Stockholm’s “green lung” of Royal Djurgården is home to a historic hotel, the Hasselbacken. Perched on a hill, in a large garden, overlooking the water, this charming Gustavian building has a long pedigree in hospitality. 250 years of it, in fact, not to mention the Hasselbacken has also played an important role in the city’s LGBTQ+ history, as it was once home to Stockholm’s drag and nightlife extravaganza in the 1980s.
What started out as a restaurant in the 1700s, turned tavern, turned hotel, Hasselbacken has been a landmark of the city for centuries. It’s no wonder that everyone we met during our time in Stockholm has a fond memory of the hotel: from brunch with their parents as a kid, to attending a wedding, to partying the night away during the 1980s at the city’s LGBTQ+ club night, After Dark. For many Swedes, and foodies around the world, the hotel brings with it some culinary history too. It is here the legendary fried spud dish, the Hasselback potato was first cooked.
Today, the vintage building is home to a beautiful hotel, reimagined for the modern traveller with just over a hundred rooms. Accommodation at the Hasselbacken is relatively small and decor minimalist – a little vanilla, considering a colour palette that is fifty shades of grey. But with its location and setting, we didn’t spend much time in our room. The hotel’s new restaurant and bar were where we got social. At the time of our visit, they were showcasing a new, sustainable and healthy eating concept and we were told that next time we visit, it might be something different altogether. We were unsure if limited-edition pop-ups are something they’ll stay with, in terms of food and beverage, but we liked the idea.
What we felt made the hotel very special is its terrace and gardens, where we enjoyed the long Swedish summer days. And all around us were the delights of Royal Djurgården, once the hunting grounds of Swedish royalty, today an amazing green space. It was a world away from central Stockholm and home to some of Sweden’s top cultural institutions, including the Vasa Museum and Nordiska Museum. For families, the open-air family museum that is Skansen and the Tivoli that is Gröna Lund is just next door.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
ABBA The Museum has a motto of “walk-in, dance out.” If you’re a fan (and come on, who isn’t?), the interactive attraction honouring the fab four is literally right across the street, which means you can get in before the crowds arrive. And trust us, it gets crowded.