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There are a number of films featuring Stockholm's stunning buildings | © Benoît Derrier / WikiCommons
There are a number of films featuring Stockholm's stunning buildings | © Benoît Derrier / WikiCommons

Films About Stockholm You Should Watch Before Visiting

Picture of Jozef Brodala
Updated: 23 January 2018
Stockholm is a beautiful city that has been the subject of many works of art. It has inspired paintings by artists like Kokoschka and many books and poems have been written about it. In both the 20th and 21st century, a number of films have been made both about and within the city. Here are eight of the best movies that you should watch before visiting Sweden’s capital in order to gain insight into the city. Filmmakers have rushed to Sweden’s capital to set their stories on Stockholm’s beautiful waterfront, in its gritty suburbs and around its stunning old town. The history and charm of the city make it the perfect filming location, featuring ultra-modern and exciting buildings as well as historical and breathtaking structures, making it ideal for both period dramas and sci-fi movies.

We Are the Best!

A film that is all about growing up and finding yourself, We Are the Best! is about two 13-year-olds who are left out by their peers because they have a love for all things punk rock. The film is set in Stockholm in 1982 and offers a glimpse of a Sweden that was confident and changing. It embodies a certain time in Sweden that was a real age of innocence in many ways, as the country was to be rocked four years later when beloved Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated. Sweden was not deeply involved in the Cold War and this projected a kind of calmness that was not present in many other parts of Europe. The film gives you an idea of what Stockholm was like in the 1980s, and how many people during that time were ‘finding themselves’.

A great coming-of-age film
A great coming-of-age film | © Film i Vast and Memfis Film

The Square

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, The Square illustrates the best of current Swedish filmmaking and is set in prestigious Stockholm social circles. The story is about an art curator and gallery manager whose life seems to take a number of strange turns. The gallery is housed in Stockholm’s Royal Palace and much of the film is shot in the city. It puts a degree of focus on life among the cultural elite of Stockholm, as well as showcasing the Swedes’ sense of humour and their love of the absurd. In watching The Square, you’ll learn more about modern Swedish culture and Stockholm’s quirks.

The Square features a number of Stockholm landmarks
The Square features a number of Stockholm landmarks | © Plattform Produktion

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

One of the best-known films set in Stockholm, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is based on the book by Stieg Larsson, which gripped Sweden before becoming hugely popular across the world. There have been two films made, with the 2009 version in Swedish and the 2011 version filmed in English. The 2009 version arguably best captures Stockholm, showing a great deal of Sodermalm, the coolest and most vibrant neighbourhood in Stockholm. It is perhaps one of the best films for showing how and where many Stockholmers live.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo captures the bleak weather