I’ve been living in Stockholm for over a year now. I guess at this point I should be able to navigate myself through the city without heavily relying on Google Maps, but the process of becoming a true Stockholm-er continues. In the past year I’ve gone through three apartments, three jobs and severe colds that felt nearly fatal. To all my fellow Californian’s, your North Face jacket and outdated Uggs boots are not welcome here. If you plan to come to Sweden anytime other than summer, get ready to invest in some proper winter wear.
Like most cities, Stockholm thrives on diversity. To help you break this down I’ve done the favor of categorizing personas in Stockholm as honorary HBIC, Caty Herron would. You’ve got your fellow international folks, preteens who look nearly 30 years old, guys who embody the look of all three members of Swedish House Mafia, elders who are way too overly patriotic, locals who refuse to speak anything other than Swedish, and locals who will think your cool af if you’re lucky enough to grow up somewhat near Los Angeles, New York City or Miami.
One major differentiator of Stockholm is their long list of unspoken social laws. A few of those laws are: don’t smile at strangers because it’s creepy af and apparently very unusual. If you’re lost, use your modern technology and do not interact with your fellow commuters. Be quiet and mindful in public restaurants, and don’t get too fucked in the nightclubs. Thank you G-Eazy for reminding all of us how strict the security at a Swedish nightclub can be. These unspoken laws are a little more loose depending on where you choose to spend your time. To help you find your comfort zone within the city, I’ve created a short guide that will match you to a bar compatible enough with your interests. Sidetone, shouldn’t there be an app for this?
I know I can’t technically call you a druggie, but if you’re liberal af and strive to go to Burning Man, this is your place. Slakthuset is a pretty grungy club that has multiple rooms to fit specific moods. One room could be bumping hardcore Dubstep, while another room is playing honorary throwbacks. Slakthuset has also hosted some amazing DJ’s like Gorgon City. To answer your question: Yes, Gorgon City is relevant in Sweden. Unlike most clubs in Stockholm, Slakthuset is also open until about 4 or 5 a.m., so it’s a safe haven for anyone whose hitting their comedown but still wants to be out.
2. Spy Bar
Spy Bar is where you’ll find any fame-hungry, Instagram follower-seeking, Kardashian fan millennial. The music is subpar, the drinks are widely overpriced, and the ambiance is not nearly as lively. However, if your a fan of Robyn, Zlatan or Zara Larsson, this is the one place you might be lucky enough to spot them. I’d recommend this spot to you if your looking for the Scandinavian equivalent of 1Oak, Warwick or Bootsy Bellows, but do keep in mind that Swedes do what they can to keep it classy. So don’t expect too much ratchetivity.
Nivå22 could be used in a scene of Criminal Minds. It’s sketchy af but with the sketchiness comes affordable drinks. If you’re looking to buy cheap beers, or get wasted off the 20 dollars left from your monthly financial aid, look no further, Nivå22 welcomes you.
4. Secret Garden
For all my LGBTQ readers, out there, this place is for you. Secret Garden is actually one of the most fun bars in Stockholm. They have fabulous Drag Queens making special appearances, amazing music, good drinks and literally the best french fries I’ve ever had in Sweden. The bar is located in a beautiful area overlooking the water in Gamla Stan, aka Old Town. Hanging out in Secret Garden will truly make you question your sexuality, not only is it more fun than any bar you’ve gone to so far, you’ll also be saddened by fabulous free-spirited people who will unapologetically be having fun.