While Stockholm has an abundance of stores selling cigarettes and snus, high-end tobacconists are few and far between. Nestled in Stockholm's Norrmalm district, though, is Cigarrummet, a quaint, well-stocked cigar shop perfect for a weary traveler seeking a premium smoke.
Norrmalm is about a 10 minute ride on Stockholm's T-Bana subway from Gamla Stan (The Old Town), the main tourist area of the city. Unlike Gamla Stan, with its cozy cobblestone streets, architecture dating back hundreds of years, groups of gawking tourists and generally laid-back vibe, Norrmalm bustles. Street after street is lined with boutique shops, fine-dining restaurants and sharply dressed men and women striding confidently from business meeting to business meeting, one presumes. It's a safe bet, after all, many of Sweden's major banks, insurance companies and tech giants are headquartered in the district.
And there, among the sounds of commerce, stands Cigarrummet, a narrow shop with an entrance covered by a distinct, rust-colored awning. Owned by Merja Jusélius, Cigarrummet ("cigar room," in English) has been selling premium, hand-rolled cigars for the past eight years.
Jusélius first owned a shop on the other side of Stockholm and has been in the cigar industry for about 25 years. She bought the shop about nine years ago and did a complete renovation of the space.
"I had to renovate before I opened because it was in such bad shape," says Jusélius. For a couple years, she ran two shops, but shuttered her original store to focus exclusively on Cigarrummet.
Walking through the entrance, you see a glass display case stocked with fine pipes and cigar accoutrement. Behind the display is a wall of pipe tobacco blends. Opposite is a thin, glass humidor that runs the length and height of the wall. At the far end of the ground floor is an original steel spiral staircase (the only feature left from the previous store) that leads up to a cozy lounge, but only members of the shop (there are about eight) are allowed upstairs to smoke.
From April to October, regular customers can smoke directly outside the entrance in an area fenced off by velvet ropes. A bright red carpet adds a touch of class, and the three tables with ashtrays and chairs make it a perfectly suitable spot to people-watch and enjoy a cigar.
Tourists visiting Sweden are likely to grumble about the country's extravagant alcohol taxes, but thankfully the high taxes don't get applied to cigars.
Inside Cigarrummet's humidor, I spied loads of non-Cubans priced fairly, as well as some gems like a Montecristo No. 2 selling for 170 krona (kr), which equals about $25. Other notables were the Cohiba Siglo series, which ranged from 120 kr to 237 kr ($17.50 to $35) and Cohiba Behikes selling from 336 kr to 462 kr ($49 to $68).
Jusélius says she sells more non-Cuban than Cuban cigars, with Flor de Selva being her best-seller. Some of the prices for non-Cubans I saw were a Flor de Selva Robusto costing 98 kr (about $14), Angelenos Robusto Gordo priced at 143 kr ($21), and Regius Robusto, which sold for 76 kr ($11).
Interestingly, she still had a box of Regional Países Nórdicos, the 4 1/3 inches by 52 ring Punch Regional Edition Habanos S.A. released in 2009 for Nordic countries.
Should you choose to forgo smoking in the outdoor area of Cigarrummet, fine-dining restaurants East and Sturehof are nearby, and both feature outdoor patios that are cigar-friendly.
114 35 Stockholm, Sweden
Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.