“…there’ll be thousands of Reds, we will be pissed out our heads, ’cause United are going to Stockholm.”
That’s how the famous chant has been going since we dreamed of winning a European Cup in Glasgow in 2002. The big difference between then and now is that Manchester United are now in the final of a European competition, we once considered to be reserved for smaller clubs like Fulham and Liverpool.
The other big difference between travelling to those two finals is the price of pints in Glasgow compared to Stockholm. In a decent Stockholm bar, one beer can cost as much as four beers in Glasgow. That isn’t necessarily a good thing when thirsty Reds roll into a city for a Cup Final, considering the price some of us will have to pay for tickets.
So, as an ex-season ticket holder at Old Trafford that has lived lived in Stockholm for the past few years allow me to steer you away from those ‘decent’ Stockholm bars and direct you towards waterholes at lower end of the scale, where a house beer can be purchased for 30Kronor, or just over £2.50.
So before I go off on one, I just want to clarify that I have no interest in the Pub that I recommend (I’ve actually never even had a beer in them). I went in for the first time this weekend just to obtain this information and get a feel for the owners.
So, the chain of pubs that I really recommend for visiting Reds to Stockholm is Dovas. I see this chain of bars described online as ‘The Best of the Worst’, which is probably the fairest way to manage expectations. There are three of these bars in Stockholm. Two are on Södermalm:
- – Dovas, Hornsgatan 90, Södermalm
- – Dovas, Ringvägen 104, Södermalm
However, the one that I recommend is on Kungsholmen:
- – Dovas, Sankt Eriksgatan 53, Kungsholmen
I recommend Dovas on Kungsholmen for many reasons, including but not limited to:
- – There are 3 large stores (ICA, Willys and Coop) that sell beers up to 3.5% alcohol just 50 meters from the pub (for less than £1 per can).
- – Stronger drinks must be purchased in the government controlled systemsbologet (off-license) around the corner, 150 meters from the pub.
- – To the side of the pub is a quiet side street that Reds can stream into without too much worry of traffic.
- – It is just across the bridge from Solna, the Kommun where the Friends Arena is situated (40 minute walk to the stadium).
- – Fridhemsplan TunnelBanna (tube) Station is 50 meters from the pub for those that want to take the underground to Solna Central and walk the extra 10 – 15 minutes to the ground (that’s what I will be doing)
- – The Blue Line will take you from Fridhemsplan to Solna Central.
- – T-Central is an 8 – 10 minute walk from Fridhemsplan or just one underground station (probably quicker walking, by the time you wait for a train).
- – From T-Central you can take the Pendeltåg (overground train) two stops to the Mall of Scandinavia, with the Friends Arena being a 10 minute walk from the station.
- – All buses, trains, TunnelBanna (tubes) converge at T-Centralen and it is a simple walk across the bridge and to the cross roads at Fridhemsplan, so no matter where Reds are staying, arriving from, it is easily accessible.
- – The owners seem to be good lads. The kind that accept cash for purchase of beers (an increasing number of businesses in Sweden do not accept cash or limit it to purchases of around £2).
- – But best reason of all is the cheap drinks and the fact that it is walking distance from Stockholm town centre.
Depending on where you are staying on the night of the game, the Dovas Bars on Södermalm may also work for you, however they are at the ‘wrong’ side of town from the Friends Arena. However, with it being Sweden things are efficient and it will only be a couple of changes on the TunnelBanna to get you to T-Central from where you can take the Pendeltåg train.
I will make myself accessible on Twitter at @PatrickHWalsh over the coming days leading up to the game, so if you have any questions or queries then it’s best to contact me on there.
Most important thing is that all Reds get over and back to the game safe and that we have great craic celebrating the completion of the silver jigsaw, when Rooney lifts that trophy above his head, as the sun sets on Stockholm, on Wednesday night.
Note: I will be updating this article with photos, new information and insights as I come across it, so please feel free to share other insights or knowledge.