This island that forms the southern district of central Stockholm is so romantic, considered a fashionable place to live or to go to, and it boasts prominent shopping districts, a wide range of cafés, restaurants, barsand and known as home of bohemia, alternative culture and a broad range of cultural amenities.
Sodermalm is a large island south of Gamla Stan, and is largely residential. The Katarinahissen lift climbs from sea level up the steep cliffs of Sodermalm, taking you up to the Gondola cafe, with fabulous panoramic views of Gamla Stan. Cost: 70 SKr one-way.
Directions: Nearest metro: Slussen
Tours are in: Swedish, English, German, Spanish, French, Italian (and for tours departing at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm, Russian, Finnish and Japanese is also available)
You start off on a very comfortable bus, with large windows so you can see everything, you go over a few of the main islands, including: Gamla Stan, Kungsholmen, Norrmalm and Södermalm. On this trip you get a good overview of the historical importance of buildings, sites and the different islands. The bus tour goes for an hour and half before you get off the bus at Kungsträdgården. A guide will then lead you to a tour boat - this tour goes for an hour and you get to see a lot of Stockholm's inner archipelago. There is some repetition on the commentary, but still, a lot of interesting information is given. Worth it if you are not spending a lot of time in Stockholm.
Runs late March to mid-December
SEK 300 for 2.5 hours
Address: Departs from Gustaf Adolfs Torg
Directions: (in front of Dansmuséet)
The most southern island of Stockholm is Södermalm. It's not really the area with the most touristic attractions, but especially the skyline is impressive. The banks of Sodermalm are rocky and have high cliffs, especially at the western part of the island that you can see from Riddarsholmen and Kungsholmen.
The eastern part of the island is less rough and has offices, clubs, restaurants and bars. This is the part you can see from Skeppsholmen and Gamla Stan. This is the part where you will enter the island when you cross the Centralbron or the Skeppsbron when coming from Gamla Stan.
Sodermalm has some nice museums and churches to visit and the Tantolunden Park at the southwest is a popular park on the island.
Since the most of Stockholm lies on a larger number of islands inbetween the Mälaren Lake & the Baltic Sea, bridges are naturally a very important component of the City & its life, so there's a lot of them. Along with their obvious function, they offer great views of surrounding areas! I've spent so much time just walking around the city & staring at the water, enjoying the sight...
If you're walking to the west end of Södermalm, take the Västerbron, which gives you a magnificent view of whole Stockholm! And note that it can get very windy up there! ;)
Södermalm is a big island south of Gamla Stan filled with little [and big] street shops, all kinds of restaurants, ice cafés, sushi bars aso. The most of the big cruisers to Finland, Estonia & other countries depart from the north-eastern part of the island, so a day-trip like that would be such a great idea - read about it on my Åland, Finland page!
Södermalm's all small streets, nice spots, a lot of churches & green parks, so you can just take a walk until you find a place that best suits you. Globen (City), situtated in the southern part, is a symbol of Stockholm with four arenas where concerts, matches & conferences & everything else is held, dozens of bars & restaurants & more than sixty shops & boutiques. It's almost a city itself, very good connected & planned to become an interesting destination. When I was in Stockholm, I read about a couple of new bars & restaurants being opened & the day I was leaving Coldplay were playing there...
The best way to check out Södermalm is by foot. Although it can take a while, you're gonna get a feeling of the city. ;) Take the Tunnelbana (or T-bana) to Slussen [two stops from Centralen] & start cruising... There is Katarinahissen & its restaurant from which you have a great view of the central Stockholm, but prepare for paying big money for that pleasure. The alternative is to go a bit more to the east through Katarinavägen to Fjällgatan - you have a nice view from there & you're gonna see all kinds of things on the way! (Thanx, Mark!)
The northernmost part of Soder is called Slussen. Sluss means "locks", and this is where boats are shipped through from the Baltic to Lake Malaren. Slussen is also a connection point for the subway, and a nice place to start a visit to Sodermalm, the South part of downtown Stockholm.
Above the lock is the square Sodermalms torg. There is a cart selling herring fast food (try it!), the usual market business with flowers and fruits, and also the Museum Stockholms Stadsmuseum. The museum is devoted to the history of Stockholm.
In the picture is Slussen area seen from Gamla Stan island.
