herring, fresh potatoes, beer and snaps.

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A midsummer night’s dream: one old surviving folk tradition is to pick seven types of flowers on Midsummer night and place them under your pillow when going to bed. You’ll then be dreaming of the one you will marry.

New exhibition: Men bathing

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Artwork by Jan Hietala next to The Navy Bath House by Eugène Jansson.

New exhibition: Men at Water. Jan Hietala and Eugène Jansson in dialogue. 13 June – 20 September, 2015 at the Thiel Gallery.

The Thiel Gallery says: “Men bathing is a subject that has attracted attention throughout art history. Bodies moving or at rest, and nude bathing with its oscillation between social and private situations, provide new opportunities to observe the naked male body. Bathing houses and spontaneous outdoor bathing have inspired artists at least since the late 19th century to portray both the hygienic benefits, the liberated playfulness and the erotic allure of water.

The artist Jan Hietala has long devoted himself to an exploration of this artistic tradition through a variety of media: painting, films, text and installations. Therefore, he has been invited to show a selection of his works and give a contemporary perspective on one of the Thiel Gallery’s most eye-catching paintings: The Navy Bath House (1907) by Eugène Jansson (1862-1915).

Jansson belonged to the close circle of artist friends of the collector Ernest Thiel, and his paintings commanded an entire wall in the upstairs gallery.  Since 1970, when it became known that Jansson was homosexual, The Navy Bath House has been tucked away in the Gallery’s warehouse and only shown in temporary exhibitions. This exhibition marks the fact that the nude men will now be on permanent display at the Thiel Gallery.

Welcome to a sensual exhibition about nude men by the water, in the past and present.”

Read more at The Thiel Gallery>>