Södermalm [sødərˈmalm] (or just Söder) is the southern borough of central Stockholm, consisting of the island of Södermalm proper, two smaller islands connected to it from the west (Långholmen [ˈlɔŋˈhɔlmən] and Reimersholme [rejməʂˈhɔlmə]), as well as the neighbourhood of Hammarby Sjöstad on the opposite bank of the Hammarby Sjö in the east, which is a redeveloped former industrial area that was transformed into a model sustainable residential community.

Apart from the administrative borough of Södermalm, this guide also covers other areas surrounding Södermalm on the continental southern sea and lakeshore, which are easy to access from and visit together with Södermalm proper. This includes (from West to East) the residential borough of Liljeholmen with the Trekanten lake and its recreational opportunities, the green Årsta neighbourhood, Johanneshov famous for the Globen arena complex, as well as the urban part of Nacka (namely Sickla and Henriksdal), which is a municipality immediately east of Stockholm pretty much integrated with the city proper in terms of infrastructure.

Stockholm's southern suburbs are called Söderort.

Nacka Strand.

Get in

Stockholms södra station is a commuter railway station. Several subway stations and bus lines, with Slussen [ˈslɵsən] being the busiest station, as well as several bus lines. Connected to Kungsholmen by the scenic Västerbron ("Western Bridge"), as well as the Old Town to the north and Söderort to the south.

Sjövägen is a passenger ferry with hourly rides from Nybrokajen in central Stockholm (Norrmalm), calling at several docks in Nacka, turning around at Frihamnen (Östermalm). All SL tickets are good on the ferry. Public transport (SL) passes are good for travel on the boats, but coupons are not accepted. Without a pass, a single trip costs 40 SEK for adults, and 25 SEK for children. The boats have a toilet. Dogs are allowed on board, and there is some room for bicycles. The boat has a cafeteria, with coffee, tea, snacks and full-strength beer. The full ride from Nybroplan to Frihamnen takes 55 minutes.

A ferry making its way through the half-frozen Hammarby lake to the Sjöstad

Hammarby Sjöstad is served by local passenger ferries.


Hornsgatan, one of the main streets of Södermalm

Until the 19th century, Södermalm was mainly a farmland to support Stockholm. As the railway was built in 1860, Södermalm became a working-class district, until gentrification in the late 20th century. Some of the pre-industrial architecture remains above Slussen.

In the 21th century, Södermalm has gained recognition from the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson. The borough has also earned a reputation of "hipness", making Financial Times' top list of destinations for 2014 and a third place on Vogue's list of the world's coolest neighbourhoods.

Hammarby Sjöstad is formally a part of Södermalm, the only bit not on the main island. Since the late 1990s, it is under construction on the former docks and small industrial estates after extensive cleanup. The Sjöstad ("city on the lake") was planned from the outset to be a model community for sustainable living and design, including many innovative features in its infrastructure and architecture that limit the quarter's impact on the environment and provide for a better life quality.

Nacka is a municipality immediately east of Södermalm proper. Sickla and Henriksdal, the westernmost districts of Nacka, were harbour districts, which have recently been re-developed and integrated into Stockholm's inner city and are covered in this article. The farther removed eastern part of Nacka, including the seaside resort Saltsjöbaden, is covered in our guide to the Stockholm Archipelago.



Stockholm by night seen from Skinnarviksberget

The northern parts of Södermalm offer some excellent viewpoints with panoramas of the central parts of the city:


Katarina church.
Sofia church


The Stadsmuseum at Rysgarden

Artisan Södermalm

Brännkyrkagatan, one of several old-fashioned streets in northern Södermalm.

Between Slussen and Mariatorget, the Hornsgatan street has a narrow sett-paved side section on the north side, above the main street, nicknamed   Hornsgatspuckeln ("the Hornsgatan bump"), with a lot of galleries. Some examples are:


Hammarby Sjöstad

Hammarby Sjöstad


Allotment gardens in Tantolunden.
Hammarbybacken is Stockholm's most central ski slope, as well as a public viewpoint. Below is Hammarby Sjöstad.
Globen seen from far away

The area has two other arenas: the old-fashioned Hovet, and the 30,000-seat Tele2 Arena.


Götgatan, a main street for shopping and nightlife.

Södermalm contains many stores for alternative, vintage and second-hand fashion.


Götgatsbacken, the northernmost section of Götgatan on Södermalm, is perhaps best known for its nightlife, but also has lots of clothes stores with different profiles, including a new, small shopping centre called Bruno (see section below).


The district, the cleverly rebranded area south of eastern Södermalm's Folkungagatan, has lots of designer clothes and design shops, as well as cafés and restaurants

Shopping centres


Nytorget is a grassy square, surrounded by cafés and bars, more relaxed than the venues at Götgatan.



At Medborgarplatsen [ˈmeːdbɔrjarˈplatsən], there are several food wagons featuring street food from Greek to Polish. One can get fried calimari pita bread for 35 SEK with a drink. Kabbas, Falafa, bratwurst, Polish sausages are all under SEK 50, walking south on Skaraborgsgatan towards Globen are several more budget-priced kabba places. In Liljeholmen there are various small restaurants/cafés/sushi bars serving different kinds of food in Marieviken, the business quarter of the district. Mainly open at office hours. There are also some other cafés in Gröndal.





Södermalm is full of pubs, and the main nightlife street is Götgatan. Occasionally, people go for a pub crawl along Götgatan, having one drink at each bar; without any chance to finish off the whole street in one evening. In weekend nights, most bars along the street get crowded, but there are many hangouts in the rest of the island.

Slussen/Northern Götgatan

Looking from Himmlen bar down Götgatan towards the Globen at dusk


Medborgarplatsen is a major nightlife hub. The outdoor seats are immensely popular during the warm seasons. The backstreets, such as Östgötagatan, are more calm.




Söder Mälarstrand, the northern waterfront, berths several hotel and restaurant ships.


View of the Hammarby Sjöstad, with the Park Inn in the foreground and Södermalm in the background, from Hammarbytoppen


Södermalm's northern waterfront, including the Hilton, seen from the Gamla Stan side of the Slussen node


Stay safe

Nightlife in Medborgarplatsen usually gets wild. During weekend nights, a police van is parked at the square, with the primary mission task to resolve drunk brawls. Closing time (01:00 and 03:00) are worst.

The welfare services at Mariatorget attract homeless and disadvantaged people, some with mental illness or drug addiction. However, these people rarely cause trouble.

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