‘Beauty on water’ Stockholm is as dynamic and trendy as it is bucolic. The city is famous for this historic, lego-like harbor and glittering Viking treasures. However, Stockholm’s narrow cobblestoned lanes hold more than rich culture; they hold within them open minds. With rainbow flags fluttering throughout the year, Stockholm is quite possibly the most open city in the world with gay accommodation in Stockholm easily available. Frequently called the ‘Gay Capital of the Nordics,’ the city’s well ahead of the curve for being an LGBTQ friendly destination. Gay friendly hotels in Stockholm are dime-a-dozen, and they aren’t even exclusively for gay men anymore, which is a sign of liberal times.
What’s even better, is that Stockholm doesn’t have exclusively gay neighborhoods, either. The city’s inclusive nature has driven the LGBTQ set to no longer need ‘gay spaces’ to hang out. That being said, most queer places lie in the historic “Old City” Gamla Stan, one of the most-visited neighborhoods in the city, and the hipster Södermalm. However, there is a gamut of other fantastic gay-friendly venues across city areas like Kungsholmen. What’s more, Stockholm‘s gay culture goes beyond these realms and extends to music as well, much like Memphis, Tennessee. The city is famous for being home to ABBA, the band that redefined gay culture and belted out the fabulous gay anthem “Dancing Queen”.
Stockholm in Sweden pulsates with a dynamic and lively vibe that is hard not to enjoy. Here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Stockholm for making your stay in this vibrant Nordic city comfy and memorable.
Pop House Hotel
Are you a fan of the amazing Swedish pop group ABBA? We guarantee that you will love the Pop House Hotel, which is ABBA-oriented all the way through. Located on the tranquil Djurgården island, the funky hotel lies right above the ABBA The Museum. In fact, this helpful skip-the-line ticket allows you to enjoy an unfettered tour of the ABBA Museum.
The memorabilia, art, and music at Pop House are all reminiscent of the Swedish pop phenomena. Rooms are a mix of traditional and ABBA-themes. The latter includes the Abba Gold Suite with the band’s private platinum and gold records on display. Traditional rooms blend into the hotel’s music theme by providing wireless speakers. Perhaps the most striking features are the panoramic balconies and windows which offer sweeping views over the water.
Staying on Djurgårdsvägen also allows you to explore Stockholm’s gorgeous attractions like Nordic, Vasa, Viking, and Sansen museums. The historic center Gamla Stan isn’t far away either; the ferry takes just nine minutes and the terminal is right in front of Pop House.
Housed in a lavish former cinema part-owned by the well-traveled Benny Andersson of ABBA fame is the fabulous Hotel Rival. One of the most amazing gay friendly hotels in Stockholm, Hotel Rival is a true hideaway on the leafy Mariatorget in hipster Södermalm.
Rooms feature bold color schemes and plush fabrics contrasting beautifully with wooden floors. Apart from whimsical iconic Swedish cinema images, they also feature a flat-screen TV, state-of-the-art entertainment system, and music by, of course, ABBA. The best part is the suppliers’ list provided which allows you to track down your favorite decor pieces in the room. Finally, dig into a delicious breakfast in the sun-kissed, window-walled breakfast room and enjoy a drink at the cozy cocktail bar.
The hotel is possibly the best-placed one in Stockholm. It is five minutes from Monteliusvägen from where you can spy panoramic views of the city. The subway and tube stations are a stone’s throw away. What’s more, the hotel is surrounded by some of the best gay bars in Stockholm, like Sidetrack and the iconic leather-and-fetish-central SLM.
Nordic Light Hotel
If staying centrally in Stockholm is a priority, then you’d do well by picking the gay-friendly Nordic Light Hotel located right by Stockholm Central Station. The hotel is a mere 15-minute walk from Gamla Stan and a 10-minute metro ride from Södermalm and their vibrant gay scenes.
Nordic is Stockholm’s first designed hotel with a Swedish-marble reception/bar making for a grand entrance. The hotel emits a cheeky gay-friendly vibe and is full of Scandinavian design oddities including phallic ornaments. Rooms are simple but extremely comfortable and feature special rates during Pride Week. The breakfast received extensive praise for the taste and size of the spread.
The gay-friendly Hotel Berns plays out a seduction routine that is hard to not be affected by. Think never-ending party clubs, intimate rooms, and gay dance parties. The hotel is located right at the heart of Stockholm’s nightlife and culture in the leafy Berzelii Park. It is also right next to where ferries depart for Gamla Stan, Djurgården, and Skeppsholmen.
