ICEBAR Stockholm: The Coolest Spot Around
A group of friends has just settled in at one of Stockholm's most unique bars. They toast with glasses made of ice, served at an ice bar, while seated on an ice sofa. It doesn't get any cooler than this...
"I've been curious about this place because I've heard so many people talk about it," says Nikita Borglund.
She is standing in the reception of ICEBAR Stockholm at Hotel C Stockholm. The bar is made entirely of ice, of course, and is located close to the central train station.
Nikita is on a girls' trip to the Swedish capital together with her friends Synne Krogstad, Johanna Johannson Ask, and Ellen Larsson, all in their 20s and 30s – and bar and restaurant experiences are high on their list of priorities.
Tonight, they have reservations at the Japanese Izakaya at trendy TAK Stockholm.
What better way to warm up than with a colourful drink?
"It's cool that everything is made of ice"
The group is handed thermal capes and gloves. It's cold inside, with temperatures as low as minus five degrees Celsius. The capes are intended to keep them warm, but also to protect the ice from their body heat. The group is ushered inside. ICEBAR is packed – mainly with American tourists who are keen to experience Sweden's Polar magic. In the middle of the day, with trams and bustling city life outside, you can experience a winter wonderland where everything is made of ice.
"Everything is well executed here," says Synne.
The first room you enter is big and has a round ice sofa in the centre. The walls are adorned with art and there are small tables made of ice. The music is pumping, and the bartender is waving eagerly. Each member of the group is served a drink, in different colours and fruity flavours. Ellen thinks it's cool to drink from the thick ice glasses.
"The presentation is beautiful, and it's literally cool that absolutely everything is made of ice."
ICEBAR Stockholm is located at Hotel C Stockholm on Vasaplan. The hotel is very central, with a five-minute walk to the central station and a 15-minute walk to the shopping area in Biblioteksgatan, and a 15-minute taxi ride to Djurgården, where you will find Skansen and all the most popular museums.
ICEBAR has been a major attraction in Stockholm since it first opened in 2002. The bar is demolished and rebuilt every year – with an entirely new theme. The interior is made from 40 tonnes of ice from the Torne River, located at the border between Northern Sweden and Finland. The ICEBAR experience includes a drink and a 45-minute visit.
If you go with friends, you can choose from a large selection of cocktails, and if you go with family, you can opt for non-alcoholic drinks like a Moonlight or an Aurora. You can read more about visiting here.
On the bucket list
The art also changes every year. Johanna believes this means that the icy experience can readily be repeated.
In 2023, the theme is Fata Morgana, an exhibition which aims to give one a chance to relax in a time when AI and fake news are challenging our perceptions.
This year's art is about embracing the present, enjoying a drink, and accepting that reality is just an illusion! ICEBAR describes the exhibition as follows: Don't trust your ice. Come experience Fata Morgana.
The group has chatted, admired the art, and exhaled frosty breaths. Sometimes 45 minutes at a venue is just enough time to laugh and shiver. They're ready to take off their capes and step back out into the Stockholm sun.
"But this is one of those bucket list places you just have to try out," says Nikita about their icy bar adventure.
Here are five more Stockholm bars you won't want to miss
Located in the heart of Stockholm, Hobo is much more than a hotel. This is the place to go for those who appreciate art, people, creativity, urban vibes, and a good atmosphere. At Hobo Bar, you'll find live music, art, and of course, great drinks. Check it out here.
A bar with a view is always tempting in the summer, and Tetto's rooftop bar is a great choice. This is a hot spot in the summer for food, playful drinks, and live DJs.
Visit Häktet for a meal or a proper party. Located in Södermalm, Häktet features three bars – for beer lovers, there's Ölbaren; if you prefer a mix of cocktails and wine, head to Stora Baren; and for a quieter experience, ring the doorbell at Vänster and enjoy world-class drinks.
On the roof of the NK shopping centre, you'll find a lovely rooftop terrace with a bar. Offering lunch, dinner, and a bar menu, this spot features stunning views, sofas, DJs, and a party atmosphere throughout the day. See more here.
This venue is a restaurant, rooftop terrace, and bar all in one. At 52 metres above Brunkebergstorg, Takbar & Terrass offers cocktails with Nordic and Japanese flavours, music, and a chance to bask in the sun while taking in stunning views of Stockholm. Check it out here.