The idea of being in Sweden during winter freaked me out so I packed two huge suitcases full of warm clothes to take care of my frigophobia- the fear of becoming too cold.
I didn’t know that my sense of adventure would override any strangely named fears I had.
The temperatures in February when I was in Stockholm were as low as negative three during the day but Icebar, where my sense of adventure led me to, was a cooler negative five degrees.
Icebar Stockholm is exactly what the name promises: a bar made entirely of ice. It's located inside Hotel C which sits right next to Stockholm Central Station and the airport shuttle train Arlanda Express.
Built in 2002, everything from the sculptures of vikings and the writings embossed in the sculpted walls, to the counters, to the seats and even the glasses is made of ice.
The history of the vikings and accompanying images on the walls made for a museum-like feeling. It was pure art and design. You drink in the rich viking culture alongside your cocktail.
I had a cranberry and lime juice vodka cocktail which did nothing to warm my body but was absolutely delicious! And I don’t even enjoy vodka on a normal day.
Green travellers will be pleased to learn that the sculpted glasses are recycled after use. They are washed, melted and sculpted. No dishes need to be washed in this bar!
INTERIOR DESIGN RENEWED EVERY YEAR
The interior and overall design of the bar is renewed every year so you might not find the vikings there in 2020, but the ice will always be there as the designers use fresh ice from Torne River in northern Sweden each winter.
The bar can hold up to 60 people but one is only allowed to stay in for 45 minutes. Not the bartenders though. I suspect they are eskimos given the ease with which they seem to be handling the cold as they serve drinks. That, and the fact that both have light jumpers on.
I’m curious about it so I ask one of them how he manages to outwit the cold.
“We are used to it and can sometimes stay here even for five hours on a busy day.”
Children are welcome in the Icebar too. And they can have their soft drinks.
One is helped into a warm coat and gloves as they get in but don’t let this fool you.
According to one of the attendants, it is a special jacket to protect the ice from your body heat as the bar might just melt, so I wisely keep my winter jacket on.
Its convenient location and the unique offering as the world’s first ice bar make it one of those must-see locations in Sweden. Even if not for a drink but just to see the wonders of ice.
The artsy, almost surreal experience is definitely worth braving the cold for. And oh, I lasted 25 minutes before I surrendered to the cold war.
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