Night owls and party animals will particularly love Hotel Berns, which is home to three nightclubs. Gay travelers can enjoy thrills of their own at Guldrummet, the monthly gay dance party held at what is Stockholm’s most stunning dance floor. Apart from an on-site gym, Hotel Berns even offers in-room bartending for guests. Dining at the restaurant surrounded by gold mirrors and crystal chandeliers is as grand as it gets.
The rooms are quirky with classic furnishings, bold color splashes, contemporary photography, and eclectic rugs. The huge round window gives the feeling of being aboard a ferry, with comfy leather sofas to snuggle on and watch the views.
Hotel Skeppsholmen on the lush, peaceful eponymous island is Stockholm’s very own urban oasis. Housed in a 300-year-old historic structure, Hotel Skeppsholmen is one of the best eco-friendly and gay friendly hotels in Stockholm on the waterfront. In fact, you can delve right into Swedish history as you stay here, with the Moderna and National Museums right next door.
With an exterior done up in typical Stockholm yellow pastel, rooms at the hotel are beautifully Scandic in design. Blond wooden floors make for wonderful canvasses for dashes of blue and white in the form of curtains, cabinets, and beds.
Breakfast is a hearty, family-like affair with an assortment of hot and cold dishes. There is no dearth of cozy reading nooks throughout the hotel, complete with sofas and comfy throws. While there’s a tiny workout room, it’ll do you a lot better if you jog around the island which is considered a haven for urban runners. All this makes it hard to believe that the city center is a mere 10-minute walk away, while Gamla Stan is a 20-minute stroll.
The hip, happening, and cool Hobo lives up to its name. The boutique, gay-friendly hotel is located in Stockholm’s central Brunkebergstorg area. It is more of an urban community for fun, learning, and living, rather than just a hotel.
The budget-friendly Hobo features four categories of contemporary rooms. They range from small, windowless ‘sleeper’ rooms to standard, superior ones, plus a single suite. The rooms have fun and quirky features like peg walls, useful items like an umbrella, and a curated city guide with maps and the best places around. There’s a chat function in place of traditional telephones, and even a Chrome facility for streaming content from the phone to the television. There are also fun books and even a greeting card when you arrive.
The trendy Hobo’s location is absolutely spot on, especially for gays. It’s just a 10-minute walk from Gamla Stan’s fabulous posse of gay bars. If you head in the opposite direction, you’ll come upon the secret jewelry box that is Melt, a glamorous speakeasy-cum-burlesque joint.
Hostel Generator Stockholm
The Generator megabrand of “poshtels” has been particularly popular with the headphones-and-laptop traveling generation. However, budget LGBTQ travelers to Stockholm will also love Generator Stockholm, a fabulous gay accommodation in Stockholm that looks like anything but a hostel. The decor is industrial-chic, with blond wood meeting dark metals and vibrant colors thrown in for good measure.
Rooms at Generator are spiffy to the hilt, whether it is the dorms or the private ones. Dorm rooms have “privacy boards” for each bed, as well as plenty of much-needed charging outlets. The communal space is fabulously famous for meet-cutes, complete with a bar, TVs, and sofas. While there isn’t a kitchen, the café serves food all day.
The Generator isn’t exactly in the city center; it’s a 25-minute walk from Gamla Stan’s gay bars like Secret Garden. However, it has 24-hour security, so you can literally roll in anytime after partying the night away.
At Six Hotel
The slick and chic At Six offers impeccable, en vogue elegance and is one of the most luxurious gay friendly hotels in Stockholm. The five-star hotel humanizes the palpably Brutalist architecture. It features a lovely art collection, soft lighting, and the signature centerpiece – a huge, carved marble head on the grand lobby staircase.
Spacious rooms feature lounge seating, marble writing desks, and all the necessary mod-cons. The dreamily comfy beds with luxurious linens will make it hard for you to get out of bed. However, you must head to the Listening Lounge, the only one in the city, for album sessions and DJ events. There’s also a gym, a wellness center, a café, and an international restaurant. If you’re gay and have deep pockets, At Six is where you should be.
If that wasn’t enough, At Six is a mere 10-minute walk from the historic “Old Town” Gamla Stan and all its lovely sights. For exploring it in the best possible way, we recommend you take this lovely 1.5-hour walking tour of Old Town. Follow long-walked streets and hear about Stockholm’s rich history and tales of an era gone by.
With a rainbow flag fluttering proudly at its entrance, comes the gay-friendly, elegant, and stylish Hotel Diplomat. Housed in a restored, turn-of-the-20th-century townhouse overlooking the Nybroviekn inlet, the hotel is Scandinavian hospitality at its very best.
