They say when you’re bored of London, you’re bored of life. And while the Big Smoke has plenty to offer in the way of entertainment – at times it can all get a bit too much.
Londoners and visitors alike will know all too well the toils of queueing half an hour for a drink, dealing with the crush on the tube, and dancing with someone’s sweaty armpit in your face.
If that sounds familiar, you’ll be glad to hear there’s a fabulous and fun alternative less than two and a half hours away: the Open City of Stockholm.
It’s the perfect destination for a city break or long weekend away: with a long history of diversity and the biggest Pride event in Scandinavia, you’ll find the locals cosmopolitan, friendly and open-minded.
Add to that, the easy walkability of the centre, the laidback pace, and chic Swedish sensibility, making it an ideal escapist spot for those who want to unwind and chill.
Here, we give you the low-down on the must-visit spots for your Scandi break…
Set in a former glass factory, this appropriately hipster hotel is located right in the trendy neighbourhood of Södermalm. Think independent coffee shops serving ‘Fika’, vintage clothiers and interior design boutiques.
It’s a great bolthole for a chilled break in the city, and the floor-to-ceiling windows, inspired by the property’s heritage – afford great views out over the city.
Renowned for its minimalist Scandi design with playful twists, you’re sure to feel warm, fuzzy and at home at Hobo. And if relaxing gets dull, there’s a gorgeous fitness centre to work out your tensions in.
Plus, its situation couldn’t be more central so it’s ideal for a spot of retail therapy at the department store mecca NK, or a spot of fashionista-spotting in nearby trendy Bibliotekstan.
Courtyard by Marriott
Bringing a Scandi design edge to a larger property, this waterside property is perfectly situated to stroll to Stockholm’s latest bar-cum-cafe hangout, Mälarspavijlongen, where long summer days and nights can be spent sipping rose and mingling with friendly locals.
A buzzy spot, serving Italian dishes with a Swedish twist – think dill and cream cheese on light, crispy pizza bases. The poppy, fun decor and upbeat ambience makes it a great choice for brunch or lunch.
Meat-free travellers fear not! Stockholm rivals other world capitals in availability and variety of vegan feasts.
At this beautifully designed, gay-owned café you’ll find meatless and dairy-free takes on street food favourites, from pulled ‘pork’ to quesadillas, to kebabs. Plus, you can look out over the stunning Lake Mälaren whilst you enjoy your guilt-free grub.
This fabulous palace is still the official residence of the Swedish royal family, and features over 600 rooms to explore plus 4 distinct galleries, so you’re at no risk of getting bored.
It’s also got a special LGBT history worth noting, as Christina, Queen of Sweden, was a famous 17th-century lesbian.
Well known for hosting the best gay nights in the city, it’s worth planning your trip around Clean’s monthly parties, hosted at Stockholm’s megaclub ‘Backdoor’.
Expect a hot, attitude-free crowd, gogo dancers and special performances to keep you entertained all night.
A sprawling, open club with two dance floors serving up international pop hits and cheesy Swedish ‘schlager’ music.
If you’re used to the hot, sweaty broom cupboards that call themselves clubs in London, you’ll find the friendly, up-for-it locals a refreshing treat and be up on your feet and dancing in no time.