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Chilling at the ICEBAR in Stockholm


Article by Grady McGill

Photography by Stock Image + Grady McGill

No ice? No problem! Go to the ICEBAR in Stockholm where everything is ice, from the walls to the seats to your cocktail glass. In fact, the entire interior is carved out of 40 tons of natural ice from the Torne River by the Arctic Circle.

After sailing across the Baltic on a 10-day Windstar cruise, our final stop was Stockholm. Frankly, it was cold and rainy for a July day, and we wanted a proper goodbye to Europe! Well, the ICEBAR Stockholm provided just the send-off. 

ICEBAR is located in the Hotel C Stockholm near the train station. We made a reservation for the 45-minute experience and were glad that we read the brochure that strongly (and I mean STRONGLY) suggests that you wear warm, closed shoes. We saw some enter in sandals, but that is truly asking for frost bite! You are given a heavily insulated cape with a fur hood and a pair of gloves to help keep you warm. Good thing! The bar has a constant temperature of 23 degrees F (-5 C) and the cool crisp air greets you and almost makes you giddy. This is an experience! Inside is an ice bar and a design theme that changes each year. When we were there, it was a history and tribute to all the Swedes who migrated to the United States in the 19th century. A bar with a history lesson—who knew?

The small room glows with blue lights, adding an eerie feeling to the room. Admission comes with a free drink with most involving vodka (there are juices available). The menu offers several creative cocktails, some involving local ingredients such as elderberry and lingonberries, as well as colorful, almost neon cordials.

Although there are other ICEBARs, this is the first and an experience. It’s almost like you landed on another planet where everything is ice, an eerie blue and glowing. It will made you giddy, cold and really, really happy that you decided to chill out at the ICEBAR.

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