40 hours in Stockholm – Part 3 – Södermalm and night view of Stockholm
In this part of the trip, we we will be immersing ourselves in the hip and artsy Södermalm in the second half of the afternoon, watching sunset over water from the Stadsgårdshissen viewpoint before treating ourselves to a healthy vegetarian dinner buffet at @Hermans. After dinner, it’s worth checking out Fotografiska for some modern photography inspiration or just the shop next to the gallery. As the night falls , we will be walking back to Normalm, watching the night view and party people along the way 😉
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15.45- 18.45 Exploring the craftsman’s neighbourhood of Södermalm
After the boat trip, I navigate south, zigzagging through the heart of Gamla Stan where I did not have the chance to see in the morning. Depending on which route you choose, you will get to Södermalm by either crossing the Skeppbron (Skepp bridge), or taking the viaduct under Kararinavagen road.
Södermalm, once a working-class neighbourhood, home to many agricultural, factory and craft workers since 16th to early 20th century, has now transformed into a hip district of multi-facet cultures with a laid-back, creative, and eclectic vibe. You will find many artsy shops and galleries, alternative design boutiques, vintage stores, craft-shops, hip cafes and restaurants. Seeing from the population sample I see along the way, this part of the city somewhat bears the resemblance to Tokyo’s Harajuku – yound, trendy, creative, and full of eccentricity.
There are so many cool places in the four parishes of Södermalm that one would need a few days to check them out. As soon as you get off the bridge, turn right for Mariatorget and further West to Hornstull; head straight south towards Skanstull; or turn left (eastwards) into Katarina-Sofia borough if SoFo and Fotografiska are on top of your to-do list.
As for me, a sheer 3-hour afternoon walk would only take me to SoFo and surrounding areas on the north-eastern part of the island. A few interesting places on my (well-chosen) path 😉 that I’d recommend:
- Mosebacke: a venue for tap beer, music and dance events with a terrace on top of Moses Hill surrounded by numerous bars, restaurants, cafes. I can see this place filled with young crowds on a fine afternoon, sipping beer, wine until sunset, loaded up energy at the Sodra Teatern itself or in one of the restaurant nearby before grooving to the music until early am.
- Fotografiska: photography exhibition centre built on an old warehouse where world-renowned works are on display. Open daily from 9am until 11pm or 1am throughout the week, it is a perfect spot for both before and after dinner visit. There is also a cafe on the rooftop where you can enjoy a coffee or tea while gazing out to the waterfront (think: at sunset!)
- SoFo: Stockholm’s SoHo area. bounded by Folkungagatan street, Erstagatan, Ringvägen, and Götgatan
- Sofia kyrka: A beautifully-designed Catholic church of more than a century old, located on hill-top of what is called Vita Bergen – White Mountains
- Urban Deli Nytorget: A deli which resembles a mini Mediterranean mercado with grocery and food shelves, a cafe and a wine bar which are packed with crowds of all walks of life and styles
- Meatball for the people: As the name says it all – You can expect to taste some of the best Swedish meatballs here
- Cafe Pom & Flora: a small hip cafe where organic and healthy breakfasts and lunches are served
- Fabrique Bakery: stop by this bakery on the shopping street Gotgatan for a variety of bread (No sandwiches though!!!), Swedish pastries and take-away coffee.
- Wayne’s Coffee: a local Starbuck-like coffee chain, suitable for an emergency fika fix 😉
19.00-20.30 Vegetarian Buffet Dinner @Hermans
A true gem for vegetarians, vegans, or those who simply would like to take a small break from all those delicious Swedish meatballs, fish and carb-loaded pastries. Hermans serves organic vegetarian and vegan dishes in a buffet format with unlimited refill, including water, tea and coffee – all for a very reasonable price (SEK 179 for dinner and SEK 115 for lunch). The food is boastful of spices and flavours with typical wholesome ingredients from various beans, quinoa, lentils, potato, aubergine, beets, tomatoes, olives, basmati rice to guilt-less desserts (not included in price!).
The biggest perks of Hermans is its location – right on the hilltop looking down to Fotografiska – which offers an incredible view of the city across the waterline. No wonder why it’s so popular among both local and visitors alike, making advance booking a must-do to avoid disappointment or long-wait while your tummy is already growling. I’m happy that I did. Be careful not to load up your plate for too many rounds though 😉
20.30-22.00 A glimpse of Fotografiska and night stroll back to Normalm
3 rounds of happy eating at Hermans later, I walk down to Fotografiska to get a glimpse of the building and its shop. Tummy full, eyes heavy, from being up and about since 7am and not because of too much good food, as I would like to name it, I don’t feel up to a full gallery walk or visiting the cafe on the rooftop. Instead, I take a leisure stroll along the bank, taking in the beautiful view of the city across the water, while heading north towards the hostel (40mins walk!… to burn off the dinner). Bonus: There are not many people taking this route at night, you might feel like having this view all to yourself…somewhat intimate and very private!
If you’re up for some fun activities, I’m sure the nightlife of Stockholm has lots to offer. As for me, the only thing I long for at this moment is a warm shower, tugging in my bed, catching up with the world before, and falling into sleep before waking up to a sunny beautiful day tomorrow.
…………….(to be continued)…………………..
I wish I had time to check out some real alternative and artsy hotspots recommended by other travellers and bloggers. The following places are saved on my Google Maps for the next visit:
- See: Ferry terminal Söder mälarstrand and hilltop viewpoint Skinnarviksberget
- Eats: Legumes Mat (vegetarian restaurant); Mahalo cafe for smoothie bowls and wholesome breakfast
- Hornstull area: like many hipster havens in other metropolitan cities, Hornstull transforms itself from a slum into one of the most up-and-coming and THE hippest area in all of Stockholm. It is clustered with hip and trendy shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and clubs.
- See: Hornstull Marknad, an outdoor market running along the water of Liljeholm river, opening every weekend from April to September. Here, we can expect to find a wide range of market stalls selling antiques, arts, craft goods, vintage clothing, and to foodies’ delight, a food-truck fiesta. Bio rio – not only known as one of a few single-screen theaters that has been running since 1940s showing classic movies and plays but also, and probably better known for its bistro that serves healthful vegetarian in a classic French style.
- Eats: Friends of Adam (Gluten-free bakery); Hornhuset – a complex of hip and trendy bars, restaurants, and clubs with international tastes and vibes
- Skanstull: probably not the most exciting neighbourhood but boasts a thriving scene of shops & eatery
- See: Eriksdalbadet – the national swimming pool with indoor/outdoor facilities and a large lawn terrace for chilling and sun-bathing in the summer