Stockholm has all the usual things to do – great museums, fantastic restaurants, cool galleries – but when you’re trying to impress a date maybe it’s time to try something a bit more unusual and unexpected. Here are eleven great and unusual ideas to try while in Stockholm.
The Stockholm subway (known as the Tunnelbana) is home to the world’s longest art gallery, with more than 90 stations featuring installations, murals, mosaics, sculpture, paintings and engravings, and much, much more. More than 150 artists have worked on the always expanding ‘gallery’ and it could take days to see it all – which could be a great idea if the date is going well and an absolutely horrible one if it’s not. Start out by hitting the best stations and take it from there.
Yes, you can fish for salmon right in front of the Royal Palace, or really anywhere in the city, and chances are you’ll catch something. Stockholm is built on 14 islands so water is everywhere and the water is filled with fish. So grab your bait and tackle and cast your line. If you do catch something you’ve got the perfect excuse for inviting the object of your desire back to yours: cook your catch and serve it to great fanfare.
Once upon a time Stockholm was criss-crossed by trams and while many have been replaced by buses and the subway there are still a number in service. As charming as they all are, there is one in particular that offers the chance for a very unusual date – the Café Tram; which departs from Norrmalmstorg, just seconds from Kungsträdgården, and takes you to a selection of destinations on Djurgården. During the journey you can order a non-alcoholic beverage and a freshly baked pastry from one of the café hostesses. Now this is a fika with a difference!
Chatting over drinks is all well and good but having fun on a date will bring you closer together in a very different way. For 20 years Boule Bar has been making date night fun, with pool, pinball, shuffle board, chess, foosball, air hockey, darts, round robin pin pong, and of course boule. It’s like a big playground for adults and there’s even a great pub menu and bar, as well as beer tasting. Let’s just say it’s an enormous amount of fun.
If there’s one thing most Stockholmers love, both young and old, it’s laser tag, and one of their favourite spots to play is Laser Dome. For a nation that embraces neutrality and is generally passive and non-violent it’s a bit odd that once you get them in the arena the lust for blood is palpable. Forget taking it easy on one another – Swedes will do anything to win at this game but once it’s over it’s all ‘good job’ and ‘well done’ as they wait impatiently for the final score. It’s a lot of laughs, a decent workout, and hey, it’s dark in there!
If you don’t suffer from vertigo, have an adventurous spirit, and are ready for 360 degree views of the city, then take your honey and clamber up to the rooftops of Stockholm’s Old Parliament building. The Rooftop Tour isn’t for the faint at heart but it is enormous fun and a great way to learn about the city’s history while sharing a one of a kind adventure with the one you love.
There are few better ways to get to know a city – or another person – than through food; after all, the way to a persons heart is through their stomach, right? Stockholm Food Tours offer a variety of food and drink tours in the city but one of the best is the Kitchens & Culture Tour, which takes you on a tour of the thriving and very diverse food scene on Södermalm. From classic Swedish meatballs to mouthwatering Asian, all washed down with delicious wine, this is a great way to discover the city with a loved one.
If you share a passion for saving the earth take your date on an Eco Tour, where instead of the focus being on history it’s on sustainability. Guides take you around Södermalm, which is possibly the most eco-friendly district of Stockholm – which was the first European Green Capital. In addition to CSR, sustainable transporting and waste management, you’ll be guided to sustainable cafés, second-hand shops, and much more. And did we mention it’s free?
The water surrounding Stockholm’s 14 islands is incredibly clean – so clean, in fact, that you can drink it. You can also swim in it and while some areas aren’t safe for swimming due to boat traffic, a great spot to swim is off the steps at the far end of the park at City Hall, where the old stone steps descend into Lake Mälaren, making it an easy in and out. On a hot summer’s day it’s not unusual to see a slew of people jumping in and out, although it is recommended you don’t swim too far from the steps, due to currents.
Why not work up a sweat with your date? But not just any old sweat. Indiegympa is group aerobics, which sounds a bit naff but when you realise it takes place on the rooftop terrace at Stockholm’s Kulturhuset – smack in the centre of town – it becomes a bit more palatable. What makes it even better is that there’s a bar up there as well, and plenty of theatre and other events in the sprawling building, so make a night of it.
Parkteatern means Park Theatre and is basically theatre in the park. It’s a city-wide initiative and in addition to plays there are dance performances, films, readings, and many other events held all summer along in parks across the city. One of the loveliest parks in which to enjoy one of these wonderful evenings is Vitabergsparken, on Södermalm. It’s a beautiful and slightly intimate space, and is somewhat a natural amphitheatre. A perfect summer’s night date.