The UK’s Express newspaper recently described Sweden’s main train station as a “no-go zone”, while according to the Daily Mail, “all-male migrant teen gangs are spreading terror” there.
However as The Local reported on Tuesday, police argued visitors should not be worried about their safety. Judging by our Facebookpage, not all of you agreed. But we also had plenty of messages from readers who were angry and upset about sensationalist reporting on Sweden lately. If you’re one of them, this is for you.
Put the complex refugee debate to one side for 10 minutes, and check out our alternative guide to Stockholm’s best-avoided spots.
Area 1. Systembolaget at 2.55pm on a Saturday
Sweden’s state-run alcohol monopoly shuts up for the entire weekend at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon. Cue plenty of jostling in the aisles and a long queue at any counter if you’re among those disorganised enough to leave your shop until the last minute. Already got a hangover from the night before? Welcome to the shopping trip from hell.
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
Area 2. Slussen, without a map
How many bridges, walkways, underground tunnels, cobbled side streets and steep hidden staircases does one neighbourhood need? Slussen, which connects Stockholm’s historic old town to the hipster island of Södermalm is a minefield for newcomers and locals alike. Prepare to get lost.
Photo: Janerik Eriksson
Area 3. Trädgården night club at 11pm on a hot summer’s night
Oh those balmy summer nights in Sweden. All five of them. When it’s warm and the sun doesn’t set until past 10pm, Stockholmers love to party. But with only a few large outdoor venues in the city, you could find yourself waiting in line for up to two hours to get into the best of them, especially Trädgården in Skanstull. The upside is that sunshine seems to be a cure for Swedish shyness, so at least you might make some mates in the queue.