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How To Make The Most Of Stockholm In The Summer


Brunch, picnics, swimming and raves – what's not to like?

So we start the day with a homemade breakfast. For us Swedes, it's the most important meal of the day. I often invite friends over for brunch at my place and we spend hours chatting, having too much coffee and a whole lot of bread and juice. 

If you´re not able to make brunch at home, Stockholm isn’t short of great cafés for good coffee and a simple breakfast. If you want something more extravagant, there’s The Brunch Club in the north and Greasy Spoon in the south. 

Stockholm is a city on water, and there are plenty of places you can cool down on a summer’s day. There are several beaches and docks around town where you can swim. Although the water isn’t blue – more of a brownish colour – it’s not dirty. However, if the colour puts you off, there’s a great municipal pool located in the southern part of town, Eriksdsal Badet. Bring your own picnic!

Speaking of which, we Swedes are totally in love with picnics, and as soon as the weather allows we take our picnic bag, thermos with coffee, blanket and a portable speakers to the park. We also play traditional summer games like boules or this Swedish one called kubb, which basically involves throwing sticks and is way more fun than that it sounds.


There are so many parks and waterfronts to have a picnic in Stockholm. We ended up going to Skinnarviksberget or “monkey mountain” as we call it! We bought a disposable barbecue for around 35 KR.

When it comes to wine or beer, things get a bit more complicated. We Swedes aren’t as carefree as the rest of the continent – I guess it’s because our ancestors drank too much. In 1766, after several attempts to restrict the consumption of alcohol, the King decided to completely liberalise its production. This led, however, to loads of dangerous moonshine, with people making drinks out of everything. There was even a shortage of potatoes to eat because everyone was trying to make alcohol out of them! Eventually by the 20th century a new law restricted alcohol consumption per capita.

So these days you can only buy alcohol in government-owned stores called Systembolaget. They’re only open from 10.00 – 18.00 Monday to Friday, and 10.00 – 15.00 on Saturday (and they’re closed on Sundays!). You have to be 20 years old as well. So basically, there’s very little spontaneous drink-buying for afterparties – you have to plan your fun!

After watching the sun go down, we get on our bikes and cycle towards the city centre to visit some of the outdoor bars. On this warm summer’s night we arrive at the terrace outside the Opera – a nice spot with a view of the castle and parliament. Another favourite spot is Bleck, an outdoor bar with a well-priced menu and some good cocktails.

For dinner we head back to the south to Mariatorget, where you can find a bunch of nice bars and restaurants. Morfar Ginko and Pappa Ray Ray is a bar and restaurant with two different names. You can get stuck here for hours. If you check their website you can time it so you turn up when they have DJs playing until 3.00am. It’s always a hell of a party!

When it comes to clubbing, in Stockholm there are loads of options. During this time of the year you should go to the outdoor clubs that are only open during summer. Trädgården, which is located under a bridge, has everything basically: restaurant, bar, live gigs and a club. But watch out for a queue that grows quickly on a Friday or Saturday night.

Further away from town in the old meatpacking district you will find Slakthuset, which basically means the ”butcher’s house”. They also have a big terrace open during summer where they have barbecues and a nightclub open until 3am. 

The thing about Stockholm’s nightlife is you have to check when places are open, because a lot are closed from Sunday till Tuesday. If you want to have fun on a Sunday, go to Sturehof for drinks.

Recently Stockholm has also become renowned for its raves – like actual raves that happen in the woods outside the city. I can’t give you any specific information of these, though. You’ll have to make some friends and talk to the party people!

Photography by Julia Nordenmark Barcellos