Millennium tours draw Stockholm visitors
Tourists arriving in Stockholm usually look forward to the Swedish capital's mix of history -- in places like Gamla Stan -- the vitality of its city center, and the tranquility provided by its unique
Tourists arriving in Stockholm usually look forward to the Swedish capital’s mix of history — in places like Gamla Stan — the vitality of its city center, and the tranquility provided by its unique archipelago.
But a new breed of tourist is arriving in the hope of finding suspense.
Armed with a guide book in one hand and clutching a copy of one of Stieg Larsson’s smash hit crime novels in the other, tourists are flocking from all over the world to re-trace the fictional footsteps of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist.
Fans of the late author’s books can explore the bohemian delights of Sodermalm island — where much of the books’ action takes place — in their own time. But if you’re after something more structured then you need to head to the Stockholm City Museum.
The “Millennium” tour runs three days a week — check the museum’s website for times — and is the only official tour of its kind in Stockholm.
They began in 2008 and have proved popular with “Millennium Trilogy” fans ever since.
Guided tours last around two hours and start in Bellmansgatan 1 — the fictional home of journalist, Blomkvist. Located on the island’s hills the area — as devotees of the movies will know — afford stunning views of Stockholm’s skyline.
A short stroll east and you arrive at an apartment building on Fiskargatan 9. In the movie it is the 21-room penthouse home of computer hacker and heroine, Salander.
The two locations would satisfy most “Millennium” fans on their own. But there is plenty more to see.
Heading west away from Lisbeth’s lavish crash pad along Hokens Gata and you soon arrive at Gotgatan — one of Soder’s oldest streets and today, full of bars and restaurants.
Here, on the junction of the two streets, you will find the offices of Millennium magazine — Blomkvist’s workplace — which, in the book, are located above the Greenpeace office.
Wander south down Gotgatan to find the 7-Eleven where Salander stocks up on cigarettes and Billy’s Pan Pizza.
Mellqvist Kaffebar — one of Blomkvist’s favorite hangouts — can be found just off Hornsgatan.
Larsson himself used to come here when the offices of Swedish anti-fascist publication Expo magazine — which he edited — were situated on the floor above.
Back then, Soder was still a blue collar area. Today, its rougher edges are slowly being smoothed off and is now seen as one of Stockholm’s more fashionable locales.
Who knows what Larsson himself would have made of its transformation, or indeed his fame.
His first book, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was published in 2005, a year after his death from a heart attack, aged 50.
Along with the other two books in the trilogy — “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest” — Larsson’s thrillers have sold over 27 million copies worldwide.
Fans wishing to raise a toast to the late author should head to the Kvarnen bar on Tjarhovsgatan. After several drinks, you might just convince yourself that you’ve seen Blomkvist or Salander stalking its more shadowy recesses.