Our new microguides series is inspired by the slow travel movement, encouraging travellers to relax their pace and take a deep dive into one particular neighbourhood in a well-loved city. Rather than a whirlwind itinerary which aims to hit up every must-see attraction, these compact, close-up guides encourage you to zone in, take your time and truly explore like a local.
Independent boutiques, artsy corners and a prominent cafe culture are just some of the big draws in Sodermalm, Stockholm’s hipster quarter. Throw in an eclectic nightlife scene and on-trend restaurants opening regularly, and you have the ideal base for leisure time after your sightseeing. (It’s also where you’ll find cheaper, character-packed hotels than the city centre’s grand dames.)
Flicking through scenic images of Stockholm can conjur up an image of quaint, regal Swedish history – but it’s one that glosses over the delightful contrasts between the city’s individual boroughs. In Sodermalm – known to the locals as Soder – it’s all about the vibe. There’s a playfulness to this creative district that contrasts with the museum-stacked tourist centre and smart business areas.
This is where you come to dip into Stockholm’s laid-back side – and you’ll find it at its liveliest on the weekends.
If you’re interested in Sweden’s arty, fashionable side, you must squeeze in a visit to Fotografiska, the country’s top photography museum. Set inside a striking, industrial red-brick building on the waterfront that was once the city’s Customs House, a selection of exhibitions from world-renowned photographers awaits.
Self-guided walking tour
The best way to explore a city is by walking. Set out on the one-hour, self-guided walking tour sketched out on the GPSMyCity app, which takes you through the district’s narrow, cobbled streets, stopping by iconic landmarks such as Stockholm City Museum and Katarina Kyrka.
For stunning panoramic views, a short trek to Skinnarviksberget – central Stokholm’s highest natural viewpoint – is recommended. Climb up the rocky hilltop to join locals drinking beers and watching the colourful sunset over the river.
Follow the steep, cobbled streets to…