'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Tour in Stockholm
While the Swedish town of Hedestad is fictional, the late crime writer Stieg Larsson did include plenty of real places in his Millennium crime trilogy, The Associated Press reports.
The Stockholm City Museum offers a guided two-hour Millennium Tour of the locations for about $16, twice a week. Visitors can alternatively pick up a Millennium tourist map for about $5 to explore on your own (available at the museum or Stockholm Tourist Centre).
On the city's trendy downtown island of Sodermalm, sights include the Kaffebar café – a favorite hangout spot for Larsson's fictional journalist Mikael Blomqvist, as well as the author himself. The Kvarnen bar where tattooed computer hacker Lisbeth Salander spends evenings with pals from the rock band Evil Fingers, is another must-do, real-life place to visit.
Blomqvist and Salander also both live in hilly Sodermalm in the books. In fact, the tour begins at Blomqvist's apartment in a 19th century building at 1 Bellmansgatan.
The tour passes the Millennium editorial office, Salander's luxury apartment and many other locations mentioned in the books, according to the museum.
Of course the books, which have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, are about the darker side of Sweden including murders, and on the tour visitors also stop by a promenade that overlooks islands where evil characters live.
Eva Palmqvist, who leads the museum tour, "makes the point that Larsson's good characters live in one area, while the evil ones live elsewhere," AP reports.
The tour also includes the courthouse where Blomqvist is put on trial in the first book and the home of Salander's second guardian, the evil Nils Bjurman.
AP says the sleepy town of Gnesta, 45 miles south of Stockholm, was featured as Hedestad in the Swedish movie of Larsson's books and there are signs around that town showing filming locations.
The Stockholm City Museum tours are offered Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m., until September.
Photo of Millennium Tour, Let Ideas Compete, flickr