From slussen you can start your visit of Sodermalm. Either you stroll south on Gotgatan, or you take Hornsgatan to the west, or you climb up towards Mosebacke torg to stroll the eastern parts of Sodermalm. You should take all of these walks if you have the time. Especially in the east part you will pass picturesque houses and get a marvellous view of the city. Try Fjallgatan for great views. Hornsgatan and Gotgatan are great for shopping.
At the Slussen itselt, note the tall steel structure called Katarinahissen. Up there is a restaurant where, it you have the means, you can enjoy a dinner with a great view.
Note also the neon sign for toothpaste Stomatol, up on the houses on Sodermalm. It has ben there since the 1920:s, or 30:s. It was one of the first ever neon commercial signs in Sweden.
Directions: Between northernmost part of Sodermalm and Gamla Stan island.
Katarinahissen is a public elevator and such elevators are unique in Stockholm. The original elevator was built between 1881 and 83 and was replaced by a modern elevator in 1935.
The interesting structure is 38 m high with the name 'Gondolen' on the bridge. Gondolen is one of the most expensive restaurant in Stockholm. We didn't have our dinner there. Rather, we went to the Macdonald nearby with our budget travelling. :)
Address: Sodermalm, near Slussen station
Go to Sodermalm! Sodermalm is the big residential island south of old town (Gamla Stan). It has a completely different feel to it than central Stockholm and seems to be a very up and coming district. I would either walk over from the old town or take the subway to the stop called "Slussen", and then walk the main street called Gotgatan browsing the shops and people watching. You'll finally end up on the main square called Medborgarplatsen with lots of lively cafes and people.
If you're looking for a great view of Stockholm, you can get it here in Sodermalm from the so-called Katarinahissen. It is an elevator which takes you up about 40 meters or so to a restaurant above Slussen, and there is a marvelous view from there.
I think many tourists restrict themsleves to just the old town (Gamla Stan) and central Stockholm (Norrmalm), but it is worth checking out the island of Sodermalm. Sodermalm seems to be where alot of trendy young people are now living, with alot of artists and students and people of all kinds. It is located very close to the old town and you can simply walk from old town across the bridge to the main street of Sodermalm called Gotgatan. Gotgatan leads right to the central square of Sodermalm, which is called Medborgarplatsen. There are lots of cafes and the square is full of life, and it is conveniently located at subway stop Medborgplatsen as well.
Many say that Stockholm is beautiful in the summer, but I would say that Stockholm is most beautiful in the winter, covered in snow.
This photo of Gamla Stan is taken from Monteliusvägen at Södermalm on a beautiful winter day.
This is a great residential area but don't let that fool you. You can see so many different architectural types of the local houses, to the grand hotels that line the harbor. It is great to walk through at sunset especially up on the cliffs. Some really impressive museums are also on this island. The metro will take you through most of the island. Also there are some pretty nice gallerys located on the waterside of the island.
This statue is a memorial over the 500 Swedes that went to Spain in the years 1938-1939. Together with other international voluntary fources they fought for democracy in Spain.
The Swedish words that are written on the monument have the following meaning:
"Of the 500 Swedes who during the years 1938-39 fought for the democracy in Spain each third man fell. They gave their outmost at Madrid, Jarama, Guadalajara, Brunete, Teruel, Aragon, Ebro.
Wanderer, stop and remember them with pride."
Beside the statue there is a map cut in stone with the names of Madrid, Brunete, Jarama, Guadalajara, Aragon, Teruel and Ebro.
The Swedish inscription on the small stone beside says:
"In memoriam of the Swedish volunteers in Spain.
Erected 1977. Liss Eriksson Born 1919."
The place for the statue is very well choosen, many of the soldiers came from the south proletarian part of Stockholm (Södermalm). The statue is more than 4 meters high.
The Swedish volunteers fought together with German anti-fascists in the well reputated Thälmann batallion. Of those who survived many were wounded.
All together the international voluntary forces reached 50,000 men.
Directions: Södermalm, north side towards the Sea.
Celebrity spotting at Götgatsbacken
A lot of cool celebrities seem to spend a lot of time around Götgatsbacken om Södermalm - if you fell like spending a few hours looking for famous people, buy a cool magazine at 'Press Stop', then sit down by the window in 'Wayne's Coffee' and start collecting celebrity memories.
Address: Götgatan, Wayne's Coffee
Södermalm is the most diverse area of innercity Stockholm. It’s the place for small independent shops, nice cafés and bars. Basically should you give it a day or two and explore it by foot.