Sweden has a long history of celebrating the LGBT+ community. This year, the Scandinavian nation will be celebrating 75 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality, and 10 years since the introduction of equal marriage in the country. Plus, the capital Stockholm is home to the region’s largest pride celebrations, an event that has been running for 20 years and attracts over half a million visitors annually, making it the city’s largest event. And just last year, Stockholm came together with its sister city, Gothenburg in the West of the country to jointly and successfully host Europride, the first time the landmark event has been held in two cities. So it will come as no surprise that Sweden is a key destination for LGBTQ travellers.
Whatever your interests, Sweden is a place that is Open to Everyone, no matter what your background and no matter who you love. For more LGBT+ travel inspiration, visit our dedicated portal at www.VisitSweden.lgbt.
Here are four travel ideas to inspire a visit to Sweden this year.
1. Kick off a big gay Swedish summer
Gothenburg is home to West Pride, the West Swedish region’s main pride celebrations, one of 30 Pride festivals in the country. But West Pride is special – a community based Pride where everyone is welcome, it usually runs at the end of May or early June – the perfect way to kick of the Swedish summer where the days are longer and the weather glorious. What better time to discover the quaint city of Gothenburg too!
2. Drink wine for a good cause
During the long Scandinavian summer evenings, Mälarpaviljongen, this chic and charming piece of Swedish design ingenuity – a bar and café concept – buzzes with locals and visitors alike. Situated on a pontoon over the beautiful lake Mälaren, you can enjoy a glass of rosé or afternoon snack alfresco whilst overlooking the waters. The crowd is mixed and welcoming, plus the venue’s gay owners are founders of the Rainbow Foundation, an organisation set up to aid LGBT people living in countries where they are persecuted for being who they are. As such, the profits for certain signature drinks, particularly the bar’s own brand of Rose are donated to the Foundation. Just ask one of their gorgeous barmen (the bar also has a policy of recruiting LGBT+ asylum seekers who have fled their country for fear of persecution) and you could be soon clinking glasses for charity.
3. Foodies unite
Gothenburg is unique when it comes to food. It’s proximity to the West Swedish archipelago means that it has some of the best seafood in the world. Plus Sweden has a real focus on sustainable agriculture in general, so most of its restaurants serve up some of the best farm-to-fork produce there is. It may come as no surprise then, that Gothenburg, despite its small-city status has more Michelin-stars per capita than anywhere else in the world; and unlike Tokyo or New York, you don’t need to book months in advance to get a table. Vegetarians and vegans will also feel welcome, the city is very plant-based-eater friendly.
4. Shop til you drop
Both Stockholm and Gothenburgs are meccas for shopping, especially if you like the world renowned brands like ACNE Studios, Tiger of Sweden and Nudie Jeans. Alongside these international fashion design giants, you’ll find many other contemporary labels that take on the Swedish aesthetic – functional, minimal and with inclusivity in mind. Like HOPE, who believe that garments shouldn’t be defined by ideas of binary gender. The brand labels all their clothes in both men’s and women’s sizing – and doesn’t dictate what its customers can and can’t wear. It’s just another way how the Swedes are so open minded.
Ready to Visit? Well… Visit Sweden is offering one lucky couple a chance to win a getaway to Sweden. Go Here to get all of the details: www.visitsweden.lgbt