7 highlights from 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' tour of Stockholm
Devotees of Stieg Larsson's hit 'Millennium' novels are making pilgrimages to the many real-life Swedish locations featured in the books
Fans of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy books — which have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide — are reportedly flocking to Stockholm, Sweden, to experience the locales favored by the series' main characters, obsessive journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his equally obsessive computer-hacker frenemy, Lisbeth Salander. The majority of the book's locations that actually exist are in Södermalm, a trendy, bohemian district where charming galleries and cafes mingle with historic wooden cottages. "I would suggest that anyone — Larsson fan or no — sees the city through the author’s eyes," says Helen Rumbelow in The Times. "The novels are more reliable than many guidebooks." Devotees can take a two-hour "Stieg Larsson — Millenniumtour" through the Stockholm City Museum, or explore Larsson's Stockholm on their own. Here are seven points of interest:
1. KaffebarThis Södermalm cafe is "a favorite haunt of Larsson's fictional journalist Mikael Blomkvist." It attracts a 30-something crowd of locals who grab coffee and toasts with Swedish fillings like Västerbotten cheese or Falukorv, a traditional Swedish sausage.
2. Kvarnen barLarsson's Lisbeth Salander hangs out at this 100-year-old beer hall with her disreputable feminist friends from the band Evil Fingers. The watering hole features traditional Swedish food, DJs, and a vibe so relaxed that the women's bathrooms even feature toilets with double seats so that ladies can talk as they do their business.
3. 1 BellmansgatanNo one quite knows why Larsson, who died in 2004, chose this gothic, garret-windowed, 19th-century building to stand in for Blomkvist's home. A Blomkvist family lives in one of the apartments here, but say they didn't know Larsson.
4. Salander's apartment at Fiskargatan 9In The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second book in the trilogy, the previously impoverished Salander buys a 21-room, 3,800-square-foot, top-floor apartment in this luxury building for $3.4 million. In real life it's been called the "House of Scandal" because of its controversial architecture and notorious inhabitants.
5. Mellqvist coffee barStaff can still remember Larsson typing away on his laptop at this cafe where he reportedly wrote much of the series. In the books, some of the major turning points in Blomkvist's relationship with Salander occur at Mellqvist.
6. 7-11 on Gotgatan In The Girl Who Played With Fire, despite the fact that Salander has moved into a luxury apartment with a $10,000 espresso maker and a French chef's stove, the 4-foot-11 antihero subsists on "armfuls" of Billy's Pan Pizza, procured from this convenience store. According to Billy's website, her favorite food provides a light snack before kick-boxing, dance class, or soccer training.
7. IKEA at Kungens Kurva Salander buys her Hemnes bed, Karlanda sofas, Bonde bookshelves, Svanbo coffee table, and other modern furniture items name-checked in the second book at this Stockholm IKEA outpost, reportedly the world's largest at over 55,000 square meters.