Live music in Stockholm: The best live music venues in Stockholm
It might be the birthplace of Spotify, but Sweden’s capital city boasts a live music scene that is as popular as ever.
As the evening sets in and many people are heading home from work, the many concert halls, clubs and live music bars in Stockholm are often only just waking up: ready to welcome the flood of music-lovers looking for their tribe. And find it they most invariably will.
There are music venues to suit all tastes, no matter how niche — such is the beauty of a city where diversity thrives. That said, there’s no arguing that jazz and rock seem to reign strong, with live music abound. Fans of these genres should have no trouble quenching their music thirst.
But with so many music venues in Stockholm, how do you choose?
Check out our guide to some of the best live music venues in Stockholm for a look at some of our favourite spots that each have their own unique quirks and perks. All sizes, genres and vibes — there’s something for everyone!
Great if you: relish a venue’s interesting history almost as much as its music.
There are a million and one live music bars in Stockholm with a story to tell, but boy does this jazz and blues club have a good one.
Up until 1880, it housed the French Reform Church—of which the 17th century cellar bar still remains—so yes, it’s certainly got some history. It then lived out its next life as a pawnshop until jazz lover Sten Holmquist discovered it and turned it into a jazz pub in 1968.
50 years on and it’s still pumping jazz and blues music six nights a week, from inside its cosy but groovy bar setting in Stockholm’s Old Town.
The clientele is as diverse as the antiques hanging on the ceiling (yes, really). You’ll find old-time jazz lovers to young R&B fans and everything in between. The artists here play all the favourites of course, but you’ll also find rock and cover bands, depending on the night.
If you’re looking for something truly refreshing and unpredictable, visit on a Saturday afternoon for their renowned Blues Jam — it’s free entry, and you can see live improvised performances put together right in front of you by amateurs and professionals alike.
FYI: they don’t offer table reservations, so you’ll just have to drop by.
Great if you: appreciate folk music (traditional and modern) from all over the world.
Stallet is the biggest folk and world live music venue in Stockholm.
Their many concerts show off talented Scandinavian musicians, with strong folk influences from Dalarna and Hälsingland, as well as international artists from all over the world, including Scotland, Ireland, Latin America, Iran and India.
The venue is also famous for its epic dancefloor, with live music offering the perfect soundtrack for dance-lovers to show off their moves. You’ll see everything from Polish and African dancing to tango and flamenco — it all depends on the night and the crowd.
Their bar and restaurant open an hour before each concert. The food is pretty special. They describe it as ‘home-cooked food from all over the world’ so if you’re in the mood for something a bit different, you might find it here.
Stallet has certainly been tried and tested, having had over 250,000 visitors over the last 20 years — and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Great if you: love the blend of contemporary music with a 19th century venue setting.
Inside Nalen, you’ll find a live music venue that looks more like an elegant theatre than just a concert hall. Probably because it was built in 1888 and still retains much of its original charm and feel.
It’s the kind of venue where you won’t look out of place if you like to dress up a bit, as the Nalen really is a place that oozes sophistication.
But don’t be put off if your style is a bit grungier — it’s a popular joint for all genres of contemporary music, including R&B artists and rock bands, who like to take advantage of its great acoustics and intimate performance space.
Between the 1930s and the 1960s it was a hub in Stockholm for jazz music and ballroom dancing. While it has expanded its tastes (these days you’ll find bands and solo artists performing all genres) it’s still considered quite the cultural icon.
The venue has two stages and most performances offer tickets for standing room only. Every now and again they might offer seats, but you’d have to check the event listing to find this out.
Great if you: want to combine dinner with a jazz show.
This is one of the most popular live music bars in Stockholm for dinner and jazz, although they also play soul and world music.
The intimacy of the venue brings you real close to some truly world-class acts.
While you can just drop by and watch the show from the standing section, many people like to enjoy dinner before the concert and stay seated for the performance — don’t worry, the tables have prime views of the stage. The menu is said to be quite good, and the music, well it’s even better!
The team at Fasching are proud of their history in the jazz scene, having been showcasing live jazz since 1977. With this in mind, they’d have to be one of the oldest Stockholm venues specialising in the genre.
If you want to enjoy dinner and a show at a place like Fasching, reservations are highly recommended.
Great if you: want to enjoy fresh air and stunning views with your music.
Most concerts in Stockholm take place inside eclectic bars, fancy clubs, grungy basements and historic music halls, and that’s what makes this spot so unique — it’s outdoors.
Of course, Södra Teatern has several indoor stages with equally impressive setups, but the roughly 20 outdoor concerts it holds in the summer are always memorable.