Rooms are more of mini-apartments with oversized windows, Juliet balconies, and subtle floral hints dotting all of them. While all are amazing, the best are the rooms in the front that overlook the Royal Palace and Stockholm Harbor. The ritzy T/Bar has a distinct Scandinavian bistro vibe, is a favorite with locals, and serves delectable meals. The staff is extremely helpful, assisting with everything from booking massages at the hotel’s Jacuzzi and sauna to giving you tips about the neighborhood. With a ferry terminal and tram stop right outside and Gamla Stan 10 minutes away, Stockholm and its best sights are just steps away.
Courtyard Stockholm Kungsholmen
If you’re gay and want to stay in leafy, residential Kungsholmen, then choose the gay-friendly Courtyard Stockholm Kungsholmen as your base. The modern, value-for-money branch of the Marriott brand offers tranquil sophistication while being just minutes away from the city center.
Settle into exceptionally spacious rooms with comfortable amenities, mod-cons, and large windows providing natural light. Ask for rooms on one particular side of the hotel which offer fantastic views of the water and Rålambshovs park. The hotel has a fitness center and rental bikes. Furthermore, the hotel has a bar that is very popular with gay locals.
The metro station is a two-minute walk away from the hotel, from where the city center, Gamla Stan, and Södermalm are just minutes away.
STF Zinkensdamm Hostel
One of the best value-for-money gay accommodations in Stockholm is the STF Zinkensdamm Hostel. Nestled in the bylanes of the hip and happening Södermalm, the verdant hostel is a veritable haven in the midst of the city. Rose bushes, fruit trees, and green parks surround the lovely Stockholm-yellow-hued hostel. It pretty much looks much like you’ve arrived in Stockholm’s countryside.
Guests can choose between dorms and all kinds of private rooms, with the dorms lending a summer camp feel. Zinkendamm has two lovely breakfast halls, a bar, and a restaurant. There’s a full kitchen, with guests having access to free pasta. Sit with a cuppa or a glass of wine in the garden with lavender and rose bushes, or curl up with a book from the library. You can even rent a bike from the reception, and the staff is more than happy to help out with city guides and tips.
Even though you aren’t in the center, you’re very close to it. Gamla Stan is a five-minute metro ride, while Södermalm’s gay scene, including the underground gay club of King Kong, is just 10 minutes down the road. So, if you’re looking for something absolutely trippy, yet calm, peaceful, and innately Swedish, STF Zinkeldamm is the place to be.
Just So You Know:
- Until August 1979, homosexuality was classified as an “illness.” Swedes protested on August 29 by calling in sick to work, claiming they “felt gay.” What’s more, Sweden’s generous sick leave meant everyone got paid for feeling gay. By October 1979, homosexuality was no longer an “illness”.
Get Some Culture in Stockholm:
- Stockholm Pride: Stockholm Pride sees almost 4.5 percent of the country’s entire population turn up for the parade to watch and participate. This week-long salute to openness and diversity features theatre, live music, and a rainbow-filled Pride parade. In fact, Sweden’s politicians and army have also gotten involved in the Pride parades in the past.
- Gaily Tour of Stockholm: Indulge in an exciting LGBT-friendly walking tour of Stockholm with a gay tour guide. See Gamla Stan, the historical center, Stockholm’s historic and architectural attractions. Also, dive into the world of one of the most iconic Swedish LGBT icons, ABBA.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Stockholm:
- The Secret Garden – This huge ‘open-minded’ pub in Gamla Stan is extremely popular with the city’s LGBT+ community. There’s a dance nightclub as well as a secret garden to escape to for some quiet time.
- SideTrack – This fun place is also Stockholm’s oldest gay bar as well as its best. It’s great for hanging out, enjoying a cocktail or a beer, and having a wild time on the weekends.
- King Kong – A fierce underground gay club for gays looking to let their inner dancer go wild. It also attracts younger, cute boys galore. Also, since it gets extremely hot, don’t plan on wearing much.
- Guldrummet – This amazingly sexy monthly gay party at Hotel Berns sees hot boys and men on a steamy dance floor.
- Melt – This is Stockholm’s first speakeasy bar known for its luxurious cocktails, burlesque dancers, and cabaret acts. It opens every night between Thursday and Saturday.
Best Gay Saunas in Stockholm:
- Rainbow Sauna – Newly reopened sauna with a darkroom, kinky spaces, private rooms, masseur services, and an infra-red sauna.