Stockholm is an archipelago (skärgård) of 14 islands situated between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. Södermalm, the city’s southern island, is our pick for base camp when exploring as a family. Saffron yellow buildings line narrow cobblestone streets. Around the next corner you may be rewarded with a view of sparkling Baltic sea and the compact old town known as Gamla Stan.
Like all cool-kid neighbourhoods, Södermalm was once a working-class district, and before that, farmland for Gamla Stan. An influx of creatives starting in the 1990s resulted in a happening hood. Södermalm is brimming with interesting non-chain boutiques, bars, restaurants and galleries. We love it because the generation of bohos who reinvented neighborhood have gone on to have kids. Södermalm is a utopia for cool families.
Modernity is all very well and good but you need a dose of context too. Södermalm has easy pedestrian access to Gamla Stan via Slussen, so you can cross over quickly without having to live in the clogged tourist section.
Wandering around Söder will also be rewarding; the hilly streets have their share of quaint 17th century wooden buildings as well as some of the best waterfront viewpoints of the Stockholm archipelago via Fjällgatan and Monteliusvägen.
More fun facts: The Millennium Trilogy was filmed here. Vogue even went so far as to proclaim it the coolest neighbourhood in the world in 2014.