Concerts take place on the renowned Mosebacketerrassen (a beautiful terrace), with space for up to 2000 people to relax and enjoy live music in the summer sunshine.
There’s no doubt that the rock, indie and jazz bands that prominently play are incredibly talented but that’s only half the drawcard: up on a hill that overlooks Stockholm, it’s the views of the city and the water that can really reach into the soul.
Great if you: love pop, indie, rock and rap, and want to enjoy a trendy, modern venue.
Located in the trendy, hipster district of Hornstull, this joint is on everyone’s must-do list for a fun night out in Stockholm. It’s a live music venue, bar, Mexican restaurant and nightclub so you’re spoiled for choice with entertainment options.
They play all the usual suspects, like pop, indie, rock and rap, right down to more niche live music genres like folk, neo soul and psych pop.
It’s got a fairly youthful crowd and a pretty modern vibe. You might hear the next big thing coming out of Scandinavia, or even high-profile names from abroad. Adele even played here once!
Great if you: are on the lookout for a great Irish pub with music to suit.
While it’s located in the heart of Stockholm, this place is very much the authentic Irish pub. Their live music is renowned among locals and travellers — you can enjoy Irish trad music on Mondays, acoustic artists on Wednesdays and blues bands on weekends.
As is often the case in Stockholm’s many exotic venues, it’s the setting at Wirströms Pub that’s half the fun when it comes to the live music played there. Concerts take place in the warm embrace of the cellar, where the small space adds an intimate feeling to every gig.
And while it might get crowded (as all popular pubs do) there’s a friendly and cosy energy that’s not so overwhelming.
Oh and if you’re a beer nerd, you’ll be in heaven because they have a great selection on offer.
Great if you: love hard rock and metal music (and cheap beer!)
Do you head-bang like the best of them?
Then you’ll find yourself among friends at one of Stockholm’s oldest rock bars. It’s edgy and hardcore in all the best ways, and has that authenticity where you just know the staff are as passionate about the music as you are.
There’s a mixture of artists playing their own stuff as well as cover bands belting out everyone’s favourites. If you’re a true fan of the genre, you might be impressed to know that the likes of Yngwie J Malmsteen, Doro Pesch and Udo Dirkschneider have played at Anchor in the past.
Beer here is a bit cheaper than you’ll usually find at other live music bars in Stockholm. Plus, there are over 70 different types to choose from, so that’s fun.
Important tip for the young ones – age limit is 18+ from Sunday to Thursday but is 20+ on Fridays and Saturdays.
Great if you: are into the clubbing scene and go crazy for electronic dance music.
This is one of Stockholm’s coolest nightclubs where they play a huge range of house, techno, hip hop and R&B. Scandinavia’s finest DJs flock to the club to play live, and it also attracts a number of international world-class artists due to its reputation in the music scene.
In the summer they open the rooftop terrace so you can drink and get your groove on in Stockholm’s beautiful afternoon sunshine — before heading inside for more partying of course.
Fun fact: the club is an old slaughterhouse (hence the name), which is why you’ll find yourself in Stockholm’s meatpacking district on your way to the venue.
Don’t forget some of Stockholm’s best music festivals
If you’re looking for Stockholm’s best music venues, it’s probably also worth checking out some of the coolest festivals coming up there too!
Back again in 2020 from October 9 to 18 is one of Sweden’s oldest music festivals. The festival consists of roughly 160 shows that take place in 60 venues around Stockholm. It’s a great chance to take your time in exploring one of Stockholm’s favourite and most culturally significant music genres.
Lollapalooza is considered one of the most iconic festivals in the world and has been going since 1991, showcasing in cities all over the globe. It attracts some of the most popular acts from the music industry in rock, pop, punk, metal and electronic.
It was held in Stockholm last year for the first time, and it’ll be on again in 2020 from June 26 to June 28 at the Royal National City Park. There are heaps of amazing artists performing, including Ellie Goulding, Pearl Jam, The Killers and Of Monsters and Men.
If you love electronic dance music and like to party hard, this festival is right up your alley. It’s absolutely epic and previous line-ups included Calvin Harris, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Tiësto and Will Sparks. The dates for 2020 are yet to be confirmed, but we do know it will be held again at Stockholm Stadion.
“Thank you for the music” – Live music in Stockholm
Yep, ABBA said it best.
Hopefully that’s what you’ll be saying after you visit some of Stockholm’s best live music venues. And remember, if you find one isn’t to your taste, just keep exploring. Because this city is full of extraordinary music talent and some pretty cool venues that support them.
You’ve just got to get out there and give the music a chance.
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