Stockholm’s tourist brochures brashly boast that, in terms of nightlife, there’s nowhere north of Paris and London that can compete. And given the number of travelers heading there in search of a night out, this claim would seem to have at least some foundation.
Gamla Stan, the heart of the Old Town, is even more ravishing after dark than during the day. Beautifully lit-up, its streets are wonderful to explore. Apart from the odd, admittedly very cozy, pub, though, (and plenty of good restaurants) its scene is a rather sedate one.
Across the water to the south, however, a different picture altogether unfolds. With its bohemian bars and grubbily chic music clubs, the Sodermalm district is probably the cheapest night out in Stockholm and an absolute must for budget travelers.
Although it’s recently seen a wave of gentrification, Medborgarplatsen and Gotgatan still retain their pleasingly sleazy feel. Packed with a fair number of the city’s sizeable student population at any given time, it’s the real heart of nightlife in Stockholm.
Over in the smart residential area of Ostermalm, Stureplan is Sodermalm’s polar opposite. With its decidedly more upmarket feel, swanky cocktail bars and chic clubs, many backpackers and budget travelers may feel priced out of the area.
A middle ground of sorts lies to the north of the city center, in the Kungsgatan area of Norrmalm where many of the city’s more mainstream music clubs and bars can be found. And here, too, there isn’t even a second’s let-up of the pace…
As a city famous for its tolerance, it’s not surprising that gay and lesbian nightlife in Stockholm is also thriving. And numerous rainbow-flagged bars and clubs can be found around Mariatorget and the Stockholm Sodra train station.
Elsewhere in the city, to the north beyond Norrmalm, the district of Vasastan is lively around Tegnergatan and Rorstrandsgatan. Out to the west, meanwhile, Fridhemsplam and Scheelegatan in Kungsholmen are also a pretty safe bet.
Trendy, but never overwhelmingly so, the nightlife in Stockholm is right up there with the very best cities. Indeed, few nightlife experiences can match the splendor of a long summer’s ‘day’ of partying in Stockholm, when the sun only just creeps below the horizon.