Humlegården is a perfect gem of a park in the middle of the exclusive Östermalm district. It was established by King Johan III in the 16th century but did not open to the public until 1869. The name humle, meaning hop, indicates that hops were one of the major plants grown in the garden and may explain the Swedish affinity for drinking beer. Besides the park delighting the eye, it also kindles the mind as it ishome to the Royal Library.
Today the park is a popular recreational area for locals, hosting a small soccer ground, skateboard ramp, a small basketball court, a dream playground where children can borrow toys from municipal child-care staff, a dog park, and expansive lawns dotted with Oak trees.
Though Humlegården is a only stone’s throw from Stureplan (aka Party Central), its day time atmosphere is relatively quiet, allowing families to hang out, office workers to enjoy lunch, and students to do homework on the grass while basking in the summer sun. Unlike the centrally located Kungsträdgården, this place isn’t a popular tourist hangout.
However, as the sun starts to set, the park’s relaxed daytime ambiance gives way to its more festive, central surroundings. And, the party starts at Restaurang Humlegården (www.rhumlegarden.se). Open for the sixth consecutive year, they offer high-quality food, drinks, weather and music seven days a week. This is a well-heeled, trendy crowd. Get there early, as reservations are not accepted, this place fills up quick.
Address: Sturegatan / Humlegårdsgatan