Beyond the attractions offered by flawless architecture, museums, parks and cruises between the 14 islands that comprise the city, the Swedish capital has become a trendy destination thanks toStieg Larsson's detective trilogy. Grab your map and start your own trail of discovery of the scenes and locations where the action is played out.
The chance to follow the steps of the journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander is a perfect excuse to visit Stockholm and find out how reality compares to what your imagination conjured as you turned the pages of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.
Why not take a tour around the main locations featured in the work of the late Stieg Larsson? There are a host of places to investigate the intrigues, extortion and murders recounted in the novels. If you're one of those avid readers who read the books from cover to cover in one sitting, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a guided tour in English or buy a Millennium map at the tourist office and make your own way around this thrilling city.
The area between the medieval district of Gamla Stan, site of the Royal Palace and the cathedral (Storkyrkan) - and the bohemian Södermalm is a traditional place for a stroll. Here we find the City Museum (Stockholms Stadsmuseet), starting point of the official Millennium route, which includes some of the props from the movies in its collection. And, in this same area, in one of the tall buildings of glass and steel,Larsson set the headquarters of Milton Security, the company where Lisbeth Salander works.
At the corner of Hökens Gata and this semi-pedestrian commercial street, the author placed the offices of the magazine Millennium. It's a building with a discreet facade, not glass fronted as portrayed in the novel, and in reality is home to the Greenpeace offices and the young clothing label Monki. Götgatan is also a popular place for a drink.
One of the most charming squares in Södermalm, the most important features of this secluded corner are the Södra Teatern, the Systrarna ("Sisters") sculpture and the Katarinahissen, a passenger lift dating from the 1880s that offers spectacular views over the Old Town. The square is also the route to take to reach Fiskargatan, 9, the vast 21-roomed apartment that Lisbeth Salander buys thanks to her computer wizardry. Although you can't actually visit the flat to look out over the islands of Djurgarden - the greenest in the city - Skeppsholmen - site of the modern art museum - and the Gröna Lund amusement park, the neighbouring Fjällgatan, a picturesque cobbled street with eighteenth-century wooden houses, offers similar views. Close by, in Katarina Bangata we find the house of police officer Bublanski, a member of the Adat Jisral congregation, who meets Dragan Armanskij, executive director of Milton Security, at the St. Paulsgatan synagogue.
Without leaving Södermalm, the Millennium trail takes in Bellmansgatan, 1, where the journalist Mikael Blomkvist lives in an attic overlooking the water and the old quarter of Gamla Stan. The Bishop's Arms pub is in the same street. While here, don't miss the opportunity to browse the many galleries around the area whereBellmansgatan meets Hornsgatan, or simply take a stroll along the charming cobbled streets of Brännkyrkagatan and Tavatsgatan.
5. Hornsgatan This is one of the main streets of Södermalm and site of the Mellqvist Coffee Bar, the cafe where Larsson wrote much of the trilogy and also where the characters in the book meet on a number of occasions. Just off Hornsgater is the busy Mariatorget square, where Greg Backman - Erika Berger's husband - meets Mikael on one occasion.
A quiet residential street that ends at the romantic red brick Hogal church, whose twin towers are visible from a number of points around Söder. There are a number of elegant buildings along the street, and it is here that Larsson places Lisbeth's home at the beginning of the saga, and where her friend Miriam Wu moves during the second novel.
7. Vasastaden In the north of the capital, this modern and well laid out district is home to the lawyer Nils Bjurmann, in Upplandsgatan (metro Odenplan). Miriam Wu, a friend of Lisbeth Salander, also lives here, in Tomtebogatan (metro St Eriksplan). Although it is not so common for tourists to travel this far from the centre, there are some interesting buildings including the Stockholm Public Library and the Bla Tornet - the Blue Tower - which houses the unusual Strindberg Museum.
Outside the capital, this exclusive maritime city, home to some of the most prestigious contemporary European architects, is whereLarsson located the marital home ofErika Berger. Depending on the season, it's an idea spot for outdoor sports (ice skating, bobsleigh, etc.) or to take a ferry trip and explore the archipelago.